Becoming a Midwife, by Simone Lance

My decision to become a midwife came in a flash.

It was my junior year of college and I found myself rapt with attention as one of my classmates traced his step to becoming a doctor. He had just finished up a fancy degree at a fancy school and was ready to debut his fancy paper about a particularly poor region in the world. When it came time to finally visit this remote town, he arrived and fell flat on his collegiate face. With a tone of resignation, he said to me, “I showed up, thinking that I was an expert on this community and came to find that I had no skills. I could not even drive a stick shift.”

This conversation was positioned in my life during a time when I had become increasingly passionate about helping to reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, particularly on an international level. At the time of this fateful story I was seriously considering an advanced degree in public health/maternal-child health. I had lofty goals of policy changes, program implementations and research proposals. I walked home that afternoon and must have re-played the phrase, “I had no skills, I could not even drive a stick shift” upwards of 100 times. When I arrived home, I sat down at my kitchen table, my head laying heavy in my hands and thought, “Well, if I want to help save lives of mothers and infants, I should probably learn how to deliver a baby first.”

“My decision to become a midwife came in a flash.”

It has now been about 10 years since that afternoon in my little apartment. In that time I have taken on many challenges, pushed through difficult studies and sat by the sides of laboring mothers during very long nights. With each passing day I became closer to my goal of holding this vital and ancestral skill of being a midwife. The process has developed me and humbled me in ways I never imagined. However, throughout the twist and turns my desire to work within the international community has been steadfast.

My involvement with Circle of Health and in the Delivering Peace delegation is now my opportunity to realize a personal and professional goal I have held for many years. I am honored to be able to share my experience with a larger community and am very appreciative of all of the support I have received along the way.

Thank you and stay tuned!


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