I love being a midwife. And mostly, I don’t think my job is unusual. I know it is an extraordinary privilege to be with women and their families during one of the most intimate moments or journeys of their lives.
But I don’t think that translates to what I do as being extraordinary…except, every now and then, I stop and think about what it is about my job that is so unusual, or left of centre. Here are 5 things I wasn’t expecting about being a Midwife:
Right at the very beginning I knew that I wanted to work with women through the pregnancy, birth and postnatal stages….the idea of working in a hospital had little appeal as a long term working option. But, I felt I needed to ‘earn my stripes ” so to speak, before I could venture out to being with women wherever they wanted or needed to birth.
Recently I sat back and reflected on my time as a homebirth midwife around Australia and most recently working as a midwife on the Sunshine Coast. These are just a few of my musings about being a midwife for women with women on their journey to parenthood…
#1 Being a Midwife means that you also go into Nesting Mode
I have noticed a definite and amusing pattern in my behaviour. When I am approaching a busy birthing period, I nest, clean, tidy and cook. True story.
#2 Being a Midwife means that you can get a hangover.. but not the type you think!
After a long night out for the birth of a baby, I can still feel like I have a hangover… no alcohol required. It’s the most rewarding hangover anyone can have.
#3 Being a Midwife takes a Village
I have come to realise that working as a midwife takes a big support network, especially when you have a family. Every on-call midwife with her own children needs her own village, network or community so she can be on-call.
#4 Being a Midwife means you need to be ready at all hours
I have to admit, I don’t mind so much getting out of bed before Sunrise for a baby, but I just really can’t do it for the gym.
#5 Being a Midwife means that a cup of tea never tasted so good
There is one thing I have learned after many celebratory drinks to “wet the baby’s head” as a midwife. Champagne really doesn’t taste as good as a great cup of tea to wet the baby’s head. There is no comparison.
Every birth is different and with every birth brings both things familiar …and surprising things that I learn about myself. I am surrounded by the extraordinary miracle of birth and the power within the birthing woman every day. But sometimes it is the little things that are the most surprising to me!
If you are a midwife what has been the most surprising thing you have learned about yourself from working with birthing women? And if you are a mum or mum-to-be, what has surprised you most about yourself? Leave a comment below.