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Becoming a Mum led Anais to Midwifery

Midwife Anais

My name is Anais and I am a Graduate Midwife at Peninsula Health (that still feels extremely strange and satisfying to say!). I started my Bachelor of Midwifery at ACU in 2014 whilst pregnant with my daughter. After the birth of my son in 2012, I realised that my passion was working with women throughout the childbearing continuum. I enjoyed educating women so they too could make empowering choices that resulted in the best possible pregnancy, birth and postnatal experience unique to their needs/choices.

I started working at Frankston hospital in the Women’s Health Unit (WHU) early February, and so far I have been in the inpatient section of the WHU. This means I work with antenatal and postnatal women and their families (pregnant women and women who have had their baby). The only way I can adequately describe my experience is, it has felt a little like riding a rollercoaster; good days, bad days, amazing days, super bad days, elation, excitement, confidence, despair…. you get the jist! You name the emotion and I’ve probably felt it. Some days I walk out thinking “I AM THE BEST MIDWIFE IN THE WORLD!!” And other days I’m completely deflated. It is simply Mother Nature’s way of ensuring you don’t get too big for your boots! The only emotion that has stayed constant is the excitement I feel coming into work each day; every day is different and you never know what lays ahead throughout your shift. I truly love my job and feel so grateful to work with women throughout the childbearing continuum. It is truly an honour to be a part of a family’s most intimate and exciting time in life.

The leap from student to Registered Midwife has definitely been large (I’d actually call it more of a free fall from 25000 feet), however, thanks to the WHU team, it hasn’t been as scary as it would be if I wasn’t so well supported. The responsibility that is suddenly placed on you when you realise you don’t have someone checking everything you do has definitely been a little daunting – and I have certainly made mistakes! But it is all part of the learning curve (a very steep learning curve!). I will never forget to double check the spelling on a blood test ever again! I also feel like I am constantly running around like a headless chook, and often wonder at the end of my shift where eight hours went. Between managing care for four women and their babies, answering buzzers, trying to discharge women in a timely manner, trying to fit in a break to eat and drink, learning new processes, systems and policies, trying to find where ANYTHING is, all whilst trying to provide the best possible care I can provide to each woman I care for, it’s fair to say it’s proving to be much harder than being a student!

Despite the struggles, the constant support and kindness of colleagues in the WHU has honestly made the start of my midwifery career less daunting. Not only fellow midwives, but also the educators, doctors, ANUM’s, ward clerks and PSAs have helped me in some capacity throughout every single shift so far. Every single colleague has been kind, respectful, and always happy to help even when they’re extremely busy themselves, and has not once made me feel as though I’ve asked a stupid question (and I’ve asked A LOT!). The team in the WHU is truly one of a kind, and has so far had such a positive impact on my graduate experience at Peninsula Health.

I am only a month in so far, however, I have already learnt so much and I can’t wait for everything I will learn during the rest of this year (and the rest of my career as a midwife!) I am consistently consolidating skills and learning new things every single day, which at times makes me feel like I know absolutely nothing, but I am truly loving the challenge. Above all, I know I am making a positive impact on women’s journeys into motherhood through passion and enthusiasm alone, and that is what keeps me pushing forward on the hardest days. A woman thanked me for the care I provided to her and her family throughout a shift, and I felt like a kid on Christmas day – it meant the world to me! I know that with support, time, practice, resilience, passion (both for women’s optimal outcomes/ experiences and learning) and perseverance, I will be feeling much more confident in my new career as a midwife. I am really looking forward to the year ahead; the good, the bad, and the ugly.