Sheila Lopez, CNM
I am married to my wonderful husband and we have two little boys and a baby girl. I began college right out of high school knowing that I wanted to be a nurse. I knew that I wanted to work with babies. By the time I started nursing school in 2005, I had already had my first son, and figured out that I wanted to work in labor and delivery. After graduating from nursing school in 2007, I went to work right out of school on a Labor and Delivery unit. I have loved nearly every minute of it. I found that I had a particular skill with natural childbirth patients and loved supporting them. I also found that my personal beliefs of childbirth often conflicted with others around me. In 2009, I had my second son and soon decided that it was time to go back to school. With an infant at home, I started an uncertain, long, and difficult journey to becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife in Birmingham, Al.
What made the journey so uncertain and difficult is that there are only twenty-some CNMs in Alabama. Of those, none practice full-scope midwifery in the Birmingham area. I had to carve my own path and find and often invent my own clinical experiences. I trained with a great group of OB/GYN MDs, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners, and an amazing CNM in Birmingham who only provides prenatal care (no deliveries). In order to gain experience with full-scope midwives, I had to travel to Atlanta, Ga. I traveled 3 hours to Atlanta to work afternoons in the clinic and spend the night in the hospital delivering babies at one of the busiest hospitals in the country. This was the hardest and most trying part of my education, but I learned so much from that wonderful group of midwives and their collaborating physicians!
I graduated from my program in December 2012 and passed my board exam in April 2013. In the meantime, I continued working as an L&D RN and applied for some nurse practitioner-type positions around Birmingham that didn’t work out. I also had my third baby, my girl.
I am so excited to now be joining Simon Williamson Clinic OB/GYN as the only full-scope midwife in Birmingham.