#FutureFemmeSage: Stephanie "Be" Joseph

 @__shespeaks

@__shespeaks

"There is a secret in our culture and it’s not that birth is painful, but that women are strong” Laura Stavoe

I knew I was called to Midwifery before I even knew what Midwifery was.  

Let's take a blast to the past when I told my sisters how important it was for me to have their placentas after giving birth. If they didn't want it, that is. They were both confused and per usual thought i was crazy. As the middle child of 5, being crazy was nothing new to me. Something shifted in me that day. Honestly I don't know how I even knew about placentas. Maybe i heard it somewhere, or maybe it was the sweet whisper from my beloved spirit. The research began shortly after. From watching animals give birth on the animal planet. To watching women give birth on TLC. My mother who is a nurse. Even took me with her to work on bring your daughter to work day. Which of course this was the perfect opportunity to ask as many questions as i could think of.

 @__Shespeaks

@__Shespeaks

Growing up I have always been aware of my divine feminine energy and the ability i had to strongly express myself. Which as a young Haitian women came with its obstacles. I was also quick to notice when other young women were not able to channel their inner voices. I stood up for those women, and we grew into our bodies together. I strongly believe that we all should stand together, empower, up lift, guide, encourage and support one another. It is through this that we will be guided back to our roots and the divinity within one another.

The fascination of reproductive health continued as i journeyed through a Vo Tech High School focused on Healthcare. Convinced that I was going to be a OB-GYN. Shortly after doing research I became aware of how much conventional schooling i would have to endure. Which I was not excited about at all. I was not aware of the different paths that could be taken to become a midwife, or even having the option to be a Doula. Without even knowing i Doula-ed for a friend in high school. I didn’t get to keep her placenta, but it was a life changing experience.

 @__Shespeaks

@__Shespeaks

After graduating from high school I returned to teach a “Girls 101” class. Where I facilitated a sacred therapeutic space for young teens to express themselves and showcase their creativity through dance. I feel in love with the sacred sisterhood, the trust, the transformation with all of the inside work that was being done. I wanted to do more.The question was how? Our classes came to an end. These amazing young women all left to graduate. I left with my hair chopped off and a whole new perspective of life.

Avoiding the conventional schooling I found myself journeying through beauty school where i believed that this was a part of the transformation for women. I thought this could suffice my calling to become a Midwife. After becoming licensed as a cosmetologist and working in a few hair salons. I knew this just wasn’t enough. My spirit was not satisfied.

 @__Shespeaks

@__Shespeaks

My soul work ignited the day my niece transitioned to the physical world.  I supported my sister in every way that i could, but it just didn't feel like enough.  I felt very strong that the treatment she received at the hospital could’ve been better. In so many ways.  Was it because she was a young black women? Did they think she was uneducated?? Why were so many nurses involved? Why were there so many people in the room?  So many questions fluttered my mind.

With the belief that the environment you are born into sets the tone for the rest of your life. I took a vow this day to honor that belief. To find the answers to those questions and support other women, their families and mine too. So we are armed with knowledge to make informed decisions. That aren’t made from fear.

“ If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any” . After searching for a Doula training that would align with my philosophy, I later trained with Ancient Songs Doula Services with Chanel- Porchia and Patricia Thomas based in Brooklyn NY. Then I volunteered at a local hospital as a Doula for young moms.The universe threw me in shortly after that I trained with Mercy In Action with the Penwells based in Idaho. I become a Certified Childbirth Educator through GentleBIrth Institute. I’ve trained with Boston Doula ProjectPAIL with Nnkea Hall and ROSE. Along this journey I have been blessed to have met so many amazing humans. Built some amazing sisterhoods.  

So much has been learned. I am fortunate to have been able to quiet my mind and open my heart to such a magical calling.

 @__shespeaks

@__shespeaks

Currently I am Doula-ing all over Massachusetts and apprenticing with some local phenomenal midwives . I’m assisting mamas everywhere. Hosting sacred meetups for mamas

“ Just Be- Mamas United ” where women can come together and build with each other. My goal is to continue supporting mamas in my community. Create networks to connect women and families. It truly takes a village!

Being haitian to me is somewhere in between being bold and being humble. Sorry Kendrick sometimes I don’t feel like sitting down. Haiti was the first colony to gain it’s independence in 1804. I have the blood of warriors flowing through my veins. Goosebumps take over whenever I think of this. Being haitian to me means being connected to the sounds of the drums that my ancestors danced their way into freedom to. Being haitian means we all eat when mom cooks,  no one is left out. Being haitian means dancing once you hear kompa. Being haitian is enjoying the sweet taste of sugar cane. Being haitian is listening to your mom when she has a dream. Being haitian is serenity in the ability to allow creole to flow freely through my mouth. The language created by my people.  Being haitian reminds me to Just Be - Just Be still and allow the energy of my people to guide me and walk with me as my heart beats purposely.

My hopes for Haiti’s reproductive health system is to continue training midwives and educating haitian people. I hope to take part in one of these trainings.  Unfortunately Haiti has one of the highest maternal death rate. Which leave many children orphaned in their first weeks of life. This is scary. The reality is we need more help, we need more hands on deck. This needs to change and I hope to be apart of this!

 @__shespeaks

@__shespeaks

If you can give one piece of advice in terms of becoming and/or being a midwife what would it be?

Whether Midwifery is a calling or a hobby stay open to whatever your path needs from you to unfold.

If you were a superhero what would your power be?

My superpower would be my intuition. I'd be Intuitive Girl.

Birth is... a right of passage

Womanhood is... my identity.

Motherhood is... a Journey

What is your favorite part of your body and why?

My feet because they bravely takes the lead and guides me to places where I'm sometimes not ready to be .

If you could live anywhere on earth, where would you live?

Somewhere warm, where I can walk barefoot, swing in a hammock and enjoy ocean/mountain views.

What’s your favorite song and why?

I get out- Lauryn Hill. Always a refreshing reminder to release myself from conforming to the boxes society tends to place us in.

What is the best thing about your life right now?

The best thing about my life right now is certainly my journey of healing thyself. 

What do you do for self care?

Self care for me is a daily practice. I wake up really early every morning and meditate. It’s vital for me to open myself up to the day and set the tone. Throughout the day, I remember to check in with myself to assure I am getting what I need emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally.

 @__shespeaks

@__shespeaks