Happy International Midwives Day
Today, May 5th, is a very special one for me as we celebrate the International Day of the Midwife.
When I was a little girl I told my Grandma that when I grew up I wanted to be a Nurse who delivered babies. I remember her telling me that nursing wasn’t just a job, but a vocation and a calling and that it takes a special sort of person to do it well.
I did become a nurse then later a midwife and have now spent nearly 22 happy and privileged years helping women in their journeys as mothers.
I’m proud to call myself a midwife and I hope I’ve made my Grandma proud too. And I do agree that it takes a special type of person to work in this wonderful profession!
In order to celebrate this special day I asked my colleagues what International Day of the Midwife means to them. Several ideas were given – like how strong and beautiful women were when they’re in labour, the many things we have learned from the women in our care etc. But this comment, from my very good friend and colleague Donna, stopped me in my tracks!
“Personally, I believe that International Midwives Day is about acknowledgement and recognition for the dedication and strength it takes to be a midwife.
Leaving your own family to care for others, depriving ourselves of meals, fluids and toilet breaks to ensure our women receive everything they deserve, and adapting to unwelcome changes and challenges within our profession.
It is also a celebration of the outstanding support we have for each other, each and every shift. Wonderful colleagues help us through the most difficult experiences that our families and friends cannot relate to. Without the support of my fellow midwives, past and present, I probably would not still be in the profession!
The women and their families are of the highest importance every day of the year, this is our day to celebrate one another!”
I was totally missing the point because it is actually OUR special day! So, in a week when we have had a Royal baby safely delivered with the help of midwives, I’m dedicating this blog as acelebration to the many midwives that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years on both sides of the globe.
- To my fellow student group from LJM University class of September 1993. Especially Deb and Jan who, despite us living on 3 different continents, still share a lifelong bond.
- The ones who taught, mentored, guided, advised and supported me
- The students who I have trained, mentored and guided who have made me proud when I’ve watched them blossom into the midwives they are today. They are far more inspirational than I will ever be.
- To the ones who have swapped shifts (and holidays) with me for special occasions and worked overtime and double shifts to help me out when I was in charge.
- Those who covered my clinic for me following home birth all-nighters allowing me to sleep
- To every midwife who has answered my staff assistance or emergency buzzer when I’ve needed help with a fetal distress, shoulder dystocia or haemorrhage.
- To the ones who’ve sat, knelt and crouched with me on the floor, the stairs, the kitchen, side of bath, shower, car seat, car park and every other place we should find ourselves during the birthing process.
- Those who I’ve cried with, debriefed with, laughed with, partied and shared a bottle (or few!) of wine with.
- The ones who’ve helped mop up every unmentionable bodily fluid!
- Those with who I share a sick sense of humour and willingness to talk about literally any subject across the dining table without missing a mouth full.
- The ones who relieved me so I could eat, get a drink or go for a wee!
- To the midwives who I’ve been lucky to work with in Warrington, Blackpool, Bendigo and especially Frankston whose love I share 3 days every week
My love and appreciation goes out to each and every one of you. How lucky we are to share such a wonderful job!
Happy International Day of the Midwife to each and every one of you!