This is a story of me being a prat.
A few years ago, I left midwifery to work on my blog and books. But actually, I left because of night shift.
When I was practising in New Zealand, I was also training for a half marathon, writing a novel, running my business and doing conversion exams. I was getting up at 5 to get a start on it all before a 7am shift and working in the evening too.
How could there be anything wrong? I was nuts for midwifery and life.
I thought I just had a regular aversion to nights (like many).
But on runs of nights.... I’d fantasise about whether I could get my bike hit by a car on the way in.
And between you and me, it did get a bit more stupid than that but don't tell my Mum, okay?
On days, my mental health was great. On nights...well.
I'm not sure I could have explained any of this, I wasn't good at thinking about it at the time.
I didn't think I could be very helpful to midwifery as a non night shift midwife.
So instead I gave in my notice, published two midwifery books, and founded a 24,000 strong midwifery community.
A bit of an overreaction.
What I needed was for someone to ask me how I was doing and to point out I was being a total lunatic idiot.
Cut to three years later, I went to an ARM midwife at my local hospital and asked for her advice.
She booked me an appointment with the Head of Midwifery...and, one GP appointment and sleep researcher advice session later, turns out I'll be clinical again in 2020, sans nights.
There was a lot of ugly but happy crying.
I was this close to never coming back at all. (Thanks midwives who helped!)
Please learn from this:
We were never meant to face midwifery alone.
Enter Wholehearted Midwives:
I’ve set up Wholehearted Midwives as a private, off Facebook support group.
We’re here for you in whatever way you need us but mostly we remind members that:
- Everyone has challenges, it's how you solve them that counts
- You’re a strong, rocking, awesome, empathetic student/midwife
- Sharing your stories and listening to other midwives is key – hearing from those who’ve got through the stage you’re at is essential