Life in the Time of Corona #2

Well Hello!

It’s been bloomin’ ages since I’ve posted on here! Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, I’ve just not quite had the mental space to write in the past month or so. The internet is so volatile at the moment and everyone seems so angry, I just didn’t know what to write or what to say.

I don’t know about you but I’ve found the internet a really difficult place to be over the past few weeks; yes, there are hugely important issues getting some well deserved discussion and awareness and I am completely for that, but there is so much aggression, around all topics, that I can’t really click onto things like twitter at the moment – as soon as I do I can feel the anxiety gremlin looming up over my shoulder and I have to click off – so I’ve been reading up on things and educating myself, but avoiding the more volatile areas for the good of my mental health – and that has meant that I haven’t really felt like I was in a position to write anything. I just haven’t had the mental space.

Coronavirus hitting the NHS just as I was rotating to a new area and starting on the most complex area as a newly qualified midwife has been huge and I think initially I underestimated the effect it would have, but now, I am finding that I am needing to take more time to myself to unwind and reflect on my work day, I think I’ve been pushing myself too hard to look like I’ve got it all together, because, let’s face it – none of us feels like we have it all together at the moment.

We are all scared. We are all overewhelmed. We are all anxious.

We are living through a time that we will remember forever. This period of time is about simply getting through however we can. About supporting each other and about taking the time to slow down if we feel we need it – which is why I’m not too stressed about not posting regularly at the moment. We are all getting through however we can and its tough.

So, now that I’m finally feeling like I can put words on a page again, which to be honest has been the last thing I’ve felt like doing for weeks now, I thought I’d put together another little update on life in the time of corona “#2”. So here we go:

Work Life

As I kinda hinted above, I think I was a little naive in my previous post to imply that not a lot had changed and that my job was pretty similar to normal – yes, the actual role is, but with an added stress level and the PPE that I had significantly underestimated. There are side effects of it that you don’t think about until you look at it in retrospect.

I probably didn’t drink more than half a glass of water a shift (12.5 hours) when I first rotated to the delivery suite. Why? Because of the PPE. Every time you take your mask off to have a drink you have to replace it, and sometimes it felt like I just didn’t have the time to do that. So I just didn’t. It wasn’t a conscious decision but looking back, I really wasn’t looking after myself in those first few weeks.

Little things like that just add up and I think I was concentrating so much on getting settled in the area and learning the different guidelines and protocols etc that I didn’t take a second to think about the effect of something a simple as not seeing a smile all day. In a high stress environment, as a newly qualified midwife, seeing someone smile at you when you are having a wobble could made such a difference to how you’re feeling, but there is none of that. In fact, there are some colleagues of mine, who I have only met since I rotated, whose whole faces I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen, and I’ve been there 2.5 months! A simple smile or mouthing a casual “you ok?” at the start of your shift are things that are completely lost in this pandemic and its something that can make you feel quite isolated – I’m getting used to it now but I definitely underestimated the effect of it initially.

Overall, however, I do feel that I’m getting much more settled in my new area, and increasing in confidence as I do. I had my 9 month appraisal the other day (how is it 9 months since I started working as a midwife already?!?) which went really well, so I’m pleased with that.

I really do feel like I know what I’m doing in my role now and am loving the adrenaline and excitement of working in the delivery unit – it keeps you on your toes and keeps you guessing but it is a work environment where your day consists of anticipation, bravery, gratitude and endurance; and the women in my care amaze me every day – its very humbling and I can honestly say I love moments of every single day (not every moment, which I think is fair enough, but to say that I honestly love moments in every single day is a pretty big claim in itself!)

Home Life

Exciting news! We have finally exchanged on our house! I have hinted in a few post previously that we were buying a house but didn’t want to share too much in case it all fell through, but we have officially exchanged contracts and will be completing on our gorgeous new house in September – now we just get to watch it grow!

I’ve created an instagram account for the house (@inside_no_17__), purely because I’ve loved seeing other peoples accounts, seeing what they have done with their homes and seeing the houses grow from the ground up! Our house now has two storeys and a tiled roof but no windows or doors yet – so I’m excited to see what progress they have made this week (though with this weather they might have had to stay home!)

Otherwise we are doing well, I’m back on a healthy eating kick having stepped on the scales the other day and realised the after effect of all the anxiety-eating I’ve been doing since corona arrived! So its out with the chocolate (or most of it at least!) and in with the broccoli! Any motivation is welcome! 🙂

Wedding planning

We haven’t done a huge amount really in the past few weeks, other than our first online cake consultation which was interesting. We discussed what we are looking for and answered loads of questions and then we are going to get sent some cake samples in the post – it’s a different way of doing it but I think we are getting there!

Other than that we are in a pretty good place with the wedding – we sent out most of the save the dates last week which was a big relief as I’ve been meaning to send them for months! It’s starting to feel so real now – eek!

I don’t really know how to finish this post, which is weird for me, but I guess I don’t have any specific point to make to round it all up…I will be writing again, but I don’t know when. I know that I have had loads of questions on instagram about things (also checking up on me as I hadn’t posted for a while so thank you to those people!) so I’ll try to get some more posts out soon – just got to keep the balance with my brain too and not push myself to do too much in these crazy circumstances!

Look after each other and remember that it’s ok to take a little time to yourself and give yourself a bit of a mental break – we have never been through something like this and its ok to be a little overwhelmed by it all at times.

Sending love to you all xx

Photo 1 by michael podger on Unsplash
Photo 2 by Carlo Navarro on Unsplash
Photo by Andy Holmes on Unsplash

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