So, my second year as a midwifery student is drawing to a close, I’ve just completed 8 weeks on delivery suite. As I switch between excitement for my final year and panic that by this time next year I’ll be nearly qualified and ready to practice on my own, I also think about how far I’ve come over the last 4 years.

After loosing Tilly, I felt that I had lost a bit of myself. I knew that I had to stay positive and that I had to keep moving forward, but initially I wasn’t sure how. I went back to work, teaching classes and doing some personal training but it just wasn’t the right thing for me, my heart wasn’t in it and longer. It sounds cliched, but I really wanted to make a difference, and that’s how I got here.

There have been some real challenges this year, not least the juggling & horrible post night shift commute. I have learn so much, and delivery suite has been no exception.  8 weeks on one of the busiest units in the UK, which deals with complex cases from all over the region, has really developed my skills and experience. It has also taught me which situation are the most challenging emotionally. I have not supported someone who has lost a baby but supporting women who know that their baby will go straight to neonatal care, or when a baby comes out unexpectedly compromised or when there is an emergency; you can’t prepare your emotions for those times. Trying to keep your own sense of concern or panic in check so that you are there the people you are caring for 100%, that’s the stuff that working along side amazing midwives and mentors (you know who you are!) teaches you. That’s the stuff that no amount of research skills, referencing, and assignment writing won’t teach you. I completely understand the importance of understanding the current evidence, but there are some skills in midwifery that only caring for women and along side inspiring, experienced midwives will teach you.

The next year will throw up more challenges, and the learning will never end. Not now. Not at graduation. Not ever. There will always be different women with different needs, who will always challenge me and help me to grow as a midwife.