“How are you going here Mia?” my colleague asked me as we made our way from the building after knock off today. “I just sometimes feel like you don’t always enjoy it, like you don’t love it.”
I’m not surprised she thinks this. If she’s read any of my blog for a start, that would be a very reasonable suspicion. Also, I know I carry a semi-permanent expression of concern on my face most of the time, especially on the ward. I’m thinking of several things at once. I’m willing myself not to forget that thing I was going to do when I was buzzed for something else after I helped a colleague get a DD (controlled drug requiring 2 midwives to sign for). I’m also not good at talking and working at the same time, and in my first year I think I appeared quite uptight and antisocial. Because I was! I was just paddling way too furiously under the water to engage on any other level. I was in survival mode.
So am I enjoying it? Hmm.
Things have definitely changed for me in the past 6 months. I’ve been made permanent, and I started writing again, allowing me to breathe a little at work, indulge my truest passion at home, cut down my hours from 0.7 with extra casual shifts elsewhere to 0.6 and nothing else (best move ever), and see that my professional work and creativity can coexist. It doesn’t have to be one at the exclusion of the other. It’s wonderfully freeing.
Do I love it?
No, I don’t love it. If someone asks me am I passionate about midwifery, as so many of us are, I would have to say no. But there are elements of the work that I do love. I love providing compassionate care, and I am truly passionate about empowering and advocating for women and their families through that compassionate care. I also love doing what I can to contribute to a positive, supportive, gentle workplace environment for me and my colleagues. I do love that.
I also loved the moment today, when I went to receive handover from the theatre nurse for a woman who had just had her second baby girl via Caesarean section 2 hours earlier. I introduced myself to mum and dad, congratulating them on the birth of the beautiful babe nestled at her mother’s breast. Without skipping a beat they both smiled and said, “We had you last time!”
How could this be? I thought. I haven’t been here long enough… It took me a few moments to put it together but suddenly it all came flooding back and I realised that they were the couple who, 20 months ago, gifted me a beautiful plant and card to thank me for my support. It was exceptionally special for me, because it was the first time a patient had ever thanked me in this way. It meant the world to me then, half way through my struggle street grad year, and it means the world to me now. When hubby was out of the room, mumma reminded me what he had written in the card: “Thank you for looking after my girls.”
It’s not always easy to provide the kind of midwifery care I want to provide. Put simply, the system makes it hard. So no, I don’t always enjoy my work. But today, I loved it.