My sister friend Caroline once asked me what I aspired to be as a grown-up when I was little. My memories took me back to the kitchen set I got one Christmas. It was my world. I loved to pretend to cook and make new dishes, often just with corn flakes and Cheese Whiz mixed up. I wanted to be a mother one day. I was also fascinated my doctor’s kit that I had gotten as a present. I had a stethoscope, syringe and blood pressure cuff. I stored it near my kitchen set and told everyone I would be a doctor one day.
Those dreams faded in my teenage years, as I found myself struggling with mathematics and science to the point of barely passing the Chemistry and Earth Science regents, bombing the Physics regents and getting by in the math sequential courses. I decided quietly that if this was such a struggle, becoming a doctor was never going to happen. I assumed it meant I wasn’t smart enough; I was in honors classes and all the other students seemed out of my league as they seemed to master what I could not.
Slowly, the dreams came back into focus in college. Being away from NYC gave me the chance to tap into my earth mother and I gave up tight jeans and acrylic nails for flowy skirts and bare feet in the grass. I learned how good my body felt when I became vegetarian, which rekindled my desire to heal my self and others. Shortly after college, I made the decision to become a holistic health counselor. This was a wonderful pursuit because although I did not complete the program I had started, the love I had begun to cultivate for my female body and healing it led me to midwifery.
I became a birth doula two years ago to learn what it was like to be in the presence of birth and also because I didn’t think I had the ability to learn medicine and be a midwife. Yet, after the first birth I attended, I knew right then and there that I wanted to be on the other end of the bed. I had to conquer so many fears to finally get to this point. Last June, I lost my job, boyfriend at the time and apartment in a matter of 48 hours. A couple of days later, I was on a plane to Puerto Rico to be with Myrna for 9 days. On that trip, I affirmed that what would make me happiest in the world is to be a midwife and nothing else.
I will be starting nursing school this fall, with the intention of pursuing my M.S in Midwifery. I have hesitated to call myself a student midwife because I wasn’t in a master’s program yet. A few weeks ago, I shifted my perspective. Although I will be a certified nurse-midwife by the end of my studies and be well-versed in hospital births, my heart is in the push to reclaim the sacredness of birthing for my self and for womyn worldwide, both in a medical environment and at home. My holistic, veggie-loving, granola self will be ever present because it is my reality.
I have chosen to identify as a student-midwife because it is a commitment I have made to myself. It reflects the work I have done for the last 2 years, the research and articles I ingest daily about pregnancy and childbirth, the empowerment work I do with the womyn around me, the advice I give pregnant sister friends, and my own desire to nourish my body when it’s my time to become a mother. I believe that we must tell the Universe what we want out loud so that it may conspire in our favor.
I want the Universe to know exactly what I want. I am praying for the strength, perseverance, wisdom and love I have to be ever flowing as I finally pursue the ultimate dream of my life and in turn help womyn claim their inherent power, ensure that the next generation is born into a loving environment and give the world hope that another way of being is possible for every single one of us.