The ANMJ asked a few midwives to reflect on their first “catch” and share the highlights and emotions that were involved.
Bree Green, ‘Clinical Resource Midwife’ at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne, and ANMF Federal Professional Officer
The words that come to mind when I reflect on my “first catch” would be relief and gratitude.
I was relieved that I had achieved this milestone as it had been something that I had awaited in such anticipation when I chose to become a midwife.
I was so nervous, however reassured by the experienced midwives supporting me.
It turned out to be a beautiful, controlled birth and I remember being in awe of the mother. She was so strong and focused.
I was grateful to the family for entrusting me to birth their baby, and they were so grateful in return for their positive birth experience.
It definitely provided a great beginning for what has become a rewarding and cherished career.
Ruth King, Midwifery Advisor at Australian College of Midwives
When you start out as a student you begin by observing and learning how to be with the woman.
As you progress in your studies, you learn the intricacies of birthing from the women and midwives you have been shadowing.
Your first hands-on birth experience is guided and supported by the midwife you are working alongside.
That first experience is exciting and terrifying in equal measure. So much rests in your hands; the woman, her baby and your future as a midwife.
You carry the feelings of euphoria and contentment for days after, knowing that this is where you want to be and look forward to the days and weeks that follow as you witness the woman and her baby bond and their new family unit blossom.
From my first birth, I knew I was where I wanted to be.
Donovan Jones, Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health at Charles Sturt University
Reflecting back to my new graduate rotations as a midwife, there are a number of amazing experiences that I had the privilege to be a part of, but one of the most memorable was with a young woman called Sue (not her real name).
Being one of the first births I attended as the primary midwife, Sue presented to the delivery suite room in established labour.
I found the ability to just “be with women” so natural in this birth as I was completely guided by this strong mother to be.
After the natural birth of a beautiful girl, whilst Sue was having a skin-to-skin with her baby, I said to Sue how amazing and in control she was throughout the birth.
She said “Donovan remember it’s uter-us not uter-you’ and that ‘we were in this together’, reinforcing in me the philosophy of midwifery and the incredible impact midwives have on birthing women and the impact they (birthing mums) have on us.
My early year as a new registered midwife working with women paved the way for my ongoing involvement in maternity care and has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my journey through life.