Diary of a Pregnant Midwife
As I sit here typing, I am 38 weeks and one day pregnant with our first baby and I am also a midwife. This has added a very strange twist to being pregnant for the first time- experiencing first hand all the sensations, aches, pains and the emotional roller coaster that I have read about in textbooks for years at university and then heard about first hand from the women and families I have cared for as a registered midwife.
I consider myself to be incredibly blessed and on the whole have had a fantastic and low risk pregnancy- dont get my wrong, I have definitely had my moments.
First trimester was three months of what I can only describe as the worst hangover I have ever felt- tired beyond belief, boobs so tender that I could of cried and nauseous all day every day and being able to only stomach carbohydrates and fats (aka crumpets, cups of tea, vegemite on toast and chocolate). I did however, thank my lucky stars each day I laid on the couch trying to keep my food down because I felt it was a good sign of a healthy and strong pregnancy and was a very physical reminder of the huge job my body was doing.
Next came our nuchal translucency ultrasound, I don’t think I slept much the night before, worrying about every possible scenario (and when your a midwife, sometimes you know too much). Seeing our baby happy and healthy and doing what could only be described as “the worm dance move” in my tummy on the ultrasound was such an incredible moment for my husband and I, all our hopes and dreams and love was right there growing inside my belly.
As I transitioned to second trimester, the morning sickness (all day sickness!!!) and fatigue started to dissipate. I started to feel more energy and so in love with my little growing baby belly however, pelvic girdle pain started to develop. At the time I was working in the antenatal clinic which meant I was sitting down for the majority of time, which anyone that has experienced pelvic girdle pain knows is the worst possible thing you could do. I was in so much pain and some days I could hardly walk. I had to shove ice packs down my pants and would be in tears from the pain.
By around the 28 week mark I had finished working in the antenatal clinic and was started working on the antenatal and postnatal ward of a very busy tertiary hospital, I really enjoyed my time on the ward and caring for new families as they get to know their new little family member. There was ups and downs though, being a tertiary hospital we sometimes had very sick mummas and bubs which definitely affects any midwife but even more so when being pregnant yourself.
Upon entering the third trimester, I felt pretty great apart from the pelvic girdle pain that persisted despite countless appointments of acupuncture, chiropractic, physiotherapy and reformer Pilates classes. These modalities certainly helped but nothing would totally take the pain away.
I finished work at 34 weeks pregnant. I felt so many mixed emotions about this. I absolutely love being a Midwife and know that I have a long and amazingly rewarding career ahead of me and felt like being a Midwife was such a huge part of who I am as a person but I knew it was time to slow down and shift from Midwife to Mumma-to-be.
At first I did struggle a bit and really missed work and the routine and feeling as though I was helping others and doing something important but now I am loving maternity leave (no more night shifts!!) with its days of long walks and swims at the beach, naps, date nights with my husband, catching up with friends and family and a lot of baby shopping, nursery arranging and dreaming of our baby.
You would think being a midwife I would possibly know what I’m doing with this whole pregnancy thing, but I have certainly had some interesting moments including texting my Midwife a picture of my vaginal discharge to ask if it was normal (twice I might add) and not knowing till a Midwife friend of mine showed me at about 35 weeks what the baby hiccuping felt like.
I thought the baby was using me as punching bag practice or something?!?
As I quickly approach my “due date” I am so excited, I feel as though I have let go of any fears I have had about labour and birth and being a “good” mum (whatever that means). I feel so ready for this baby and the huge and incredible changes that will happen in our lives. I’m learning to trust my instincts and my body and can’t wait to birth my baby.
I have felt so loved and supported during my pregnancy from my family, friends, my incredible husband and my Midwife, who I trust 100%.
I look forward to sharing my birth story with you all once my little bundle of joy arrives.
(This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional. All information is written from the experience and knowledge of the person writing the post).