Thursday, September 16, 2010

Well rounded midwife

I was chatting with a couple of my midwife friends this morning at a birth we were at. I really enjoy and value these discussions- I am learning that I yield something completely different from talking in person with these topics than when I'm online. (Not the least of which is that I am usually easily understood and rarely ever have to explain myself or be defensive of my position, but I digress..)

Going back to a discussion I had with one of these lovely midwives about my choice for schools and how I originally thought that I'd want a school that was in alignment with my values about birth. As soon as the words left my mouth I knew they weren't what I really wanted. Why do I need to go to a school that just affirms what I already know? What I really want is to be challenged by my education. I don't want to be bored or agree with most everything. I want to have my boundaries pushed. I want to work with wide spectrums of people in different communities, countries - I plan to work hard not to develop my position but develop my sense of self in the world, my sense of community. At this moment, knowing what I know today, that feels like a healthy approach to midwifery.

A friend and I had a discussion about whether we'd take VBACs once we were practicing. Her position at the time was that you couldn't call yourself a midwife, and be pro-birth, if you didn't take VBACs and asked me if I would take them. Considering my last birth was a cesarean my own response surprised even me. I said I didn't know. I don't know who I will become through my journey. I've met more than one midwife who is in support of say, HBAC for example (homebirth after cesarean) but who has only ever experienced uterine ruptures and serious outcomes when they've attended them. They had the wisdom to know they did not need to bring their fear and concern to these births and have elected not to attend VBACs at home. It isn't anti-birth or anti- woman, it's pro-sustainability of practice, pro-sanity, and even pro-birth/woman/etc. for the midwife to know what her own boundaries are. Sounds healthy, if you ask me.