Remember that time I moved to NZ with just a suitcase because I liked the pictures?
I just did something similar. I quit my job and got a place back at university full time. I know!!!!! I’m going back to study mass media, communications and journalism. Its a wide course, because y’know, I want a job at the end of it. I probably won’t get one with the New York Times eh!
The big spunky boy bought me a book for Christmas called… How Writing Works by Roslyn Petelin… and my writer friend in NZ taught me how to spell bachelor so I am TOTALLY all set!
I messaged Matron late one night last week because I knew by that time she would have probably had a whisky, and said “Don’t freak out”. She totally freaked out, but it was okay, because its Matron, she makes you totally shit yourself and then becomes your mother and is terribly pleased. It’s a Matron thang. Then MUM freaked out and she was fine too because she is the MUM and its totes similar (Maternity unit manager).
My actual Mum was like “Ohhhhh lovely are you going to be lecturing in midwifery now then”? Ummm nah Mum, I’m going to be getting a whole new career :-s.
Then everyone else FREAKED OUT. But that was all good too because y’know, they get me.
The Doc and the spunky boys and the grandparents all did a little dance. There is delight. They are terribly happy about it. It’s tricky having a relationship with a midwife from all family angles. Not that they haven’t supported it over the years but there are many many stories from the kids of me vanishing like a poof of smoke in the night. Also smashing up a whole sink full of plates after 3 days awake out at home births. Well if you won’t wash up I might lose my shit. Oh how we laugh now!!!
I’m ready to move on for sure.
I’ve had an amazing career in midwifery and I don’t regret a second. My fellow midwives are the total shit. They are the hardest working people I know. They really are. I don’t think Joe Public really know the responsibility that is on a midwives shoulders on a daily basis. They spend so many hours away from their families, they work the worst shifts, they go home in tears on a regular basis because of things like…….
Being undervalued. Poorly paid. Lack of staff. Lack of support. Abuse from the public. Midwives eating their young. Exhaustion. Over medicalisation of childbirth. Sad situations. Not enough time to give the care you would like to give. Cattle market midwifery.Lack of choices for women.
Its not all gorgeous. This is the bad side. Nurses and midwives have never made a big enough stand against how they are treated and I don’t know if they ever will. This bit sounds really negative but it has to be said. It is the reality. There are plenty of ace people writing about this though so I don’t have to.
On the other side of it there is ….
The amazing relationships formed with women at one of the most important times of their life, the difference you can make in peoples lives, the relationships formed with your fellow midwives. Even if we are not getting along you can count on a fellow midwife to save your arse if they need to. There are amazing writers, educators, professors in midwifery. So many different and interesting areas to work. So many skills to be learnt and then taught to other people. Critical thinking, questioning, quality improvements. There is the 4 am in the morning dying of laughter in the office because of something hysterical. Those stories stay in the office.
And also… saving lives. Often people do not equate that with midwifery. They don’t think anyone dies in childbirth anymore. They do. In developed countries. They do.
Those midwives looking after you are the ones who often recognise and act on deterioration. They are trained ninjas for that shit. They are also the ones jumping on your chest down the corridor with a massively skilled team of docs.
Of course it isn’t always that dramatic. It might be picking up things antenatally that would have had you dead but y’know, ninja midwife skills, those fuckers just saved your life.
And they are my friends. They are the best people. There is no-one quite like a midwife to share any kind of personal information with. They will nod whilst eating 27 Lindt balls and by the end of the convo you will be sorted. I love them.
But I’m saying goodbye.
Because I can still meet them for coffee!! Winning.
And also I need something else. I lost some of my joy. I left it behind somewhere in a home birth in like 2005. Midwifery isn’t quite the same in Australia as it is in the UK and NZ.
I spent a fair bit of time thinking what else I could do. I mean I reckon I’m pretty good at the midwifery lark and its hard to make a decision to leave and topple back down to the bottom. It took a lot of thought and consideration but I am so happy that I have found exactly what I want to do and that I have so much amazing support from my family and the people around me.
I am delighted ++ and I can’t wait to see what the next 3 years bring. It might involve some pints of beer and noodles rather than dry martinis and Montrachet but rest assured I shall keep you informed. Oh also I shall do some midwifery agency shifts. Midwifery prostitution.
Overall though, I think it was a genius idea. I thought the same when I got to NZ with my suitcase and said “It looks just like the pictures!”
So I have 4 more shifts to go and then I am going off on the annual beach house holiday for two WHOLE weeks. This never happens. I am going to run every day, swim in the ocean and count my blessings.
To all the midwives out there. I appreciate you. Day by day you change the world. It’s easy to get bogged down. Lift yourselves up. You are so important. Take up your space in the world.
And if you ever decide to leave, don’t leave in anger. Work through that shit and leave when you are really grateful. Flail around a bit and do some sobbing. Then leave with grace.
Ps… The best comment this year from one of my favourite midwives…. she walks into the office and says…. “Sister, these young girls these days have no pubic hair. But they have the biggest eyebrows you have ever seen!!!!”
For realz Babs, for realz ❤️❤️❤️❤️😂