Why I Became a Midwife – Simone Rosenberg

Simone Rosenberg
I was caught by midwives here in Toronto, so I suppose I was introduced to midwifery as early as one can be. My first vivid memories of midwifery are from when I was 7 years old. I remember the midwife coming to our home to assess my mother and my brand new baby brother. I remember how knowledgeable she was, and yet informal and caring in her approach; she felt like part of the family. I was raised with a sense that midwives should look after all normal pregnancies. In my household the midwife was a figure like the firefighter or teacher; a mainstay of the community and a role one might fulfill.
As a teenager I became interested in feminism, especially the struggle for reproductive rights. I was inspired by tales of women fighting to de-pathologize birth, reclaim choice of birthplace, and the right to non-medicated birth if they so chose. I was also moved by stories of midwives in the Southern United States and Indigenous midwives fighting to keep birth in their communities and providing safe care where it was otherwise unavailable.
When I was 19 I attended the home birth of my youngest brother and that was when I knew I wanted to be a midwife. The midwives were so calm, and my mother was clearly in charge of the event; it was powerful and moving. The midwives told me I too was very calm, and asked me if I had considered being a midwife. This was music to my ears. I decided to train as a doula and gain more birth experience. As a doula I found myself continuously awed by the process of labour and the birthing body. I saw how pregnancy and birth could be a transformative time for people and their families. Attending births also ignited my interest in clinical knowledge and care. I found myself craving more responsibility and more complete involvement in the birthing process. This is what finally led me to a career in midwifery.