The way that my Indigenous mother talked about birth was powerful. I could see the pride and strength glow from her when she told the stories of her three births. One of the pieces that clearly brought her significant pride was advocating for herself to have an experience most suited to her. By advocate I mean fight for. Then and now, I see how much more work advocating is for our Indigenous peoples and our folk of various minorities within healthcare. I chose birth work, particularly midwifery, because I see the possibility that midwifery, and growing Black Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) midwifery in particular, can offer our growing communities. I envision furthering care that offers individualism, continuity, choice and support for all people. We need to see particular improvement for those who are more vulnerable to discrimination and mistreatment.
Like most within the Faculty of Medicine, the majority of my time has actually been spent away from UBC campus and instead within communities. My favourite moment is next to impossible to pin down. I would say the first moment that truly filled me was my first acknowledgement from a client that I was valuable in their care, and that it happened sooner than I thought it would have.
I have more than one: Take time to grow your supports. Lean on them and be there for them. Not only that but take time to fuel yourself in whichever way that looks like for you – escape, wander, create, move, nourish, rest. The demand of this program is much like the demand of pregnancy, birth and postpartum; there are ebbs and flows between being incredibly rewarding and both physically and emotionally taxing. That, and the experiences within this program are going to be different for everyone. Harness your own strengths and know that it’s okay if you’re not gliding through as smoothly as others. Lastly, the advice that I was given: Have more loves than midwifery, for if you love it first and foremost, other pieces of who you are or want to be will not be given enough of you.
As of recently, I am a mother of two. The newest addition is only weeks old, so I plan to spend months soaking her up, learning about her, and showing her what there is to see in and around British Columbia. In about six months I plan to begin practicing. I have big dreams with many boxes to tick in my ideal practice. Hopefully you will find me somewhere near mountains, on a small team, with big hearts, serving all people.