I am a 35 year old midwife who graduated from one of the three fine midwifery programs located here in New York City in 2007. I took aÂ job as a midwife at a public hospital in Brooklyn, NY, and I worked there for nearly 5 years (or 375+ babies, however you keep track), before recently moving on to private practice. Prior to graduating, I chronicled my adventures as a student on this blog (studentmidwife.org), which I have since turned into bellytales.com, so that I can continue to write about my experiences in this incredible profession.
I have one toddler son, two cats, a small but growing hat collection, and 0.5 of a plant (the cats keep eating it). In my spare time you can sometimes find me busking in the subway system (I play a mean Irish fiddle), eating sushi, knitting or jogging in Prospect Park, since running is one of my other passions, but being an on-call home birth midwife keeps me incredibly busy, and my husband and son get most of my rare free-time.
I am a proud feminist and a strong woman. If I had to describe myself in three words, they would be compassionate, fierce and loving.
Midwifery is my calling. I love attending births and helping other women find their own inner strength. I don’t believe that midwives deliver babies. I believe that midwives help women deliver their own babies into this world.
I think there are a lot of things wrong with birth in our country right now. I think that women have forgotten how to trust their bodies—I think the medical profession in general has forgotten how to trust women’s bodies—and I think the prevailing attitude of birth as an emergency waiting to happen is something that desperately needs to be changed. I abhor the cattle-obstetrics approach used in many of the hospitals in our country right now. Â I worked in this system for years, first as a Labor & Delivery nurse and then as a midwife, believing thatÂ you first need to understand how a system works before you can change it, and that acts of kindness, respect and empowerment make a much larger impact in a hospital, where this type of care is so rare.Â Now that I am a home birth midwife, I am learning how to work outside the system, challenging mainstream beliefs about the normalcy and safety of birth; I hope to offer women a gentler, non-invasive, more holistic option.
I have always thought that education unlocks the key to trust. I think that the more women know about their miraculous bodies, the more they’ll trust those very same bodies. I am a strong supporter of reproductive education and reproductive freedom. I believe women should have access to birth control and birth choices, and that women should be given as much information as possible about their bodies, medical care and health options so that they can make informed decisions. I believe that women in this country should have access to medical care should they choose to have an abortion. This doesn’t make me pro-abortion. This makes me pro-choice.
The blogosphere is a very polarizing place, with lots of labels and stereotypes thrown around without much thought. Â I don’t consider myself to be a man-hater or a baby-killer or a boob-nazi or an anti-boob nazi or a crunchy, radical granola goddess. I don’t really think there’s a right way of doing anything, or a wrong way of doing anything. There’s only the best way, for each and every person, and the responsibility of every person to find their own best way. I support home birth and natural childbirth, but I don’t look down on those who ask for epidurals, or give birth to their babies through cesarean delivery. I support and encourage breastfeeding, but I see no point in chiding or belittling a woman who has made the difficult decision to formula-feed because she has to go back to work, for instance. I will always work hard to educate, encourage and support, but never judge.
I think it’s okay to be loud and outspoken on issues you feel passionately about, so long as you’re also able to listen, let others talk, and sit in silence with a woman while she labors
I believe patience is not just an noun but a way of life.
I believe that birth is a miracle, each and every time.
I think there’s nothing more beautiful than a newborn baby breastfeeding while a delighted family watches.