The rites of passage

The rites of passage

I am not the first wife and mother to struggle through the demands of midwifery training. I am not the first wife and mother to spend a few days each week hours from my family hoping someone goes into labor.  I am not the first wife and mother to groan when a labor finally begins just as I need to head back home.

The midwives I am learning from know this experience intimately – they both went though it themselves. Their children and husbands had to learn to operate without them from the beginning. If at any point the family could not handle the training, they knew they could never handle the job. They, and their families, survived.

And now it is my turn to take this rite of passage.  It is my turn to test the creativity and resourcefulness of my family. It is my turn to see how far I can stretch without breaking. As I continue down this path, I take comfort in remembering the path is here because other wives and mothers walked it before me.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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