About Midwife Rebekah
Growing up in Alabama, home birth and midwives were nearly unheard of. My first introduction to home birth and midwives was about 10 years of age when a mother in our homeschool group delivered her baby at home with a midwife. At that time midwifery in Alabama was so underground that they would not share the name of the midwife who had assisted them. When I was 13, I heard of a Christian program that trained young women in serving childbearing families as midwives. I became very interested and I told my parents I wanted to be a midwife. With the climate in our state and confusion about what a midwife is and does my parents redirected my focus to other things. Around that time we met another homeschooling family who had used a homebirth midwife. But the silence surrounding midwifery in Alabama continued.
After finishing high school I had some incredible opportunities to serve in various Christian ministries including some overseas mission trips. I spent a year and a half in Mongolia teaching character and English. I am grateful for these opportunities and the important life lessons they taught me. I read anything I could about pregnancy and birth. While overseas, I became ill and needed to come home. God had changed my parents hearts and they not only allowed but encouraged my pursuit of midwifery.
In 2003, I attended my first birth. A friend in another state had asked me to be available during her midwife-assisted home birth and help clean afterwards. I was thrilled with the opportunity. However, things did not go as planned and she had a precipitous preterm birth. It was incredibly stressful and a very scary experience. There were many firsts for me. First time to call 911. First time to be in the ER. First birth. First surprise breech birth. First time watching neonatal resuscitation. First time to see a mom bereft of her baby in the first moments of birth and for the next several hours. First time to witness the mother's incredible joy in spite of the anxiety for her baby. First time to hear about congenital anomalies and procedures and surgeries to save his life. Ten days later I received a call from my friend, who for the first time vocalized that her baby passed away. After his funeral, with tears streaming down my face I told God all the reasons I could not be a midwife. He brought sweet peace in my heartbreak and reassured me of the promise, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). Through the years I have witnessed and depended on this promise and found that He has indeed been with me each step of the way.
I began to get more involved with birth by taking a doula training course in 2006. By this time, there were occasional newspaper articles about Alabama midwives. Yet, in spite of my persistent efforts I was not able to connect with any midwives. Through a Birmingham doula and her monthly birth support group I finally met a midwife. We talked at length about midwifery training and the routes to becoming a midwife. About this time I discovered that my great-grandmother had been a lay midwife in rural Walker county, Alabama.
My sisters were beginning to have children and welcomed my participation. I was a doula for three of my nieces' births in the hospital. I have had the awesome privilege of being the midwife for my sister's five home water births.
In June, 2010 I began the Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program and began apprenticing at Family Birth Services in Grand Prairie, Texas. I spent nearly two and a half years in Texas. I took a break from midwifery in 2013. In June, 2014 Sheryl Shafer, CPM-TN graciously allowed me to work with her to complete my clinical requirements. During my training I attending 244 births and had the privilege of working with 13 midwives. I graduated from the Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program in January 2016. I passed the NARM exam in February, 2016. I became a Texas Licensed Midwife in April and became licensed in Tennessee in June 2016. In 2018, I obtained a New Mexico midwifery license. On January 19, 2019, for the first time since 1976, five homebirth midwives were licensed in Alabama. I was the first Certified Professional Midwife to be licensed by the Alabama State Board of Midwifery.
· Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
· Alabama licensed midwife (LM), license #1
· Midwifery Bridge Certificate
· Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers (CPR)
· STABLE Provider
· Neonatal Resuscitation Program
· Waterbirth Certification by Waterbirth International
· Tennessee Midwives Association
· Alabama Midwives Alliance
· New Mexico Midwives Association
· Association of Christian Birth Professionals
In compliance with continuing education required by NARM and to maintain state license.