Wednesday, 2 September 2015

From Student to Midwife Part 6: A Taste of the Work Place

 Grainy photo of me all excited to be in my new uniform!

Hello lovelies! I am so happy to finally be catching you all up on my journey through midwifery. It's been an insane semester and I have taken on a bit of extra stuff at uni, as well as having some pretty tough stuff in my personal life to deal with over the past couple of months, so excuse my absence! I never said I would be anything other than sporadic with updating the blog while doing midwifery, and I'm trying, I swear!

So, there are two incredibly exciting things that have happened this semester and they go something like this:

1. Myself and one of my uni friends have started a Midwifery Society at uni


2. I started antenatal placement at a local hospital!!!

So, let's start with the Midwifery Society, shall we? Basically it's a student association specific to midwifery students and funded by our overarching student services association. It's exciting because it's enabled us to do a heap of really cool and fun things for our fellow students, such as movie nights, group study sessions, subsidising attendance at conferences, charity work and we have even linked in with the local beauty school to offer Midwifery Society members $10 treatments as a part of our self care philosophy. We are also having an information session on placenta encapsulation in a couple of weeks' time, which I'm super excited about! Would you consider consuming your placenta in the form of hormone and iron rich tablets after birth? We have one really big project in the pipeline, too - a full-day conference for International Day of the Midwife 2016 on May 5th next year. We have some incredible, world-class speakers lined up and although I feel like it's incredibly hard work at times, it's so validating when fellow students and staff tell you how excited they are for the conference and even the smaller events we put on! Makes all the time and effort so worthwhile!

So, on to placement! You guys have no idea how exciting it was fr me walking into antenatal clinic on my first day there! It was a crazy, busy day and I honestly felt like crying at the end of the day - mixed tears of joy and tears of being completely overwhelmed and upset at the fragmented care system we have in Australia. I wanted so badly to give the women the time and the holistic care they deserved, like we are taught at uni, but it's so hard to do that in the 20 minute time slot the hospital allocates each woman! I was also frustrated that due to being in a complex care clinic, I didn't get to do anything hands-on. The midwife said it would have been inappropriate for an inexperienced first year to practice skills on a complex care woman. My second day in the clinic was about ten thousand times better than my first. It was a breezy day of three booking-in visits and a little bit of time in the antenatal assessment clinic. I was on with a different midwife this time and she had so much confidence in me as a student! It was the best day of my life so far! I basically did all of the hands-on stuff in the first two appointments, while the midwife double checked me and filled out the miles of paperwork involved, then she let me run the third appointment myself! She was a great teacher - eager to pass on her knowledge, approachable, friendly and she made me and the couples we saw feel really at home with her, which is so important in midwifery! She was so confident in my abilities and she was full of praise for me throughout the day, which was really great! She gave me honest, constructive criticism when I needed it and I left on a total high, feeling like my career path had been validated by the experience. It was great! Now I just have my two continuity partnerships to get me through until birth suite at the end of October. Can you believe that in less than two months, I will be seeing a baby be born? It's so exciting! I feel so blessed to be on this path!

Friday, 24 July 2015

Precious Pieces and a Bohemian Twist

This month's brief for Graham & Brown's A Year in Design challenged me to think of how something precious in my home could be transformed by redecorating a room to showcase it in. Probably the most spectacular piece of furniture in my home is an antique, cedar dining table with turned legs thicker than my thigh. It's so stunning, and while it currently looks great among the oriental decor of our dining room, I can see it being a real star of an eclectic, bohemian dining room like those above. I would never paint this beautiful, antique table, but I can certainly see it with a bunch of mismatched chairs painted in bright, bohemian colours set around it. I also love the pink painted sideboard in the picture on the right up above. I would wallpaper in Exotica Blue from Graham & Brown and fill every chair with plush floral cushions, and lay a kilim rug beneath the table to provide a warm spot for feet to rest as I ate. The cozy vibe of the exotica print, the warm wood and the beautiful textiles would be completed by a pot belly fire burning in the corner of the room, and precious memories would be made as the family gathers around the precious antique dining table for meals, for tea and cake and for conversation.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Popsicle colours!

Being a brand ambassador for Graham & Brown is so much fun! This month's design challenge, The Popsicle Trend, has me thinking in all kinds of new and creative ways about how I inject colour into my life. When I think of popsicle colours, I think of the sherbet lollies I loved as a kid, of brights and pastels and ombre tones. With this month's challenge asking where I can see popsicle in my past, present and future, I had a lot of fun reminiscing, creating and day dreaming for this post.


As soon as I thought of the popsicle trend, this amazing tea cup and saucer that was given to me by my friend, Darci came to mind! The ombre pink cup, and the tropical pink and orange saucer complete with toucans and pineapples is the perfect way to inject some summer warmth into your winter cup of tea.



My little sewing corner is bathed with light in the afternoon,  making it incredibly hard to get a decent photo, but it is definitely the part of my room that fits the popsicle trend most perfectly. Graham & Brown sent me the paint to give my sewing chair an update to make it fit in better with the pastel colours of my room. The colour is Disney's Cinderella's Perfect Pastel. It reminds me of the colour of the frozen yoghurt popsicles I've loved since I was a kid and it's perfect for a subtle hint of colour that compliments the rest of my room. If you'd like to give painting a chair a go yourself, there is a fantastic how-to on Graham & Brown's blog. The mirror above my sewing table is one of my most favourite posessions. It was a gift from my parents for my 15th birthday and it definitely picks up on the popsicle trend with its bright, ombre flowers. The popsicle colour scheme is completed by the print by Autumn and the colourful crochet squares that are my current inspiration for my craft pursuits.



I really love the mid century aesthetic and think it fits in amazingly with the popsicle theme. Taking inspiration from my toucan tea cup I've put together this beautiful mid century tropical themed living room, featuring Graham & Brown's Flamingo wallpaper. Grahamm & Brown have a super impressive array of wallpapaer, which is my new favourite obsession after watching this season's House Rules. Of course, I had to be a little bit literal in this design, including a retro popsicle poster, which I think would look great above the replica sideboard, with the flamingo wallpaper on the adjacent wall, behind the sofa. Most of the stuff in this image is from my new favourite furniture designer, Matt Blatt and it is definitely a "future" style because there is no way I can afford Matt Blatt furniture for a good few years yet!

What do you think of my past, present and future interpretations of popsicle? Where does popsicle fit into your style?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

From Student to Midwife Part 5: One Year In

 How to unwind after a long day full of lessons in personal development and midwifery practice.

Ladies and gentlemen, can you believe I am already one full year in to my midwifery studies? I hope the next two and a half years go just as quickly, because I can't wait to not be a student anymore. As much as I love learning, I think I'd take like a duck to water to not being broke.

This semester has been an incredibly interesting one. It's reinforced my love for midwifery through my introduction to two midwifery units. It's challenged my perceptions of what midwifery is and opened my mind to different perspectives and career paths. It's been a journey of self-development, as I'm assured the rest of the degree is, and it's been exhausting and rewarding all at once. I've done well this semester, with two Distinctions and a Credit as my overall marks in the three units I've taken (if I've calculated correctly. Final grades aren't released yet!) and I've really enjoyed my learning. In Midwifery Foundations, I have learned what it is to be "with-woman" and started to discover the kind of practice I want to develop and in Primary Health Care Midwifery I've begun to develop the practical skills I will need next semester on prac. Right now, with exams far behind me, I am just really looking forward to the next semester's studies! I'm trying not to will my holidays away too much though, and hope to get some creative projects done and books read in the meantime. My head is so full with the lessons I've learned this semester, and yet I have nothing else to say! Complex weavings of thoughts on birth, and on midwifery practice will have to wait until next time. For now, I'm going to relax and binge watch some Netflix. Hope you all have a lovely day!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Mind, Body, Spirit - Finding a path back to fitness

 A time when I felt truly at peace with myself

Recently, I've come to a new understanding of how important it is to keep a healthy mind, body, spirit connection. I came to this understanding through my midwifery studies, when I realised how holistic most indigenous models of health are, and how we are missing crucial aspects of mental and spiritual health in western medicine. Excuse me for sounding like some yogic hippy, but honestly, it feels really good to find that connection between mind, body and spirit and work on maintaining it. This connection may be maintained in different ways for different people, and its about what works for you, but for me, this connection is nurtured through a mix of swimming, yoga and creative output, as well as the work that I so love - my midwifery studies.

I've never been one for willful exercise, but lately, in a desperate effort to ease the pain of fibromyalgia and start feeling good about myself again, I took to swimming. In my early teen years, I used to swim a couple of kilometres a day in the local pool over summer, but then I became an angsty teen who liked her sleep too much for swimming training, and my one form of exercise stopped. It's been over 5 years since I last swam two kilometres without stopping, but last week I donned a pair of goggles and hopped back in the pool again. It was hard. I needed to stop every two laps and I only made it 300 metres all up, but the rush of endorphins it gave me convinced me that swimming was the missing link in my life. The busyness of last week (and the cold) kept me out of the pool, but yesterday I hopped back in again and managed 500 metres, stopping less than I needed to last week as well. Progress in just two sessions! I like doing things that give quick results, and I think working towards my goal of being able to swim two kilometres without stopping will be really good for me, physically as well as mentally.

To compliment my swimming, I've decided to take up yoga again, and alternate the two forms of exercise each day. Yoga has really helped me in the past to ease my pain, and has also been really instrumental when I've been through bouts of depression, to help ease my mind and get me mentally healthy again. I'll be doing Yoga with Adriene's 30 Days of Yoga spread out over the next 60 days, alternated with swimming laps in the pool, and I'm hoping to reach my 2km without stopping goal by then. I did the first day's yoga today and am feeling really at peace afterward, as well as being grateful to have stretched out some of the tightness in my legs from swimming yesterday.

While I don't totally hate the way I look (I'm pretty genetically blessed, really) I certainly have been feeling a little frumpy lately, and I'm hoping that as well as keeping me healthy, swimming and yoga might just tighten up my loose tum and bottom a little bit, too. I'll be posting about my exercise journey sporadically over the next two months, as well as other pursuits that feed into my mind, body, spirit connection to keep myself accountable and document this journey as well, so keep your eye out for my next post on spiritual health and what that means to me, as someone who isn't religious.

What do you do to keep fit and healthy?
Does it feed into your mind, body, spirit connection?

Friday, 22 May 2015

A peek at my bedroom

 It's been months since I moved back into my parents' place and I'm finally starting to get my bedroom looking the way I want it to. It's been a huge process of culling off items that I had throughout my old unit and trying to find storage solutions for what doesn't fit into this room, which is jam packed with craft stuff (not pictured due to the obscene mess on my craft table), uni stuff as well as all my clothes and other bedroom stuff. I still have a ways to go with decorating my craft area as well as wanting more colourful cushions for on my bed and needing to cover a piece of foam for my window seat so that I can decorate that area properly, but so far I am happy with how everything looks (when it's all tidy)!

White is perhaps the worst colour I could have on my bed right now thanks to my dog's muddy paws constantly dirtying it when he makes his way into my room, but I love that a white bedspread is a blank canvas for cushions and things to dress up. I particularly love the girliness of this ruched and frilly spread which I got as a total bargain off ebay! The crocheting beside my bed is a granny square blanket I started ages ago that is finally starting to take shape. I'm hoping it ties some of the colours in my room together a little more once it is done, and want to paint my bedside drawers white to give them a more girly look and make my blue ornaments really pop!

 Looking at the above photo of my bedside table which I took a month or so ago is crazy to see how much my cacti have grown! The are much bigger now but still not too big for my pretty terrarium. I'm so happy with how this bedside table looks!

 My desk is the first space in my room which really came together when I moved back home. It's an ugly metal and frosted glass thing which I threw a pretty lace table cloth over and decorated with some of my favourite things. The Harry Potter quote sign is from KB Signs and Kaelah did such a beautiful job on it. It's one of my favourite things I own! The chair is one from my mum's outdoor setting which I claimed as my own, because it fits in beautifully with my rustic stuff. The vintage ads above my desk are from Woolangabba Antique Centre and I chose the fashion one because it is an exact copy of my nan's going away outfit from when she got married in the late 1950's. The crystal jewellery holders were a gift from my aunty for my birthday, and the drawers were from my sister, along with a matching mirror which hange beside my bedroom door, and the decorated jars were made by me and are filled with fresh flowers whenever I can spare the change for them!.

 This big, wooden bookshelf was too heavy for us to bother moving it when I moved into this room so I happily kept it and gave my brother a white chipboard one to move into his new room as a replacement. I love having space to display my books, of which there are more on lower shelves, and also to display my favourite teacups and my teapot, and to have my jewellery handy. It also works as a great divider, separating out the corner on the other side of the shelf from my bed as a craft space. I'm really lucky to havea large, peculiarly shaped room which makes me feel less cramped now that I'm living back with my family again, and allows space for my hobbies without intruding on my family members when I make a big mess.

 This print was sent to me by Graham and Brown and fits in perfectly above my bed. The rose is feminine and keeps in line with the shabby chic, vintage look of my room, while still bringing in a modern edge with the touch of glitter and the bright shade of pink. I am looking for a bigger painting to put above my bed, but when I find one, this beautiful print will only be relocated to the other side of my bookshelf to decorate my craft space. After years of renting, I'm so glad to finally be back in a place where I can put hooks in the walls to my hearts' content!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Introducing: Little Foal Shabby Chic Wedding Decor

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that I recently attended a good friend's wedding, where I made a lot of the decorations. It was a beautiful, laid back wedding without sit down tables and we created a beautiful romantic vibe by situating tables around the room full of candles and flowers and vintage props and signs. A lot of people were surprised I would spend so much time and effort on something like this for a friend. There were literally dozens of hours spent cutting out triangles for bunting, ironing, gluing, measuring, cleaning and collecting jars and there was quite a bit of money spent on lace and doilies and all the pretty bits that brought the jars and bunting together so beautifully. Now, the truth comes out!

Before she even got engaged, the bride, who is a wedding photographer, knowing that I enjoy making things with my hands, pitched a business idea to me. She said there is a gap in the market for wedding decor that is shabby chic and low budget and offers the option of hiring bunting, so that the bride and groom aren't stuck with a heap of stuff they will never use again after that one day. At first, I declined. I said I was too busy, I wouldn't know where to start and I've never made such massive amounts of products before. Eventually, after her engagement, and a promise that she would help me build a network, I agreed. I'd make the decorations for her wedding, and hire them out afterwards, building on my stock over time. 

 Her wedding came together beautifully, with the two of us collaborating to style it with a mix of the decorations I'd made and she owned or collected in the lead up to the wedding. Many of the guests complimented us both on our efforts and my confidence was boosted! Now, one month later, I am finally launching Little Foal Shabby Chic Wedding Decor. Right now I'm offering burlap and lace bunting to hire (approx. 52 metres), decorated burlap and lace jars to hire (approx. 50) and a blue vintage suitcase to hire, a Singer sewing machine to hire, Mr & Mrs bunting to hire, CARDS bunting to hire (suggested use with suitcase for card box) and custom made bunting and jars to bride and groom's specifications. My delivery area is from Yamba to Broadbeach and west to Casino on the Far North Coast of NSW and the Gold Coast, QLD.

I'm really excited about this new venture, and hope to have hire prices in albums on the facebook page by the end of the week, in time for Evans Head's Beef Meets Reef event this Sunday, where I will have a market stall. I'm also hoping to eventually have some bunting in stock to sell, including the Mr & Mrs bunting, and to expand into other vintage and handmade props.


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Cottage Bedroom*

Cottage bedroom

With my plans to travel Europe coming to fruition later this year, my mind has started to wander off in wild fantasies of running away to the English countryside when I finish uni, buying a cute little cottage and settling down as a homebirthing midwife. I picture myself warming my hands by a fire, drinking tea as I look out the window across snowy fields. Ideally, my little cottage wouldn't be too far from Cornwall, so that in the summer I could drive through the fields, now lush and green, for day trips to the seaside. My cottage would be a little run down when I bought it, but I'd take a lot of pride in renovating and decorating it.

I've recently become a brand ambassador for Graham & Brown and I think their Northern Rose wallpaper would make the perfect feature wall in my cottage's french provincial style bedroom. I'd pair it with furniture in neutral colours. The big, puffy settee, large bed full of cushions and throws, and coloured glass evoke a soft, country vintage charm when paired with the bright and beautiful floral wallpaper. This room would be the kind that you'd happily lounge around in on a Sunday morning, and struggle to leave on a dreary day. Soft blues and pinks in the accessories would tie the room together and sweet smelling candles would perfume the air. 

My dreams of owning an English cottage are a long way off coming true, and I haven't even convinced Jake to come on my holiday with me yet, let alone move half way around the world, but who knows what the future has in store? 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Adventure awaits!

So, many of you know that I have dreamed of travelling around Europe since I was a kid. I want to visit the Eiffel Tower and get lost in the Louvre, I want to climb castle turrets that look out over rolling hills, I want to visit the Colloseum and Pompeii and marvel over how such impressive monuments have withstood the test of time. I want to visit the village where Emily Bronte wrote my favourite book, and I want to see snow with my own two eyes for the very first time. Europe holds so much magic and beauty to me, from where I stand on the opposite side of the world. It is the place my dreams are made of, and I would wander from country to country forever if I could afford to, for the rest of my life!

At the start of this year, I decided that I've had enough waiting for my dreams to come true, and decided to make them happen! So I started saving. And yesterday I booked plane tickets!!!

I'm flying into Germany on the 25th of November, spending 7 weeks travelling around, experiencing the things of my dreams, spending Christmas and New Years and my birthday in a foreign country, with people I've never met before, and then arriving home on the 14th of November, bringing Ella with me! I'm so excited to finally see and do all the things I've ever wanted to do in Europe, or at least make a start on that very, very long list! I'm also incredibly excited to meet a lot of the bloggers who I have got to know and love over the past 3 years while writing Little Foal. I've decided to spend my birthday on the 23rd of December at the Harry Potter Studio Tour, fangirling like crazy, and hopefully meeting up with a lot of the UK bloggers whom I adore. Adventure awaits, and the next 7 months, waiting to board that plane are going to be hell! November can't come soon enough!

Disclaimer: I may have gotten a little bit teary with excitement while writing this post. I'M GOING TO EUROPE!!!!

Monday, 20 April 2015

At home beside the seaside*

My love of the ocean is no secret to anyone that has been following this blog for a while, or stalks my other social media from time-to-time, but once again I am going to take the chance to brag about my beautiful hometown and extend a special invitation to you all in the process. 

Almost my whole life, I've lived in a small coastal town. There was that one year when I moved to a big, coastal city, but let's try and forget about that, okay? That life was not for me! The life that is for me is a simple one. It's one where the crash of the nearby waves is heard as you buy bread and milk of a morning, where the sun shines at least 9 months of the year and jumpers are worn only sporadically, even in winter. It's one where there is only one decent coffee shop in town, where all the shop owners know your name and ask how your nan is going, where lush green fields meet with sand and sea. I love the small town vibe. I love walking into the shops with no shoes on, I love smiling and waving to everyone I meet down the street, knowing them all by sight, if not by name. I love going to the pub at Christmas time, rekindling old friendships with people back in town for the holidays. I love spending mornings at the beach and afternoons watching the sun set over the cane fields. 
The small town life in Australia is a beautiful one, and my small town is characteristically Australian. Bright and sunny, cheerful and friendly. Full of "g'days" and "howzitgarns" Sure, there is the odd snake or spider lurking in the corner, but life in small town Australia is a beautiful one. 

If my description of Australian small town life has piqued your interest, you should check out True Blue Migrations. True Blue Migrations is a registered migration agent with offices in Perth and Mebourne, to help sort out all your Australian visa needs. Head on over to their website to find out more about them, book a plane ticket and come on over to the land of brilliant beaches. I could use a few new friends in this small town!

Even my university, an hour and 20 minutes' commute from my small town, has beautiful ocean views!

*This post was sponsored by True Blue Migrations. All opinions presented are 100% my own.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Grow a vagina!

Today I saw this picture on Facebook and it really pissed me off, and since I don't do enough feminist ranting on the internet, here it goes! An open letter to the creator of this meme and people everywhere who use the vagina as a put-down!

Dear ________

First of all, making an ethical choice that goes against societal norms and gets put down in this way and sticking with it is a pretty gutsy thing to do, so I applaud vegetarians everywhere for doing so! Now what's this about a vagina?

I'm so sick of seeing people put other people down by calling them a "girl", a "pussy", a "cunt" or saying they have a vagina. What the heck kind of insult is that? Are you trying to imply they are weak, or that it is undesirable to have a vagina? Because I bloody love being a girl and I bloody love my genitals, and vaginas are fucking STRONG pieces of equipment! They are extremely muscular, and extremely versatile, being able to both hold the weight of a baby in the uterus until full term and stretch large enough to birth it - something which takes strength of character as well as using a whole variety of muscles! Not only that, but some women actually lift weights with their vaginas. How many men could do that with their penis? I'd bet not many!

Using misogynistic language that devalues and demeans women as an insult to men is so outdated. You're not cool. You just look silly! Almost every human on this planet was born out of a vagina, by a woman. Show some respect! As someone who works very closely with them, and owns one, I can assure you - vagina's are awesome! So please stop using them as an insult. If you don't the women in your life may start refusing you access to their magical vaginas in the form of sex (I know I would!).

Conversely, when someone is showing fear, or simply doesn't want to do something, don't tell them to grow a pair! It's equally as insulting to women as using the vagina and its synonyms as an insult. Not to mention totally illogical. Are balls supposed to be tough? Because the last time I accidentally bumped my boyfriend's I swear he almost cried in pain. HA! and you call think vagina's are the weaker genitalia? You have much to learn, my friend!

Friday, 20 March 2015

New Tattoo!

Those of you who follow me on Instagram or have seen me around in real life will already have seen this, but I'm going to share it anyway! A few weeks ago, I got a tattoo. Of a mermaid. Very large on my forearm. It was a massive step for me, going from barely inked, to very visibly inked just one week after taking the next step towards a health profession, but it was exciting all the same. I'd been wanting a large piece on my forearm for quite some time, and decided in December that any birthday money I got would be put towards one.

After a lot of searching, and careful consideration of tattoo ideas, I came across Merry's work - a tattoo artist from Rock of Ages in Lennox Head. I fell in love with her instagram instantly, and just knew that she was the one who would design my next tattoo. I decided that I especially loved the portrait-style tattoos she did of beautiful women, and so got in contact with her to ask that she draw me a mermaid face to be tattooed on my forearm. Four weeks after my initial email to her, there I was in the chair, getting tattooed!

Merry was very thorough in her emails, checking and double checking what I wanted, and sending me her sketches a few days before my booking to be approved. I had told her very little, really, and sent her only examples of her own work as a reference. I loved her style, and I trusted her to draw me something beautiful. What she came up with, incorporating the Deathly Hallows symbol into a ring rather than tattooing it on me separately, filling out the portrait with beautiful, coral-like fantasy flowers of her own imagining after my request not to have roses and adding a little pop of colour to her eyes, lips and cheeks, is better than I ever could have imagined!

I had the outline and shading all done in one session of almost four hours. I was getting a little restless by the end, but really, it went by quite quickly! Merry kept me relaxed and chatting the whole way through, using a little numbing spray every now and then while shading, as my arm was starting to swell a little and become a bit uncomfortable near the end. By the time she was shading the last flower, I could have sworn she was drawing on me with a pen, rather than a needle. I don't know whether I was just used to the sensation, or if the numbing spray was just working really well! While she worked, Merry told me that most women who get tattoos of women are getting a tattoo of their alter ego, which I rather liked the idea of. I love the ocean and love to read (especially Harry Potter), so the idea of this beauty being my alter ego sits okay with me! We also decided to call her Belle, for her beauty and because we are both massive Disney fans, but Ariel is much sillier than this wise mermaid!

Now that the tattoo is nicely healed, I can say that I am really, really impressed with the quality and detail of this tattoo. To me, this is a huge piece (especially on my skinny little arm!) but to Merry, it was quite small and she was worried she wouldn't be able to make her as detailed as the portraits she normally does on people's backs and thighs. Everyone I speak to, though, is greatly impressed!

Do you have any tattoos?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Being an Advocate for Change

Something I'm hearing a lot lately at uni is how important it is to be an advocate for change.

Midwifery is a profession which is experiencing rapid developments at the moment, as birth is slowly returned to "normalcy" and attitudes surrounding birth are shifting away from the medical model and into the midwifery model. The benefits of less intervention, a quiet, dimly lit home-like (or home) environment, immediate skin to skin contact and delayed cord clamping, to name just a few things, are better known than ever, and thus the benefits of one-to-one care by a midwife, rather than an obstetrician, or obstetrical team, are coming into the spotlight, and midwifery is becoming a profession in its own right again! 

I'm really lucky to go to one of the only universities in Australia that offers a direct-entry Bachelor of Midwifery, with a strong, woman-centred focus and a curriculum which supports and encourages continuity of care between women and midwives throughout the ante-natal, peri-natal and post-natal periods. I count my lucky stars every day to be a part of such a degree, run by such enthusiastic, knowledgable and experienced midwifery academics. Being a young, childless, fresh-faced, enthusiastic first-year student, my eyes are really being opened to the disparity between evidence and practice in the hospital setting when it comes to maternity care, and I have no doubt that my opinion of what constitutes "good" midwifery practice will only grow as my degree, and indeed my career, goes on. 

Right now, what is really resonating with me is the lack of choice Australian mothers have over where they give birth. Many mothers probably don't even realise that they do indeed have a choice over where they give birth. They are simply sent from their GP straight to the hospital! So, I did what anyone with dreams of a career as a home birthing midwife would do and sent a letter to my local health district to ask that Medicare funded home birth be considered as an extension of the Lismore Community Midwifery Service, which delivers in-home antenatal and postnatal care to low-risk women in the Lismore area, and guess what? I actually got a reply!

So there you go - if you want to see change, be the change! This might not seems like much to some, but it's a start! We might even get the funding by the time I finish my degree - how cool would that be?

Monday, 23 February 2015

From Student to Midwife Part 4: First week in Midwifery Units

Hello all!
Lately I have been thinking about this little blog and have been itching to get back to writing again. As always, I've been thinking about the direction this blog is taking and I'm pleased to say that as of right now, you'll be getting a lot more midwifery information from me along with this little "diary" of my studies. Of course you will also be getting the odd personal or "lifestyle" post as well, but that part of my life is almost non-existent right now compared to the midwifery stuff, so you'll have to bear with me there a little bit! It's funny, isn't it? When I named this blog Little Foal I had no idea I'd ed up studying midwifery, or writing about it for that matter, but the name sort of fits, doesn't it?

Midwifery is one of the most rich, fulfilling things to study. It fills your soul and enriches your life. There is no one in the world as privileged as the midwife, for she is able to witness those very first, sacred moments of life. I feel very blessed to be equipping myself for a future in such a wonderful profession. I truly think there is no better job in the world, even if the study is gruelling and occupies all of my time!

Last semester was a stressful one, but I pulled through in the end. Where I last left you, I'd just finished my first round of assessments for Summer Session and was a little bit worried over how I would go with the tough anatomy and physiology subjects that I had to study for over the Christmas break. Well, I am pleased to tell you I actually ended up with a Credit in anatomy as well as my research subject, and scraped a pass in physiology as well! You wouldn't believe how relieved I was when I found out!

This week is my second week studying at the Gold Coast campus, and I'm so elated to finally be studying midwifery-specific units! This semester I'm taking Primary Health Care Midwifery, Midwifery Foundations and The Australian Health Care System. These units are designed to ready me for the practical placements I'll do next semester, and I'm really enjoying them so far! Midwifery has such an interesting history, and is a profession which is changing rapidly and asserting itself as a stand-alone profession in it's own right again after many years of being considered "subordinate" to nursing here in Australia. To be educated on these changes, and a part of the changes myself as a student and future professional is really exciting! I really believe in women's right to choose their care provider and have access to the best care that suits them, especially case-loading and continuity models of care which we are taught about at university, and I really hope to be the change we need in Australia to deliver that to women, both in my capacity as a student right now and my future as a midwife.

Right now, my studies consist of a lot of background stuff about midwifery and how it fits into the Australian health care system, and as of next week I will start learning practical skills in the lab, ready for my practical placements next semester! I've also started putting together my documentation for my placements, including my police checks and immunisation records. At the moment, all of that feels a little overwhelming, but I'm sure that I'll be feeling more settled soon.

Socially, I've made a great group of friends already from my local area and we had our first meeting for our group assignment today. We are all from totally different backgrounds, but we get along brilliantly and are all so passionate about midwifery. It's really nice. I've never had this at uni before! Our whole school of midwifery is like one big family. The lecturers are absolutely fantastic, knowledgable and approachable women, the second and third year students are lovely and helpful and there is a real sense that we are all in this together. No competition, just a sisterhood of women (unfortunately there are no men in our cohort!) who all have a singular passion and goal of becoming the best midwives we can be. I feel so supported and safe in my degree, which is really lovely!

Anyway, that's all for now! I hope you're al well! I'll try and check in on all your blogs soon! xx