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My Midwifery Decision

As many of you know, I got wait-listed at Birthingway in January. I was put on the list because of my "short interest in Midwifery compared to other applicants." When I interviewed in October I knew they judged my path as less than ideal, but I brushed it aside and figured my energy and love would see me through. And it has, just not in the way I had expected.

I knew I wasn't accepted at the school when several other applicants already found out their status. I was sitting on the couch, ringing my hands as I talked to my husband about the situation. Then I got called into work at the birth center, where several woman who were on the interview committee worked. That meant I would have to face them before I ever knew the answer. They knew my fate before me.

So I called the school to ask my status. They lady I needed to speak to wasn't there, so I had to go to work and hope to avoid those girls. Before I left Dave asked me to be still and feel with my body what the answer was - I was wait-listed.

Birthingway called me back later in the evening to confirm the news. I was heartbroken. But mostly angry and bitter. I felt enraged. As weeks went on I would volley from not wanting their acceptance (sometimes that was ego and sometimes it was a feeling that the school was not for me) to really wanting to be a part of their community.

Throughout my discovery process of becoming a midwife I have always said 2 things: If the school does not accept me, then that means I am not meant to go there and I need to find another way. Number two is that midwifery is not an end point for me. I'm meant to do something beyond midwifery and this is the path I must follow to get there.

I started to realize that paying $40K plus for yet another degree didn't make sense. There were other ways of becoming a midwife and I started to explore them. I looked into self-study, something I was already doing, but felt I wanted a bit more structure handed to me. I could do it on my own, but I craved guidance.

Even though I was fairly confident at this point that if the school offered me their acceptance I wouldn't take it, there were some days when all I wanted was to be in with them. I would suffer around the school's decision - back and forth with feeling that perhaps that school truly wasn't able to hold my space.

I wish there was someway that every applicant to the school was wait-listed. This was a time of tremendous growth for me. If every woman was able to go through this process, they would then feel they really owned their decision, something that midwives try to offer to birthing moms.

After tea with a friend who did get accepted, I realized that it's okay to struggle. Just because I was having to work hard at this didn't mean it wasn't the right path for me. In the back of my mind I believed in the rhetoric that if you have to struggle than it's not meant to be. And that's just shit.

Our grandparents generation took it too far, thinking that if they didn't struggle then something was wrong and our generation has snapped in the opposite direction, thinking that if it's the right decision then everything will flow easily.

I found the middle space.

On February 9th I began looking into Ancient Art Midwifery Institute (AAMI), an online program. Figuring that if I considered self-study, than why not distance learning? I had long conversations with the director, spoke with Birthingway graduates who has Ancient Art apprentices, Birthingway midwives, talked to enrolled students, students who dropped out, students considering the path and AAMI graduates.

But what I didn't do is talk with myself. I busied with reading forums and looking for dirt on the school. I talked with friends and asked their opinion. I wanted to know what other people would think of me if I enrolled in an online school.

I realized that what is motivating me is intensely personal and spiritual. No one else is qualified to judge that. I let go of my biases of attending an online school. I released the judgement I was afraid of receiving from others. I started to blatantly tell people about my decision without following up with some stat about the school's success rate or all the research I did.

I just let it go. And then I made my decision to enroll. Along with that I also made my decision to actively seek a midwifery apprenticeship. And along with that I made my decision to wait to enroll into AAMI until my spirit says YES.

I am enjoying all the birth work I'm doing. Working at Alma Birth Center, Attending births, writing, art, Nurture.....I'm going to stay in this space awhile, not hurrying (very un-me) and feeling confident in my decision. Occasionally I'll wake up and want to enroll so I could get started learning - I'm so thirsty for this knowledge, but then I take a few breaths and look at my life today. I know I'm going to get busier soon, there is no need to rush it.

Everything feels right. 


1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

It is okay to struggle. What is childbirth if not struggle? It's a struggle to birth not just a baby, but also a mother....a new way of being....acceptance. Probably many other things. Struggle is sometimes what is needed. Sometimes if a thing comes too easily then the lesson is not learned.

Blessings for your path! And may your struggle be fruitful.