Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Here goes, this is my first post as a bloggie!

I am a 20-something midwifery student at the University of Greenwich, and I am about to embark upon my second year of training. My life as a student midwife is hectic, challenging and emotional- with this in mind I decided to write down my thoughts and ponderings to reflect on my day-to-day life (and hopefully entertain you in the process).

Where to begin? Whenever I tell people I am studying to become a midwife, the question they always ask me is 'what made you want to become a midwife?’- I guess this is a better place to start than any.

When I was studying A-levels at college, the plan was to become a journalist. I was a bit lost for what to do with my life; I think I was too young to make any serious career decisions. When choosing what courses to undertake, I went with what I was good at previously at school. I chose subjects like English Lit and Journalism. Almost as soon as I started I knew it wasn't right for me.

However, in October 2011 I travelled out to India with my mother who works for a charity based there. One day in Bengaluru I stumbled across a 'child survival clinic'. Women would attend 
ante-natally and post-delivery with their children, and learn about preventative life threats, hygiene and infant feeding. The surrounding area was deprived and impoverished, the slums being a hot-zone for the likes of Malaria, HIV and tropical disease. These pregnant women were generally young, yet some of them were pregnant for the 5th or 6th time. I attended this centre for a few days and was fascinated by the work I was witnessing. As a naturally inquisitive person, this aspect of life that I knew barely anything about drew me in.

I decided to look into Midwifery on my return to the UK. I was haunted by what I had seen in India and wanted to learn more. I haven't had any children of my own, so the world of child-bearing was an entirely new and exciting one for me. The applicant-to-place ratio was initially off-putting, but I like a challenge! Although I was studying courses that seemed irrelevant, I worked hard at them to achieve the best grades. The idea of becoming a midwife became increasingly dominant in my mind, so upon finishing college I applied to university. I started a job in healthcare, got used to bodily fluids and paper work and night shifts.

People kept telling me not to bother, how I should apply for nursing first to give me a better chance. The doubts spurred me on even more; I just worked harder to make my application stand out! I can be stubborn, so before I got ahead of myself I wanted to make sure this career was definitely for me.

I worked and saved for a year and spent thousands of pounds to travel out to Africa, to see midwifery on a more intimate level. As I mentioned before, I haven't had any children of my own and have never been pregnant, so I wanted to at least witness a birth first hand before commencing midwifery training. Fortunately, this pricey experience confirmed to me the beginnings of a passion. I fell head over heels for the profession; I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life!

I haven't looked back since.

Until next time, Aimee