Whenever someone asks me how midwifery training is going, I have a hard time not answering completely honestly – it’s really fucking hard. If you haven’t gathered from my previous posts, I’m tired, angry, emotional, and feel stupid most of the time.
That being said, after a month off, I was starting this new semester in the infamous MNP (Maternal Neonatal Pathology) course as a total nervous racket. I was fearful that I would continue to feel the same way as I did in the summer – sad, lonely, stupid, and barely keeping one foot in front of the other.
A new feeling
Miraculously, however, things feel different this month. I don’t know if it’s the bright sunny, September weather. I don’t know if it’s the six weeks of adventures, friendships, and relaxation (amazing what time off can do for your mental health!). The bags from under my eyes are gone and I feel more ready to take on this work, this community, and these studies.
Coming back this month, I was welcomed by the midwives with warm hugs. They all were excited to have me back and working again. They make me feel like I’m a part of the team, and that I’m a competent respected member of it.
Lately, they text me and ask how my tutorial was. They give good feedback, and make me feel safe to make mistakes. They lament with me when they make mistakes and we talk together about how we can all get better. They tell clients that my skills are excellent and rave about me to the client’s partner. It’s almost unbelievable, really.
They … actually … believe in me!
I want to live up to the expectations and beliefs of my midwife mentors, and I want to be worthy of their praise. It’s slowly starting to feel like I belong somewhere, and that my professional competencies are coming together. I kind of enjoy it now.
Long way yet
I mean, lets be real, I still don’t know half of anything, and I make really simple and stupid mistakes every day, but information is starting to cement itself in my brain. Last week, an experienced, staff OB agreed with my cervical assessment and I almost collapsed on the floor and died at the end of the bed with glee. That felt pretty fucking awesome. Naturally, an hour later as I was taking my gloves, I got a little too aggressive and sprayed blood over the clients legs. So … balance?
My new approach is to try to fill my life with more action rather than reaction, and trying to keep a positive, solution-oriented view of placement. This shit is hard. I don’t sleep for 27 hours, and am expected to perform in class every Friday. I’m constantly reading, learning, absorbing things and re-adjusting myself to meet expectations. But! I think I do better when I’m busy and under a little bit of motivated pressure – so I’m participating more in all things midwifery and personal. I joined the executive team of the Student Midwives Association of Canada, and am actively taking better care of myself by eating better and sleeping more effectively. I’m trying to volunteer and say “yes” more, and be more available to my friends.
I’m hoping to keep going, and mitigate depressed burnout.
At least, until the midterm and winter strikes haaaaaaa. Wish me luck, this feels good right now!