So as you may have seen, it was International Day of the Midwife on Sunday. As I post a lot about my admiration for my colleagues in the hospital and my fellow student midwives I didn’t want to do a whole gushing post about it, particularly as I did a little bit of it in my post about Leah Hazard’s book, “Hard Pushed”.
That said, I did want to share something I wrote for Penguin Random House UK in celebration of International Day of the Midwife, and share a bit about their new campaign to raise awareness of the amazing work that midwives do every day.
They have launched a campaign called #SeeTheMidwife, where midwives and parents alike are posting tweets, selfies and instagram posts sharing their experiences – seriously, just search it and you’ll be inspired – and if you are midwife, student midwife or someone who has been looked after by a midwife, take part and show the world how wonderful midwives truly are!
For the launch of the campaign they asked Leah Hazard (@hazard_leah), the author of new release “Hard Pushed” and NHS Midwife, Claire Mathews (@midwife_claire), a Former Head of Midwifery and passionate Midwifery leader and safeguarding practitioner, and little old me (@rosieladkin) to write something each about a key midwifery moment.
you have found your calling; this is what you were meant to do.
All three pieces, as well as full information about the Campaign, can be found over on Penguin Random House UK’s website – click here.
I’ve also included mine below – just in case you felt like reading it. It’s a bit more creatively written than my normal straight-from-brain-to-page writing on here and so I thought I’d share it here too, but please do read the other fantastic stories on Penguin’s website!
Image by Tim Bish
“You’re nearly there now, really nearly there now”. My voice sounded quite convincing; I was pleasantly surprised.
I opened the packet, trying to remember how to put on sterile gloves, and noticed that my hands were shaking; the adrenaline pumping through my body as much as it was through the woman on the bed in front of me. I could see the prize that both of us were working for, a tiny patch of skin with a soft covering of hair – the top of her baby’s head.
She was following her instincts, breathing slowly as each contraction took over her body, and with each one, the patch grew. “Pant, Kate, pant for me” I heard myself say. I really did sound like someone who knew what they were doing. If only someone could tell that to the nervy voices in my head, or my shaking hands.
As her baby’s head was born, she let out an almighty roar, like a powerful lioness – not of pain necessarily, but of sheer empowerment. One final push and my hands caught her wriggly, slippery, beautifully pink baby, who let out the most wonderful cry.
I looked up the woman before me, tears in my eyes and, with a nod from her and her partner, I let the words “It’s a girl!” pass from my lips as I passed her beautiful baby up into her arms. And in that moment, in that quiet room, with only the sound of the early morning birds, there was not just a baby born, but a midwife. What this couple don’t know, even to this day, is that they were my first. My first completely solo “catch” as a student midwife.
My mentor was sitting in the corner of the room, overseeing and ready to step in if needed, but this baby had been born so beautifully that she had been able to stay in her seat. I had done it – helped this woman birth her baby, completely by myself – and the rush that came with it told me; “you have found your calling; this is what you were meant to do.”