is me!!! I was about three years old and already had my career mapped out! Unlike many midwives, I never had a
‘thunderbolt’ moment when I suddenly thought ‘Hey, I want to be a
midwife!!!’.... Midwifery has always been in me – an innate part of me and I
never once contemplated any another career choice. It sounds corny but, to me, midwifery was a
calling and is just part of who I am and where I am going. So, with this in mind, I left school and
started secretarial college!!! Go figure!! At 16 years old all I wanted was to
earn my own money and I could earn a whole £27.00 a week doing a Youth Training Scheme! However, it didn’t
last for long. I hated it and yearned to do something more meaningful with my
life. I thought I’d messed up by not
going down the nursing route (there was no direct midwifery entrants back then)
so did the next best thing. I changed
training schemes and did a City and Guilds in Health and Social Care and it was
amazing! I worked in nurseries and schools and with a child minder. Eventually,
after 18 months and a whopping wage increase to £35.00 in my second year, I
secured employment in a nursery. I was
in heaven! I loved working with children and was truly happy – for a
while. In my heart of hearts I knew
midwifery was waiting for me but I didn’t know how, or whether I could do it.
midwifery dreams were put on hold for a couple of years whilst I was busy being
a mum. First to come along was Rachael
weighing 8lb 9oz followed by Christopher three years later weighing 9lb 2oz. There was an older student midwife who
delivered my son and the yearning of becoming a midwife stirred once
again. I bombarded the poor woman with
questions about her age, what qualifications she needed, where she was studying
and more importantly, how could I become
Christopher was 4
years old when I decided to get the qualifications pertinent to midwifery. I studied part time during the day and worked
as a barmaid of an evening – increasing my social skills and earning money
along the way! I then discovered that
universities favoured students who had studied on an Access to Health course so
I applied for that and was fortunate to be accepted.
One of my tutors
was a midwife and she fuelled my passion to become a midwife on a daily basis.
I was like a sponge soaking up all of her midwifery stories and
experiences. It was exhilarating and
actually WANTED to go to college to learn!!
She told us on numerous occasions that midwifery was a very competitive
profession and that rejection is high simply due to the high caliber of
applicants and sheer number of midwifery candidates. This didn’t deter me one little bit. If anything, it made me more determined and I
began to look for ways to stand out from the crowd – so I joined the nurse bank
at the local acute trust.
This was NOT what I
wanted to do! I emptied commodes,
cleaned commodes, made beds, handed out lunches, fed patients who wouldn’t do
it themselves, assisted patients to the bathroom, bathed patients, and
basically fetched and carried for the overworked nurses on the ward. By golly it was HARD! But, once again, it
made me determined to gain precious experience of working in a hospital setting
and gave me a better chance of being accepted onto my midwifery course......and
accepted I was!!!
I remember my
interview as though it was yesterday and I was an absolute bag of nerves!
However, the other applicants were ALSO a bag of nerves so I didn’t feel quite
so bad! Waiting for the
acceptance/rejection letter was torture but it was soooo worth it when the
letter started with ‘we are pleased to inform you that your recent application
to study midwifery has been accepted’. The memory is etched in my mind and will
stay with me forever!
The feeling of
elation was short lived when I discovered I was pregnant again. Don’t get me wrong, I was absolutely thrilled
beyond words to discover I was expecting again and even more overjoyed when I
discovered that there was not one but two babies but bitterly disappointed that, for me, my
aspirations of becoming a midwife were put on hold for another year..... This,
of course, left my mind when my beautiful baby boys were born. First Harry weighing
6lb 12oz and then Elliot weighing in at a dainty 5lb 13 ½ oz.
Not to be deterred,
I reapplied for midwifery when the boys were 9 months old and, to my absolute delight,
I was once again accepted.
Being a student
midwife was wonderful, scary, exhilarating, exhausting, inspirational,
frustrating and sheer hard work requiring every ounce of endurance I could
muster. As time wore on, I realised that I “felt” more and more like a real
midwife – still so much to learn and experience, but something had changed
inside me. From just being interested in birth I wanted to know everything
about everything to do with pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood and I had
opinions on all the whys and wherefores (and still do). Looking back, I’m still not sure how I
survived those three years as a student midwife! Juggling a house, a husband, shift work,
assignments and four children was HARD but I was so proud of myself for
achieving my dream and I finished university with a first class degree with
honours – and honoured I truly was.
qualified in the September and started work at the local acute trust in the
October. It was amazing and I loved every
second of it! As I neared the end of my
six month temporary position I was extremely fortunate to secure employment in
one of the largest maternity units in the UK and stayed there for 18 months gaining
invaluable experience working as a rotational midwife on the antenatal ward,
postnatal ward, labour ward, midwifery led unit and was even fortunate to work
a stint on community. It was whilst I
was on community that I saw the benefits of continuity of care and the effects
it had on the women I looked after and I wanted more!!! Unfortunately, my
little stint on community was only temporary for 6 months and I was due to go
back to being a rotational midwife in the main hospital. I did NOT want to do this as at all so I
enquired to One to One Midwives to see when they were recruiting as I knew they
were based in the heart of the community and I knew this is where I wanted to
have been working for One to One since November 2011 and feel that I have found
my niche in midwifery. It has been
challenging at times and it has certainly stretched my midwifery knowledge to
the max but it has been such a privilege to be a primary caregiver and I gain
so much satisfaction from truly getting to know the women in my care throughout
their pregnancy and beyond. I have built
up so many special bonds with not only the women but their families too and I’m
not ashamed to say that I have shed a tear on numerous occasions when
discharging my women!
passion for birth and pregnancy is constantly growing and I’m not sure it will
ever stop! As long as there is more to be learned I will continue to grow and
offer my services as a One to One midwife to the women of the Wirral and I look
forward to meeting you on your journey.......