Inspired by “How to Date A Midwife“
I deleted Tinder a few weeks ago. For the last few months it has sat, unused, on my homepage, serving only to remind me of my single lifestyle, use up what little iPhone memory I have and further cement my narcissism as I used it just to look at my own profile. During my short stint on dating apps, I went on precisely one date. We got drunk on a boat (I get sea sick at the best of times, and I had a severe gin-hangover) disclosed many a private story, promised to meet up again before life got in the way and we never spoke again. I had fun, there’s no real reason I stopped using Tinder, I have nothing against it or against the relationships it creates. People complain that the nature of dating apps are causing people to become more shallow, and pickier of their choice of mate, but to me Tinder just created a different means of the system everyone already knows and uses. Lust at first sight is, for the vast majority of people, how we first find a suitable partner. It is through their personality, and shared experience that you grow to enjoy their company. But what about when they get to know you, or more specifically, when they get to know me?
I make no secret my passion for midwifery, in fact it’s probably the only thing in my life that I will never be able to give up. Except for maybe beer. I don’t have many skills, or many hobbies, but becoming a midwife will always be the thing I’m most proud of. This means that I talk about it. A lot. I can’t count the number of times at uni that the girls and I played the “I bet you can’t guess what we do” game when talking to a group of guys on a night out. We were proud, passionate, and being a midwife is who I am. But it would be a lie to say we’re the easiest people to date.
Remember, she is sleep deprived 75% of the time
that you may have to repeat yourself specifically about things that don’t matter as much as
babies being born.
We work long hours. We stay later than we get paid, skip breakfast, lunch, tea and toilet breaks. Flit between night shifts and day shifts and weekends and bank holidays cease to exist. My sleeping pattern is no more, I toy with hypoglycaemia on a frequent basis and I can’t remember the last time I didn’t answer a request for plans with “no sorry, I’m working.” We are dedicated to our profession. To understand midwives is to understand the nature of childbirth. We cannot pick public holidays and weekends over the women and their babies that need us. Sure, we might get the occasional quiet night shift, but if 5 babies demand to make their entrance to the world that evening, we pull up our compression stockings and we are there; where we are needed. So be there in return. Be there at short notice, be understanding when plans are cancelled. Be there when our only offer of a date is a post night shift coffee or breakfast (or a nap.) It’s not just the physical act of having to get up early or stay up all night. The emotional strain of midwifery adds only to the strain of any relationship, so let us talk, and talk, and talk…
Cleaning amniotic fluid out of her hair or bathing herself of all the her she gave away
To date a midwife is to deal with the idea that you will not necessarily be the most important thing in our lives. Midwifery is not all catching and cuddling babies. It’s not all positivity and wonderful experiences. We invest so much into the women and their experiences and there’s very little we leave at work and don’t carry home on our shoulders or in our minds. Every single women I’ve ever looked after has been different in some way, and every single one has affected me and left a mark on me, and I will carry each one with me for the rest of my life. We give our all to these women, we give up social lives, healthy minds and bodies and we return home only to pick ourselves up off the floor, return back the next day to do it all over again.
So let the parts of you that you hate light fires in her
This post isn’t to serve to put people off dating midwives, or other health care professionals. The loyalty that we have is second to none. We fight for our women, we are advocates and we are there to have their backs. We give women a voice, we give them a chance to fight back against a system who’s guidelines don’t fit to everybody’s lives and expectations. And we will do the same for you. We are fiercely independent, working autonomously and responsible for all that we chose to do. However on the same hand, we are strong as a team. We learn from, adapt and strengthen through our colleagues, friends, family and patients.
Stretch marks are just the extension of growth understand
sexual innuendoes and jokes
I glance up from my plate at my friends’ boyfriends. Oops. We’ve done it again. Discussing vaginal tears, perineal massage and excessive blood loss over our meal. I’m happy to report that they’re used to it, but the same cannot be said about new members to the group. People often ask how we can possibly talk about such things with such brazen confidence and still hold down our meals, forgetting that we do (occasionally) have meals during work, where the topics aren’t necessarily just theoretical. Try and phase a health care professional, I dare you. You’d be hard pushed to find something that will disgust us, especially when it comes to the human body, specifically bodily fluids. We are not phased by blood, urine, vomit… and there’s nothing quite like telling a guy we’re almost certain he urinated in his own mouth as a baby.
Pay attention to the tides and the phases of the moon. Listen enough to preempt our mood based on our colleagues, know when we are supported by the dream team. Not all midwives are superstitious, but be there ready and waiting with coffee and chocolate after a full moon shift, not to mention the entirety of September.
Do not shake her father’s hand
unless you understand he is a powerful man
he raised a midwife