For those of you who don’t know, I had two home births. They were made possible by a wonderful, experienced midwife. Sometimes I feel like a leaf in a stream floating along. You just never know which way the current will go and who you may bump into that changes your life. I found my midwife by a blessing and she just happened to be the most amazing person. She had the exact skill set to put me at ease and help me through my challenging birth. I have a lot of respect for those that practice the midwifery profession- whether for out-of-hospital settings like home births or in hospital settings. That is why I am excited to share with you today a story about becoming a midwife.
Emma Martinez, a practicing midwife in the United States, will share her story with you. I think you will find this story inspiring on many levels. Maybe you are interested in becoming a midwife yourself or just looking for a midwife. Or maybe you just want to learn about someone’s amazing journey to become a midwife. Either way, I think you will enjoy learning who she is and what she does.
Emma Martinez is a midwife with more than 5 years of practice experience. She helps women before, during and after pregnancy and provides them with all the information they need. A natural caregiver, she does her best to make new moms and their babies feel safe. This is so they can enjoy the best time of their lives!
As a mother herself, she knows what every new mom goes through. She is not only there to provide them with practical knowledge but with emotional support and understanding as well. Writing for Find Your Mom Tribe enabled her to connect with other moms. Additionally she shares mom hacks, information, and tools to help them on this parenting journey. You can catch up with Emma and Find Your Mom Tribe on Facebook and Pinterest.
Becoming A Midwife And Being Me – Emma’s Story
By Emma Martinez
Ever since I started writing for Find Your Mom Tribe blog and giving out advice to moms everywhere, many people have asked me to share how I came to be a midwife in the first place. My origin story, if you will.
Well, the story itself comes from a rather simple place – my own home.
You see, I’ve always loved helping other people deal with their problems. Helping grannies cross the street, volunteering at local shelters, or just helping mom out with the household chores. A regular girl scout.
My childhood was a rather happy one. Nothing bad really ever happened to me specifically. But, what led me on this path was an experience one of my best friends had gone through.
You see, when I was around 12, my friend told me that she was getting a baby sister. Naturally, we were both excited by that prospect. We adored playing house when we were younger and now we would have a genuine baby to do it with.
Things went along fine for the initial pregnancy period. We were greatly excited to see the new addition to their family.
Sadly, tragedy almost struck and the delivery ended in the baby coming out not breathing. But, thanks to the quick intervention of the doctors, they managed to resuscitate the baby. She ended up growing into a healthy young girl who we enjoyed playing with greatly.
But, the star of this story was a woman- the midwife. She was the person who held the parents’ hands to try and keep them calm in the middle of the chaos. The midwife worked to not let the mother go into shock. She was their rock.
But not just theirs alone. No, she was the hero for every confused mom who brought a new life to this world. She was the one providing support for every dad who didn’t know if his wife and baby would make it during complications. She was their safe haven, telling them that everything will be just fine. And, in the end, it was.
My friend told me all about the midwife. She described her as this guardian angel that allowed them to reach their happy ending in the whole process.
She even ended up visiting them afterward for over a month just to make sure they were all okay. I saw her around whenever I came over to give a helping hand with the baby to my friend and her family.
One of the times the midwife came, she saw the effort and care I was putting into helping ease their chores and the whole baby situation. She saw that I was trying my best, but I didn’t really know proper newborn care at the time, so she came up to me and started teaching me some of the basics.
The way she explained it made it so much easier for me and all the more enjoyable and fulfilling knowing I was doing it properly now. It made me fall in love with the profession as a whole.
It was at this moment that I decided I was going to pursue a career in women’s health. I knew I wanted to be in the medical field that caters to working with pregnant women and their families, since I realized they were most in need of friends to get them through the potentially tough times.
The woman became my role model; she encapsulated everything I wanted to be.
The Journey To Become A Midwife
Once I hit high school, I focused on classes that encompassed either science and biology or social studies in any form, helping me brush up on the essential prerequisite skills for becoming a midwife.
How to become a midwife: Once high school ended and the time came to pick my majors at college, I ended up choosing midwifery for my Bachelor of Science degree. Simple enough. The whole process takes about three to four years to complete and it’s a mix of studying and attending your courses, and getting actual, practical, hands-on clinical training. It’s usually half and half.
The details on applying and the actual requirements for how to be a midwife are best sought out at the American College Of Nurse-Midwives. When it comes to educational requirements, a lot of things can change as time goes on. The ACNM site will always have the most up-to-date information regarding how to become a midwife. You can also check the North American Registry of Midwives or the American Midwifery Certification Board for more detailed information.
A Bumpy Road
The road to becoming a certified midwife certainly isn’t easy. You need to have a certain drive, a willingness to help people, a high tolerance for potential nonsense, and truckloads of patience.
But, most importantly, you need to love children and the whole process of childbirth.
I’m not trying to play the “holier than thou” role here, but a certified professional midwife is not a vocation for everyone, trust me. My nerves have been worn and tested time and time again and they most likely will be still, but that’s all in the job description and I still love doing said job regardless.
And that’s because, in the end, the results keep me going forward, the joy of getting to help mothers and their families out through a rather tumultuous period, to put them at ease, and explain the beauty of childbirth and becoming a parent.
The expressions of joy I see once their little one comes into this world are indescribable – their first meeting is nothing short of blissful.
Is it hard to be a midwife? Of course, it’s not all sunshine and roses; every job has its obstacles and downsides.
The Hard Part Of Being A Midwife
The time I spent studying for the profession was no easy pickings. I had to balance studying and working at the same time, which is not easy since you need some free time and that was hard to manage in between the two.
As far as job hardships go, I’ve witnessed a lot of dysfunctional families and single moms. I’ve seen the worst parts too, times where either the mother or the child didn’t make it.
It made me realize that you can’t stop anything in life completely, but you can still work your damned hardest to prevent it as much as you can. As powerful as a childhood dream is, reality does have to sink in at times, but it doesn’t mean I had to give up. It only reinforced my desire to be the best I could be at my profession and I still strive to perfect that notion as best I can.
This is why I took my job to a more personal level. I always make sure to bring my empathetic side to the parents, to be someone they can rely on, to whom they can vent all their frustrations. Someone who can advise and relax them before their big day. I stay in touch with them well after my job is done just to check up on them and see how things are going.
I’ll even go as far as to interpret any dreams about giving birth that mothers might have during their pregnancy period. It helps calm them down and give positive reinforcement. Or sometimes it is a warning to change bad habits depending on the type of dream they describe.
Many of these people I’m still in contact with – not just from a professional standpoint, but as friends. My career has helped me expand my worldview and introduce me to people from all walks of life.
An educational experience to be sure, and a most welcome one at that.
It didn’t stop my career path there either. As I said, I always try to find ways to perfect my craft. I like to give that extra percent in my work, so I took doula courses too. It’s mostly similar to what midwives do as far as care is concerned. However, doulas don’t perform anything on the medical side of things.
The experience did give me a lot of insight into interacting with other people on a more personal level than ever before. It was a nice supplement to my existing knowledge and intuition.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that I’m a mother myself. Sure, I had years of midwife experience behind me, but when you’re the one on the delivery table, all bets are off and all that knowledge flies out the window. I tried my best to stay calm, but panic invariably set in.
But – and this is why the title of this segment is what it is – as luck would have it, the midwife that took care of me throughout my pregnancy was none other than the midwife who set me on this path to begin with. The one who helped my childhood friend’s family. My role model.
At the time, I didn’t want to tell her as much. However, I did tell her on the delivery table and she was overjoyed. At least that’s what I saw in her eyes. Her soothing presence was out of this world as well. She managed to keep me calm throughout the entire delivery process. She reminded me of the many people I had seen do this right in front of me. Furthermore, she reminded me of my own strength. My midwife hero helped me to deliver a healthy baby boy.
Being a midwife might not be the most glamorous job or the highest paying one. Being a certified nurse-midwife is a job that requires a lot of dedication and love to perform well and to stay at it for the long run.
I hope this article has given you some insight into becoming a midwife. For those of you interested in nurse-midwifery program as your calling, I hope it has helped you understand the trials and tribulations of my profession. I hope it has motivated at least some of you to pursue it. For those of you interested in learning more about what professional midwifes do and how they can be helpful during childbirth, I hope I have answered your questions on a personal level.
Thanks again to Emma Martinez for sharing her story of becoming a midwife!
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