I’ve been getting a lot of messages in the last few weeks; lots more than normal, and all seem to be along the same theme; Coronavirus. So I thought I would post a bit of an update about it all; and how it is affecting me, both as a newly qualified midwife and generally – for some reason I’ve found it hard to put into words which is why this post has been so long coming!
I did post something on instagram the other day about it all – I’d been trying for days to work out what to say and how to address it but couldn’t find the right thing to say – but I finally managed to get something out:
I always anticipated my first year as a newly qualified midwife to be tough but I wasn’t anticipating a global pandemic!
So, how has it affected things work-wise? Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, any hospital based job role is working under a significantly heightened level of stress at the moment, which is difficult. There are also changes in guidance and protocols surrounding how we care for those who are Covid-19 positive, or those who are self-isolating because someone in their family is showing symptoms, and these protocols change fairly regularly as more information is gathered around the condition.
As a midwife, I’m not working in anywhere where anyone is seriously ill with coronavirus (ie, ICU), so my role itself hasn’t changed too much, but the fact that we have to be so wary and be aware of the extra protocols and PPE has added a new dimension to it all. Wearing masks for the whole time we are working, plus aprons, gloves & visors for any patient contact and extra protective gowns for births takes a lot of getting used to and is pretty warm too! That, added to the generally slightly tense atmosphere in the hospital and the risk of bringing the virus home with me every time I go into work, the stress levels have definitely gone up, even if my role itself hasn’t changed too much.
What has changed for me specifically is; you will have seen in my post about changing areas that I was recently rotated to the midwife led birth centre – a rotation which was meant to last a couple of months….well, after just under 4 wonderful weeks on the birth centre, I’ve moved to the higher risk delivery unit!
This current crisis has meant that more midwives are needed on these areas than on the lower risk areas, so I’ve been rotated again. At the beginning of April I started work on the high risk delivery unit – starting with a brief induction period working a day or so each on the triage unit, induction unit, in theatre and the onto delivery unit itself. Within a couple of weeks I was be fully orientated onto the unit and am now a proper part of the team.
I did feel quite anxious about rotating again so soon, but now I’m looking forward to getting settled in this new area; one which I don’t think I will be moving from again for a good while (I hope!)
Like everyone else, our home life has changed unrecognisably since the country went into lockdown.
We are trying to stay positive. I think that this kind of lockdown has such a huge potential to effect our mental heath by not seeing people and just watching hours of doom-and-gloom news reports, so we are being really careful – trying not to watch too much news but just enough to stay in the loop, using FaceTime and things to stay in touch with family and friends, making sure to go for our daily walk together, even if we don’t feel like it or if the weather is pants, just so we get out of the house and don’t get too stir crazy.
We’ve been trying to focus on the positive things in all this; following stories like that of Captain (now colonel!) Tom Moore raising £30 million for the NHS, and standing out on our doorstep every Thursday evening clapping at 8pm.
I’ve actually found the clapping for carers much more moving than I ever expected. Most weeks I shed a little tear, and the week I was driving out of the hospital gates at exactly 8pm to be met by a whole street of people banging pots and pans and waving at the cars leaving the hospital knowing they were all hospital workers on their way home after a shift, I practically wept the whole way home – its just such a lovely gesture and brings a real feeling of community!
M has set himself a Quarantine Photo Challenge to keep himself busy, putting a photography course he did last year into practise by taking, editing and posting a photo every single day over on instagram; I may be biased but he’s really good! Have a look and give him a follow on instagram @matt.griff90 if you’re interested! (All the photos on this post are from his challenge!)
M also turns 30 today so we are having our own lockdown birthday celebrations – its definitely a different birthday to the one I had planned for him but we will make up for it once lockdown is lifted and we can celebrate properly!
We are trying really hard not to stress about the little things and just focusing on the big things that need sorting out – and praying that the builders can get back on site this week to crack on with work on our new house!
Wedding wise, we are very very lucky that at the moment it doesn’t seem to have affected anything for us, thankfully we aren’t getting married until next summer and had booked most of our suppliers already so haven’t had any problems.
Just need to book the cake now, which we are in the process of researching and doing virtual consultations for and then we will be set. Just gotta get shopping for the all important wedding dress once lockdown is lifted so I have plenty of time to find “The Dress”!
We have had several friends having to rebook their weddings for next year and others who are stuck in a cruel corona limbo as to whether they are still getting married this summer or not….its so so tough!
I hope you are all staying safe and keeping well – looking forward to the time when we can all meet up and have a few drinks and good food together again! I miss reality!