In 1984 my journey to becoming a midwife began with an invitation to apprentice with three wise, brave women. Sandra Botting, Evonne Smulders and Susan Dowell were providing midwifery care and homebirth services to a determined group of families in Calgary. It was a privilege to learn to care for mothers and their babies with these “modern day pioneer midwives”. Our most important lessons came from the women themselves as we supported their choices and assisted at their amazing births.
Several years later, upon completion of a Registered Nursing program, I was employed on a busy Labor & Delivery Unit. My profound faith in the strength and power of women to birth their babies was an anchor in a challenging environment. There were many opportunities to learn from other practitioners and develop skills that further shaped my midwifery practice.
So now, for more than 25 years offering midwifery care in rural Alberta, I am grateful to this community and to the families that have allowed me to share in this wonderful part of their lives. In 2008 the Rocky Primary Care Network began a Shared Care Maternity program and invited a midwife to join. This has evolved into midwives providing prenatal care to women in two First Nations communities west of Rocky Mountain House, and being with them as they birth in our rural Hospital. What a gift of growth and learning this continues to be for me!
It has been a special joy to mentor many aspiring midwives during my career. I am so proud of the strong, skilled women that are now providing care in Central Alberta.
Throughout this journey I have been sustained by the love, prayer and unwavering encouragement of family and friends. Marcel, my husband, has been a constant support, including harrowing drives on snowy rural roads to deliver me safely to another middle of the night birth. Our four sons, Joel, Jordan, Stefan and Keelan, have also been part of this adventure: growing into kind and capable men. Their flexibility and generosity with their “midwife mother” made my life so much easier. I am indeed blessed.