Have I ever told yinz I love Doctor Who, specifically, the Russel T. Davies years, 2005-2010? I am not going to go all into the reasons…well, too much–amazing actors, beautiful story-lines with a bit of an edge, heroes who care, and love, lots of love. I bring it up because those years of Doctor Who, with Rose, Martha, and Donna, were about people finding themselves and raising the bar on what is possible. Rose was a shop girl, who no one thought would amount to much. Martha was a med. student looking for the extraordinary. Donna was a secretary who yelled at the world. Then they met the Doctor, who gave them a place, and who showed them that they were greater than they ever thought they could be. He believed in their strength. Sound familiar?
I have always wanted to be a midwife, I just didn’t realize it. Modern medicine can be amazing for emergency situations, but birth is an everyday miracle. It is, in most cases, not an emergency, and by looking for emergencies all the time, we tend to muck it up. For healthy women and healthy babies, I have always believed, birth can be easy when health professionals lifeguard the process rather than try to control it. I just didn’t think I was the one who was supposed to do that. It took some special people in my life who, like The Doctor did for his companions, like Vincent did for Catherine, to remind me that I have the strength and the drive to raise the bar everyday on what I think is possible.
Of course, starting a (newish) career at forty-one does have its challenges. I have to drive two hours for my practicums because that is where the only midwife certified to teach me practices. And while I knew mechanics of the process from a teacher’s and doula’s perspective, I didn’t know the medical terms. I didn’t know charting, and how to blood type in an Amish lady’s kitchen, how to measure according to dates, and palpate for twins. My head feels like Swiss Cheese.
Midwifery takes a lot of my time, but I also have to let off some steam and keep writing. Why? Because this is who I am as well, and because, someday, I want to write about my experiences in the hope it inspires others to raise their own bar. I can’t write as much as I want, because I am devoting part of everyday to learning and my family, but please believe me, I am writing.
All the skills we acquire along the way, whether we think are relevant or not, help us to create ourselves. We use them to become, and it takes a long time, as the beautiful story of the Velveteen Rabbit tells us. Catherine is becoming, and that can be a hard process, but she isn’t alone. There are people who believe in her, including someone who had misgivings about her place in his son’s life not too long before. I hope you enjoy his perspective. So, without further ado, Home: Chapter 6.