I'm a midwife and I am mapping my future to set up a clinic in my community for women to access care from pre-conception through to early parenting. Watch me as it grows!
The body of every woman knows how to give birth if we give [women] their sacred space, intimacy, trust and love.
— Fernando Molina
I joked the other day that my life is "over" on paper - I have the degree that I worked hard for, I have an amazing husband and an adorable child, I am married and own a house... and now I earn money doing something I love.
Which is NOT to say that you need this life. Or that it was what I aspired to. Or without those things that your life isn't complete. Please note the first two words of this post - I joked about this because someone asked me what I was up to this year.
But I also feel that I'm coming to an end. I am finishing my formal uber structured study. I feel like I have finally found what I want to do when I grow up. So now instead of seeking out another Bachelor's degree to go with the others I have (3 now, 1 with honours), I will instead insist that the next time I graduate it will be with a funny hat.
That would be for a PhD. Which I'm not going to pursue anytime soon ever if my husband has anything to say about it after the 8 years it took him to get his! Although, there are a few topics that I'd love to look more into. Using heat and seaweed for wound healing for example. Sterile water injections for pain relief. Hrmmm...
It's funny but after 5 long years of study, my idea of travel still involves more learning. As part of my registration I need to maintain ongoing professional development but I also have an itch to scratch to travel and see family and friends. But for now I don't think that's going to happen and I have to share some more love for my dad who called me in January I think to confirm that we plan on being here in December so he could book us for Christmas. Yes, 11 months in advance.
I am going to the Homebirth Network's conference in June in Tasmania and am trying to work out whether we'll travel around a little then as well. Then there's a course in something that I'd like to go to in Melbourne, and maybe an online course as well?
In the meantime, I'm for bed - being on call and relied on means I can't pull all-nighters anymore! Although it is tempting to just... do... one more page of the website!
So life continues apace. I work with women, I catch babies, I put plans into place for the future. For my business (Down to Birth) it is still a work in progress towards what I was planning. The more I do about it the more I realise I have to do for it to be a reality!
For now, I'm sounding out the local council for doing a breastfeeding clinic. And I'm on the hunt for a birth register. I am trying not to reinvent the wheel!
I stepped up on stage on Friday and received my parchment. It wasn't until they called out my name ("And for the award of the Bachelor of Midwifery, Emma Karen Archer") did it FINALLY hit me that I'm finished my degree. I'm done with being a formal grinding student and am now F'REE!!!! of the ties that bind me.
We'll ignore the fact that I've already received an automatic email to tell me I'm done, and I've registered as a midwife, and have clients and caught babies and been paid already. It seems that having this piece of paper handed to me makes it all So Much more REAL.
Last week, I planted the placenta from my daughter's pregnancy in earth at our new house. This photo is one that I cherish so much because it shows me now with my awesome tattoo, and is a link back to the nearly 3 years since I conceived and grew a whole 'nother person. Beside the bringing her up to be an amazing 2 year old and being all the other things I am, I also am in awe of the growing another human being and their life-support organ. I love placentas to bits.
Why am I posting this? Well, it is to make you stop and think about your own birth. Do you know about it? I don't know much about mine, and haven't been able to ask about it either. I tell my daughter her story and show her a small piece of video each year, to remind her of how my life was before I knew her, and to show her how hard I worked for her before she was even born.
Never, ever, underestimate the impact that birthing has on a woman. It is a defining moment in life, whether it's a happy one or not, a simple one or not, a long time ago or a brief moment ago. Honour those around you that bear the next generation.
Today is my birthday - I am 32. It's been a pretty wild year! 31 was ahMAZZINGLY complicated and stressful and it feels like I'm at least 5 years older than I was last year.
I went to a breastfeeding conference yesterday and really got inspired to work harder on my business plan. The midwifery arm of it is ready to go - all I need now is clients and there are a few who are in the considering phase.
Today's present was that my business name is now registered nation-wide! I can now go ahead and contact the local council and see what they say about me starting a drop-in center for postnatal care.