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Finding My Kind

Discovering the midwifery community at the ACNM Annual Meeting

By Susana Vega, CNM

I do not lack love. I do not lack joy. I do not lack companionship. But when one of my roomies at last year’s ACNM 57th Annual Meeting & Exposition started pouring out Vagina Warrior buttons across our cheap, somewhat pungent hotel bed, I knew I had found the missing piece in my life.

I knew it again while overhearing passionate debates over which education session was most interesting; breast cancer updates or pessary fitting? Lyme disease or neglected placentas? And knew it yet again when my preceptor graciously met me in the midst of her hectic meeting schedule and, while sipping wine, quizzed me on how to handle shoulder dystocia. Never mind that she was a new board member with 1,001 things to do; she made time for her students. I had found my kind. I knew it on that first day and in every moment after during my stay in Long Beach, California.

I knew it in moments such as when a fellow student stood up and advocated for transgendered individuals and numerous active members applauded her advocacy. Or when I was blessed by an experienced midwife in an intimate, peaceful gathering ceremony. Or while learning how to be politically active and effectively use my voice for our profession and the women we serve.

Last year in Long Beach, I was thrilled to attend as a student worker, giddy and exhausted and overwhelmed in my final months of schooling. So much to see! I signed up for everything; there were sessions and workshops and gatherings all beckoning for my participation. Certainly there was no time to relax. I had to be a part of it all, to breathe in every strand of this vast web. Was it the smart thing to do? Perhaps not. Do I remember it all? Hardly. But it was much like birth and the care we provide women: they may not always remember the details, but they will always remember how we make them feel.

As I prepare for this year’s meeting in Nashville, I know that I may not ever experience that same precise sort of awe and infatuation as I had a year ago. The instantaneous awareness of all that being a midwife was and could be evolves, as such moments pass with every tiny heartbeat. Yet those moments lie within me, nestled and warm, forever remembered as coming home and being held by loving hands.

Learn more about the ACNM 58th Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Nashville, TN or register in advance at

Susana Vega believes in this crazy idea that honest communication, respect, and love will bring us peace and vehemently denies that it’s possible to have too many midwifery-related T-shirts. Besides practicing as a newbie Certified Nurse-Midwife at Manassas Midwifery and Women’s Health Center in Virginia, she loves to tweet, so stop by and say hello @SusanaMV6.

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 5/14/2013 12:51:48 PM



Any opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. ACNM is not responsible for accuracy of any of the information provided by guest bloggers and/or members via the Comments section. We welcome all feedback – including comments, ideas and suggestions. We also welcome civil, friendly debates. However, any and all content that is deemed inflammatory or rude will not be posted.


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