I have always been drawn to pregnancy and birth. As a young girl I was fascinated by my mother’s growing belly during her pregnancy with my little sister. I was 7 years old and outraged that I wasn’t allowed to attend her birth, but that was the norm back in the ‘70s. Little did I know that when I grew up and became a midwife, I’d get to go to as many births as I wanted. To this day, I feel it is a privilege to attend a woman in labour.
In my early 20’s I completed a degree in English Literature and Women’s Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston. I focused much of my studies around reproductive issues, including new reproductive technologies. I learned a great deal about the social and cultural context of childbearing and reproduction. It was during this time that I first learned about midwives and their approach to childbirth, and the seed was planted.
After my first degree I worked as a bookseller in Kingston, Ontario. By then I was sure that I wanted to be a midwife, but although I had lots of passion I had little practical experience. So I decided to backpack around the world. A year and a half later, after traveling and working in the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Nepal, India, and the UK, I returned home to Ontario. I moved to Toronto and trained as a doula, and for the next five years I supported women and adolescents during labour and the postpartum. I also wanted to develop my teaching skills, so I entered the Childbirth Educator’s Programme at Humber College. During those years I learned first hand about women’s experience of childbirth within the medical system.
!n 2000 I began my midwifery degree at Ryerson University in Toronto. Six years later I graduated and began practicing with Riverdale Community Midwives in downtown Toronto. When my first year of practice was complete I realized it was time to leave the city and pursue the dream of returning to a rural area, as I grew up in Caledon. My family and I moved to the Creemore area in 2009, and love it here.
I love practicing midwifery. I learn something from every woman and every birth, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do this work.