Sometimes I find myself bogged down in the workload. For example, at the moment we are working on two assignments, about to return to placement and in January we have a presentation and a biology exam. In the midst of this, I am also attending meetings in my capacity as set rep and trying to plan for Christmas, spend time with my family and friends and there just isn't enough hours in the week. Consequently I'm a little rundown at the moment, with cold after cold and a constant feeling of tiredness. So it's easy to wonder how I maintain my passion for midwifery, and to keep that light at the end of the tunnel to aim for.
I try to maintain my passion for midwifery through reading - I'm always interested in the use of techniques I've never seen in practice and that we're unlikely to be taught. For example, the use of water blisters to help with the pain in a back to back labour. If you've not heard of them before then have a read, it's really interesting. Something else I was reading about recently was a technique for dealing with shoulder dystocia where the mother is aided into a running start position which is explained here.
I also recently attended a water birth study day which re-ignited my passion for water birth and home birth. Prior to beginning the course, it was of course my own home water birth that inspired me to become a midwife and yet I am still to attend one myself. The study day reminded me of how to trust in women to be able to birth their babies without any intervention. It also highlighted to me the amount of fear there is surrounding home birth - from the health professionals as well as the women. Fortunately this isn't true of everyone but clearly a significant enough number for the percentage of women having a home birth to be extremely low. According to Birth Choice UK, just 2.39% of births in the UK were home births and in the area where I work just 2.2%, a figure which hasn't changed much in the past 10 years.
This week I was fortunate to be able to attend the RCM student midwives conference in Brighton. As well as the superb amount of freebies from all the stands that were there, I also had the opportunity to listen to some inspirational speakers. I was able to hear from other students, newly qualified midwives and midwives who had been working in the profession for a long time. If you ever get the chance to attend then I thoroughly recommend it. It's hard for me to sum up exactly how much you can gain from the experience. I'd also recommend any other conferences you can attend, such as the ARM conference or any other event where you might have the opportunity to hear such inspirational speakers.
So when I'm feeling the pressure of my workload and all I'm really doing is worrying about how I am going to get it all done, to the best of my ability, sometimes I just take some time out to remind myself why I am doing it and I then find I can focus better on my work. Alternatively I also have times when I just have to push on, push past the point where I feel everything I am writing is rubbish, to the point where it begins to make sense. Trust me, it does happen sometimes.
If you haven't done so already, can you please sign the petition for more midwives!