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  • Debbie Eakes

The best laid plans

My road to midwifery has been a long one. My grandmothers’ mother delivered in Mexico with a midwife. She shared God’s plan for her life and in the following years my grandmother came to know the Lord. My first two births were hospital births with all the usual interventions and feelings of inadequacy. My third son is adopted but I was able to be in the l & D with his birth mom as support though I did not feel that I helped at all, we both left feeling helpless. I was also present at the births of my niece and nephew, and grandson and 2 other women. With each I gained a little more confidence but still had no practical experience in providing comfort. Then at 38 I became pregnant with our miracle baby and decided to take a more active role. After researching and taking a Bradley class I decided to do a home birth. What an experience, it changed my life. I have never felt more dependent on God, my creator, and more aware of my body. I had toyed with the idea of a nurse midwife prior to becoming pregnant with my last but now the call toward midwifery was stronger than ever. My husband retired from the military in August, 2006 and he started med school 10 days later and I began studies with Ancient Art Midwifery Institute. Apprenticing began in August 2008 and since then I have attended births with six midwives at home. Little did I know I would not finish until 2020.

I attended more births as a doula and I have now completed my studies and I'm waiting to take the national exam (NARM). I have enjoyed breastfeeding all four of my children for a total of six years experience and have enjoyed encouraging women as they began their breastfeeding relationship. I also volunteered at the Keim Center in Norfolk Virginia, as a volunteer coordinator and instructor for the pregnancy and parenting classes. Our dream was to be a team located in a rural, underserved or overseas mission wherever the Lord leads.

Update: In December 2020, I completed my qualifications and studies with National College of Midwifery and attended my first birth as a community midwife. It was in a snow storm (babies always come in storms) but was a very peaceful way to start my career. The little girl that was born on December 23 (the same day my grandma passed) was named Rebecca (my grandma's name). God's plans are always perfect.

"This is God's Word on the subject: 'As soon as Babylon's 70 years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out- plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you'd hoped for.'" Jeremiah 29:10-11

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