The first alarm starts buzzing in my ear, bang I hit the snooze button, it feels like a sleep in if you get up after one snooze, right?
Second alarm begins buzzing, I peel myself out of bed, which can be hard on those freezing winter mornings and stumble to the shower, wake myself up with ridiculously hot water and get dressed. I whack some light make up on, brush my hair and then excitedly shuffle to the kitchen to get some coffee going.
I begin unloading the kids’ lunchboxes (I have pre packed) out of the fridge, all while navigating my steps around my very hungry animals, meowing and snuffling at my feet awaiting their breakfast. While sipping my coffee I make my youngest child some warm toast so it’s all ready for him to eat on our drive to school care. I put the correct lunches in the correct bags, including mine which usually consists of whatever fits and is in date. Feed the animals and throw some washing in the machine and set it to a 6-hour delay.
Wake my little boy up by snuggling next to him in his bed and kissing his little cheeks. He bounds out of bed, goes to the loo and jumps in his school uniform.
Shoes get thrown on, older children get kisses, animals get told to not destroy the house while I am gone and we grab our bags, toast in the container, and hit the road, headed for before school care.
Arrive in the before school care carpark, waiting to see the lights turn on, reminding my boy where he is headed after school or who is picking him up today. We wipe our hands and face after eating toast in the car, grab our bags and head on in.
We are the first ones (99.9% of the time) to arrive. Sign in, kiss goodbye. Jump back in the car to head to work. Always ring hubby on the way (he works away) and chat about the kids and the morning.
Arrive at work. I check my emails and graduate group chats to ensure I am up to date with any information or news regarding work that day. Head into the hospital and touch in on shift.
Head on through the birth suite doors, to the change rooms to get my purple scrubs on. I meet the other midwives on for the shift in the change rooms and we all enjoy a good morning chat and chuckle before heading out and greeting the shift co-ordinator. I have a hello, good morning with my graduate facilitator and talk about anything that is relevant. I then am responsible for morning resus cot checks and other checks, then head to the hand over room.
Handover time. I am feeling some little butterflies currently every morning because I am new and learning every day. It’s normal to be nervous, “you got this”. I have so many thoughts going through my head during this handover; what does that mean? I have never done that before. I have never seen that before. That sounds scary? I then dig deep, take a breath, and remind myself that I am a graduate midwife, I am not expected to know or have done everything, and I take a good look around me and remind myself of all the support I have. I start to settle, and my heart rate comes back down to an acceptable level.
My co-ordinator allocates me a room. I sanitise my hands, remember to smile, knock on the door and ask to come in. I am greeted with the midwife that is finishing her shift and a lovely couple expecting their 1st child together. I introduce myself to the woman and her partner and receive handover.
I am documenting and checking when all the next maternal observations are due. I am checking the CTG and making sure I am happy with everything going on in the room. I begin to communicate to the woman and her partner, gain knowledge on what they are wanting during their birth experience, building rapport, trust and understanding what is important to them today. I organise my birth trolley, as this woman is 8cm dilated, and continue to support this woman through every single contraction she is enduring.
I continue to monitor the CTG, discuss and inform my co-ordinator of change, progress, and any concerns. I have completed another 2 half hourly entries in the partagram and continually worry I am asking too many questions, but always remind myself of my graduate facilitator’s words, “you can never ask too many questions”. I check, double check and triple check my paperwork and am listening to the CTG, it almost becomes one with you, like your heartbeat. I am continually giving the woman guidance, strength, and support through her pain free labour. I am helping her coordinate her breathing and calming her down to find her zone again and again.
Tea break time. While I am craving a coffee and food, I feel guilty leaving the woman in such a vulnerable situation. I tell my relief, please come, and get me if anything changes, give her a handover and race out to the tearoom. I think about all that is needed to be done and ALWAYS remember something I have not done and get that spike of anxiety.
I make it back into the room. The woman begins to feel pressure and begins involuntary pushing. I call for my co-ordinator, feeling nervous, but so incredibly excited to be part of bringing this new life into the world. My head begins to clutter; birth trolley, paperwork, support the woman, do I need a paediatrician, am I ready for this? Have I prepared my woman well enough, and have I been able to give her everything she was hoping for in this journey? Pushing begins, I am writing on the CTG, in the partagram and continually looking at my co-ordinator for guidance.
Welcome to the world little one! A perfect little baby is born, parents overjoyed. It is a Girl!! I feel an overwhelming rush of emotion along with the parents, what a team effort. My adrenaline is pumping, heart racing!! Active third stage commenced, placenta delivered, and cord gases collected, all with the help and guidance of my co-ordinator. It is then my responsibility to assist in skin to skin, begin observations on mum and baby. I begin my postnatal paperwork, register baby, and continue observing mum and baby closely.
I assist mum to breastfeed baby and documenting appropriately. I check the placenta, evaluate maternal blood loss, and begin to clean up around the room. I make some toast and a cuppa for mum, dad too of course.
Its lunch time… I ensure baby and mum’s observations are stable, give mum the nurse button to call if she needs and leave the room to give the new family some much needed bonding time. My head is full of information and as much as I want a break, I find myself taking paperwork into the tearoom (I mean what if I forget something during my lunch break). I take the birth trolley and placenta into the sluice, and I take a moment and think phew- what a roller coaster, did that just happen, did I just do that, wow I did and wow I AM a midwife!
Re check mum’s blood loss, apply ID bands to baby, weigh and measure baby and administer any injections. I continue to update my documentation including breast feeds, and observations. I also teach the new parents how to dress and wrap baby as well as take the opportunity to communicate essential education.
I use the computer in the birth room to update online hospital records while continuing to observe mum and baby. It is then time to help mum up for a shower. This is the time I clean the birth room and all the equipment. Change the bed sheets and help dad pack things up ready to head over to the postnatal ward. I continue to complete documentation and ensure all of baby’s paperwork is labelled correctly.
I than transfer the woman to the postnatal ward and congratulate the parents again. I always thank them for allowing me to be a part of their journey. I head back to birth suite and re stock my room and complete any further paperwork.
Home time. I jump in the car and head home. It is a drive of reflection. I rethink the day, what went well? What did not go so well? how can I improve my practice? I also realise I am busting to go to the toilet, I may have forgotten all about this today!! I collect my son from after school care and head home.
I get home and am immediately greeted by all my fur babies and human babies. I go to the toilet!! We all chat about our day. That load of washing I put on that morning, I now chuck it in the dryer. Generally, I have leftovers in the fridge that we heat up for dinner (yay to bulk mince preparation). I do the shower run, homework run, animal feeding run and prepare all the lunches and uniforms for the next morning.
Dinner is served, there is always one that does not like it!!! Kitchen cleaned!
Time to put the youngest boy to bed. We listen to relaxation music, and I have a little snuggle with him in bed. We talk about the day and have a giggle.
Retire to the lounge with a cup of tea and chats with the bigger kiddies. Husband chats over the phone and play time with the fur babies.
Bedtime! This time is hard for me. My mind likes to think about the day, I feel over tired and sometimes overwhelmed with emotion from my emotional day. I like to take a moment sometimes to write down any questions or points I can approach my facilitator about for future learning and improvement. I tuck myself in, after re checking my shift time for the next day (shift work can get confusing sometimes) and throw on some meditation music and begin to try and let go of all the stress and anxiety I have felt during the day, replacing it with positive thoughts and excitement about doing it all over again the next day.