All the posts Ellie's written since 2012.

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‘Are you sure you’re not in denial?’ – Emotional Landscapes [1]

‘Are you sure you’re not in denial?’ – Emotional Landscapes [1]

Part 1 ‘Are you sure you’re not in denial?’

 

It was March 2015. I don’t remember the exact date, but say it was a Monday. I was living in Leicester with my partner. We shared directorship of a small business. I was into writing and online midwifery community building; he did some Amazon trading and helped me with web design. We had a grey corner sofa, savings, a plan to have kids, and a long history of doing international cycling adventures together. We’d been in a relationship for almost 7 years, good friends for nearer 10.

By Thursday, I was living with my parents because he was in love with someone else. 

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July 12, 2020 0

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

In year nine we did Frankenstein. We covered it for our SATS. We didn't go into as much depth as anything we did at GCSE but I think we spent most of a term on it.

I might be misremembering, it's been a long time since I was 15. But the one fact I took from these classes was that Mary Shelley had experienced a miscarriage. This was the unnatural, horrific event which explained the monster in the story.

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May 26, 2020 1

Unconscious Focus

Unconscious Focus

I wrote something today. I think it's better listened to rather than read so I've uploaded an audio file. I recorded it while walking down by the river Cam.

I put the text below in case you'd prefer it.

Hope it helps x

It's 6.45 am and I'm sitting here with a plastic purple mug of strong coffee reading 'It Didn't Start With You', a book about inherited family trauma. There's another book on white guilt I'd like to cover after that. I'm wondering about the time my great uncle spent living in Kenya. And I have one of my Mum's early nursing essays to look at, circa 1979. It's been done on a typewriter with hand-drawn illustrations.

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April 24, 2020 2

They Who Understand

They Who Understand

I've just finished watching 'Unorthodox'. This is a Netflix series based on the life of Deborah Feldman, a young woman who escaped the extreme Hasidic Jewish sect that she was born into.

The Satmar community are based in Wlliamsburg, New York. Their arranged marriages take place age 17. Wives are expected to be homemakers and get pregnant asap. Their native language is Yiddish.

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April 19, 2020 0

Community (Corona Reflections: Day 7)

Community (Corona Reflections: Day 7)

This is a post that started as an email to my list. It's from a series of reflections I wrote as coronavirus ramped up. If you enjoy it, perhaps subscribe here.

 

I've spent the last two weeks having more meaningful conversations than I've had in the last two years.

Turns out my upbringing was much more British than I thought. Growing up, I never felt particularly distant from my friends and family, but our boundaries were in place. We never talked about death or love, way too heavy for everyday.

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April 6, 2020 2

Storm (Corona Reflections: Day 6)

Storm (Corona Reflections: Day 6)

This is a post that started as an email to my list. It's from a series of reflections I wrote as coronavirus ramped up. If you enjoy it, perhaps subscribe here.

 

When I was a staff midwife in New Zealand, the small coastal town I worked in would be hit by 'weather bombs'. These swept in off the sea, whipping tree ferns and scaring the sheep. I was never one to accept a lift home; being beaten up by this new country was perfect immersion for 24 year old outdoorsy me.

On one wild afternoon, I cycled home from the hospital, battling headwinds, then pushed by tailwinds. I had something to do.

I was soaked to the bone, but I didn't even shower, just towelled off and changed my clothes.

I wanted to do something. I read through my first midwifery blog post for the tenth time, pulled my guts together and hit publish.

It sounds like I'm making it up but there was a shift. My brain gave me an auditory metaphor, the raindrops on the roof as individual readers finding my writing.

I knew it wasn't that great and I had a long way to go, but I also knew this was going to work.

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April 6, 2020 0

Worth (Corona Reflections: Day 5)

Worth (Corona Reflections: Day 5)

This is a post that started as an email to my list. It's from a series of reflections I wrote as coronavirus ramped up. If you enjoy it, perhaps subscribe here.

I'm going to be vulnerable walking onto a ward. I'll try my best and I think if I'm paying attention it'll all come back but it's going to be awkward and hard.

At the same time, I'm talking to a lot of registered staff who are working and not one of them knows what's to come or feels prepared.

All I can do is turn up with what I have. A willingness to help goes a long way.

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April 6, 2020 0

The Big Bang Theory (Corona Reflections: Day 4)

The Big Bang Theory (Corona Reflections: Day 4)

This is a post that started as an email to my list. It's from a series of reflections I wrote as coronavirus ramped up. If you enjoy it, perhaps subscribe here.

I started writing this email as a light-hearted recommendation to watch The Big Bang Theory. I've been enjoying it for about 3 weeks now and it's simple, a re-hashing of sitcom old ground, like Friends but with a group of PhDs who self identify as nerds.

If you don't know the show, the focus is on Sheldon, a theoretical physicist who isn't socially aware enough to know he's being taken care of by his mates.

Obviously, I was addicted from the first episode because my partner and his crew are software engineers. The jokes transfer to our social circle. Sort of.

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April 6, 2020 0

Anger (Corona Reflections: Day 3)

Anger (Corona Reflections: Day 3)

This is a post that started as an email to my list. It's from a series of reflections I wrote as coronavirus ramped up. If you enjoy it, perhaps subscribe here.

 

I was annoyed to hear my local triathlon club are still doing their usual long run session, albeit at a 2m spacing. Afterwards they hang out in their cars and chat through the windows. I'm tempted to ask - can they not just stay at home?

But I breathe, pause and remember that when I'm scared it's easy to cling on to self-righteous anger as a way of making myself feel better.

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April 6, 2020 0

11 Responses

  1. Hi I’m 12 and hope to become a midwife when I am older do you have any tips or know anything I could work on now towards it??

    • Hi Katie, thanks for you comment, wow you’re very focused at such a young age! I would come and subscribe to midwifediaries.com for free blog posts on midwifery which are up to date, I have fun with them too so they’re good to read! Volunteering with people is always a good thing to do to develop your transferrable skills, could you get involved via your school with any caring volunteer positions? I’d also start to read everything you can get your hands on midwifery wise, and perhaps come over to the Secret Community for Midwives in the Making on Facebook for an idea of what midwives talk about x

  2. I love your blog and am currently reading your book. Unfortunately, I am from the US so the educational path and such is much different than what you describe in the UK. Do you know of any American midwife blogs? I’ve tried searching online but most are very, very established in their careers and the things they write about are so far off from where I am in my journey to be a midwife.

    • Hi Alicia,

      Great question! I don’t know many American midwife blogs sadly, though MidwifeThinking is a great Australian one, and SaraWickham.com is one of my favourite UK ones. Please do let me know if you find any good American midwife blogs, I’m always on the lookout! x

  3. Hi Ellie,
    I just wanted to share a bit of the furore that is occurring in the Queensland state of Australia. Obstetricians are moaning about the poor outcomes etc etc of midwifery led care. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/ama-queensland-seeks-urgent-change-to-way-maternal-services-delivered-in-queensland/news-story/5fa372d6478e4cdbba9de7977df224e1
    I thought we were passed all this but apparently not.

  4. Pille

    Hi Ellie,
    I’m a first year student midwife, and would eventually like to work as a midwife on First Nations reserves in Canada. Do you have any contacts who have trained as a midwife in the uk and moved over to Canada? Or do you yourself have any idea how the transfer would work?

    • Rachel Wild

      Hi Ellie – if you particularly want to work for First Nations’ families I would first contact some of the Aboriginal health organisations or governance bodies to scope out how they would see a midwife from the UK working out. Perhaps you have First Nations/ Aboriginal heritage yourself, but if not you’d need to consider the implications of working as a outsider in communities that have a history of colonialism harming their existing birth cultures. e.g. http://www.naho.ca/midwifery/ also your immigration and work visa would be through the Canadian government but perhaps you could also ask permission of First Nation government for the area you’d like to practice in?

  5. Miroslava

    Hi Ellie, i am a second year student of midwifery in Slovakia.
    I would like to ask you, what’s your posture for needs of women who are in puerperium ? What is your opinion for lactation and sports activities in postpartal period?

    Thanks, for answer 🙂

  6. Alysia

    Hello, I have always been interested in midwifery at young age. At the moment, I am a Senior in high school and I am writing a paper on a career that I am interested in. I am required to have an interview with a midwife for research for my pages.Would you mind if I interviewed you for the role?

  7. Keeley

    I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to win a free month of your personal statement school! I’m a 33(nearly!) year young working Mum of 2, retaking 2 of my GCSE’s, training to become a breastfeeding peer supporter, and trying to save as much as I can for 3 years without a wage and shed loads of student debt, with a mortgage! I’ve got your book which I LOVE! But I am still struggling on how to even get started!!! And what experience I have that’s relevant enough to be worthy of going on my statement to stand out! I’ll be applying in Sept 19, to hopefully get a place in Sept 2020, so this would be amazing!!! Pretty pretty pretty please!!!! ??????

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