Sorry, this is a VERY LONG (too long) a comment, but I suspect you will appreciate it all the way to the end. I actually left out quite a bit!
Thank you for this complete honesty, which I suspect involved a river of tears while writing it.
When my daughter became pregnant just after she turned 18, I told her that I would support any choice she made. But actually I prayed she would not choose adoption. I couldn't bear the thought of having a grandchild somewhere out in the world whom I would never know.
I would have preferred she had chosen abortion because I knew there was a long hard row to hoe if she chose to keep the baby. I could hardly bear it.
Well, she kept him. And with someone else, an absolutely wonderful man (an ob/gyn btw), when her son was 6, she had another....and another...all the way to 5 total. She was well cared for. She became a midwife in a state where you didn't have to be certified.
When they moved to a state that banned non-licensed midwives, she became a doula. Several years and moves later (he hated the hospitals where he worked) she moved back to where we are now.
They worked together to offer birthing services that ran the gamut. He was her supervising doctor to her midwifery, should anything go wrong. He learned A LOT from her, and changed his own practice to incorporate what she taught him.
Other doctors called the pair, with all due respect, "the doctors W...." When a client chose a hospital birth or ended up having to have a hospital birth, they were quite the pair and everybody could see that.
After her 5th, she decided she needed to do something that wouldn't keep her out all night not knowing when she'd be back. So, she took up baby/family/maternity/
Her work with that is well-known in our area. You have to book her well in advance.
Tragically, she lost her husband in 2010. She decoded tp stick with the photography, as it was too painful for her to keep up with the midwifery without her husband.
Now she has another fellow to lean on. They've been together several years He's not in the business, but he supports her work 100%, and since he does his freelance work in their home, he's always been there for her to cover the parenting. Now the youngest is 15 and oldest is 30. They don't need babysitters anymore!
And so, she has chosen to be a doula AND a birth/family photographer; Clients can have one or the other or BOTH!
Check out Birthside dot com. Read what she says about herself and her approach. Oh, guess what? She also has writing talent! Photographer/writer. Just like her mom. But so much more. And so much more DISCIPLINED.
Bottom line, she just LOVES babies.And those kids have one INCREDIBLE mom.
Breaking out into song: "Yes sir, that's my baby, no sir, I don't mean maybe, yes sir, that's my baby now.
She's 49. Still my baby. And I am so proud of her -- and amazed with her--I could burst.
She made EXACTLY the right choice, for her.