Quote from Rohan
Why did you decide to become a midwife? How long did it take you? I would love to be a midwife someday.
I took a LONG road to midwifery! I have finally figured out after 27 years of nursing and many educational programs what I want to be "when I grow up". To make a long story short, I got a masters in womens health (CNS type education), later became a WHNP but really missed the labor and delivery part. I HATED it when my patients said "I wish you had been there"...
I think my frustration with women's birth plans (and lack of plans) was part of it... Plans that they did not share with their doctors; plans of the type that guaranteed a C-birth... or, the "just do what you normally do" mentality. Needless to say those who had "birth expectations" vs. "birth desires" ended up with the most complicated births.
The "straw" was about 4 years ago, when a primip was laboring "naturally", no pit or ROM. She was 7 cm. and the doc "talked her into" AROM and an epidural. She had a nice birth, but afterward she asked me "why I let him do it... you knew my birth plan, aren't you supposed to be my advocate?" I mentioned this to one of the midwives I work with after it happened, and her response was, "well, you know, you CAN give women a little more empowerment with their choices. Go to midwifery school!"
BTW, I was this patients labor nurse for her second baby last year and she "had it her way", no interventions and a wonderful birth.
I'm more in favor of presenting options and allowing a woman the opportunity to discuss and research those options than being purely a "natural birth junkie". My motto is "no intervention in the absence of complications"; this statement is what the OB practice that I will soon be working with was impressed with the most.
Geez, if I had only known... but hopefully I'll be a stronger advocate for women and their choices because of the path I've been on so far.
The program I was in was 2 years in length, I didn't have to do stats/research/thesis stuff because I already had a MSN BUT I can tell you it was by far the most challenging program I've ever done. Part time didn't seem like part time. And we, as nurses, are so trained to look for "abnormal", there were "normal" things I had to learn (or maybe relearn) because the program is primarily a wellness based one. Of course we learned OB complications and emergency procedures, and I worked with many high risk women with chronic diseases and poor social situations. There were not many homebirth candidates, and there wasnt a real option to work with homebirth midwives in my part of the country. I had great clinical experiences in all aspects of womens health care, though!