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.