Monthly chai date

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Welcome, October! As we are sitting down, I would ask about your month. What was your favorite part? What was your biggest struggle? What new loves do you have? What are you working to improve or change?

I would likely be drinking a Chocolate Chai, as it completes my needs for caffeine, fall spices, and savory chocolate. Yum-tastic. Thank you, world of corporate caffeine addiction, thank you.

Over chai, I would sadly admit that I have been feeling emotionally very separate from my work lately. I feel as though I have had weeks when I’ve removed close or personal involvement from the women I serve, and I recognize that it isn’t my style to do so, nor my preferred way to work. I can’t pin exactly why it happened, likely because it feels like a culmination of issues. Am I exhausted and needed to preserve my emotional energy? Possibly. My co-workers also seem disengaged from our midwife group, the organization as a whole consistently fails its providers in terms of human resources and logistics, and I’ve had a few big personal let-downs after lots of invested effort. I have had to admit that more mornings than not, walking into each patient room was more burden the joy. Thankfully, I recognized and named what was happening. I’m now on a quest to reclaim my midwifery spirit in these next few weeks: to always enter the room as a positive energy; to remove my hands from the keyboard and really, truly listen with mind and heart to patient’s needs, submitting to late evenings filled with charting; and to return to giving a big part of myself to each and every person. This is what I love and what I want to be doing, and I need to rekindle that passion. Deep breath in and out. Go.

There are some incredible joys lately, most notably in the ‘second-time-around’s. A woman I took care of her entire last pregnancy is now pregnant again and seeing me for the second time – I am already anticipating how to handle the visits a bit differently since she knows what I said the first time around!. Women who saw me during my first week of work for their annual exams are back for their 2013 check-ups – I am loving asking them how their year was! And return visits for birth control refills or changes bring up great questions and conversation. Then, last night I cared for a woman in labor for whom I cared while a student in this setting: she remembered me and was excited to see me. Her labor was exactly what she wanted and she and her baby had a beautiful birth. It feels so different to see someone again, with so much time in-between. I find myself hoping that she has been doing well, that people in her life have made her feel worthy and important and strong, and she has succeeded in her goals. Here’s to my second year, and my second time around with some awesome patients!

Thankful to a friend for sending this link, as now I’m working on these eight things.

My phone’s voicemail box if full, and I have no desire to delete old messages and make room for new ones. That is all.

I am re-reading this midwifery text for an upcoming blog review. Even though I read some of it while in school, it’s been interesting to read now in practice. Looking forward to completing it and processing it from my recent-student-now-midwife perspective! (Another blog review coming up for this awesome book, just waiting to have time!)

Now that my favorite show is over, I’ve been loving the return of this show, and obsessively watching this show on Netflix. Once I have a few extra moments to spare, I’ll catch up on last season of this one so I can start watching again in real time.

I’m hallway through this book (some great birth processing in it!), and debating either this or this next. I’ve been blissfully distracted from both books and TV thanks to my newfound love for Bitch Media and Bitch Magazine. Great writing, great topics, and lots of fab info in one print! And in final media news, I’m thrilled that this blog is back in action.

Sipping our warm fall drinks in the cool air, I would share some of my favorite fall recipes, like this one and this one and this one. What are yours?

My last chai was before yesterday’s hospital shift, starting me off on what turned into a 15 hour shift with three beautiful babies born, 30 minutes of a medical student explaining her beliefs about CMs versus CPMs versus CNMs, my Attending not responding to five pages, zero time to eat lunch or dinner, and many frustrated wordless stares with nurses. Thankful for the soothing flavors and caffeinated energy that morning!

The chai before that one facilitated hours (and hours) of fall shopping with one of my dearest friends. Our caffeine carried us through until we finally collapsed and ate our favorite sandwich here. I’m trying to drink less chai, but when it powers such productivity, I question that thought process!

Tonight I’m headed to a local midwife event. I am hoping to feel more connected to midwives in my community, hear about their work and the women they serve, and chat with students entering into this intense/awesome/exhausting/beautiful profession.

Finishing the last sips (in my case openly licking the mocha dredges from the bottom of my mug), I would make sure I caught up on everything important to you in the past month. What are your favorite fall drinks and foods? How are you feeling in your emotional and professional connections to your work? What have been your joys? What great movies and books and TV and blogs are you getting into? Any particularly post-caffeine-productive days lately?

Enjoy the cooler air, the changing colors, pulling on thicker and warmer clothes, and considering preparations for the winter. I’ll see you next month.

Stephanie

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