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Monday, 17 November 2014

Why did I want to be a Midwife?

I get asked this a lot.

Often I lie and make up a reason.

Say that my mum was a nurse; i wanted to follow in her footsteps but didn't wan't to look after sick people.

Which I suppose isn't actually a lie, just not the reason I wanted to be a midwife.

For a long time I didn't really know why I decided to become a midwife. Or what I wanted to do with my life. 18-19 years old, in college, needing to make a decision of what to do with my life. That's the next 45-50 years - depending on what the age of retirement is by the time I get there... Maybe even longer! I had never had much experience with babies, or looking after myself, let alone other people. There was a girl I knew in school who wanted to be a midwife and I remember laughing and asking her why such a job was appealing... blood, mess... grossness!

But here I am, 2 years post qualifying and having 'a moment' - probably because I have the house to myself and noone but the dog to talk to!

Actually It's 24hr's in A&E's fault. A bloody TV program. A couple of the nurses on there were talking about how illnesses/tragedy in their own lives made them want to care for others and make a difference.I guess that's me. My sister was born with severe cerebral palsy, a direct result of mismanagement of fetal distress in labour. It was so bad that she had no life of her own what so ever, couldn't walk, talk, and was fed by a tube her whole life. Consequentially she died when she was 6.

So I guess that's why I wanted to be a midwife. I would like to think I make a difference - not sure that I do but I try. I think I do OK. I often wonder if I am cut out for the responsibility. The pressure. Or that I WANT it.

I enjoy the job FAR more than I did a year ago. I am never bored.

People often comment on what a lovely job it must be bringing new life into the world. On the most part it is but I do think people forgot the responsibility of getting it right, ensuring that mum is well and baby arrives safely - that birth doesn't always occur in a cloud with silver lining.

I don't want to be the midwife who gets it wrong. But I do love meeting people in such an important time in their lives, watching how their lives change (mostly) for the better. The adrenaline rush that comes with how unpredictable it can be. The job satisfaction that comes with getting it right. The amazing team at Southmead who keep me going.

Each day is unique, like the people I look after. Remembering that it isn't 'just my job' for which I am paid - it is a special moment in peoples lives. And it matters.