An Illustrated Guide to the First Day of Midwifery School

After more than three years of planning, dreaming, and working harder than I knew was possible, the long-awaited first day of midwifery school arrived. Today was a light day, as returning students only needed to be present for a welcome overview meeting. People have been asking all week how I feel…the truth is, it’s complicated by all the other things happening in my life right now.

Yes, I passed my NCLEX (I was going to write more about that, but the truth is, it’s just awful, and plenty of other great nurse bloggers have done that job for me). And, I have a part-time job (which I’ll write more about soon!). I had a theoretical four-week break between programs…which is not nearly enough time to process the past 15 months.

Excited, happy, nervous, anxious…this words are all accurate to some degree, but fail to capture the depth and nuance and intensity of what it means to me to fully embrace the path that unfolds before me. It is both thrilling and terrifying at the same time.

The enormity of what I am committing to, the responsibility…I still can only conceptualize this on an intellectual level. But I know that soon, very soon, it will become real in a much more tangible way, when I start working with patients and learning how to embody the role of midwife.

So, when words fail, I resort to images. Here are a few I snapped from the small ritual we held last night to bless our journey, and from today.

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the altar we set up yesterday for the Circle of Twelve: the midwifery cohort of 2016

the statue is of Ix Chel, Mayan goddess of medicine, healing and weaving

she was gifted to me from my dear friends Krystel and Alexis as a graduation present from nursing school

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the gift bags I made for our cohort to celebrate our first day

Succulent

A baby succulent for each of us baby midwives, one of the gifts, along with one of the tealights from the altar, included in the gift bag

“may you be reminded that even in the challenging drought times, there is possibility of beauty and growth”

{photo by K.L.}

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my favorite tote bag was perfect for the first day of school…

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came home and started wading through the syllabi and setting up my new note-taking system

(more on that in a future post!)

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Fourteen credits this fall?!

IMG_1233doing my best to set the intention for self-care early on (thanks for the tip on the Stress Guard, Ariel!)

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