LEWISTON — Emilie Garcia majored in psychology and business economics in college.
Psychology because she liked people and exploring “how people think and why they do what they do.” Business economics because her dad was a business owner and won her over to those basics always being handy, no matter her field.
She was working for a Texas bank when her cousin asked her to be in the room while she delivered her baby.
Her cousin had the boy at a birthing center, with a midwife, in a tub.
“I had no clue you could even do that at the time,” she said. “I remember holding her leg and thinking, ‘I’m not qualified to do this.'”
Her next thought: “It was pretty amazing.”
Two years later, Garcia was in grad school to be a midwife.
One of her friends and classmates at Vanderbilt University got a job at St. Mary’s and talked up both local hospitals. She and her husband were open to a major move. Garcia, 33, started as a certified nurse midwife at Central Maine Medical Center in January 2012, her first job out of school.
She’s originally from San Jose, Calif.
“The state of Maine has a lower population than the city I grew up in,” Garcia, 33, said. “We kind of like that.”
Her husband is a cross-fit coach in Portland. Their 3-year-old son knows the gist of what she does.
“I ask him, ‘What does mommy do for work?’ ‘Catches babies,'” she said.
Now she’s often in the role of asking an inexperienced someone to hold a leg.
Last year, Garcia had a Christmas Eve baby. She believes she may be due to cover New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day in 2015. It’s fun to see the moms excited about holiday births.
“It’s funny, when there are two people in labor, they’ll be curious who’s going to deliver first,” Garcia said. “It’s not a race.”
Her nontraditional start to becoming a midwife has been a help, she said. It’s probably thanks to that business background that she keeps a spreadsheet tracking her personal stats: biggest baby delivered (more than 9 pounds), smallest baby delivered (a little more than 2 pounds) and number of births (248 as of Dec. 16).
“I love women. I love pregnancy,” Garcia said. “I don’t think I will ever get over the fact that a human being grows in another human being and then comes out a really small hole.”