Marion Toepke McLean, Certified Nurse Midwife
"Marion delivered her first baby in Africa." Her husband, Fergus, called me to announce this touching news. Marion has volunteered in Afghanistan and now in Uganda. She is my very special mentor and a faithful writer for Midwifery Today from before its birth. It was in 1976 that I was touched by the calling to midwifery. At this time Marion, a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), began teaching midwifery classes to a small group of us. She has been my friend and mentor ever since. She has been faithful in writing her column and a number of other articles for us for the past 22+ years from issue Number 1 and before that in planning what Midwifery Today would look like. As she is such a good teacher we quickly brought her into teaching at our conferences. This gives you the opportunity to experience her in two ways, her writing and her conference teaching.
Marion joined our midwifery practices for a year while she was teaching us didactic classes. Before and after that we could always call her from a birth, even if it was 3 am, to confer. This saved several transports as she would help us ascertain if things were within the realm of normal. For us it was like having a very knowledge- and heart-filled CNM at every birth. She was so humble, she told us she learned as much from us as we did from her. Since she taught us all the midwifery we knew, we were sure this couldn't be true, but it shows how very sweet and unassuming Marion is.
What I hope for each of you is that you have a Marion in your midwife, doula or childbirth education life. There is nothing more valuable.
Read these two articles by Marion:
Marion Toepke McLean, CNM, attended her first birth as primary midwife in August 1971. She received her nursing degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1966 and her midwifery and family nurse practitioner degree from Frontier Nursing Service in 1974. From 1976 through 2001 she did clinic, hospital and homebirths, while also working as a family nurse practitioner. In 1980 she taught a year-long program for local midwives, returning to Frontier Nursing Service to teach during the summer. In June 2000 she completed a BA in International Studies at the University of Oregon, with concentrated studies on Mexico. Since 2002 she has worked in a reproductive health clinic and attended an occasional homebirth. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, and is a contributing editor to Midwifery Today.