First steps

Yesterday I completed the first day of my midwifery training; the first day of what I anticipate will be a five to six year process, should I choose to complete it. I learned that washing one’s hands is far more complicated than I ever realized, I learned how to use my nifty purple stethoscope and the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and along with a handful of other skills and a tidal wave of information I received a sobering lesson in how complicated the political climate is for midwives.

Perhaps I’ll finish this course satisfied with this knowledge and will use it to inform and enhance my doula work, and perhaps, hopefully, I’ll feel the calling even deeper and go with it. While this leg of the course itself lasts only until October, the process of becoming a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) involves attending many dozens of births with increasing responsibility, working with women through the entirety of their pregnancies, examining newborns, the nuts and bolts of midwifery. It will also involve building relationships, negotiating politics, exploring and setting boundaries, learning best practices, developing my own protocols, working through challenging issues that come up, and countless other things I’ll only be able to name after the fact.

I don’t know how it will happen–emotionally, financially, working with time constraints, life constraints, my marriage, future children, but I hope it will be something like Cairo traffic. I must set my sight on the goal and move out into the bustling street towards it, knowing that the traffic will move around me. That is, insh’Allah.

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