Marie studied nursing before continuing on to study midwifery, which was considered almost a rite of passage for nurses of her era. For Marie, becoming a midwife was about more than finding a good job — it was realising her true vocation.
“I found my place in the world,” she says. “The person who is there throughout the pregnancy, labour and birth has such an impact on that woman. As a clinician, I recognise that all the time. What happens between a midwife and a woman is a very special relationship.”
Being in such significant relationships brings with it enormous responsibility. However, Marie says she does not find being a midwife stressful; instead she cherishes her role and connections to the women she is providing care to.
“Being with the women and supporting them through this really important time in their life has really stayed with me,” she says. “I value the importance of motherhood in our society. If you get mothering right most other things in the world will be right.”
Midwifery attracts people from all walks of life, from students fresh out of high school to students who return to University after having different careers. Marie says being a midwife is not for the faint of heart or simply all about babies.
“It’s not a degree that you can do if you’re not passionate about it,” she says.
“It’s a wonderful profession and a very rewarding profession. To do it though, you need to know who you are and understand how you are as a person because almost every day you’ll be challenged at every level.”
Dr Marie McAuliffe