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Thursday, July 26, 2012

My short term midwifery mini pity party

So I experienced a bit of an ego blow this week. I interviewed for a job and I didn't get it (and honestly that is a first for me). Here is the thing, I WANTED this job and not for the money. It was a job doing administrative work for a local midwife that runs an international online midwifery school (among other very cool things).

Cosmic waterbirth and all consuming connection
Ever since I had my second son via water birth at a birth center I've though more and more about becoming a midwife. I wish so many women could have the experience I had. I really felt that kind of empowerment from my second son's birth set me up to able to battle Autism. Midwifery is the only thing I've felt called to do since then. I know some moms after their child is diagnosed go into special education or nursing but that's not for me. I eat, breathe, and live Autism enough at home. I also think Autism and Midwifery do have some connections. I think the health, diet and care of the mother definitely affect the baby. Also many people speculate about the pervasive use of ultrasound or interventions at birth possibly causing Autism. I personally think Autism is a melee of circumstances regarding the mothers body, pregnancy health, birth, infancy, early childhood, environmental factors, genetics, and vaccines that cause Autism (and I'm sure I've missed a few that I'll think of later). Yep, all of those and THAT is precisely why it is so hard to recover a child from Autism, because their can be SOOOO many factors that went into causing it. I also think that is why you hear the saying "when you've met one person with Autism, well, you've met one person with Autism''. Since the circumstances that caused each person/child's Autism the cases are vastly different they will have vastly different symptoms. Overall though, I feel by affecting one (birth and all that goes with it )you can change the outcome of the other (children suffering from Autism ) to some degree.

But I digress, back to the job I didn't get, and the dream I'm worried I can't make happen. So for about five years I've been pinning to become a midwife. The problem is I don't really have the time or the money to make it happen. The requirements to start midwifery school (for me at least) are 1. clep liberal arts math (I've got the other college credits to get in already taken care of), 2. become a CBE (or child birth educator) 3. take a course to become a doula. All three I'd have to pay out of pocket for. Once I finish that I'd have basically three options, drive to Gainesville for two days a weeks for the next three years (and stay overnight with strangers) but this one I could get Federal grants for the tuition. The next is a marginally more expensive private school nearby here that I cannot get federal grants for (but I wouldn't have overnighters with strangers away from my children). Or option number three try the online school, recruit a preceptor myself and take my exams the hard way, which is all out of pocket as well.

To tell the truth I refuse to commit to a midwifery education until I'm certain I absolutely can fulfil the terms and commitments to complete my education. So even if we were to put the lack of money to pay for said options aside I'm not totally sure I could commit to the time terms. With J starting public school this year and the eventual battles that will come, well I just don't see it happening. This is one of those, "has Autism taken this from me too" moments. I can't help but wonder what would my life be like if I J hadn't developed Autism. If we didn't have to make that commitment to recover our child from Autism.

Let me tell you a bit about why I though this was my destined opportunity. About two years ago I was reading the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery site (  and they were holding a "So YOU Want To Be A Midwife" seminar. I've always thought midwifery is something that would be a great career to shadow someone in before you began studying. I mean you are either made for that job or you aren't and there isn't any shade of grey on that one. How do you know though? I'd experienced a water birth myself, read every book about midwifery I could get my hands on, watched youtube home birth stories and different natural birth documentaries (in my lol spare time, I think that shows some commitment right there). Still truth be told, for me that wasn't enough. I really feel like that is something you've got to get in on the ground floor to know that its for you, you've got play witness, see with your own eyes and heart. So I saw this a golden opportunity, the closest I could get to playing shadow for the biggest choice (besides parenthood) of my life. I called and signed up, took the time off of work, miraculously I had the money at the time to attend. The day of  the seminar I left on time. At four in the morning it was dark, air felt crisp and cool. I picked up a chai latte and popped in my latest "Sookie Stackhouse" book "From dead to worse" into the CD player and got the GPS ready to go.

OUCH! Why mama, WHY?
I had gotten about half way there when I passed a Dodge Charger that was seriously tailgating the car in front of him. As soon as I'd gone by the lights blazed to life, gotta love those unmarked police cars. I thought he was trying to pass for an emergency, after all I wasn't doing anything wrong. Well it was hilly and wet and I hit the guard rail and pulled a Titantic (scraped its whole side) on my beloved ride. It was humiliating, he'd pulled me over for doing eleven miles over the speeding limit, on the interstate, take a minute to process that one. The front of my car was wrecked, at first they though it was undrivable but then with all the trouble getting a tow so far from home the FHP officer that had pulled me over ended up changing the tire for me. I limped home with a one hundred and sixty dollar ticket, mangled front end, angry lump on the skull and dashed hopes.

I was angry, mostly that I couldn't make the seminar (oh how I hated the idea of being a no-call no-show). Only now, can I laugh about it. After I'd brewwed it over and simmered down a bit I began to think. I decided to use the resources I had at hand locally. I called the other local midwife that hadn't done a pelvic exam on me (wanting a more objective view, no pun intended) and asked to interview her directly. I felt like a genius. I ended up with her apprentice, a wonderfully bubbly woman of god. She was a fount of information and answered all my questions and told me I'd make a great midwife (which flatterd me immensly). I left the interview with a heart full of hope and firm in my convictions to bide my time until I could take the next step.

She gave me her name and I friend requested her on Facebook. I enjoyed her (and the other local midwives posts) about baby catching and lived vicariously through them. They have an amazing part in everyday miracles that brings them in to touch with a wonderful caliber of people. My heart cheered for her when she got her Midwife Licensure (LM). It was she who posted the help wanted add on Facebook. At the interview she described the position and I couldn't have asked anything better! Basically I'd have been working directly with her, helping her with educational materials, preparing birth kits, attending the seminars (that I need and cannot afford now) and so much more while getting paid. The timing was also wonderful, of course both my boys will be in full time school next year, assuming all that goes well (yes I know that is a BIG assumption) I'll have eight uninterrupted daylight hours to myself. Plus to tell you the truth I really GOT her, I liked her. Her last assistant also had a son with Autism, crazy right. Seems like a perfect fit and the timing seemed nothing less than devine.

STOP, no really, I said STOP!
Well alas it isn't meant be and I don't want to begrudge her. She is trying to do this world good, god only knows the world needs more of that! I would be lying if I said it didn't sting though. I know now, only in retrospect, if I had made the seminar two years ago and thus been motivated to jump right on it and go to school I may have not gotten J into ABA. I wouldn't have traded to the two, my dreams for his life, not a freaking chance. After my up close and personal meeting with the guard rail I seriously began to wonder "am I not meant for midwifery"? I mean that seems like a pretty clear sign. I was "stopped" and then gravity had it's say and stopped me as well. My next question to myself is "is this a test of my convictions, should I let the stopping stop me"? At this point I can't say I've conclusively answered either, but with a little perspective hopefully I'll just see this as another step in the journey. I've been delayed but for the right reason, until the right time.

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