When I gave birth to my daughter Kathryn in 1992 I realized the call to my life. I delivered my second daughter vaginally after a cesarean section in a birth center. I was cared for by an amazing midwife (I was entirely impressed by her patience and calm during my incredibly long labor). I had no idea until I experienced this care what it would mean to a woman in labor, what it meant to me.
That feeling that “if I can deliver my baby naturally, I can do ANYTHING” overtook me. I rode my birth high right into Midwifery school! It continued to be apparent thatI was meant to be a midwife when I watched all my obstacles to going to school full-time fall away with easy solutions. I had to stop working to attend school full-time, my husband was promoted and given a raise. I had 2 children less than 3 years old, my wonderful mother-in-law came to live with me to care for my children. I was applying to school against 100 other applicants with almost no labor and delivery experience, yet against all odds, I was accepted into school. I credit God with the opening of these doors and give Him all the glory for my excellent practice of my profession.
My first job as a midwife was in a midwife-owned birth center in Pennsylvania. I am only just now realizing the incredible value of my first years as a midwife being mentored by experienced midwives. I was able to jump forward on my learning curve much more quickly and frankly beyond where many more “experienced” midwives are today. This has fueled my desire to mentor students and new midwives to give them the same wonderful start I was privileged to have.
I have continued to practice midwifery in private practice staying at the bedside with my clients while expanding my family-another birth center birth and then my VBAC homebirth in the year 2000. Raising my 4 daughters has kept me busy but I have managed to become an expert in waterbirth, become a lactation consultant and add homebirth to my own practice during those years. I started our current private practice with 2 other excellent midwives in 2010 and started a complementary wellness program in 2011.
My family is nearly grown now,with my youngest daughter 14 and entering high school and my oldest daughter a labor and delivery nurse at Morristown Medical Center. I am able to shift my focus from just getting through the day to leaving a legacy. The Midwives of New Jersey are now in a growth phase with the intent to change the birth practices and standards in the state of New Jersey focused on improving the birth experience for women and ensuring the peaceful transition into life possible for the newborn.