Hello, my name is Amy.
I have been pregnant twice (to my knowledge), and have two young daughters. Both births took place at the hospital. The first one was with an OB-GYN doctor, the second was with a Certified Nurse Midwife. I was lucky to have a dear friend as my labor and delivery nurse for both births (she happened to work for the hospital I delivered at and came in for both of my births). I will tell my birth stories in other posts, but both births were amazing, relatively straightforward, and I felt incredibly lucky to have had such a wonderful experience each time. I was fascinated with women’s health, pregnancy and birth, long before my first pregnancy though.
My undergraduate education focused on Social Studies of Medicine and Science and Women’s Studies – it was a Medical Anthropology course at McGill University, taught by Margaret Lock, that convinced me that these were the areas I wanted to study. After completing my undergraduate education, I worked as a Grant Writer for Between Friends Chicago, and worked on their 24-hour crisis line for survivors of domestic violence. After several years at Between Friends, and some time off traveling with my now-husband, I started my Master degree in Public Health at University of Illinois in Chicago. I met some wonderful friends and colleagues during my time at the School of Public Health, and began doing some private consulting for various women’s health and public health agencies during that time. I provided writing, project management, and evaluation services, and I loved helping these organizations develop and implement vitally important health programming.
After several years doing public health consulting work, I felt the need to address a gap in my knowledge and experience by gaining a clinical education. While I believed deeply in the programs I assisted, working at the population-level felt too removed from the women I was indirectly helping. I decided to pursue nursing as a way of bridging the population and personal approaches to maternal health, and to gain the clinical knowledge I had longed for during my public health career. My clinical nursing training was focused on maternity care, and I completed a leadership clinical rotation in Labor and Delivery. I also completed a doula training course while in nursing school, further preparing me for work in maternity care. I considered pursuing an advanced practice degree in Midwifery, but ultimately decided against it (for reasons including work-life balance and wanting a broader reach in maternity care). Almost immediately after beginning my nursing education, I felt grateful for the clinical knowledge, but unsure of how I wanted to use it. I felt conflicted about being a part of our current maternity care system when I heard so many women expressing feeling dis-empowered by their birth experiences.
Now I am working as a clinical RN, but not in maternity care, to keep up my nursing skills and knowledge. I started writing about birth when I decided not to work as a maternity care nurse. I am passionate about birth. I love reading and writing about birth and helping women and their families gain knowledge to make decisions they feel good about. This site enables me to share my knowledge and interpretation of the research, build a community of people interested in pregnancy and birth, and provide individual consultations for pregnant women and their families.