Update! A huge shout-out to those who donated to my campaign. Another huge shout-out for everyone who reached out, gave ideas, prayed, sent good vibes and kept me positive as I kept raising the funds I needed to stay in school.
As of last weekend, I am able to pay for the short-term needs regarding tuition. I won't be flying home until I am all done! I have a few months left until my tour and graduation, and I couldn't have done it with you. I will still be fundraising to take the licensing exam and stay afloat. Thank you so much for believing in me. I look forward to transitioning back home east in whatever way the Universe and I decide is best. I look forward to supporting sisters back home in birth and reproductive health and wellness. Love you all very much!
Eres Una Partera? Are You a Midwife?: Reflecting on My First Quarter of Midwifery Training
Today marks the end of an incredible 3 months of life. I can honestly say I couldn't have done this alone. The journey to this point has been quite the struggle, with friends and family supporting me and my vision for healing our collective. So many things and ways of thinking have changed.
I want to connect with people and organizations that can help me reach my goal in some way. Perhaps you have someone in your network that could help. I have a short term goal of about $3000 (which is in addition to what I have raised) by the end of the year and an overall goal of $13,000 to be able to graduate next September. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
There are not enough words to describe being one of the first human beings to receive a brand new human life in your hands. In the wee hours of this morning, I had the honor of catching, quite literally, the first of many small, resilient and vibrant beings on this journey. My hands guided by another midwife and all the ancestors whose hands have caught generations before me. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far!
Thank you so much to everyone who has been supportive on this path! I started school about 3 days ago and am taking a day of rest to gather my thoughts, write in my journal and integrate the next steps on this path to CPM. I am so excited to continue being a sponge absorbing the knowledge, sights, smells and sensations of being in this program. Feeling focused and grounded :)
I got the chance to do a belly cast earlier this year with Aaliyah. I gave her a belly rub that night and was completely engrossed in that moment, despite how late it was and how tired I felt. I knew she needed loving energy and I poured all of it into that massage. She told me she slept so well that night. I was beaming. Later that week, she and I were in Anamaría's living room and she told me her stomach was a little upset. Automatically, I got up and steeped ginger and mint for her to soothe her stomach. As she sipped on it, I sat across from her and said, "This is exactly what I want to do with my life. Taking care of pregnant women brings me so much joy." I realized that's exactly what I needed to do. A little over a month later, I got on a plane and came to El Paso. As soon as I got off the plane, I dropped off my application and got accepted to Maternidad La Luz shortly after. I chuckle because I heard later on that I was "gangsta" for doing what I'm doing. The Bronx in me took that as a huge compliment.
I was in my bedroom, circa summer 2008 in Brooklyn. I was living with Sharon Anne at the time and was realizing that I wanted to be a midwife but was too scared to make the leap straight into it; it would be another couple of years before the urge was as overwhelming as it is now. Sharon came to my room one night and we were talking about what my dream was. I remember being really excited as I told her about my thoughts and feelings. She gave me this smile, one she only knows how to give, and said, "you're going to be a great midwife." She was the first person to believe in me before I began to heed the call. "ª#"Žsignsonthepathtomidwifery"¬
The Signs on The Path to Midwifery Memory #1: It was January 2012 and I was in Jacmel, Ayiti going to Bassin Bleu, an incredibly beautiful waterfall that can be dangerous to get to. I was paralyzed with fear when we were barefoot and the path got narrow and steep. I froze and said I didn't want to keep climbing the slippery rocks. My comrades from my delegation encouraged me to keep going. I am so happy I did.
The water was amazing. What was even more amazing was who I found in the waters. I can't swim so I didn't go in too deep. One of the two women in the water said she was a lifeguard. They came closer and I found out they were midwives! On the other side of my fear, were midwives. One of them was Reina Galjour, who is an alumni of where I'll be attending this September. We spoke for a while about her journey and what she was doing in Ayiti, which at the time she was doing midwifery work in Jacmel. Thank goodness I conquered my fear of falling to reach the waterfalls. I knew after that trip that I was being called.
Catching Babies is a 60-minute documentary that tells the story of women as they become midwives in El Paso, Texas at one of the most demanding schools of midwifery in the country, Maternidad la Luz, which was designed to be challenging in order to push women to understand their own strength. This is the school I will be going to this September. Check it out!
Dear Community, Thank you to everyone who has supported me in the last year with pursing my certified professional midwife license. I am down to the wire and need to raise the rest of my funds. I need $1,500 to finish paying my school tuition, $1000 to pay for the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) licensing exam in August to be able to practice, and $2000 to simply have somewhere to live for the next 5 months. That is a grand total of $4500 to complete what I've set out to do: serve as a midwife and reproductive healthcare provider to our women in New Jersey and New York.
Why is this a community matter? I am answering the call to support our women in New Jersey and New York who need a culturally relevant midwife and health care provider. My special interest is young teenage mothers and women in their twenties. Our women are falling through the cracks in terms of reproductive health. From personal experience, I know the neglect that the urban communities like the Bronx, Brooklyn, Jersey City and Queens. I want to fill in this void with the skills and knowledge I have gained. In short, what I am doing is not for me but for my community to ensure that our future and current generation have a chance at healthier lives.
Furthermore, we need comprehensive education for women of all ages about their reproductive health so that we can begin to empower ourselves and influence a better legacy for our future generations. I need help to continue to step up in this way. Please help me in the form of a donation, resource or method of fundraising so I can reach my goal and come back home to serve.
Thank you for answering the call to help our women rise up and be empowered by adding a bilingual midwife to your community!