I want to be a midwife because I want to make a positive difference in the lives of women through direct service by providing holistic midwifery care in empowering settings. I first felt the unmistakable calling to be a midwife while attending my first birth as a doula. Until that time, I was unsure whether I was meant to work as a doula, childbirth educator, midwife, or in another capacity. My cousin’s wife T. was pregnant with their first child and expressed interest in having me attend her birth when she learned about my doula training. My cousin’s birth was a case study in typical hospital birth: she was given an IV drip, had her waters broken, had an epidural, and had constant fetal monitoring. Although these interventions were introduced as freely chosen preferences, I knew that T. was being presented with limited options. I felt torn by my frustration at hospital procedure and my dedication to support and empower her through her labor regardless of the circumstances.
The moment the baby crowned, I knew I was meant to be a midwife. In an instant, my dual passions for social justice and women’s health coalesced into a single, irrefutable knowing that my life’s work was midwifery. As T. pushed new life into the world, I was transfixed. The mood in the room changed and none of my previous frustrations mattered. There was nowhere else I would rather have been. It was in this moment that the trajectory of my life was set as I realized that my calling was not to be a doula on a casual basis but a midwife ushering in new life on a full-time basis.