UPDATE!

YES readers, I am still in Midwifery School! I have no excuse as to why it’s June 2nd of 2017 and my last post was April 2016. I am truly just so busy that my blog fell to the last of my things to do. I happened to be on my Instagram page and clicked the link to my blog and read it. I knew I had been abandoning the page but as I read my last update, I realized how much I had grown in my pursuit of becoming a midwife. I also remembered the few people who follow my journey & knew I owed them an update.

For starters I am managing now. No more just assisting. Managing means I am conducting prenatal appointments, making plans for their pregnancy (this includes all labs) managing births, newborn exams, and postpartum visits- I’m just under supervision. I still have much to learn and I am SO grateful I still do, I’m just glad to see where I am now and all I’ve learned. A typical prenatal appointment includes reviewing supplements, treating any pregnancy related symptoms, checking in on diet & hydration, emotional status, exercise as well as all vitals- blood pressure, pulse, weight, and checking baby’s heart rate and growth. However Midwifery related appointments differ from other appointments because we also check in on mama. We ask about any fears and also just about what’s going on in life. We want to know if there’s anything that could affect their birth process and also just because want to know. 🙂 So that’s the jixst of it.. Skill wise one of the most important things I’ve learned since my last update is how to perform cervical exams.

My current class schedule is:

  • Pharmacology
  • Midwifery Practicum
  • Public Health
  • Traditional Healing Modalities III

Part of the reason I haven’t been able to write as much is because I have SO much going on… I drive to school 4hrs away every other week, I’m in clinic 3 days a week (more when there’s births), I’m the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding & of course there’s family and trying to maintain self care with some sort of social life. However, I know being this busy is only temporary. When we’re in school it seems like we’re struggling to stay afloat and time is passing slowly but the fact that I am in my last semester of year two, clearly says time does fly.

I’m at the point now where I just want to suck up all there is to know Midwifery related so that I can be the absolute best provider to all my mamas and families. Seriously. Some of being a student midwife means missing events/holidays and responding late to text and phone calls but in the end it’ll be worth it!

It’s glad to be back.

Managing a Newborn Exam a couple months ago:

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Catheters, Venipuncture and IV’s

A few skills I’ve learned in school this semester included urinary catheters, venipuncture and IV’s!

For urinary catheters we used a model and for venipuncture and IV’s we used each other. I volunteered my arm for the cause although I was extremely afraid. However, our instructor was there and everything turned out fine.

I jumped right after listening to and watching our instructor and was able to complete all 3 tasks!

Venipuncture (blood draw)

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Urinary catheters

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Supplies for IV !

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Update on the 2 births from last post.

Hey everyone!

Of course it’s been forever since my last post and I won’t make an excuse as to why it’s been so long. Just know that I’ve been extremely busy loving on mamas, palpating bellies, listening to fetal heart tones, traveling from city to city, writing papers and doing endless amounts of homework.

I wanted to update you all on the two births from the last post. Ironically, both of the mamas had the same due date and both went past by 4days. This means that I was only able to attend one & it was incredible. This mom came to the Birth Center after being in early labor for over a day. Her contractions were consistent but were not resulting in dilation. When she arrived at the birth center we started her on homeopathics because of prodromal labor. It was just she and I in the room for a few hours (her husband was coming from work) and she labored beautifully. She arrived with birth affirmations to tape on the wall to remind herself that she could do it. She started doing nipple stimulation and her contractions picked up and were steady. During each contraction she remembered her breathing and would say in the calmest voice “contractions don’t run me, I am in control of my body. This has to happen in order to have my baby.” When her contractions would pass, she’d look up at me and say “Tia I’m doing it.” & I’d said “yes you are” while checking her BP and fetal heart tones.

She ate chicken noodle soup and and almost 2 hrs later, the midwife checked her and she was at 7centimeters. She immediately started crying because she was SO proud of herself. I assured her that I was too and that her body knew what it was doing. We filled the jacuzzi bath tub with warm water and she got in the tub where she immediately felt some relief from the pain.

At 11:56pm, her baby girl entered the world via water.

This was the 1st birth I attended as a student and the roles had definitely switched from when I would just observe in a hospital with family and friends. I am so grateful to have learned a lot and that this mama allowed me to be in her space.

The other mom from this post delivered a baby boy who I had the honor of meeting at her postpartum visit. He is doing well and the 1st thing this mom said when she saw me was, “where were you?!” I hate that I missed it but she completely understood.

I love the connection i’ve developed with these moms in combination with doing what I love!

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Developing a bond with clients.

Hi everyone!

It has been such a busy start to the semester with clinic and balancing 6 classes- 2 with a lab portion. But I am truly enjoying every minute.

Clinic has been absolutely amazing. I’ve had the opportunity to work with two Midwives thus far and meet a lot of moms, palpate & measure bellies, find fetal heart tones, counsel women on diet and activity and things of that nature. However the best part of everything is the bond between myself and the moms. Recently I’ve met two women who are both towards the end of their pregnancy. The beauty of the path I’ve chosen to help women and and babies are the differences I’ve seen between other care providers and myself as a student midwife. Prenatal appointments are usually an hour long with a Midwife. In that hour I really get the chance to know what’s going on with them physically & mentally as well as answer all of the questions and provide advice.

I’ve witnessed these women voice their opinion about being nervous and apprehensive about delivery, hear good stories and was able to counsel and get to know them. Because of that bond (weekly appointments b/c of last few weeks), I am really hoping they don’t give birth when I’m away at school. 🙂 I’d like the opportunity to empower them, help them do what their body is made to do on top of being in the space of welcoming a new baby. In case I miss their birth, there are 3 postpartum appointments that I’ sure I’ll be apart of!

So here’s to all the mama’s I’ll get to meet! I’m honored to be apart of your journey and grateful to you for allowing me!

 

Clinic has begun!

Birth-Photography-100The big day finally came! This post will be brief as it’s only the beginning but I wanted to let those who’ve been waiting, know how it went.

I was nervous yet excited to begin my clinical journey because this is truly where I’ll learn the most as everything is hands on. This is where I’ll do my 1st prenatal appointment where I’ll get to palpate bellies and hear fetal heart tones, the 1st place I’ll labor with a mama and encourage her, the place I’ll catch (deliver) my 1st baby, complete my 1st newborn exam, where I’ll spend hours in postpartum with a new mama and baby. As joyous as those things are, there are also things I’ll learn that are scary but beneficial as a future midwife- managing a postpartum hemorrhage, suturing and learn how to keep the space of a laboring mama from distractions. So yes, this is a big deal!

My 1st day was office work. So, it wasn’t AS exciting as I was hoping but I was still VERY grateful as my goal is to open a Birth Center and would need to know everything that goes into running a successful center. After arriving and reintroducing myself (I met a few people during my interview) my 1st task of the day was scanning charts and adding information to patient records. Everything now is electronic and again, those are very useful skills. Secondly, I helped one of the midwives set up for a newborn class that was being taught to 1st time moms and lastly, my favorite thing of the day was creating postpartum folders for parents. I read every single page. It was very informative and included instructions on pain management after delivery, what to expect after a vaginal delivery, breastfeeding, car seat safety, soothing a crying newborn, infant hearing screening & things of that sort.

So that was my day. I’m excited and ready for what’s next which includes an actual clinic day. haha! Stay tuned! XO, Tia

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New semester, same journey.

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Hey! I wanted to update you all on my 2nd semester, it’s been two weeks & sadly has taken me 2 weeks to upload this but here we go! The great thing about starting this semester is that it gives me a fresh start at getting a little more organized. I plan to start a library related to Midwifery and I’d like to keep my notes from certain classes to use as a reference when I’m practicing and also include a lot of books my mamas can take to read. Or it just gives me a reason to shop? Who knows. Bring on the new folders, notebooks, pens, etc.

My current schedule:

  • Anatomy & Physiology 2
  •  A&P 2 Lab
  • Healthcare Skills 2
  • HCS 2 Lab
  • Female Sexuality
  • Psychology for Midwives
  • Midwifery Practicum

Our welcome back included getting to know more about the clinical journey’s from staff at school. This included an MD, Licensed Midwife and admin. We (including the staff) were asked questions such as, “Do we feel prepared to begin clinical?” “Do we think we’ll make a fool of ourselves in front of our preceptor?” & things of that sort. We had four answer choices- strongly agree, agree, strongly disagree and degree. Personally, I am prepared mentally to learn as much and everything possible & I am most definitely afraid that I’ll make a fool out of myself. Luckily for me, during my interview my preceptor stressed the importance of teaching and not belittling students because she wants to see midwifery continue to grow in the United States. It’s crazy how OOH (out of hospital) birth isn’t the “norm” here in the States but is in many other countries.. however that’s another blog post. 😉 But yes, very much afraid. I think it’s because there is SO much you need to know before you’re the prime “baby catcher” and being that I’m just starting out, I have a fear that my preceptor will ask me to do something, forgetting that I’m just starting out and I’ll be standing there big eyed & looking like a dear caught in headlights. According to our Clinical Director at school, we shouldn’t be afraid to let it be known that we don’t know. Not only will it be a teaching moment, she also said the worst thing you could ever do is say you know how to do something but don’t because at that point, both mom and baby could be at risk.

An interesting class we have this semester is Female Sexuality. I don’t have any children but I would like to get more comfortable talking about sexuality so the conversations I have with my future patients are smooth and comfortable for the both of us. What was interesting to hear from some of my classmates who have children, especially daughters is that they’re looking forward to the class mainly to gather points in having “the talk” with their daughters and sons, while being open and honest. Our 1st assignment was to create a dialogue of a conversation we would have with our daughter or son regarding sex. TALK ABOUT A HEART ATTACK!!! This was by far the hardest thing ever. I would hope to have a relationship with my future daughter where she can respectably come to me for anything, but let’s be real… I’d be happiest if I made sure she is aware of everything! & I mean everything- consent, protection, diseases, emotions that come with it and everything else. I grew up in a Christian home, therefore I would explain that sex was designed for marriage. If she chose to wait or not, my job would be done if she understood everything about it.

Side note: This all sounds good, let’s just hope I can remember all of this when that time comes. babies

The 1st day of Healthcare Skills 2 was pretty cool as well. We learned how to put together birth and suture kits. We have a training workshop later throughout the program where we’ll learn how to suture a mama who may have tore during delivery.

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Creating Suture & Birth Kits!

The second Healthcare Skills 2 class was even better. I practiced drawing up Pitocin if I have a mama with a postpartum hemorrhage. I located the greater trochanter, spread my index and middle fingers & intramuscularly inserted the needle. That was probably the best thing I’ve done so far!

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Overall, the 1st week back was really good. I’m looking forward to many more skills as well as the thought provoking homework assignments I know will benefit me in the long haul. XO, Tia

PS. The response back from you guys have been amazing! Just wait until I am managing births and delivering babies. I’m glad I can inspire some of you and can use the motivation from you all too. Thank you!

 

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! I am so grateful to see this year because well, let’s be honest, this world has been quite crazy for a while now. Looking back, 2015 was a “set-up” year for me to ensure a wonderful 2016. Don’t get me wrong, there were quite a few wonderful times that I’ll list in a few, however, I am most grateful for how I’ve grown!

This “growth” didn’t come over night. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in church praying the New Year in that I was able to recount the main things I’ve learned & the highlights.

2015 Highlights:

  • The start of Midwifery school (heck yes!)
  • The Birth of my nephew- Karter Josiah

The biggest thing I would have to say I’ve learned is to allow people to be them and if there are things I would want to change, pray! God is truly the one to heal anything that may feel broken. I had this horrible habit of getting upset when people failed to meet expectations, but those expectations were set by me. That’s so unfair. When you choose to love a person- friend, spouse, family member, co worker etc. You love them for them. Love can’t be conditional on the terms you or in this case, I, would set. It’s unconditional. Love in all forms. I am truly elated to finally see this. It almost cost me a relationship that meant the world to me because I couldn’t open my eyes and listen to what God was telling me. He is the fixer, He hears all my thoughts. I believe this is important to master as the next stage in my life approaches.

I left church last night ready to conquer 2016- Lessons learned & ready to be put into perspective. I don’t have control over a lot of things and at this moment I have to surrender and have faith that God knows what best. An example for that- my upcoming schedule for school. I was a little bummed about scheduling for school next semester because as you all know I’m a home body. I had to look at the bigger picture. I am one of the few people actively pursing a dream of mine. Those come along with sacrifices and it’s only temporary. I’m also really excited to share that time with my amazing sister midwives. I’ve met people from various walks of life that I would have never met before attending Midwifery School! I am going to pay attention and be grateful because these years are going to fly by and sooner or later we’ll be on our own practicing.

Before I end this post, I wanted to leave you all with a few things I’m looking forward to in 2016:

  • Starting Clinicals: Learning as much as I can to manage a birth and ensure a healthy/safe mama & baby
  • Growing in my relationship with God
  • Being happy & surrounding myself around those who love me
  • Continuing to blog

So here’s to 2016.. I plan to embrace the challenges as I know it’ll only make my journey that much meaningful. I get to see the lessons learned in 2015 manifest in my journey for 2016. I’m just looking forward to being great!

XO, Tia

2016

 

1st semester= DONE!

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In a nutshell, I wanted to recap my 1st semester. We received our schedule a couple weeks prior to the 1st day and I immediately saw 9 classes. To say my 2 days in another city would be busy was an understatement. But the days truly didn’t seem long until about 6/7pm and you realize you have two/three more hours to go.

On the 1st day, our class of 30 women were welcomed by the class ahead of us with small gifts that would help us on our 1st couple middle of the night births (I still have mine & plan to put in my birth bag for clinicals in two weeks). I can’t remember all of what was included but I do know there were granola bars for those nights we’re called to a birth and possibly don’t have time to grab food, a small notebook to record our thoughts we would later have to include in our records, gum and a few other small things. I thought that was really sweet because it also allowed us to get to know them. We were offered the opportunity to sign up for a mentor and my mentor proved to be AMAZING throughout the semester! We joke that she has adopted our entire class as mentee’s because she has hosted many study nights for us before exams.

It’s pretty much a joke now because in every class by every teacher, and the class ahead of us, we were asked why we chose Midwifery. We all went around and said why. Our class is a mixture of women- RN’s, college grads from completely different paths, chiropractics, former EMT’s or just someone who took the required prerequisites because they had a passion for this work, who we each had similar answers- to empower women to do what their body was made to do. I mean, those weren’t all the answers but that’s what stuck out to me.

During lunch, we attended a ceremony that was held for the class above us for the students who had delivered (or as they like to say-“caught”) their 1st baby during the break. They told the story of how it happened and that they trusted their preceptor who had taught them everything they needed to know. Because of that, they were ultimately comfortable doing so. I look forward to the day I am able to share my story with all of you.

The 1st day was a great start to the next 17 weeks. Our teachers this semester included an MD, Licensed Midwife, former High School Principal, and a woman who has been working for the school since it’s opening. At times it was challenging but I can’t tell you how much we relied on other students for support and advice on how to manage our 12 hour days on campus. Let’s just say there was a lot of coffee involved- we even bought a Keuric to leave on campus and planned group meals for dinner.

1st semester books/supplies for the following classes:

Anatomy & Physiology 1, A&P 1 Lab, Healthcare Skills 1, HCS 1 Lab, Research Evaluation, Florida Law & Rule, Basic Comm Skills, Student Success and History of Midwifery & a Blood Pressure kit & Stethoscope

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This semester was pretty much our introduction to all things. I learned how to manually take blood pressures (although I plan to have an automatic one in my practice), set up sterile fields for birth and I know every body region, bone, joint and everything else in the human body. History of Midwifery was an amazing class because it introduced us to the Midwives who worked so that I have the opportunity to be able to sit in class and type this blog.

Next semester brings more fun things- GYN exams, breast exams and IV’s, in addition to attending births at our clinic site.

XO, Tia

Determination & Support

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Between finding this program, applying, interviewing, starting and finishing my 1st semester, I’ve developed a new meaning of determination. My life has drastically changed due to my determination to become a successful Midwife.

For starters, I drive just about 4 hours (8 hours round trip) every single week to school. I’ve done it so much that it feels routine but I definitely notice it when I’m needing an oil change more than usual or wearing my tires a little faster. It’s not a complaint as I constantly remember that I am one of the lucky people who are actively pursing a dream. These are just the times having a great support group really comes in handy.

This busy life helps me to see people in their truest forms and shows me my biggest supporters. Whether I have to schedule date night with my boyfriend around the 2 days I’m away or simply happy and grateful (or not) when my friends don’t forget to include me in things because they know my schedule, I am truly grateful to keep my life as normal as possible with all the recent changes Midwifery school has brought. I will admit though, having people who understands what you need makes everything a little sweeter. I need to get better at communicating that at all times. Not everyone can read your mind. 😉

Here’s to the support and encouragement I’ve received from so many people. Obtaining this goal is REAL y’all so please pray my strength as I continue my journey.

 XO, Tia

Why I chose Midwifery

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An excerpt of a paper I wrote in a class from last semester. The topic was, “How did your midwifery journey begin?”

            My midwifery journey began seventeen years ago. I’ve been passionate about birth since age eight when my mom was pregnant with my younger sister. Anytime I was ever asked about what I wanted to do when I grew up, my answer was ALWAYS to deliver babies. When my mom was pregnant, she allowed me to attend her prenatal appointments and I was at the hospital during the birth of my sister. When she came into the world and I was allowed to hold her, at age eight I was amazed, intrigued and completely infatuated with all the feelings in the room. Those feelings included the tears in my mother’s eyes when she first laid eyes on her beautiful new daughter, but even more at the doctor who assisted my mom in doing what her body was meant to do. That’s truly when the passion inside of me began to grow.

At such a young age there really wasn’t much I could do yet to pursue my new desire of birth. For the next few years I spent hours after school watching TLC’s A Baby Story and Birth Day. I was fascinated by the stories and people’s lives because I was able to see birth and would cry (and still do) after a healthy baby was born. Some may have thought it was weird but I thought it was truly amazing. There is nothing in this world more beautiful. In addition to dedicating hours to these television shows related to birth, I started babysitting babies- the younger they were, the happier I was. I read books I found related to pregnancy, birth, newborn babies and started my research on how I could become an OB/GYN.

My desire to be an OB/GYN switched to a Labor and Delivery Nurse when my second oldest sister gave birth to my niece when I was 18. It was right before I started college so I had plenty of time to switch my intended major from Biology to Pre-Nursing. The doctor was late to her delivery because she was with another patient so the nurse delivered the baby. I noticed how much more involved the nurses were and although physicians make more money, I wanted to go the other route. However, life progressed and things changed. Although I’ve completed all my prerequisites for nursing and plan to return, I fell in the path of education- partly because of my love for children and pursed that. However in between being a teacher, I attended births and a doula training class with the hopes of one day doing doula work. It was one day at my desk while my students were at lunch that I felt that burning desire that never left, return.

I began researching midwifery programs and spent the next few weeks really finding what was right for me. After my cousin had a not-so-good experience with her doctor at the birth of her daughter in a hospital, I was lead to out-of-hospital birth. I will never forget the day I found FSTM. I immediately began my application and asked for my letters of recommendation. Everything flowed smoothly and honestly, there wasn’t a better time than now to complete this program. I am here and there is no greater joy to actively be pursing a life long dream. I am humbled; I am incredibly blessed and grateful.

So you see, becoming a Midwife chose me. I can’t wait to document this journey. It’s only been one semester but I’ve already met so many amazing women who I get to call my sister midwives.

XO, Tia