Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Good Outcome

I'm home from Austin and had my hearing with the Board of Nursing today. It was a good outcome. I will have to be on probation for two years, but I can maintain my license and continue to run my birth center. I am so happy!!!!! I feel like I've had the weight of the world lifted off of me. It is truly a happy day. Having a midwife, or being a midwife is something no one should take for granted, because it is something that can be taken away.
The hearing was difficult, but it went well overall and I have to admit they were reasonable. They gave me plenty of time to tell my side of the story. They allowed Pat to speak some. It was comforting just to have her and my husband in the room. The thing that helped me the most was all the letters my clients wrote for me. When I was in the waiting room, about to go in, I just imagined all my clients that wrote letters around me and protecting me, and I didn't feel afraid. They did take the letters and I think they read at least some of them. The one I put on top was one from my client who is the next one due. She wrote a great letter comparing her 1st hospital birth to her three home births. Even though she doesn't have a college degree, she wrote from the heart and it was very touching.
I feel like I can go forward now. I can buy a new doppler that I've been needing and I can plan for the future again. This is a day I've been dreading and it has turned out good. I love my life and my work. I hope I will be able to help a lot more women before it's all over. I think in the end, this will make my practice stronger. I am forming an alliance with another nurse-midwife in order to meet the terms of my probation. That is a good thing for me and my clients.
One thing I've decided to do as a result of this is to start a legal defense fund for midwives in Texas. I think having an attorney definitely helped me today. I'm going to have a big party in the fall and charge everyone a little something to come to raise money for the fund. Sometimes good things come from adversity.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Late night on the computer

I go to Austin tomorrow for my hearing with the Board of Nursing. I'm up late tonight printing out my speech and printing all the letters I've received from friends and clients. The letters are overwhelming. I feel like I'm at my funeral and hearing what people are saying about me. But it's even better, because I'm not dead. I'm about as alive as I've ever been.
Reading all these letters has given me a lot of strength to stand up for myself and my profession of midwifery. It means a lot to a lot of people. I'm still a little scared, mainly because of all the bad stories I've heard from other nurses who have had to go before the Board. I guess it's like a woman having her first baby who has heard a lot of scary stories. My midwife friend, Pat, is going with me. My husband is also going. He should have been a lawyer. He can twist anything around to his advantage. I know they will help me through it.
We had a new baby at the birth center yesterday. It reminded me of why I do this. It was a woman who had her first baby and about 14 hours of labor. She never gave up. Had the cutest 8 lb. baby girl, the first grandbaby on both sides. Her mother was so worried about her and her husband was so proud of her. It was so wonderful when the baby finally came out and we all knew we didn't have to worry about going to the hospital. I think she would have been cut for sure there.
Well, I'll close and see what tomorrow holds. Jackie

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Good Day

I feel like I retrieved a treasure today. I asked some of my previous clients to write letters on my behalf that I could present to the Board of Nursing. They responded with so many letters that I feel overwhelmed with their confidence in me. It gives me the courage I need to stand up for myself next Tuesday at my hearing. I hope the Board of Nursing will look at these letters. They are powerful and passionate. It's what happens when women are empowered and appreciate it.

I had a good day in many ways today. Got a lot done at the office during the day and a good evening at home with my family. My boys came home from a trip to Oregon yesterday. They went to see our 2 older sons who live in Eugene. It's good to have them home and makes me realize again what a blessing it is to be a mother. We've been busy getting school clothes and supplies and getting ready for school to start. A weird thing happened when we were at Walgreens. A guy came in right behind us and robbed the store! I don't think he got much money, but he sure shook the place up. I saw him look at me when I got out of my car, and I thought he was acting kind of weird, but I didn't think that much about it, and then he came in a few minutes later and told the girl at the counter to give him all her money which she promptly did. My son and I were already down an aisle and all we heard was a lot of commotion as soon as he ran out. Never had that happen before.

I got to be part of a conference call today to help choose a new Course Coordinator for ATM. The women that have applied for the job are all incredible and makes me feel good about the future midwives in Texas. One girl we interviewed is so enthusiastic about being a midwife. She reminds me of myself 10 years ago, but she's even smarter and better. One of my clients came to see me today and then stayed at the office awhile just to talk. She is a doula. She is pregnant and her baby is due in August with her 4th baby. She is very smart. The other day, my husband was talking about one of our sons becoming an engineer and I was feeling sorry for myself because I don't have any daughters to follow in my footsteps. Today I realized I have lots of women who are kind of like my daughters who want to become midwives and doulas, and childbirth educators. There are lots of women who see value in what I do and that makes me very happy.

Camellia and Debbie and I were all at the office today. I can't help but wonder what is going to happen in the future. Will we be able to keep going after this week? I'm worried about the hearing on Tuesday. I'm going to spend some time tomorrow preparing for it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Legal Problems looming

I'm starting this blog today as I listen to a story about VBAC on NPR in the background. I've wanted to do this for a really long time. I want to write about all my ups and downs as a midwife.
This has been a particularly up and down day. It started out at 3:00 am this morning with one of my clients who I've been expecting to call any day. She told me she was in labor and I got up and got ready to go. I arrived at her home at 3:50 am and she was in strong labor when I arrived. I called my assisitant, Camellia to come asap. She had a beautiful baby on the birth stool at 4:50 am. Just had time to get things set up and ready before the baby came. A wonderful birth with a wonderful family and precious baby girl.
Stayed at her home until about 11am (rested between 9-10). All was well there. Went next to see a client who lives on a boat in Galveston Bay. Another beautiful family that just had their 3rd baby. They were both tired- the baby kept them up most of the night, but still very happy with their newborn son. Did the baby's newborn screen and weighed him and checked for jaundice. All well there, so went on down the road. Stopped at Neptune's Subs in Seabrook- one of my favorite places to eat. Told the owner they have 2 new baby residents in the area. They were all happy.
Got to my office/ birth center about 2pm. Tired but happy about a fulfilling days work. Got into my e-mail and found out I have a hearing scheduled to defend my license next Tuesday, August 28th. This is when I decided to start a blog. I need somewhere to let my clients and friends know what is happening with me and my legal situations and how difficult this is to cope with. I don't want to whine and moan. I want to tell my side of the story. All my life when I have been in difficult situations, my best therapy has been to write about it, so that is what I am going to do here. Will post more about my case soon.