When I was a little girl, I thought I was destined to be a doctor. I wanted to help people and had an interest in making others feel better. I only knew one word for that at the time; the word that was spoon-fed to me: doctor. It was the prize-winning profession and my life would suffer drastically if I did not pursue it. I quickly realized that medical school was not how I wanted to spend my 20s. I toyed with different career paths, such as becoming a clinical psychologist. However, I craved something more hands on. When I decided to attend nursing school, numerous people tried to talk me out of it. “But you’re so smart,” they’ll say. Well thanks, but you just insulted the whole nursing profession. I myself wondered if I would one day regret never going to medical school and having people call me doctor. Guys, this is called listening to your intuition. Even though everyone around me was so loud in their thoughts and ideas, I couldn’t ignore the voice in my head telling me to go to nursing school. The way my life turned out, I am glad that I listened to myself because I landed into a passion, not just a career. See, I always said I would be a Pediatrician; so when I switched to nursing, I said I would be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Not only did I hate my pediatric rotation, but I hated all of my rotations except for one. Labor and Delivery. My first introduction to childbirth was when I decided to take a training to become a doula. A doula provides emotional support/labor coaching before, during, and after childbirth. Many studies have found that if a woman has a doula during labor, she is less at risk for interventions. I always had an interest in childbirth, but I loved to sleep and didn’t want to be up in the middle of the night lol (life sure has a way of laughing at us). While I was in nursing school at Johns Hopkins, I became exposed to a side of childbirth I never knew existed. Now this is going to sound extremely ignorant, but I had no idea women could give birth without medicine or without even being in the hospital. Definitely I was in a bubble my entire life! It was almost as if I was walking around with dark colored glasses and when I discovered the idea of natural childbirth, someone switched them to rose colored. Through my experience serving as a doula to women in Baltimore, I decided that I wanted to educate more women about their options in labor. A lot of times women are told what to do during childbirth while having various things done to their bodies. The countless, unnecessary interventions often cause more harm than good. Women have been taught to fear birth, doubt their bodies, and have their power stripped during such a liberating process. I am a huge advocate for natural childbirth, but feel that women should know about all options to make the best decisions for their families. I was called into this profession, as one would have to be. The emotional, mental, and physical demands of this career would weaken anyone who wasn’t in love with it. I was called to be a midwife, and that’s what I became. I finished nursing school at Johns Hopkins, receiving my Bachelor of Science, then immediately attended Emory University for graduate school. I received both a Master of Science in Nursing and Public health with a focus in global health. While in graduate school, I learned about the harsh reality of women’s health in developing countries. Childbirth is still the number one cause of death for women in many countries. Simply because the resources in staff, medicines, and facilities do not exist. And you best believe women of color are disproportionately affected by lack of resources both internationally and in the United States. It is not only my calling but also my duty to serve women in labor and speak out about injustices in healthcare.
xoxo, Global Midwife