Monday, June 20, 2011

Another Introduction

Hello, all!

My name is Nicole, and I'm grateful to be part of this experience and have the opportunity to write for parents and birth workers in central Arizona. I'd like to take a few minutes to introduce myself to you all!

I moved here to Prescott Valley two years ago, but my journey into birth work started 3 years before that. I was 19 and woke up one morning after a vivid dream of giving birth on my living room floor. I was raised in a family where everyone gave birth in hospitals. I didn't even know that home birth was an option or that midwives existed any more, but I got out of bed and started researching that day.

I came into contact with a local midwife and started an apprenticeship with her. The depth of her wisdom and knowledge and the way she treated her clients was magical to me. But I was very young and had yet to start a family, so she kept me at arm's length, and I didn't gain any birth experience. Turns out, she was wise in doing that as well, since less than a year after I started my apprenticeship I became pregnant myself and put midwifery on the back burner. I recognize that being a midwife is a very intense calling, and I didn't feel I could be the kind of mother I wanted to be and also the kind of midwife I wanted to be while my children were small.

Even though I wanted a home birth more than anything, for a variety of reasons my daughter was born in a hospital. Her birth was difficult for me, and I had a lot of healing to do, emotionally and physically from it, but our story spurred me on and taught me a lot about supporting women in the child bearing year, in hospital and out.

I soon found that I couldn't stay away from birth work for long. I kept catching myself researching, I was always looking for another book on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding or parenting. I still was unwilling to be on call all the time, but I wanted to be involved in the process, so I became a certified childbirth educator through Childbirth International.

A year later I lost a baby to ectopic pregnancy. And as tragic as it was for our family, I learned a lot from that too, about supporting loss and about compassion and the balance of life and death. In the end I am grateful for that experience as well.

When my husband's job brought us to Arizona I immediately began making connections in the birthing community, and lucky thing, too, because not long after moving here we conceived our son. I knew that having my baby at home was absolutely imperative for me, and so that's what we did. Paula supported our family as we brought our son into the world, and our birth workin' paths have continued to cross ever since, and I was flattered and thrilled when she invited me to blog with her!

And that's my journey into birth work, and how I got here today. Five years of studying, two very different birthing experiences, a loss, a move and an undying passion for helping mothers have the best experiences they can.

I look forward to writing for you guys!


~Nicole Hanson

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