I have spent countless hours thinking about the kind of midwife I want to be.  I used to think I wanted to be someone that mothers and their families could call any time, for any reason.  With time, I have come to think that that is unreasonable, unrealistic, and unfair to my family, as well as the families I serve.  I don’t want to be everything to anyone.  I want to be someone they call for information, guidance, and support, but not to make their decisions for them, or someone they call when seeking approval.  I want to empower the families I serve beyond just their births.  I want to be the kind of midwife who knows her stuff, but where judgment and decision making gets involved, lets the family come to their own conclusion in their own time and place.  I want to be the kind of midwife who knows when to speak up and when to shut her mouth.  I want to know when to touch and help and hold and when to keep my hands to myself.  I want to be a balanced midwife.  I want families to trust me, but ultimately, to trust themselves.

          I look at becoming a midwife as a kind of growing up.  When I grow up, I want to be more patient, less demanding and judgmental.  I hope to expand my capacity for empathy.  I want to be the kind of midwife who can whole-heartedly support a family’s decision even if it is not necessarily the decision I would make for myself; I want to be the kind of midwife who passes on the knowledge and information necessary for the family to make a decision they are comfortable with.  When families look back at their birth, I want to be remembered as a helping hand, not a savior. 

*This was an assignment for school.   I’m posting it here because I expect it will evolve and I think it would be neat to track my “growth.”  What characteristics would your ideal care provider have and not have?