A decade or so ago, I was newly pregnant with my first child standing in Barnes and Nobles in the pregnancy section with my husband, picking up books, giggling and beaming with anticipation and excitement of the sheer unknown. We picked up some of the standard books that all first time parents might take home with them – a what to expect, baby names, a book of wisdom from Dr. Sears – and then I found this paperback that jumped at me, Having Faith. An Ecologists Journey to Motherhood by Sandra Steingraber. Written in 2001, the book tells of Steingrabers journey as a biologist into a month-by-month story of her pregnancy through the eyes of an ecologist. She tells of the intricate development of the embryonic stage to her own body changes to how the toxins in our water impact our babies. And in all this she weaves the story with the mystery and wonder of a mother pregnant with her first child.
I found that in my own pregnancy, I described to my friends and coworkers my own wonder as “my own little science fair project”… I sought so much more information than was available to me from my obstetrician. I read book after book and marveled at my changing body and the small person developing within me. When I got to the chapter where Sandra meets a midwife during a conference & the midwife notes that Sandra is dehydrated & offered to check on the baby for Sandra, my heart lept as the midwife palpated her growing belly with her soft, knowledgable hands, offering sweet counseling and a listening ear to a tired Sandra. I dogeared the page and came back to that part dozens of times during my pregnancy.
So when people ask me how I decided to become a midwife, I often say this book. These delicate words and lovely stories seamlessly put together my loves – of ecology and the journey into motherhood of a growing “island of one” as Sandra states in the pages of her book. The seeds were planted and I often returned to read the pages folded over while I nursed my child and wondered about becoming someone who’d serve women and babies.
With that, here is the first of my blog posts. I hope to be back here again soon to talk more about my journey into motherhood & midwifery as I start my newest blog and to share with you information, musings & comfort that I find along the way.