Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I've been tagged on Twitter by @naomiwinters_  to answer a few questions! I do like a challenge so here we go! I have been tagged to complete the sentences below and to tag 5 fellow bloggers who I would like to see do the same.

I am.....thinking about my brother today. Today should be his birthday....he would have been 37 and that feels very strange. In case you haven't read some of my other posts but I lost my brother almost 5 years ago to a brain tumour. When I meet new people and they ask if I have brothers or sisters, I hesitate. I don't want to not mention him, but I know the reaction I'll get when I say I have a brother that died. Anyway today I spent the day with my Mum, Dad and sister - we had lunch and enjoyed spending the time together. We certainly didn't sit around and cry or get sad, he wouldn't have wanted that, he didn't like a fuss.

The bravest thing I have ever done is.... taken antidepressants. Or potentially I guess it was the first trip to the doctors to admit I was struggling with life. Depression is a very lonely experience and for me it felt ridiculous that I could be depressed. I was a coper, I was an optimist, things didn't get me down so how could it be that I was depressed. However the reality was that I thought my family would be better off without me - not that I was suicidal, but that I shouldn't be in their lives as I was clearly bad luck and they'd be better off with someone else. Looking back I can see how ridiculous that was, but at the time I completely believed it. I was lucky that I had good friends who helped me to see that I needed some help; they encouraged me to approach my doctors for advice which thankfully I did. It takes a far braver person to admit they need help, than to do something on your own, in my humble opinion.

I feel prettiest when.... well now I don't have great self confidence in my looks. I don't think I'm pretty. However I guess I felt at my prettiest on my wedding day and my husband always tells me I look beautiful; whilst I don't believe him, I appreciate he believes it and that means far more than anything to me.

Something that keeps me up at night is.....well it doesn't take much to keep me up at night because I am a night owl and a bit of an insomniac. It's far harder to get me up in the morning. Whenever I am worried I do tend to suffer more with the insomnia.

My favourite meal Mum's roast lamb with all the trimmings followed by rhubarb or apple crumble with custard....and that has to be runny custard not the thick stuff you can stand a spoon up in.

The way to my heart is....through being a genuine, honest, kind and big hearted person.

I would like to be.....a Midwife but I guess you knew that.

So five bloggers I'd like to see join in are

I look forward to reading yours!

Oh and here is a link to Naomi's

1st year complete

I have now finished my first year placements and received all of my assignment results for the year which I am happy to report were all passes. Actually I'm more than happy - I am thrilled...when I got my last result I walked around with a huge smile on my face because I knew it meant I'd passed year 1 and was moving comfortably onto 2nd year. Not that 2nd year will be comfortable of's going to be even harder work and I am sure there will be times when I will be pulling my hair out!

In the weeks ahead we have a period of three weeks called transition.During Transition we organise our own time and the idea is that we visit an area that might be useful for our training. So sometimes people go abroad to see how Midwifery services differ from the UK, others might go into breastfeeding support groups to see the work that they do, or spend time with an Independent Midwife etc.. There are many many choices and the only difficulty is choosing what to do. I have chosen to look more closely at the work of the MSLC (midwifery services liaison committee) and the impact that they have had on Midwifery services.

In between I shall be catching up with friends, having an overnight photography trip to Paris and taking some time to relax and prepare for the hard work to come. And of course the other thing I will be doing is enjoying some time with my family.

Short post today but hey - I've got my feet up!

Saturday, 5 March 2011


One more week on placement, one more assignment result to come in and almost one year's training completed. The last year certainly seems to have flown by all of a sudden, although it didn't feel that fast whilst it was happening.....definitely felt slow when I was writing assignments.

This past week I have been spending my time with a Health Visitor and some of the other staff that work in the Children's Centre. The staff are lovely and have tried hard to fill my week with a number of different activities so that I get to see plenty. However it has been an unusually quiet week and I haven't seen much at all. It's also quite unusual for me to have nothing to do, as it's an observational placement. I've found it really difficult to sit back and not do anything and well I'm not very good at keeping my mouth shut.

Over my time at various groups with my own children, and time spent on parenting forums, I had heard a variety of stories, both good and bad, about Health Visitors. Stories of poor advice, outdated advice, fantastic support, reassurance, pushiness, unrealistic advice amongst other things. I could probably write a book of stories I have heard about health visitors. Personally I have only had the misfortune of one poor experience with a Health Visitor, all the rest have been fantastic. So whilst this doesn't really relate to my Midwifery training, I thought I'd share my experience. I'd been to see her about my daughter's nightmares, desperate for any advice I could get and she told me it was a bad habit. My jaw literally dropped and I was almost speechless. My husband "encouraged" me out of the room fairly quickly as he could sense my temper was rising. My daughter is now 5 and still suffers from nightmares, although she is far better than she was. At the time I approached the Health Visitor, she was having 3-4 nightmares a night and it would take 30-50 minutes to calm her down each time. She'd wake shaking with fear, sweating and her eyes would dart around the room looking for whatever horror it was that had scared her. Yet this was a "habit"? A year later, some educational psychologists happened to visit the school and I took the opportunity to ask their opinion on nightmares. They were very reassuring and calm, and explained how it was quite normal at her age, and that I should expect it to pass within a couple of months. They then asked me how long she'd suffered with them? My reply was "at least 2 years" and it was their turn to have their jaws drop.

I've always been fairly confident of the reason behind her nightmares - she has a very active imagination. She could make up stories and worlds of her own from a very young age. She would carry around her imaginary friends of spiders and monsters....and it was my feeling that in actual fact, it was spiders and monsters that she was afraid of.  At 5, she still has one nightmare a night most nights....very occasionally she'll sleep through the whole night. We've tried keeping a diary, reducing her cheese intake, giving her a nightlight and a variety of other things suggested to us. She's always had a good bedtime routine of bath or quiet time, story and then bed. Nothing has really made any difference to whether or not she has a nightmare. These days I may not be able to completely stop the nightmares but when she does wake from the one that she has, I "give" to her a good dream, which somehow seems to work. I live in hope that one day she will outgrow them but for now I will just be there for her to comfort her, and never will I consider it a habit she has to break.

I guess my experience with this particular Health Visitor has taught me,  to always think about what I am saying, that if I don't know the answer to something, that it is ok to say so and that making assumptions is bad enough without voicing them as well.