“Why” Sheaffer is Becoming a Midwife | indiebirthmidwiferyschool.org

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“Why” Sheaffer is Becoming a Midwife

August 19, 2022

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We are mamas and birth workers who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are kind, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit when necessary. With 11 children and 16 years of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.

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I’m officially a student of midwifery. Although it sounds a little funny to say it like that as I feel like I’ve been a student beginning with the birth of my first child almost 19 years ago. Becoming a homebirth midwife was not something I had ever intended on. I did not see it in my life, partly because I had assumptions I think around the education piece of it all. Would I need a bachelors degree? Would that mean I would need to complete a nursing program? All of those science and math classes are really not my jam- kinesthetic learning is, and I had never been exposed to the idea of direct entry midwifery or traditional midwifery. I grew up in a home that praised the degree, and sought  outside of self for the answers to health care and birth (not that that is what drives my education- it does not and never has- just that that was what was modeled), so anything holistic has been a path of discovery on my own. 

My personal pregnancy, birth, and mothering journeys have all been foundational in my understanding and passion for birth support. My doula work started strong but was mostly occurring in the medical system where I felt like the care I wanted to offer and was offering was not received well. Women liked me, and I had numerous clients that heard what I was offering in terms of how to advocate for themselves, but I would go in to attend the hospital birth only to watch these women turn their power over to someone else- the nurse midwives or the OB’s. I began to feel reluctant going to the meet the doulas events, showing up as myself and attracting families because in the moment they would love what I had to offer, but come 37-38 weeks they believed their provider when it was said that an induction would be happening, and then I would unintentionally be asked to shift  all the ways I knew that I could be supporting these families.  It was during my pregnancy with my fifth baby when I FINALLY listened to the call- and to my heart- to step out of that system and follow my passion to stand with women who felt called to take responsibility for their pregnancy and birth. I started by offering doula support only to women who were choosing homebirth, but still felt like I had the capacity and desire to offer more. I yearned for deeper relationship with women whose beliefs around birth aligned with mine, and I yearned to become more knowledgeable in authentic midwifery- the nutrition, the herbs, the touch, and the skill set.  I too have chosen midwives to attend my births because I wanted a woman to walk with me and trust me with my unique process. This is the midwife I aspire to be.

I am here to participate in the movement of remembering. Remembering that we are the authority of our bodies and our births and our babies. Remembering that the power to birth on our own terms is our human right. I am here to seek knowledge in the ways of plant medicines, and spiritual connection, and deep wisdom, and a skill set that has been lost to technology. I am here to use my heart and my hands and my intuition, along with an understanding of how our modern world is affecting the way we birth, and what wisdom we can call on to make shifts around this.  I am here to hold the lamplight for others to find the path of remembering for themselves- not to be the one in control, but to co create an experience based on trust of the divine and of self.

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Meet the duo behind the Indie Birth Midwifery School

We are mamas and birth workers who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are kind, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit when necessary. With 12 children and 18 years of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth Midwifery School is our space to share it all with you.

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