I have many loves in my life. I love my family and caring for them. I love creating through photos, design and video. I love baking and cooking. And you guys, I love childbirth. Birth has become so important to me. Working in birth has felt important and worthy and fulfilling. Writing about what childbirth looks like, assisting Cyndi in the delivery of babies, being a labor support and doula for women and photographing birth all felt like my calling in life.
This blog, my photo work, my life plans all revolved around childbirth. I put all of my eggs in the birth basket and felt like I was right where I needed to be.
The question wasn’t if I was going back to school to become a midwife, but when. During my difficult pregnancy with Fox I would lay in bed and plan my triumphant return to work – assisting, photographing and writing about all things birth. Daydreaming about finally getting to have my own homebirth kept me going while pregnant. I really loved this work I felt so called to do.
And then after Fox’s delivery and my exhausting pregnancy I put off returning to work. I referred out my birth photo clients and told Cyndi I wasn’t quite ready. I started re-certifying in Neonatal Resuscitation and moving forward to getting the ball rolling and then everything with Stella happened.
It took a moment for all the dust to settle for me to fully realize that I wouldn’t be returning to birth anytime soon. There’s a certain kind of chaos you live in when you live your life on call and with a young diabetic, a baby and a puppy I just don’t know how much more chaos we can manage. My calling has been put on hold for awhile and I\’m feeling very lost in the meantime.
As I read back through much of this blog-it’s based so much around birth. Pushing back into the field of photography, unable to use my birth portfolio and not overly passionate about anything else hasn’t gone well. And every time I see Cyndi I end up in a heap of tears. My heart just hurts.
I\’m struggling to work through this stage of mourning and I know it’s holding me back, but I don’t know how to work past it. The responses from friends have all been the same: You have your whole life to do these things, You could still do it if you really wanted, and Stella won’t always need you like she does now. All of those things are true, but the reality is that I was already needing to get into school (it’s 6-7 years and I need enough working years left in me to pay it off!) and Stella will always need me and always be higher risk for emergencies. I\’ve centered much of my life around working in childbirth and it’s not something I feel like I can handle doing right now, or anytime soon. I can’t really leave her at the drop of a hat and have no idea when I\’ll return-something that I was lucky to have enough help to do with healthy kids!
Retiring from birth has left a large gap where content for this blog would be, years off of my photo portfolio and wasted Cyndi’s precious time training me with a skill set that I always thought I would be carrying on and passing on one day. This hasn’t been a hobby. Birth has very much been my livelihood.
There is a hole in my heart and I\’m not sure how to fill it for now. Beyond that, looking for work that isn’t so life-fulfilling is just hard. I know something else is going to rise up and shine and I know that it will be amazing and wonderful and I\’m finally feeling like I\’m at a point where I\’m ready for it. It’s just hard to move on from something I once loved so much. I know I\’ll always be educating, always be advocating for women’s health and better birth scenarios-I just wonder how that continues from here.
So why are you here? What do you want to see more of? What direction do I take this blog of mine?
1 thought on “RETIRING FROM BIRTH”
Saying that you are retiring from birth sounds so final and makes me sad. How about saying you are taking a sabbatical instead? Birthing mothers deserve the love and care you give. So for now, it’s ok to do what your life is requiring of you; but when it’s right, you will return with so much more of life’s wisdom and experience to share. That’s what makes good, wise midwives anyway..life, experience and heart. The other part is just book learning.
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