This week has been a bit more of a stereotypical week in the community. I realise I have been very very lucky with my adrenalin-filled experiences so far, with a home birth in my first week and an adrenalin filled night shift to boot! This week has been a bit more “gentle” – and a bit more like a typical week as a community midwife – that is not saying however that it has been less enjoyable – not by any stretch of the imagination!
The weeks where you spend more time in clinics and on home visits, meeting women and giving them advice are a different side to the job we do. It’s not the high rush of adrenalin that the hospital has with it, but it is, in some ways, much more personal – you really get a chance to get to know these women – to hear their concerns and reassure them.
Being someone’s midwife is a huge responsibility – you have an assumed knowledge, and if you say to them not to worry, it genuinely eases their concerns. I have spoken to women this week who have been through things I can’t even begin to imagine – losses and such difficulties – and being able to reassure them, or just to listen, is such an honour.
There is a well known quote that goes around online a lot that states “everyone is fighting a battle you don’t know about” – this week has highlighted that beyond anything I thought. Meeting normal women who have had previous miscarriages or have delivered a still born baby – these women are so so brave; I feel so naive in their presence – and then they ask me for advice or reassurance. It is such a real honour to meet these women and have them open up and tell me their stories, the stories of the darkest moments of their lives, and offering help or reassurance where I can. It is incredibly humbling. If this week has taught me anything it is the true privilege that this job has.
So what have I actually been up to this week that have brought me these experiences?
- Antenatal Clinics.
I spent a day doing appointments with women at different stages of their pregnancy – these appointment are to monitor their pregnancy, check how the foetus is growing and generally monitor the wellbeing of both mum and baby.
- Home Visits.
Most of these are post-natal, when the baby is a matter of days or even hours old – depending on how old we might weigh the baby or do certain neonatal screening tests, to check on the baby’s wellbeing and whether the baby is carrying any life-altering diseases or is more than a little bit jaundiced – but generally its just to visit and see how they are getting on being at home and if they need any help. It’s funny, when you think about it, how many people have held a baby who is one day old? Unless that baby is your own baby, or you have just become a grandparent, so for a first time parent, it can be quite daunting – so we turn up and check how they are getting on and offer advice on things like safe sleeping and breastfeeding – and we get baby cuddles too!!
- Uni day.
We got to go back into uni this week for one day of lectures – I think it was a bit of an excuse to check on us and see how we were all getting on too! It was so lovely to see everyone and catch up! We have all been doing such different things and have had so many different experiences in just the first two weeks on placement – I can’t wait to hear what else everyone gets up to by Christmas!
I’ve got another night shift this week so I will make some notes during that to put in my “Night Shift Survival Guide” – this week should be a pretty busy one I think – looking at my schedule now its gonna be a good’un – so check back in next week! 🙂
Thanks again for all your feedback on these posts you gorgeous lot – and if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll do a Q&A post. 🙂
Read last week’s Midwife Mondays post here