Like most things in my life, my interest in birthwork happened while I was pursuing another path. I had taken a life-changing self-defense class from Impact Safety which empowered me to get interested in women’s issues, including becoming an instructor for the program. Then I read Birth in Four Cultures by Brigitte Jordan. I read that the United States used the most technology in birth, yet had infant mortality rates almost as high as Guatemala, while the United Kingdom and Sweden, where midwives are primary care givers for birth, had much lower rates of infants dying during birth. It was a shocking revelation to me. Another part of the book that incensed me was an anthropologist’s description of a laboring mom being told by her nurse that she didn’t have to push and needed to wait until the doctor got there before she was allowed to push. (emphasis mine) After discussing this with a friend who had completed a monitrice course at CHOICE, she told me that another course was starting soon. With that gentle nudge, I signed up for the class and started my journey as a birthworker. I worked as a doula and monitrice for over 4 years before beginning a midwifery apprenticeship in 1997. Both of my children were born at home (one in a birthing tub) during my apprenticeship. I started teaching childbirth education classes for CHOICE in 2001 and began work as a primary midwife in 2002. I became a NARM Certified Professional Midwife in 2009. I believe that one of the best things I can do as a birthworker is to help families empower and educate themselves so they can make the decisions that work best for them. Sometimes that empowerment happens in a class or a prenatal appointment and often it happens during a labor and birth. To me birthwork is akin to dropping a stone in water; the effort looks minimal, but the waves move outward, impacting more and more people. It is a privilege to midwife! When I’m not helping birthing mamas and families, I have a passion for lifelong learning and have been helping my children educate themselves via homeschooling. I teach two history classes and love the French language, singing and playing music, knitting, literature and writing. I also like to swim, bicycle and speedwalk. ?