I am writing with an abundance of thankfulness and gratitude! What a year! If I had been told at this time last year I was to have the honor and privilege of witnessing the power of labor and birth with 11 woman throughout the year, I would not have believed it. This year came and started with huge obstacles, challenges, and sorrow. What was brought forth to the end has been joy, restoration, and provision. God is so good! Last year, what many people are not aware of, is that I had sunk into a deep depression. I had, up to that point, never experienced depression and in the midst of it, I did not realize the magnitude in which I was experiencing the depression. I had moved to a new location in August, my grandfather, whom I was very close with, had passed away in October and I was working at Shoprite to make/not quite make the bills. The stress was overwhelming. I was afraid to start a midwifery practice on my own and was not sure I was going to be able to support my family with it. My husband, a comic book artist, was and is currently in school at the Kubert School in Dover NJ. Due to the demands of school, he is unable to work, leaving the burden of all finance responsibility on me. We also have 5 sweet wonderful children, 4 of which are in the home.
So starting out at the beginning of this year with no one in the practice, no idea how I was going to pay the bills, knowing no one, and grieving the loss of a very close family member became a very hard burden to bear. I remember lying on my couch, crying and praying that the Lord would hear my cry as to how this business was to be started when I got a call out of no where, I really don't know how in the world she got my number but she found me and she wanted me, to be her midwife. Tears of depression quickly turned to tears of joy as I prayed that she would find me appropriate and keep me as her midwife. A couple of months later, I had the joy in accompanying her throughout her labor process. One call turned to two and I had my second client. My second client lived a long way from me, but I was so pleasured to have a beautiful drive and the ability to get out of the house. This time in the car allowed me to deal with and process through the death of my grandfather, listen to a very sweet friend online (Dominic Sola) and help me focus on a goal for the year. I was able to formulate a plan for the success of the business and it allowed me to get some clarity on what I needed to do for the next year. It took a lot of faith to believe that the Lord would bring people to the practice and more so the wisdom to believe that God would bring the right families. It wasn't too much longer after that I received my first NJ mama. It was an interesting and challenging dynamic trying to learn how to do labs, how to do paperwork, and balance the art of midwifery. Coming from a birth center and an office based home birth practice somewhat taught me how to do basic office and lab work but throwing it all together without a secretary was a challenge, and indeed still something I am working on. As much as I love midwifery, I can say I don't love the other stuff :) but learning to work it all together without an assistant or secretary has been a challenge. So as my practice slowly gained and my sweet mama's had their baby, so has grown my challenges and obstacles. To encounter shoulder dystocia, to watch miraculous changes during trouble in labor and delivery a battle of life and death and be witness to that child thrive, to watch the challenge of first time mother's have their sweet babies, to manage and encounter massive hemorrhages, to handling a placental adherence for the first time, the Lord has walked with me and I have prayed my way through things I have read in books that has now become experience in my past.
I can honestly say that this year has been a very hard year filled with transition but a very good year to grow, to learn, and gain faith I never would have had without the experience. I am so blessed to be requested to be present at the births I have been to and every time I am accepted by someone as their midwife, I am so honored to even be offered the opportunity. Sometimes I think, me, are you sure you want me...my conversations to God are similar at times when he asks of me, but I also know that the Lord has given me favor, and all I can do is be his servant to those woman who he has brought to the practice. There is a song I discovered in my drives along the way to prenatal and to births done by casting crowns, the lyrics read
"And I, I don’t want to leave a legacy
I don’t care if they remember me
And I, I’ve only got one life to live
I’ll let every second point to Him
I am not always very good at this, but this is my goal for the next year. That everyone that the Lord leads to my path may he guide my way, give me wisdom to discern, and pray that his presence be there wherever I go. May people see my Jesus in all I do. I have begun my journey towards my post-graduate work and also working on the plans for a new birth center. I pray that the Lord will continue to be with me in the practice this next year, that Counter Culture Midwifery will be able to serve more of my community and that the Lord will open doors I never thought he could open. I pray that in a year from now I will be in awe at what the Lord has done, pray that he prepares me throughly to what he has called me to and that most above all his name be glorified in all that I do. May you be blessed throughout this new year! Thank you for reading and may God have the glory, what great things he has done!