I believe that God opens and closes the womb. As humans, we may think that we’re in control, and sometimes we do shut the womb permanently, but many times when people think that they are in control of their conception, God reveals Himself by surprising them with a child, or no child. Either way, I’m totally convinced that childbearing (or infertility) is a walk of faith. And sometimes that walk can be very hard!
I believe that a pregnancy is impacted by nutrition, lifestyle, and exercise. If a person is what he eats, how much more so a person is what his mother eats while he is in the womb being formed. Many of the “woes of pregnancy” can be prevented by eating and drinking correctly, moving correctly with exercise and posture, and living in a simple, healthy, peaceful environment.
A "peaceful environment" doesn’t mean that every pregnant woman should move away from stress. That would be impossible. It does mean that she should actively change her environment, and the way she responds to it, so that her stress is lessened as much as possible. Many of the sicknesses associated with pregnancy, such as toxemia, pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-term labor, and gestational diabetes can be forestalled or avoided completely with nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle.
The thought then follows that a pregnant woman can determine, to a certain extent, the type of pregnancy that she has by the choices she makes. So I depend upon my clients to take charge of their pregnancies, following the guidelines that I give. I facilitate a good pregnancy, but ultimately a good pregnancy is the mother’s responsibility.
I believe that every birth is a miracle. I do not take a “normal” birth for granted, but thank God for each child that is born into my hands (or her daddy’s hands! ). I have seen some complications, and I know that I’m completely dependent upon the Lord to guide me through each labor and delivery. When God was first leading me into midwifery, He promised that He would guide me every step of the way. That has been a promise that I have held onto over and over throughout every baby’s birth.
So, with every birth you may not see me praying, for I may not do so out loud, but I will be praying. Sometimes my prayers are just prayers filled with thanks, but other times, my prayers are pleas for wisdom, strength, or inspiration.
I also believe that most births can happen without a lot of help. By this I don’t mean that I believe women don’t need support and love during childbirth. I mean that most women don’t need artificial help, such as induction, drugs, or episiotomies, to accomplish the birth of their child. This is part of the miracle, the fact that God made a woman’s body capable of such a thing as birth. But if a woman goes into childbirth believing that she can accomplish it, in fact that she was created for it, most of the time it can be accomplished naturally and without intervention.
The reason that my practice is called “First Light” is because at birth that’s what each baby sees. Birth is when a baby first lets light into his world. A birth can be a time of blinding light, harsh light, soft light, warm light, embracing light, dim light, cold light, and on and on. The possibilities are as endless as the number of adjectives in our language. All parents have in mind the kind of light that they want their new baby to experience, and as far as is possible, I facilitate that. But the first light that I want each of "my" babies to experience is that of the Light of the world, Jesus. I ask for His presence to be at each birth, and His light has been in the room of every one of the births at which I’ve been privileged to serve.
I also believe that childbirth is only the beginning of parenthood, and my clients may need me more after birth than before. I make myself available to help my clients with postpartum questions, whether they are questions about the mother or the baby or both.
Being a person’s midwife is much more than a professional relationship. One of my midwife teachers said that a midwife is your friend for life. I keep in touch with most of my previous clients. There’s a depth of relationship that develops with the childbearing year. Most of my clients become my friends and family, and I love getting pictures and notes from them long after the baby is born.
I believe that my roles as midwife include servant, facilitator, encourager, teacher, mother, and support person. I’m not in charge of the birth. I am there to help and guide, but ultimately, God, the parents, and I — in that order — are a team that works together to bring each child into First Light.