I met a woman for coffee today, she was looking to include a student midwife. I went with a friend who has a full roster of clients at the moment and could not take her on. Initially I felt insecure. I thought she may not have liked me. I felt a bit inferior to my vibrant friendly friend who could put a smile on the face of an ogre. It was good that I said yes to this situation. Earlier on I had been reticent, recalcitrant, reluctant to add more work as I have felt a bit demoralized of late in regards to uni. My kind friend listened without judgement and encouraged me. She reminded me that I have a lot of support. Lots of friends. Lots of positive role models. This mood has made work more difficult as I tend to believe what I feel without checking in. I suppose that I would in the future like to not accept my feelings and behaviour at face value. Put my goals ahead of my thoughts and feelings. So that I can achieve beyond my current limitations. Consciously. This is possibly just called being an adult :)
I am using the Gibbs reflective cycle. To reflect on my life. Yesterday, I was fiercely excited about taking a trip to Finland. I looked at schedules, analysed cycles and consulted my finances. I established it (quickly) as a goal. I felt inspired and energised at the thought of travelling, climbing, hiking, visiting and sightseeing. Giddy. It is good that I am able to have an idea, burn fuel and make a plan for the execution of said idea. However, it's not good that I was using time that I had set aside to do university work. My friends love my spontaneity, it is exciting! They remind me that not every day is going to be exciting and it's important that I continue to show up for myself and my work even though it's difficult. And it is difficult! It requires time and attention. My university education is my top priority because with my education I am able to work in an exciting and diverse field and get paid a reasonable wage. To stay focused on my studies I will need to plan for adequate sleep, appropriate assignment completion time and exercise. I will need to be mindful of my attention wandering and gently refocus when my attention drifts. I must be the sentinel of my mind.
My young life was not that full of drama. These days it is! I was reminded by a tarot card, or was it the iching or the internet that sometimes it's about what I CAN give. Somedays I get so tangled up thinking about what I have or don't have, what I miss or have lost, about my loneliness, my sadness...me, me, me always me. I am and for as long as I can remember I have been independent. Perhaps more so than others. I am not enmeshed in any particular community, my friends are spread out across the globe. I call no particular place home. I am the writer, director and star of my own show. Lot's of responsibility there! I digress. There is a whole world of people out there. All those warm bodies, kind thoughts, easy conversations. All that company, all those adventures and dreams. I have my VIP's. Family, friends and lovers that I have had the privilege to meet and share time and space with. Even though I pride myself on my independence, and I want to be confident in my ability to sustain myself and thrive can I remember to ask myself what I CAN give to others. Sometimes all I CAN give is my broken heart and spirit, my complaints and distress but perhaps the challenge is to dig a little deeper. To ask WHAT CAN I BRING INTO THIS PERSONS LIFE...that will make a positive difference to their day. Perhaps I can bring balance.
Newborn babies are not really dirty. Full term infants often have vernix caseosa a white waxy substance produced by the sebaceous glands that protects the skin from the watery environment in the womb covering them when they emerge. Babies are not very good at regulating their temperature as they have a high surface to volume ratio that means that more heat escapes than they are able to generate, so they get cold easily. When you bath a newborn, your goals are to keep them as warm as possible, to not drop them (and to retrieve them quickly if they slip). You want two washcloths. Two grips are going to be useful here: the football hold - your elbow in line with the side of your body and arm at 90 degrees. Lay baby length wise along your forearm supporting their mid back with your palm and your fingers supporting their neck and shoulders. The other grip is the shoulder hold. Babies head/neck should rest on your wrist/forearm, while you grip the shoulder that is furthest away from your body. This secures baby in the bath. First using the football hold: use a clean washcloth and wipe from the inner corner of one eye to the outer, then repeat with a different clean section of the cloth. Wipe around babies face. You want to use gentle exfoilating motions with a flat palm draped with a cloth on babies scalp to lift off any gunk (no digging with fingers on babies skull as it's soft). Then return baby to the change table and dry the head, hair and scalp. Undress baby and initiate the shoulder hold then lift baby into the bath. With your free hand wash all crooks and crannies of babies body, make sure you get into the creases and crevices at the joints and around the neck. Always wash from front to back on girls vaginas and do not peel back foreskin on a penis. A wet washcloth can be placed on babies tummy to keep them warm. Bath temperature should be about the same temperature that you like to bath in (provided you don't like extremely hot baths/showers). Remember that babies are not actually dirty per se, and there is no "right" amount to bathe. Best practice is to bathe when you can. It can be a lovely bonding experience!
Jeex. First day of a midwife. The ward is sterile and awful. The work environment feels like a hospital. It is a hospital. But why are we at a hospital. I don't think I want to work at a hospital. Hospitals are for sick people. Right. RIGHT? It seems like the truth. Why can't we dress up the truth a bit? Why does the obstetrics ward look like a hospital and feel like a hospital and act like a hospital. Why?
Mother crafting. I have never heard it used like that. A verb. Not a noun. Like THE mothercraft. But like, mother craft...can you change an infants nappy, bathe it, not kill it. They are tiny, tiny little beings. Just born. Their stomach is no bigger than a marble. Their entire days diet fits inside my morning coffee cup. They are just so small. And us, with our boobs and voices, and breastfeeding? Haha. Not nipple feeding. They are literally supposed to activate the whole breast. I don't feel an immediate connection to this work. I thought it would feel different. Friendlier somehow. This environment makes people seem so foreign. Like they aren't meant to be there. And we facilitate that. With our uniforms and our professional dispositions. I wanted it to be like home. Like with my mum. Her warmth and care, her expertise. I miss home. I miss mum.
I get the desire for home births. Get me out of here!
My bra is tight. My pulse is average and yet my heart feels fluttery. I have been 'trying' to study today. I was moderately successful. It's all relative. I think I want to apply to medical school. I am asking myself daily...is this really what I want? Doctor of Medicine. And yet. On the ward yesterday. Such a fierce lack of compassion. Frustration. It's just a job. I understand. I don't. There are many varied inputs into the 'healing' we receive in hospital. It's the nurses, it's the environment, It's the condition, it's all of this and more... it's money...but perhaps it's time - our most precious non-renewable resource. Building on lessons past: What happens when we slow down. Confront the difficulties of caring for difficult patients. And it is difficult. Difficult is not a THEORY. It is a CHALLENGE. And approaching challenges unprepared can often lead to FAILURE. And ain't nobody likes that shit. Let's focus on getting though the challenge. Because if weight can be lost and people can be cured and life CAN be fun and good. Then I am NOT joining you THERE. Turn down the shame and prejudice and turn up the fucking compassion. TURN THAT SHIT UP.
I went to my current* favorite gym class after finishing my assignment and working on my research paper. It is a high energy, high rep weight training group class. I am motivated by groups of sweaty people...what can I say. There is always a lot of people in the class and as such a swarm and often a bottleneck as everyone attempts to put their equipment away at the same time without poking eyes out with bars, or smacking others in the face with mats. Unlike how I try to carry 8 bags of groceries into the house from the car I attempted mindfulness at the end of class. I estimated the area that would have the least traffic in the put-away zone and I returned that (cardio deck) first. Then I gauged the success at carrying everything else over...low...so I took my time in gathering up the appropriate items to put away in some logical sequence. When I arrived with my hands full in the last trip, I was carrying an armful of heavy weights, some gadgets that stop the weights falling off the bar and the four stack of risers. As the weights were the heaviest I attempted to put those away first. Unfortunately, with full hands and sticky center pieces they wouldn't neatly fit on the rod. So, I had to re-evaluate. I swiftly realized that if I put the four stack away first I would free up my other hand to assist me with noodling with the weights. Odd place for an epiphany but I realized that sometimes I want to drop that heavy thing that I perceive as weighing me down. But if I consider alternatives, If I think of an alternate plan...put down some lighter things first, do those small things...then when I arrive at the weights I am well able to support them onto the rod...without dropping them, without damaging anything. And those weights that were so heavy in one hand, fit neatly in to two.
Wow. Today whizzed by. I was up early for my 7am shift at the hospital. I arrived on time. I took two daytime cold pills just to be sure I would make it through the day. It's a bit silly being sick around sick people but I am confident I am past the contagious phase. This time of year though...everyone's coming down with something. It's winter @ 20 degrees. But it is actually cold. If you know what I mean.
Mistakes. Today I made one. And then I worried about it for ages. I thought other people were talking about me. I thought I was going to get in trouble. Nothing happened. But something changed. My mind! I am used to being a capable adult and this going back to school as an adult has it's benefits (I don't mind studying!) but a big learning curve is accepting the limits of my knowledge and abilities. They are limited. And I really like being knowledgeable and capable. And being seen by others in that regard. But that is not what a workplace needs. People are not dummies, not toys...real people with real problems. I have been left looking foolish on a handful of occasions because I have operated outside of the bounds of my knowledge and experience...holding half the rope if you know what I mean. What is it to STOP, to think, to consider...should I do this? Why am I doing this? I am so scared of that question. Why am I doing this...hahaha...afraid that others will laugh, that others will condemn me for not knowing why so instead I charge ahead. All bull and horns. Respect. But think of the china! Breathe. You got this. Accept and appreciate the beginner. Respect the journey...xoxoxo nat