This past month has been hard. I’m going to be very, very honest. I had a difficult birth last month and everything that I have done since then feels like just going through the motions until I feel normal again. I’m not sure if or when I will ever feel “normal” again. This month I’ve celebrated small victories, which is pretty much all I can ask for now.
I found myself a great therapist. She is a certified postpartum international counselor, and talks to lots and lots of people about birth trauma. It feels good to have a space, twice a month to let out my feelings related to my work instead of a constant, diffuse feeling that is overwhelming.
I’m sleeping through the night again, and most of the dreams and intrusive thoughts that I was having have dissipated.
I have talked to fellow colleagues, former professors, and close friends outside the midwifery world who have loved me, supported me, and hugged me.
I have caught close to 15 babies in the month since my traumatic experience, and it has felt good to start to trust normal birth again.
I caught my 50th baby since midwifery school this past weekend, and measured up all my stats, and even though its a small sample size, I am extremely proud of my 9% c-section rate.
I have been really honest with myself and others about my needs, and a lot of this involved eating ice cream and cupcakes and going to the gym more often (I know, it sounds like these things are counter-posed, but really they are complimentary, I swear. Also, carrot cake for breakfast on a post-call day is totally fine, right?).
I found a continuing education conference for Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health that I’ll be attending in October and can’t wait to make connections with other women’s health NPs and midwives who are passionate about primary and reproductive health care.
I’ve celebrated all these small victories and have recognized that healing is a process. I have learned a lot about myself, my resilience, and how deep my love for this profession goes in the past month, even if it is capable of breaking my heart wide open.
More to come, and maybe even a humorous post sometime in the near future. But for now, cheers to the small victories and my amazing support network of family, friends, and colleagues who have stuck it out with me this past month.