School fast approaching

It’s slowly dawning on me that the summer is nearly over, as e-mails from professors begin to crowd my inbox and book lists and homework assignments are already beginning to stack up. I feel strangely ambivalent about it, at this point. On the one hand, I’m looking forward to sinking into the work of school again. I’ve really taken the summer off: haven’t been reading very much, haven’t been posting here, haven’t been doing much of anything birth related besides working. It’ll be nice to have a renewed sense of purpose again: nice to have homework to do, things to learn, assignments to turn in. And yet, at the same time, I’m dreading it! If I thought last semester was hard, this one is going to be ridiculous. And permeating all of this as well is a strange sense of unreality. This is the semester I’m going to actually, finally learn how to catch babies! NO WAY! I’ve been working towards this for five years, looking forward to it, dreaming about it, pining after it…it’s been a goal that has been so far out on the horizon for so long that I really can’t believe it’s actually going to happen. Somewhere along the way, on some level, I forgot that the heart of midwifery is actually birth. I’ve gotten so caught up in primary care and well woman gynecology and prenatal visits….but no, wait, this is actually about birth? Wow! There really will come a point where, yes, I will actually catch a baby?? NO WAY! To be honest, it scares the living bejesus out of me. I don’t feel like I’m ready. I certainly don’t know enough. They’re going to let someone like me catch a baby??? You’ve got to be kidding me! It makes me cold. And really excited at the same time. And also disbelieving. I don’t think it’s actually going to happen. I don’t think I’ll believe it until I actually have a brand new squalling baby in my hands, which will never happen, obviously.

So, uh, yeah…that’s kind of where I’m at right now. Not sure if this makes any sense at all. But this is the semester, supposedly. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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5 Comments

  1. k
    Posted August 9, 2006 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    You HAVE TO catch a baby (many actually!)!!! Because there are those of us out here who are counting on you to give us all the amazing wonderful details of what it was like! And will hunt you down and demand details! DETAILS I say!
    Sorry, almost all my life is in cardboard boxes and the marker isn’t so sniffy anymore… =)
    k
    *who will live her midwifery dreams through other student midwives! And she will waive the Birthing from Within post if The Student promises to catch real squalling babies instead?! Deal?

  2. The Student
    Posted August 10, 2006 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Gah! I’ll write about Birthing From Within, I promise. Maybe even today :-P And I will definitely write about catching a baby, if that ever happens (still don’t believe it).

  3. Posted August 10, 2006 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I can identify with your excitement about catching babies. After giving birth, I was convinced that my midwife and doula had the best jobs ever because they get to see it happen and participate so often. But is catching something to stress about?

    Seems to me it’s got to be the easiest (if most miraculous) part of the job unless something is stuck or the baby is breech…. it slides on out and you catch it before it hits the floor. The mom’s doing all the work. We had a one page sheet detailing what to do if the baby came before the midwife got there and the instructions said to support the mom’s perineum and don’t let the baby hit the floor. After all, birth happens–it’s awesome and miraculous, but our midwife would have let my husband catch the baby if he’d wanted to, and he’s never been to any classes at all.

    So the long and the short of it is: don’t worry! It’ll be wonderful, and I’m envious, but you’re no less capable than the next set of hands!

    Best of luck!

  4. The Student
    Posted August 11, 2006 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    You’re right: it IS the woman who’s doing all the work, so what am I so nervous about? I’m sure it will be fine: mindblowingly amazing and fantastic, even. It’s great to see you here! Welcome! :-)

  5. Posted August 31, 2006 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    My midwife said when she first started catching babies she cried at every birth. She says they’re no less miraculous now, but she doesn’t get so overwhelmed by it–too much to do!

    glad to be here, I like visiting your blog :-)

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