I first fell in love with midwifery in college when I heard medical anthropologist, Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD, speak about the medicalization of birth in the U.S. The story was fascinating and infuriating, but it took me several more years to realize that I could help to rewrite that story. I went to college in New York City and after graduation lived in Brooklyn, where I worked investigating allegations of police misconduct for the city.
When most of my colleagues went off to become lawyers, I felt the best path for me would be prevention oriented. So, I went off to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I completed a dual degree in public health and social work with a concentration in women's and reproductive health. While in Ann Arbor, I trained as a doula and attended births as a volunteer. My social work practice was clinically based, and I did home-based "infant mental health" with mothers and their families prenatally and postpartum.
In the summer of 2005, I traveled to Ghana to work with a midwife and her non-profit organization teaching childbirth education classes, and evaluating their success. It was my first experience working internationally, and it started a life-long passion for travel and international reproductive health work. While at the University of Michigan I worked with ExpandNet, an organization focused on improving the science behind, and practice of, scaling-up health innovations. Those skills I took to the south where I worked for FHI 360 in Durham, North Carolina on research utilization in sub-Saharan Africa. My main projects focusing on scaling-up the community-based distribution of contraceptives in Uganda, Nigeria, and other countries.
I loved all my work over those 10 years, but eventually missed working directly with women and families. So I decided that it was finally time to become a midwife. I returned home to the northeast, and attended Yale School of Nursing for 3 years. During that time, I was a student midwife with the Midwives at Mount Auburn. I realized then that finding a better midwifery practice would be nearly impossible! When I graduated, I married my husband, (a Colombian who I had met in Ghana in 2005), and then moved to Bogota, Colombia. We moved back to the U.S. for my work in 2013, and now have two children born into the hands of midwives.
I am also a teacher of Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting, a mindfulness-based intervention specifically tailored for birth and parenting. Midwifery is a practice that is infinitely rewarding, and reminds me daily to stay present and mindful of all of life's beauty and challenges.