a guest post from IBMS student Samantha Hypes
I’m Samantha Hypes. I’m a true redhead, quarter Dutch, quarter french, some scottish/irish in there, a Leo sun, Gemini moon, born in the Appalachian mountains and raised in NC. We have been living in my husband’s grandfather’s old house in Frankfort KY for the past 6 years. I like to spend a lot of time outside with my two boys, Leo (2 almost 3yrs old) and Odin (4 months), several chickens and two dogs Penny and Roscoe. My husband is an Art teacher who travels with kids to skate parks all over KY with @roaddogsskatecamp. In these past three years I’ve completed a 200hr yoga teacher training + 65hr prenatal yoga training, taught several yoga classes, learned all about doulaing with Indie Birth’s 4 month doula course, been to a handful of births, and had two babies of my own.
Whew, it’s kind of a lot, but I feel so aligned with the path to birth work and becoming a midwife that I am now studying as a Student Midwife and stepping into an apprenticeship. I know this next chapter will teach me so much and help me grow in so many ways. But today I wanted to talk about WHY. WHY am I going to midwifery school 4 months after having a baby? WHY do I want to become a midwife one day?
To me the WHY is so simple and straightforward: Because women deserve REAL care in their pregnancy and birth, Because they deserve options, Because they deserve to ACTUALLY be the one in charge and making decisions for themselves. Because they deserve to know their TRUE power. They deserve to have an amazing birth experience that was perfect for them and what they needed, regardless of the outcome. Because, it felt so amazing to receive this kind of care throughout my pregnancy and birth and to learn what it feels like to really be supported in deciding what was right for me.
For me, it actually changed the outcome and trajectory of my life. Most midwives would have “risked me out of a home birth” for my 2nd which means to them I would not qualify for a home birth because of my history of hypertension with my first pregnancy, and my already high baseline blood pressure. Instead I knew I wanted to have a home birth, I knew I wanted to dive deeper into what was actually causing the BP to rise, and I knew I wanted someone who actually cared for me and my situation, and could give me tips and alternatives for supporting myself in staying healthy throughout pregnancy, and I knew I wanted better care for myself and the women in my community.
Maryn an autonomous Midwife with Indie Birth moved here soon after finding out I was pregnant with Odin and on our first visit she showed me how to find where my uterus and baby are (at 10 weeks), and talked to me about how/what I ate could impact to health and outcomes of my pregnancy, and she give me a whole body, mind and spirit, one on one approach to my concerns about blood pressure that early on in my pregnancy. I left thinking: who is this woman?, and how is it that one hour at the park on a picnic blanket could teach me so much about myself and how to care for my pregnant body, and baby. I was vegan my entire first pregnancy which likely contributed to the BP issue by not eating enough protein or calories and restricting blood volume expansion yet no one talked to me about what I was eating, and I had no idea where my uterus or baby was for that whole 9 months.
There I was one hour later with a toddler on my lap, kids running around playing at the park, husbands walking around, and this lovely woman asking me what I actually wanted, she didn’t force me into anything, not one thing. She didn’t say “well we have to take your blood pressure” instead she told me it was totally okay to take it on my own at home and actually better because it wouldn’t add unnecessary stress. She didn’t pretend to give informed consent but then back me into a corner about it. She let me ask the questions and get the information from her that I actually needed, which was how to improve my diet, literally at 10 weeks gestation.
That gave me a whole almost 7 months to use that information to create a better outcome for myself. Instead of going through another 9 month pregnancy knowing nothing and struggling and stressing about my BP, only to be labeled “high risk”, probably be induced at 36 weeks or have a c-section recommended due to the potential risk of pre-eclampsia, with Maryn’s knowledge and guidance I got to take care of myself, enjoy pregnancy as much as possible, and nourish my body in a way that set it up for success. I got to have my beautiful home birth, totally free and in my power surrounded by people I loved and who I really wanted to be there.
That’s why I’m here on this path to becoming a midwife so that more women are given the opportunity through real care, knowledge and skills to have the type of pregnancy and birth they want to have. I’m here so that more women can know what it’s like to step into their power with their midwife “holding the mirror” in such a loving way. I’m here because this kind of care completely changed my life.