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I've been so immersed in my work, and feeling lucky to be in this place of utter freedom and creativity, professionally. I spent a lot of time in the years before I became pregnant worrying about how I would manage being a mother and having a career. I wish I had known then how the pivotal moments of my early career would be defined not by the detailed plans I'd laid out in advance, but by fortuitous events that no one could have predicted.
Like when my former boss resigned from her position midway through my maternity leave after Roscoe was born--I had already decided not to return to my job but reconsidered when I heard the news.
Then, when a Director in another division offered me the opportunity to manage under her a public health initiative with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then encouraged me to ask to work from home so I could remain with Roscoe--without her advocacy I wouldn't have had the courage to even consider asking for the flexibility to telecommute.
Later, the opportunity to certify with the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth presented itself (made possible by a locally offered training), which was followed closely by Merritt's untimely arrival, all to highlight for me the strength and fragility of the human spirit when we bring new life into the world, and the importance of supporting women in the ways they want and need to be supported during labor and birth but also postpartum, particularly around lactation and attachment in the NICU.
Then came our big move South. Putting our house on the market was another on-a-whim decision that ended up paying off in huge ways. Now I live in a small city that fosters startups and creative thinkers. A community that supports small, local business. Add to that an active and influential birthing community with progressive ideas and real options for women and families, and you may see how things are falling right into place.
Not knowing then how motherhood would change me, I'm proud that my boys have motivated me to want more for myself, from my life and from my work. I'm learning to be flexible, and patient, as I navigate a nontraditional career hinged, at least for now, on the relationships I'm building at home. The kids are at the center of what I do every day and I'm grateful that I can remain committed to them and also follow other parts of my heart out into the community to share what I've learned and to teach what I know.