My first calling to women’s health was the birth of my daughter. I was a 20 year old new Mom, absorbed in learning about pregnancy and birth. I had no interest in health care but seemed the right path to expand my knowledge. I enrolled in a nurse’s aide vocational program. I began working in the newborn Nursery, then transferred to Labor and Delivery. The nurses I worked with were amazing. They trained, educated and supported me to further my education.
After the birth of my second child I began nursing school. I was lucky to be hired in Labor and Delivery at the same hospital my husband and children were born. I loved taking care of the high risk Moms. The more technology the better. Occasionally we received transfers from attempted home births. I cared for them like any other patient but underneath, did not understand how they could risk an out of hospital birth.
I soon learned about a free standing birth center an hour away. I planned a visit, was met by a nurse midwife who gave me a tour, She enlightened me about out of hospital births and midwifery. It was gorgeous, cozy. She changed my professional direction. I returned to the hospital with new vision, which led to my questioning those “routine, what ifs” we used to justify the concept that all pregnant women were walking time bombs.
So back to school I went. First, my BSN then graduate school. I love tradition so my choice was easy. The first American midwives road horse back in the Appalachian mountains to care for Moms and their families by way of Frontier Nursing Service. Coming from a long family of horsewomen, I again felt this was my calling , So off I went to Hyden, Kentucky. An experience I will never forget.
My first midwife job was in an upper middle class neighbor hood with a great group of traditional medical management doctors. They soon learned my desire to offer different approaches to birth. I asked, and they agreed to offer water births in our practice.
For 15 years, i attended over 3000 in hospital births. The hospital setting was restrictive but over the years, staff and administrators provided options for women who desired more control over their birth experience. Professionally, I still desired more.
January 2017, I found The Midwife Group and Birth Center. After meeting the amazing staff, touring the site, hearing about the 30 year history, I was anxious to be a part of this fantastic community resource and honored to be a part of this Southeast Georgia tradition.