Letter from a Midwife

Following is a letter from Missi Willmarth, DNP, CNM:

Here is a little insight – or a story. Call it what you want 🙂

I’m a midwife. I’m not someone who went into midwifery to have a job. I have a heart, and mind and a spirit for midwifery. And it’s not just something I do, it’s something that I breathe. It’s a walk that I walk everyday, in every aspect of my life. I choose to be with woman. I choose to be with my friends, my sisters, my mother, my community. This is what I envision midwives to do, what I think midwives should be.

I lost my job because I care. The hospital organization that I work for doesn’t understand what midwives do and how we care for our mothers. They don’t understand that your dearest friends become your patients and your most endearing patients often become life long friends. They didn’t understand that midwife means ‘with woman’ – and that means all women. I was asked to resign from my position because a dear friend of mine was in labor and I was at her home supporting her, while I wasn’t on duty. They stated that even when not working, I was a representative of the hospital and that I couldn’t speak to or have any contact with my patients, even if those patients are my friends. What a contradiction. Employ midwives, but don’t allow them to be midwives.

The unfortunate piece of this is- now so many moms and babies are without me. There are other midwives in this practice that still remain. I have worked in this community for almost five years building a reputation and I have a large following of mommies and well-woman patients. Some of these women don’t want to see anyone else – I have built such great relationships. I have several families I have seen though multiple pregnancies. And now I feel as if I have abandoned all of the women I work so hard to support.

I will fight. I will focus in and I will remain. I have been uplifted by so many other midwives, by moms and their husbands, by friends and family. I am the lucky one. Families have welcomed me into their lives and into their stories. I have added to my circle of friends in so many valuable ways. I will continue to be a midwife….even if that means temporarily, that my job is not as a midwife.

With love and wishes for safe passage,
Missi Willmarth

Looks like I will be adding a new city to our map. Here’s the kicker – Missi was planning on running a half marathon in Cincinnati to raise money for Where’s My Midwife? in October. Here’s the website. More synchronicities – Missi’s hometown is Terre Haute, IN. She was born at Union Hospital, where they are dismissing their midwives as of Oct. 29 (unless the Friends of Wabash Valley Midwifery can stop them). Oh, and Missi’s mother was a nurse at Union Hospital for 40 years.

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3 thoughts on “Letter from a Midwife

  1. Missi is an all-star!

    She delivered my second son (both my boys were with midwives) and I’ll follow her for my future children!

    As a two time past patient of the hospital who requested her resignation I have to ask, “Why ‘offer’ midwives if the midwives act no different than OBGYN’s?”

  2. Missi,
    I think this is absolutely horrible. My midwives were there for me, even after I had to be “handed” over to a DR. due to my pregnancy becoming high risk. I went into labor 6 wks early, and I was scared to death. My midwived came and sat with me, off duty, and on. It was such a comfort to have them there, to know they truly cared for me. I know that your ladies miss you so much, and I hope that this can be resolved somehow. Keep up the good work, and fight the fight!

  3. Missi,

    I am so sorry. And I am stunned–unfortunately, you’ve joined some pretty large ranks of midwives losing their jobs for unbelievably lame reasons. The oppression and harassment needs to stop. Thanks for sharing your story with everyone–the more light shed on this fight the better. Hang in there!

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