New Beginnings

The dishes have been put away, lunch made for tomorrow…the baby (almost toddler?!) has nursed and is sleeping upstairs. B is off having a board game night with the guys, so all is quiet. Finally, I can put my feet up, take a deep breath…take a sip of my tea and breathe again.

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It still doesn’t feel real. I have to pinch myself and sometimes even steal glances at the exam report that says I passed my certification board exam, or the diploma that says I graduated with a master of nursing. But it’s true. I have finally, at long last, accomplished these things. I am a certified nurse-midwife, just a few logistical details away from being licensed as an advanced practice nurse. And I’m three days into my new job. I’m currently working as a triage RN while I wait for my privileging and credentialing paperwork to go through, and then starting this winter, I’ll transition to a full-scope CNM within the same practice. Living the dream.

There are so many blog posts that I’ve been writing in my head and heart this summer as I moved through my integration experience. Because I was a quarter behind the rest of my cohort (see here for the adventures of an unplanned pregnancy in midwifery school), the summer left me feeling a bit lonely out there as I plugged along with a full-time schedule of one or two 24hr call shifts and 2-3 clinic shifts per week. I hardly had time to cook regular meals and be with my family, let alone think, reflect, write. There were so many moments that I wanted to share with you, my blog readers, about the emotional journey toward becoming a more independent provider, those triumphant births and clinic days when I was spot on in my diagnosis or treatment plan (or the days when I learned even more about my weak spots)…but it just didn’t happen.

And honestly, I feel like sometimes that’s just how it rolls. Being a parent has really driven home how key flexibility is as a life skill…we were rolling with the punches every day. Luckily, Tahini is a pretty easy-going kiddo…once our initial breastfeeding issues resolved, breastfeeding and pumping were uncomplicated. His transition to full-time childcare at 3 months went smoothly, and for the most part (dare I say it out loud?!), he’s been a great sleeper. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

The whole process of applying for this midwifery job was a whirlwind that happened right smack dab in the middle of the Annual ACNM meeting in Albuquerque and the week before I took my comps exams (in my program, we take our comps right before moving on to integration, as a way to demonstrate our competence in the didactic material). I honestly don’t remember much from that month at all, except that I quit my part-time RN job, which was a huge relief, because a 45 min commute one way 2-3x/week plus clinic and call and school work and parenting was killing me. I have never been so relieved to pass an exam and get started with a new job in my life…there was such a long gap between when I was offered the position and when I started, and it felt like it was never going to happen!

But, here I am, settling into this new career.

Which brings me to what feels like a natural closure to this blog. Since I started this blog in 2012, I have met countless individuals, both virtually and in real life, who have expressed their gratitude for sharing my journey to midwifery. Along with such wonderful fellow bloggers as Robin from Mindful Midwife, Stephanie from Feminist Midwife, and Michelle from Sage Femme, it has been such an honor and privilege to be a part of creating an online community of support for student midwives and recent grads. I can’t even begin to count the ways in which this online community has inspired and carried me through pre-reqs, nursing school, and midwifery school.

I’ve been mulling over what to do with this blog once I finish school. I’ve built up a bit of an identity as “Notes from a Student Midwife,” which has been wonderful and fun. But, I am no longer officially a student midwife…and I think that this blog has reached the end of its season. So, with much gratitude, fondness, and a touch of sadness, I will no longer be actively maintaining this blog or contributing new posts. It feels right to me to recognize that this blog has served its purpose, which was to offer a space for reflection on my journey to become a midwife.

I haven’t decided yet whether I will continue blogging about my evolving journey as a practicing midwife. To be honest, writing posts has felt more like a chore recently than a help, which was another sign to me that it was time to wind down. So, for now, I’ll still be active on the Notes from a Student Midwife Facebook page, where I’ll share updates on my transition to practice, as well as links to articles that I think every radical midwife should read. And if I decide to start blogging again, I’ll be sure to let you know on the Facebook page. I’ll keep all comments open so folks can reach out with any personal questions.

My deepest gratitude to you all for witnessing this journey and cheering me on through the toughest moments. And to all the aspiring midwives who have kids, are pregnant, or want to have kids but don’t know how to time things: know that it can be done! Best wishes to you all, and don’t hesitate to be in touch on Facebook!

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One thought on “New Beginnings

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey through this blog. I have really enjoyed reading your prose. I wish our lives overlapped more offline, but I’m glad we can stay connected through Facebook. It’s nice to know there is a post-school life out there (even if mine is a ways away). – Elizabeth

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