I am glad that I still have this blog. I haven't used my blog very creatively in awhile. Years, probably. I lost my ability to be creative. At some point - and I cannot figure out just exactly when - I lost a lot. I gave everything I had towards a cause I believe in. I still believe in midwifery, but I won't practice it anymore. Am I still practicing? Yes, but not in a midwifery model. I am functioning more as a NP and I'm not catching babies. I am intellectually challenged, still, but the acuity and intensity is gone. I chose this "midwifery derailing" path in a poor mental state. Possibly the poorest I had ever allowed myself to exist in. Looking back, I think I cried for months and the months became years. I haven't caught a baby since July, but I'm still receiving letters from patients on how I was instrumental in their success at some point.
Truth be told, the paint is peeling away on my coffee cup. The cup was personally crafted for me by a patient several years ago and with it was a card expressing gratitude. "Keep calm and call the midwife." I have drank coffee from that cup almost every morning since receiving it. Today, probably half of the decor remains. A big chunk of the design fell off last week while driving Jenna to school. Jenna exclaimed, "oh no!"
I believe I am an amazing midwife. I have been told this. I was called to the profession because I loved to "labor sit," with women and their families. I don't excite easily. I am tireless when I believe. The mental and physical hardships I endured to care for women and families was always worth it. Surprisingly, I was shown gratitude in the most sacred of ways - free meals, "help" as friends later should I need it, exchange of talents, many handcrafted gifts (baskets, cups, bags, shawls, etc), invites to authentic dinners, tearful hugs and the invitation to join them again. I'm sure there are more midwifery supportive practices out there if I wanted to continue midwifery. I believe that midwifery works and that the medicalization of healthy pregnancies is a poor idea that results in poor outcomes. I believe that joint patient care between physicians and midwives is essential to total best care. I would love to know what it would feel like to be admired by obstetricians the same way I admire them. Too many consecutive years passed when I was the only one who believed.
I gave my everything and it wasn't enough.
So, I stopped. With nowhere to turn and the bills higher than ever, I chose a position that would allow me what I needed to recover. Lower cost of living, set daytime hours, less acuity, familiarity, family. Just recently, the surfacing of nightmare conversations stopped, the sadness seemed less, the chronic rejection lifted and the resulting pain barely palpable. There are many reasons not to practice full scope midwifery when it comes to family life and personal health requirements. It's important for me to have boundaries.
I have about a year before I need to make a decision about whether to return. Besides my desire to practice midwifery, there are no reasons to return. Will I let about 20 years worth of OB nursing experience expire?
Just recently, I've started enjoying my life awake. Speaking financially, I'm not making a cent less than I was as a full scope midwife. I have been surprised by the incidental holiday that arrived and I hadn't made any plans. Holidays didn't mean as much when I was working half of them or arriving into the day off having worked the night before. It was rare when I'd get 3 months worth of schedule at a time. As a result, I rarely committed to much since I wouldn't know whether I could attend anymore than a mother knew when she would go into labor.
TGIF has a lot more meaning now and I don't even work a full five days per week! I love my weekends. I have started dreaming again. My metabolic hum has significantly slowed, my patience has greatly increased and I am attentive to this moment. I am awake. I am treasuring these moments. Living in Oregon has been an unexpected gift to myself. The coast is most always accessible, as is the wooded forest.
I have become more passionate about the prevention of chronic disease. I want to do more for myself to prevent disease and I want to live a healthier life. I made a first big step by reducing my overall stress and fatigue. We continue to eat well but I have yet to find a way to incorporate regular exercise into my regimen. It either cuts my sleep or my evening with my kids. I want to enjoy my exercise and I've never enjoyed running in the morning. It's clear that regular exercise is imperative to maintaining a healthy life. It bothers me that I'm not exercising, especially when I enjoy it so much.
I see a lot of preventable disease and obesity as a provider.
I want to do more to help those who are interested to prevent chronic disease. I also have a lot of learning left myself.
It has been difficult caring for Darin for the past month or so. We've actually even had our first ED visit where he was diagnosed with psychosis and in an uncontrollable state. It was alleviated by IM medication. We are also in the phase of restarting care here and not all the specialists we need are local. It has been a hardship to take care of him because his behavior and mood prevent us from leaving the home to enjoy the outdoors and travel without childcare. We have recently hired a person to help when Derek goes to work and we interview another person tomorrow evening who may be able to help in evenings and weekends.
We have found a home here in a good school district. So far, both kids are doing well and like their schools. This move has been difficult on Jenna because she is now at the age where kids aren't always nice and accepting.
I like the idea of a new home and one that we can make our own. I've renovated a lot of homes as we've moved throughout the United States. It will be thrilling to try and make a home truly ours and where my work won't be enjoyed by another person and in vain. This home has a sunroom and it I'm very excited about that aspect. We are scheduled to close by the end of October.
New schools. New jobs x 2. New location. New home. New caregivers.