10 Years y'all. I've been a midwife for a whole decade and I've owned my own home birth business for 8! This ride has been full of ups and downs and many many life lessons. I was 6 months pregnant with my youngest daughter when I finished midwifery school. Midwifery school was hard. I worked two jobs, was head of my household and had a white professor telling me how I will never finish school being pregnant and working so much. She clearly didn't understand the life of a black woman who had no other options but to make shit happen. But I graduated and told her to kiss my ass. That following year, I took the first opportunity I could to leave the South Side of Chicago. I had divorced my husband and moved to Atlanta all alone with two young children. Chicago will always be home. But I didn't want to raise my children there. I couldn't. That was non-negotiable. We relocated in 2014. My entire family and support system was still in Chicago and everyone was convinced I would be back. Here we are 9 years later, thriving in life. Happy and Healthy.
When we moved to Atlanta, I was offered a job with an OB who opened a natural midwifery practice. We were the only practice "allowing" mothers to birth their way. It was a great experience to be able to midwife freely and support women to birth in the most natural way possible in the hospital setting. But when I tell you we were soooo busy! From day ONE! Babies coming out of everybody! My co-midwives and I were TIIIDDDEE. We were all mothers and wives and were severely overwhelmed by the demands of the job. There were times when I was at the hospital on call for so long that my nanny had to bring my children to me so that I could see them. I could go 2-3 days without hugging my daughters, It was HORRIBLE. Felt like a robot. I remember having a panic attack in the office, short of breath, heart pounding with an office full of patients. I remember the sound of a helicopter outside the window. l'll ever forget it. I reached out to my mentor in full panic mode and she helped me through it. She said, "you should consider home birth, Christine. You can plan your schedule and births around your children and be home more." I thought she was crazy. "Girl, I can't do home birth!" LOL. But I had to do something. I couldn't go any longer working this hard and not being present with my children. We were all we had! Alone with no family support! So I assisted her at one home birth. And it was that single experience which propelled me into the home birth arena. Home birth was where my midwifery heart belonged. And the rest is history.
Christine Taylor, APRN, CNM, Business Owner
After about a year, I left the hospital based service and began my home birth practice. I was terrified. Because what the hell am I doing? LOL. I wasn't afraid of the births, but moreso afraid of generating enough income to survive! I went into straight hustle mode. On thing about folks from Chicago, we know how to hustle! My business began as a full mobile service, home visits to every client's home for prenatal sessions and births. The home birth community was happy to have another nurse-midwife on the scene so the concern about having enough clients quickly dissipated, as my roster grew fast! I was on full auto pilot. Get the clients, get the money, provide for my children. Repeat, Repeat, REPEAT. This hustle mode didn't serve well for too long.
The Strength of a Woman
Childbirth, graduating midwifery school, marriage and divorce, relocating to a different state, isolation and trauma response, single parenting and head of household, and solo business owning. All occurring within a 2 year span of my life. And here I was. Still standing. I can't say I was fully present yet, but we were together and living well. When I doubt myself, I always come back to these hard, lived experiences. I discovered that I am strong and capable of anything. ANYTHING.
And so are you.
So why this blog? Because although we are capable of doing any and everything our hearts desire, one must do so in the most healthy way possible. It's not a matter of "can" you do it... it's "how" you do it that matters. Birth work definitely comes with battle wounds, some which can cut deeply. I have many emotional and psychological scars to prove it (and physical if you include my chronic back pain!). It took me about 6 years of owning a home birth practice and caring for multitudes of women and families, to face the fact that I have been doing it all wrong. Serving others without serving myself or meeting my own needs. But that's weird right? Because some would argue that is the very essence of midwifery! Well it shouldn't be. And in through these posts, I'll share WHY. Sis, welcome the the Soul Care Birth Work blog. I'm glad you're here. Subscribe today!