Share your story: What does midwifery mean to you? What would you like to be celebrated in the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife?
Midwifery means believing in and honoring women…their inner strengths, their capacity for love, their desire for knowledge, and ability to dream and achieve. For them, Life is a Labor of Love.
Tell us about your background: Which midwifery education program did you attend or are currently attending? What are your areas of specialty? Who mentored you along the way in your career? What inspired you to become a midwife?
I attended University of Illinois/Chicago with a dual degree in midwifery and women’s health. I honestly had few midwifery mentors, as midwifery is not widespread in other parts of our state, but 2 stood out- Sandra Poland, one of the first licensed CNMs in the State of Illinois, and Sherry Hartenbower, who taught me to watch our words and how they might affect a woman’s ability to birth!
I believe I was inspired to become a midwife first and foremost from my mother’s account of her first natural childbirth (me!) and how that experience changed her life. In my career as a nurse, I also observed how normal physiological birth can change women and empower them! I have watched many women transformed by the experience. I also have witnessed many women traumatized by the experience and want to help them heal. Thus, I became a midwife!
After 7 years of working in hospitals as a CNM, I found myself longing to see birth the way it was intended. I recently embarked on a new adventure in the home birth world!
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Quickening is the official member publication and digital news site for the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Content is written by and for ACNM members and staff.