Why I Became a Homebirth Midwife and Midwifery Today Mother
The one thing that made me want to become a midwife was the birth of my first child. I was having a lovely, natural birth in the hospital. I was laboring wonderfully, loving it. When I got really going, at probably about 9 cm dilation, the staff came in to give me a saddle block. I said, “But I’m having a natural birth.” Then they pulled me up and stuck the needle of drugs in my back, against my will. As they stuck in the needle, someone said, “This is a natural birth.”
I was wheeled into the delivery room, probably 15 minutes later, unable to feel anything. They hollered at me, “Push this baby out or we’ll have to take it.” They must have meant forceps, because cesareans were not a major threat 36 years ago. I somehow got my baby out in about 10 minutes. They quickly showed me my little blue baby and then whisked her away. I was sewn up and stuck in a recovery room alone—completely and utterly alone, more alone than I have ever been in my life. We did succeed in breastfeeding for 3+ years, but the guilt, rage and sadness of that few minutes never left me. I can cry as easily today as if it were just yesterday. My miracle was taken from me and I knew it.
When I got pregnant three years later I looked for a friendly place and found a doctor who talked me into having a homebirth. It was the highest, most amazing experience of my life—ever. It still is. The difference between those two births propelled me into becoming a homebirth midwife. From there it was a natural calling to start Midwifery Today and influence more women to carry out their dream to change birth. I became a midwife to midwives at Midwifery Today, something I really feel at conferences. Together we work at this calling. I do it now through Midwifery Today, encouraging and educating others to carry out their dreams for motherbaby and for fathers. “Each One Teach One” was our starting motto. Let it be yours.
Here are some of Jan’s Editorials: