Imagine walking down the street and seeing people throw glances at you like you’re weird or different because of who you are. I am a female but also a Black Muslim. My parents always taught me to be proud of who I am. I want to be a midwife so I can have a unique point of view of female health.
I want to be a midwife because I want to make sure Black women are taken care of and not neglected. For example, my pregnant neighbor was experiencing excruciating pain, so we decided to bring her to the hospital. The hospital told her she was fine and just sent her home.
My neighbor came back home, and she looked pale.
“Siham, you have to go to the hospital,” my mother insisted.
“No, the doctor said I was fine, so we’d be wasting your time,” Siham replied.
“Nonsense!” my father exclaimed.
Seconds later, Siham yelled in pain.
I walked up with a washcloth and placed it on Siham’s forehead. Before I got up, I leaned in and whispered to Siham, “You don’t look fine. Please go to the hospital.”
After many minutes of convincing, she finally agreed to go to the hospital. My parents brought her to the hospital, and it turned out the baby was not OK. He was not getting enough oxygen for a while. At that moment, I knew this is what I need and want to do. I was going to become a midwife so Black women will have someone to fight for them. Siham was rushed into an emergency C-section, and the baby ended up being alright.
This experience has transformed my entire life. I didn’t know what I wanted to be or do until that moment in time. It made me understand how people of color need someone who understands what they are going through. Since then, I have read and researched pregnant Black women’s experiences. In the future, I would like to volunteer at a clinic or hospital. What I discovered was horrendous. In this country, Black women are not experiencing health equity. Black women are up to four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women depending on where they live.
My expectations are not that high. They are not so complicated they cannot be achieved. I want to make sure all Black women are taken care of in hospitals and are not dying because of medical personnel who don’t treat people the same. I want this world to be a better place for future generations, and we can do it if we give everyone the same treatment no matter who they are. At your college, I would be a voice of someone who understands firsthand the problem of health care equity and advocate for the voices that are not heard. I am responsible for becoming a student who thrives in any environment or situation. I understand that I cannot change the system by myself but studying to become a midwife is a start.