Monday, October 10, 2011

Taking a New Direction

I actually wrote this post on Saturday but didn't publish it till today (Monday) and of course, the sermon on Sunday was about dreaming, using Abraham as the example.  When God gave Abraham His promise, everything that Abraham did from that point on was intentional toward this dream.  God has given me a dream during the last few months so I'm going to take a cue from Abe and turn my sights in a new direction.

Dreaming can be scary.  It can be a risk.  What if my dreams don't come true?  What if I fail?  What if I get my hopes up and end up getting disappointed?  But I'm in a season of risk taking and big dreams, where God has invited me to dream with Him- not just to dream His dreams for me, but to dream my own dreams for myself.

If allowing yourself to dream is risky, then certainly sharing your dreams with others is the most dangerous thing you can do.  Then, if I fail, I fail publicly.  By sharing my dreams, I am acknowledging them.  By sharing my dreams, I'm making myself accountable for them.  By sharing my dreams, I'm making myself vulnerable.  By sharing my dreams, I'm making them more real.

But I've decided it's time to share one of my dreams... a dream that's so close to my heart that I was barely able to whisper it to myself for months, that I've only just begun to have the courage to speak about to my most trusted friends.

I've decided I want to be a midwife.  Not just I want to... I have to.  I need to.  I know this is a calling on my life and nothing will stand in my way to get there.

I'm still surprised by this dream.  I remember, a few years ago, having a conversation with my sister-in-law Kelli.  She told me she wished she could have another baby because she thought childbirth was so magical and amazing and powerful and she loved it so much.  She told me all about the birthing suite she'd wanted that had a tub and a birth ball and all kinds of weird birthing equipment in it.  I remember thinking, "Good Lord... this woman is crazypants."  I maintained that when (if ever) I had a baby, I wanted them to knock me out so I could just wake up and have a baby in my arms.  Because childbirth is hard and it's gross and I'm not going to do it.

Nearly 4 years later, I was blessed to have a drug free waterbirth with Isabella (joyfully attended by Kelli)... how far I've come.  It's amazing how much your perspective can change through a little education.  I've always been the kind of person that hates being to be told what to do, hates doing what everyone else is doing, and if you try to say I can't do something I'm damn straight going to do exactly that, so when I became pregnant and learned that the way you're "supposed" to have a baby is strapped to a bed in a hospital, hooked up to drugs, with nurses and doctors telling you what to do, and a 30% chance of a cesarean, I said hell no, there's got to be another way, and immediately began researching.

I discovered a whole world where pregnancy and labor aren't viewed as conditions to be treated, but a normal and healthy part of a woman's life; where the woman has control over her care; where parents are educated about labor and delivery.  The midwives I met with took all the time I needed at every appointment, they made sure I fully understood all of my options and everything that was happening in my body and soul.  I felt personally invested in.  By my last postnatal checkup I was ready to have another baby just because I didn't want to say goodbye to the amazing nurses and nurse-widwives who had cared for me for nearly a year.

My passion for the midwifery model of care has only grown.  When I'm around pregnant women, I have to restrain myself from drowning them with information, and when I have an open door to share about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding... I leap through it.  Right now, writing this article, I'm holding back... I could write and write and write.  I just love this world.  I had an incredible experience and I deeply desire to bring other women into the same understanding and joy that my midwives were able to lead me to.

The thing is... I want to be a certified nurse-midwife. That's a Bachelor's Degree in nursing (4 years) and a Master's in Midwifery (2 years).  We're talking 6 years minimum of schooling... and I have a child.  I'll definitely have more.  Obviously I'm not going to school full-time, at least not right away, and I would be surprised if I finish in 10 years.  The idea of ten years of schooling is profoundly intimidating to me.  By that time I'll be 36.

My dear friend Annie put it in perspective for me: "The fact is, you're going to be 36 one way or another.  Would you rather be 36 and done -or almost done- with your degree, or 36 and wishing you had started?"  It's not like 36 is old... it just feels like a long time from now.  It sounds like a lot of work, being a wife and a mom and a student.  But I've set my mind on it.  I'm sharing it you-with whoever felt like reading this post- and I'm going to do it.


Janella said...

Go for it!

Ben Heath said...

Every word for encouragement, excitement and congratulations comes to mind, so... go with God, you can't go wrong, your passion for it shown in your writing got me excited for it... and being a guy and all... yeah, and above all, you... doing the math... at 26 have found a call, a dream, something you have passion for like nothing else, and that alone is a treasure, let nothing hold you back! Go show love to the world!

RachelRenae said...

Wow, Ben! What a wonderful encouragement you are. Thank you so much!

And thanks mother dear :)

Stephen said...

I began thinking of this at least 2 weeks before you mentioned it. Your passion and compassion are amazing assets. Your ability to soak up knowledge like a sponge (just one of your wonderful child-like qualities) is astounding.

Couple this with your gift of listening and this is such a perfect match for you. I am proud of you and look forward to going on this journey with you.