Thank you to the midwife who taught me to bring spare knickers and socks to work.

Thank you to the midwife who promised me I would learn to like tea, that I shouldn’t – but would – survive due to a strong cup, and to all those who have made me them. To the midwife who taught me, mid nightshift, that it’s easier to butter toast with the back of a spoon than a plastic knife, those who show no judgement when I plough my way through a box of Celebrations, and to those who ensure my water bottle is always refilled.

Thank you to the midwife who taught me to bring spare knickers and socks to work, the benefits of having a staff shower, and the reason that crocs are the best shoes. To those who laugh at my sweaty scrubs after hours spent leaning over a birthing pool and those who’ve wiped my brow when I’m sitting sterile under a suturing lamp.

Thank you to all the mentors who supported me throughout my midwifery training, and all the students who have questioned me since. From how to put on sterile gloves, take blood pressures and check a urine samples, to measuring bumps, how to differentiate between a head and a bottom; thank you to the midwives who taught me clinical skills, who taught me that while practice may sometimes make perfect, no midwife ever is.

Thank you to the passionate midwifery lectures, who share their research, the evidence and the knowledge that has guided my practice. To the midwife who proof read my Masters thesis at 4am on a rare quiet night shift, to those who put up with me endlessly going on about things I’ve ‘read somewhere…’

Thank you to all those who’ve come to my aid at the sound of an emergency buzzer, who have taken and given direction and have provided the most necessary of debriefs. Thank you to those who take the time to explain why, to those who I am confident in seeking a second opinion, to those who take over when required. Thank you also to those who put their trust in me, those who seek me out when they question their own judgement, to those whose faith builds confidence in others.

Thank you to the midwives who taught me it’s okay to cry – and who showed me the best hiding places to do so. Thank you to the midwife who promised me that everybody makes mistakes, that we are all human and we can only ever do our best. Thank you to the midwives who’ve told me I’ve got make up down my face, leaked pen all over my uniform or meconium up my arms. Thank you to all those who followed it up with, “we’ve all been there.”

Thank you to the midwife who subtly handed me a fresh pair of scrubs when a busy shift without a break led to me bleeding through my trousers, and to the midwives who turn off the lights in the staff room when I’ve fallen asleep upright on the sofa. Thank you to the those who work tirelessly, passionately and without judgement to improve working relationships and friendships.

Thank you, Midwife.

S. x

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