There is so much beauty in each month’s beginning, and this one is no different. Take a moment to think about how this month will be different for you: a new beginning, a new birth, a new way.
If we were having chai together, I would tell you that I am both thankful and frustrated in how long my hospital orientation is running. In many ways I am incredibly nervous to be on my own, the sole midwife on a floor dominated by two MDs, multiple residents, and many medical students. In other ways, I am more than ready to no longer be practicing according to other midwives’ styles. There is a difficult push-and-pull between having been here as a student and now as a midwife, and my orienting midwives fluctuate between giving me space to practice my way, and offering advice because they think I do not know something related to how they practice differently. Six more births to go before the end of the month, and either way, I’ll be ready.
If we were having chai together, I would revel at how awesome I think women are. With each opening of the door to a room in my clinics or at the hospital, or picking up of a phone call, I am amazed at women’s strength, their lives, and their work. I am so honored to be there for them. As I have said before, my work in this profession is partly selfish: they do not know how much strength I pull from them to continue to do this work. I am thankful for each day as a midwife.
November was the first month since starting midwifery that I have juggled a work schedule and family commitments around a holiday, and am thankful for chai’s caffeine for getting me through. Thankful for those sorts of friends, who we consider family, who welcomed us into their life and home for the day, and for family the next state over who held a belated dinner over the weekend. Missing my family in the southern part of the States, and hoping to see them soon.
If we were having chai together, I would share my continued struggle with the politics of this profession, particularly in my organization. The discussion over “why midwifery?” is central right now, including: “OB providers are already being paid to be on the floor to do both vaginal and surgical delivery, why do we also pay midwives?” “You have the opportunity to bonus by working more in clinic and not working in the hospital, why are you not interested in that?” “We do not understand why there is a midwife practice director, so we are not hiring a replacement.” I am glad for the midwives in the group who are passionate about our work, our care, and with whom I am working to show the value of midwifery beyond the numbers for a large organization. Our former practice director, now a great friend, will be outstanding in her new role: wishing her well.
If we were having chai together, I would be sure to tell you that this is my and my entire family’s birthday month. I love birthdays, and as a midwife, really love to celebrate others and my own. With my own birthday, each year I reflect on goals for the year, and then remind myself of them again at the official new year. A birthday is really a day to focus on self, personal needs and ways to ensure self-care, and to thank mothers and mother-figures in our lives for their dedicated motherly care. My mother is a wonderful woman, and I am so thrilled to thank her for her work in my birth and her dedication to me, each year on my birthday. And then perhaps I will get myself a massage.
If we were having chai together, I would revel at the diversity of each birth. Each woman’s strength, her needs, her support system, and her prior experiences. Goodness I love birth. This past month has also been a diversity in placentas as well, and my interest in placentas is continually renewed. They are just so freaking cool.
Finally, if we were having chai together, I would ask you about how your year is winding down, your thoughts on resolutions, and your personal goals for the upcoming year. As a type-A personality, I think in both the short and long-term, and like to have a bit of a plan thought-out, but love any spontaneity that comes, and I would encourage the same for you! I would ask you one of my partner’s favorite questions: what are you looking forward to? and would find ways to celebrate and support you in that work.