I quit a career that many woman only dream of but never get the chance to pursue. I quit a career that the grand majority of students never finish their studying. I quit a career that took 12 years of my life.
“Why did you quit midwifery?”
“How are you handling it?”
“When do you think you will return?”
I have answered many of these on an individual basis but thought it best to answer them all together for the world to hear.
Why did I quit midwifery?
This is the easiest of the questions to answer. That answer is that God, the Holy Spirit, my internal LIGHT whatever you want to call it told me to. When I get directions like that I listen. Let’s back up a bit. Ever since I was a child I have known things. I could make decisions on a dime and 95% of the time they were the right ones. Been able to enter a room and know whom I am to talk to. Know if I am safe walking down the street or if I need to cross. Known the people who will be important to me the minute I meet them. Known my own internal truth of right and wrong and correct and love all outside of the bounds of culture and religion. You would think this would be a great thing, a wonderful and freeing thing. That is never how I felt about it. I felt trapped and controlled and often scared because when I shared this information with people they almost backed away from me.It got to the point that I almost hid this gift of clarity.
I admit. I did not want to become a midwife. I love serving people in a life changing role. I love medicine. I love babies. You would think midwifery would be perfect. On the flip side I also love travel. I love sleep. I love being on time and having a plan. You know that quote about man making plans and God laughing. That was about me.
I put off becoming a midwife as long as I could. Thought I might become an OB. Tried my hand at doula and educator work. Changed my major. I even moved states all so I could avoid the responsibility. Ultimately I had a traumatic birth and that spirit told me “If you want women to be respected in birth you need to be willing to do it.” My training was an emotional train wreck. Me, never being sure if I wanted to be there. The whole thing complicated by an unplanned pregnancy and major surgery. Ultimately I completed my training and was glad I did.
I had several happy years as a midwife and served many people I loved. After a period of time I began to feel unsettled. There was so much of myself I had to give up and compromise in order to practice. I felt like I always had to watch what I said. It became increasingly more difficult for my children. I am a solution finder so I started praying for answers to my problems. I hired a housekeeper, a personal assistant, got a second apprentice, hired a nanny, got massages twice a month, made sure I was in bed every night by 8pm so I could get enough sleep to function. I missed my children but I was so over stressed by clients(old, current, potential) and problems that even when I was home I often didn’t have the emotional capacity to be truly present for them. Then it was discovered that my 10 year old son had a rare genetic disease that compromises many of his body systems and leads to many doctors appointment. On top of this I helped to care for my aging mother and grandmother who live a mile away. For every problem I prayed and was given a solution. Midwifery had sharpened my intuition, clarity and discernment skills to the point that I relied on them heavily. Midwifery helped me get over my fear of their gifts.Putting a baby’s or woman’s life on the line was the strong push I needed to realize the gift that they were to me.
So after all of these solutions were given I finally asked the right question. Not how can I keep my house clean? Or who can I trust to care for my children? Or how can I show my husband he is important to me? But rather I asked the question. Should I be practicing midwifery? I was shocked when the response was NO. It was nothing I had expected. I truly expected to be practicing forever. Midwifery is a calling. It is quite a lot to put a family through in training and growing your business to quit early on. My family depended on my income. The scorn from my fellow midwives would be overwhelming. Most of my social network was tied in friendships with other midwives or clients. I loved so much of it. I expected to die as a midwife. It was only with the support of the spirit that I was able to quit. I got my answer and never looked back. I attended two births that were due in the next few weeks. I transferred my clients to other providers for care and within one month my practice was closed.
How have I been handling it?
The only sadness has been when previous clients have contacted me about their new pregnancy and I had to offer referral options. After much pressing from some favorites I even thought for a moment “Maybe I could just do these few??” But no. I could never turn away from the answers my LIGHT has given me. That would be suicide for my soul and potential injury to my clients. It isn’t worth it.
When will I be back?
I have felt maybe in ten years. In ten years three of my children will be out of the house with my youngest driving. If we are still in Utah and living in the United States at this time I may feel the pull back to midwifery. I have a strong feeling that that won’t be the situation. It has only been 5 months since closing my practice but truthfully it feels like a lifetime ago. It has been healing on my family and on my soul to be able to just sit and be still. I will forever love those who came into my life and I learned so much and learning is never wasted.