I tried recently to pin point the moment in my life when I realised that what I really wanted to do with my life, in fact, needed to do with my life, was to be a midwife.
Truth be told although there was a moment of the seed being planted, it has taken a while for me to really grasp the enormity of this choice. Being a midwife is not just about catching babies and it is so important to really think, I mean really think about it. I don't suppose anything can prepare you for the inevitable sad side of the role but equally I don't suppose you'd be human if that side didn't affect you.
I've always known I wanted to work with people and so it was no real surprise that I ended up in the housing industry. Loads of opportunity to support people but ultimately I am still asking of people. They have to pay the rent and I have to ask for it.
When I was trying to get pregnant I discovered a thirst for knowledge about how it all happens, I was absolutely fascinated. When I got pregnant, I devoured books about how my baby was developing. I looked forward to my appointments with the midwife; looking back I'm sure my poor midwife needed a good cuppa (or a glass of wine) afterwards as I generally grilled her.
After my son was born I threw myself into meeting up with other new mothers and going to groups and I found that the group I most identified with was the breastfeeding support group. I had figured I would breastfeed but yet again I was amazed at how I could sustain and grow my child myself. I was brought up in quite a strong feminist environment but now it was really dawning on me just how amazing and powerful 'woman' was.
Fast forward a number of years and I am now a Breastfeeding Counsellor and that belief just gets stronger. My desire to work with 'people' has defined into working with women and then more specifically with mothers and thier families. Teaching mothers-to-be about breastfeeding and then supporting new mothers is wonderful. Its challenging and sometimes exhausting because you give of yourself over and over again but in terms of feeling satisfied in my role, I feel I am receiving much more.
I dont know quite how to explain it but being a Breastfeeding Counsellor is a part of me. I am also a mother, and a number of other things, and I am also a potential midwife. I put mothering firmly at the top of the metaphorical pile but everything else is 'parts' of me. I didn't get into Breastfeeding Counselling because I wanted to be a midwife, rather the way I have grown has taken me into the breastfeeding world because being 'with woman' is a part of me. Does that make sense?