Student Midwifery Diaries #2

Month 2: October 2018

And another month bites the dust. I feel SO overwhelmed right now. The information overload that is first year is well and truly landed. The sheer amount of knowledge we have been given is SO intense. Every human system, digestive, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, cardio, ALL THE INFORMATION. It is definitely a drowning feeling in all of the course work. 

We seem to be in twice as much as every other course RGU offers. We are typically in 4 days a week, 4 full days. The information intake we have the first block needs to cover a basis of everything we will need to know on placement - which is a lot. As midwives work autonomously, we are responsible to screen for potential complications and to aid in a "normal" birth, aka without doctors or hospitals. So, we need to understand why we are doing what we are doing, why we need to have a full understanding of all the potential changes occurring during pregnancy. But it is a lot. The female body is fucking incredible. 

For clinical skills we have covered vitals; blood pressure, pulse, temperature and breathing rate. We have also done CPR and choking. Then we did Venepuncture (taking bloods) which is impossible to practice without a willing human body, so that will be fun on placement. 

We have also been doing all the admin aspect of starting the course; manual handling, SIPCEP, GIRFEC, hand washing, the code. blech. Just a tad dry, okay, a lot dry. but essential before we are off on placement. The code especially is a minefield, it covers pretty much anything and everything. 

We had our first mini essay to do on communication and we have our first exam this coming week - which is slightly terrifying. I have started revising colourfully, which is helping a lot to be fair, I love looking at my notes if they are this pretty. Even if I can't spell vein, vien, AAAAAH. And I really hope there isn't any epic mistakes. That would be embarassing lol.

This month has been pretty social too. I had my first night out with some of the girlies, which was so much fun. I also started car sharing which is making the drive way more bearable - and Carly is lovely too. She shares my love for Starbucks Salted Caramel Brownies (and now the hot chocolate too) so naturally she is awesome. 

I have also had a flat tyre this month, which was a JOY. 

Did You Know? 

Pretty much every TV show and movie displays birth in a traumatic, screaming, arm wailing kinda way - this shouldn't be normalised. Birth should be calm, focused and quiet. Oxytocin production is essential, and you won't get any by screaming. Ask yourself, have you ever seen a labouring cat? (That one was for Mo). 

Hip shape and size aren't (and shouldn't) be measured in pregnancy, as hips can move and flex to accommodate baby - but baby will need to be able to move. This is why women are encouraged to stand, lean and move about during labour, as lying on a bed can limit movement. 


Is it hard juggling being a student and a Mum? 
Both yes and no, time keeping and schedules are so important. The leaving at 7am is hard on both of us - it is a long day. Studying is also more complicated as it isn't the easiest thing to do when you have a child needing fed, showered and entertained, but once in a good routine it is completely manageable. But I did a full post on life as a mature student here. 

What is your fave aspect of the course so far? 
The lecturers on my course are amazing. It is getting to a point where we know them all, their styles, their specialities and their different interests. It makes an already interesting topic even more enticing. I can see them all being incredible Midwives, so it is an honour to be taught by them, learn from their experiences. I can't imagine being anywhere other than RGU now. 

Is there anything you've learnt so far that would have helped you when you were pregnant with your son? 
HELL YES. Honestly I don't think people know enough about the logistics of childbirth and the process. I wish I had done hypnobirthing, I wish I had done my research, and I wish I had taken the time to get to know my body properly. I could sit all day and talk through everything I would do differently - but I think most people would, the joy of hindsight. 

Mayes or Myles Textbook? 
Mayes. Myles is older, due an update, I will be treating myself to it when it is released. But stick to Mayes at the moment - its more up to date. 

What has been your favourite piece of information you've learnt so far? 
The benefits of Home Birthing. Honestly I could sit here all day and convince everyone how incredible home birthing is. And I used to be one of those people who would say "yeah but I had complications, I needed to be in the hospital" knowing what I know now? *mind blown* 

Is it hard to do? 
Yes. It's really full on, so you need to be pretty dedicated. But it is so worth it, so motivation wise, not hard at all. For me anyway. 

What are your colleagues/fellow uni-goers like? Have you met some good friends? 
SO lovely. There is about 70ish of us, and I honestly can say I love and respect them all. We are at a point now where we do know each other a little better, and its fab to see friendships forming. I had a night out with a few of the girls too - so much fun. 

Does the thought of not so successful births scare you? Like seeing really sad births? 
I won't lie, yes it does scare me. But like with everything you need to take the good with the bad. Luckily in this country it isn't something that is overly common, but a midwives role is crucial to women in pregnancy and childbirth regardless of the outcome, and we are there to help and support her through anything she is faced with. It is a real honour, and one I will value even at the most upsetting moments.

Is studying it as good as you expected? Miss you.
No, it's even better. I couldn't ever have imagined that I would love it as much as I do. (And I miss you too Rachel!) 

I hope you have enjoyed this huge update and Q&A! I attend Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, studying Bachelor of Midwifery, you can apply or find out more here: 

Make sure to follow me on instagram for constant updates too! :)


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