Breathe Easy, You've Found Me ((HUGS))

People will wonder why this blog is needed, why minority midwifery student? It's very simple actually; I was looking for this blog...but I couldn't find I created it. We all have unique experiences, and every experience, every story, can help someone else. I am a black girl from the hood at an ivy league professional school. That, alone, is reason enough to write. Somebody was looking for this blog. Someone wanted proof that what I'm doing can be done - even when you come from where we come from.

To that person especially, WELCOME.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I've found it.

Anne, you were reading my mind, lol. I am (and have been) looking for RN jobs... and being an RN in a birth center would actually be right inside of my perfect wish. :o) I even talked to a birth center about it a few weeks ago, but they were kinda dismissive about it, saying "RNs don't want to work for what we pay, they could could make much more as staff nurses" and since that was the third dismissive comment of the 15 minute conversation, I pretty much moved on in my head to other possibilities, sigh. But yes, that would be the best of both worlds for a baby midwife and I'm still looking and will check out the place you mentioned :o)

I moved my midwifery exam date in favor of becoming licensed as an RN here first (I couldn't do both.)

Actually, I also moved my exam because I can't afford it right now, and moving it to September was so much better than being completely and totally stressed about money for the next two-three months because every spare dime... and a few non-spare dimes would have been sent to the AMCB

I labored over this decision for a very long time. My intention was always to take it right after graduation because I was always worried that I'd forget too much stuff.  And then, after comp exams at school, I got an email jab saying "you better study extra hard for boards" because my grade wasn't stellar. Of course I emailed back saying "I'll be just fine, thank you" but now of course there's that little voice in my ear saying "you might not pass it." I hate that about my alma mater.  They were always saying something similar to this, always sending me "you're close to failing" letters, always hinting (and sometimes outright saying) that I wasn't quite good enough. It sucks to be emailed the range of grades and see that the score you got is the bottom score. Why do we need to know how many people got an A or a B or a C? But anyway, I did it, even if narrowly... which really, considering my GPA, isn't even narrowly... it's damn near impressive... except that it's still low by comparison to rest of my anal cohort.

And that is why graduation was so. friggin. amazing. for me and my family. We partied like the end of the world was near. I still giggle... and sometimes cry from happiness... at how much FUN we had that week. It was so amazing. So uplifting. So rewarding. It's a month later and me and my family are *still* talking about it. That's how wonderful it was. I am loved, and every single time I remind myself of that fact, I am at peace.

But back to what I was saying... I'm taking the test in September because that's when I'll have $750 to fork over for it. As I sat on Facebook and watched my cohort one by one schedule and pass their boards, I got really nervous. Worried. Anxious. Sad.

But then, this morning, sitting in bed with the man, going over an iWork Numbers spreadsheet... Sam Cooke's "Change Gon' Come" playing in the background... there came peace. It's been a long time comin'. It's been hard. But the worst of it is over, and the best of it is still ahead. Whether I take the test next month or in two months, I can and will pass it. It does not/will not matter that I may be the last one to do so. Who cares?  I did.  Why? Because I've been trained to compete with these women I learned with. But guess what? 


And I'm a grown azz woman again, free to make her own decisions.

It's a perfect time to head over to the new blog, because minority midwifery student is no longer a student!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

over 19,000 views to my blog over the course of it's inception.

The End

Hi friends,

The end of this blog is near... actually, it's here. 

I am no longer a midwifery student.

I remember when I finished my first blog, minority nursing student, and moved over to this space. It seems so long ago. The years of being in midwifery school were achingly slow, and yet three years later, here I am. Done. And it's still surreal. 

From minority nursing student to minority midwifery student to minority midwife, so much has happened. I've changed so much... and yet, not much at all. I'm happy with this... it was my wish for myself when I left my big little city and went off to ivy1.

Thanks for listening for the last three years (or few days to the new followers I just realized I had :o) What a ride we've shared!

signing off for the very last time,

Monday, July 6, 2009

I've Moved!

Minority Midwifery Student is no longer a student!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Patience and Contentment

I'm reminding myself that it will take a while to find a job. I'm reminding myself that I graduated less than a month ago. I'm reminding myself that my loans have all been successfully deferred until December.
Every day I find myself whispering "be patient" to myself in the two seconds that I am not freaking out over not having a job... or even an interview... or even a call back.
I'm telling myself not to panic. Not to send my resume all over the country. To just stay put in this little city I am falling in love with and have faith that I will be able to find a job around here.
I was not prepared for this part. 
I pride myself on being prepared.
I know this could be an adventure. I could go ahead and send my resume into the wind and interview in places I never imagined living.  We could pick up and move to a reservation or a rural town. The man says he'll live wherever... for a little while. 
But I don't want to. 
It's not that I'm not adventurous. It's not that I'm not a risk taker. 
It is that I'm tired of moving. Tired of starting over. 
I want to settle down. I need health insurance and access to advanced medical treatments. I want to come home to a furnished house with furniture I picked out and art on the walls. I want to build community without the "we'll be leaving soon" detachment mechanisms. 
I've earned a break from adventure and risk taking and starting over and even excitement for a while. I've walked confidently/scarily into life changing opportunities, and grown from it.
But I'm sitting down now... 
Because there is beauty and honor and challenges and growth and happiness in the stillness, too.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Graduated

It feels weird.

I'm roaming around the public library right now, trying to find something good to read.

I have tons of calls to make to try to get these loans into deferment on Monday.

I am slowly applying for jobs, but having no luck.

I can't believe I'm finished.

There is relief, but there is also panic.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Said I'd Let You Know...

Well, the celebration begins in...


MinorityMidwiferyStudent graduates in a few days, but family begins arriving today... this minute actually... so the party officially starts now!

You're invited...

Party where you stand, sit, or lay...

Have a shot for me....

Hug yourself for me...

SCREAM for me...



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Writing a Thesis, Part 5

It's due today.

At noon.

I realized yesterday- on my unexpected 7 hour drive- that the problem is that I would not/will not be unwillingly broken... tamed... molded... groomed.

Not then, not now, hopefully not ever.

Hopefully I will continue to be me- whoever that is- until they lay me in the ground.

Whatever cultural/academic assimilation occurs, it will be with my consent. Of course there are bits of you that are lost before you even realize... and some socialization is inevitable, and good... but this machine does not get to swallow me whole.

My self-awareness is like a broken cog in the wheel and they're trying to fix their machine.

I understand.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thesis Status


At least I'm closer.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

On Writing a Thesis is Midwifery School, Part 3

I'm in hell. 


But I will soon be leaving for heaven.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

WAIT There's More

I'm happy. Very, very, happy.

Ok, that's all. :o)

Comprehensive Exam

I took and passed my comprehensive exam last week.


I sat in my last class of nursing/midwifery school... ever... last week. 


Some folks were nostalgic, some sad, some tired, some indifferent. I fall into the "tired" category. As we sat listening to presentations and sharing our thoughts with faculty about this experience, I realized that I had left, mentally, long ago. Home, for me, was already waiting. I couldn't wait to get back to the man. Back to my apartment. My bed. My new city.  I will finish my thesis over the next couple of days, and then I'll be done. One of my classmates summed it best: "I'm getting my MSN, and no matter what happens after this, no one can take that away from me." Ditto.

I'm sitting here trying to apply for jobs. It's weird. I apply for random jobs, so far only one them as a midwife. One as an RN. One as a secretary. One for the federal government. After midwifery being my life for three years... it's like I want a break from it, I don't want anything to do with it.... I'm kind of burnt out.  Also, midwifery is not really like I thought it'd be. I have yet to give comprehensive care to a woman from conception to birth. I never got to catch the baby of a woman I met more than once or twice. Most babies I caught were to women I had never met. This isn't what imagined for my life when I went into it, so it's been a little weird trying to re-imagine midwifery and my place in it. There's still a place or two that I'd work as a full scope midwife, so all is not lost, but I'm definitely broadening my career outlook. I'm also thinking about working in environments that are friendly for the "trying to conceive" life we're going to be entering... and sadly, ironically, midwifery isn't always the best career for that!?!? 

And on top of it all, I'm always looking for a doctoral program... but I'd also like to buy a home before I do that ( I know that sounds backwards since technically I might find a really great school in another part of the country, but basically I want to be completely settled before going back to school... I'm sick of apartments, sick of moving, sick of starting over, and if that means I will have to choose a local school, so be it.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Exam Week

I'm supposed to be studying for my comprehensive exam, but really I can't even get into a groove. Burnout is here and settled. I feel like if I don't know it by now, after 3 years of school, I'm not going to know in the next two days, and the best thing I can do for myself is relax. I miss the blogsphere. I miss writing. I miss my life of long ago, lol. I applied for one CNM job that I'm not expecting to get. And one RN job that I really thought I was a good candidate for, but never got a call back.

I need to apply to much more, but I really am not sure I want to spend more time doing full scope midwifery just yet... integration was amazing, but also very, very tiring and even at 3/4 the schedule of a real midwife, I don't think I could keep up that pace for very long... 

Ciarin, (and the rest of you ;o) how in the world do you do it?

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Coming

It's been months, I know. And I'm sorry. I really am.
But this is hard. 
This is my last week of integration. 14 loooong weeks coming to an end. 
I just finished looking at the feedback from my thesis draft.
And it hit me...
I might actually do this...
I might actually graduate from this institution...
Maybe some people read that and thought, "well, duh." But I tell you I still only halfway believe I'm even here... so this... this is just
A lot to process.
I think about it and I get teary, my heart beats fast, and I have to take deep breaths and tell myself it's not over yet... that I haven't done it... yet...
But by the grace of God, it's coming...
One day soon I'm not going to have to talk myself down off the excitement ledge... I'm gonna jump head first into blissful self rejoicing so strong that I forget my own name.
Oh yes. 
It's coming.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Looking Back: Week 1 of Integration

This is pulled from my electronic journal. This is how my first week went:

Monday: L&D 8 to 11:15PM. Triaged three women in the AM with the same due date who were all post dates, 2 were teens in active labor, and the other was not in labor but wanted to check on her baby. One of the teens kept getting into it with the nurse (who was not nice to her and so I really didn't blame her) but the final straw was when she kept asking her to take her to the bathroom (she was hooked up to IV) and the nurse kept avoiding her (She admitted that she didn't like going into the patients room because the "little girl" had a "very bad attitude and an even worse mouth") and this girl just got out the bed, stood next to it and peed all over the floor. I could not believe the whole thing. I went in to talk to her and she said "I was not going to pee on myself, then she woulda left me in the bed laying in it." It was just a crazy situation. I was laughing with the nurses saying "well, welcome to integration hospital!" and they said "oh you aint seen nuthin yet!" and I thought, omg. I ended up delivering her and the other teen from the morning triages. (15 and 16yrs old) The lady who was also post dates and wanted to check on her baby was from the continent and lives with her cousin and his wife while she takes her last class here in the US. The entire rest of her family is back home. She did not want to be induced, but ended up staying for induction. She cried and cried and cried because her family back home was telling her not to be induced, to leave the baby alone and let it come on it's own. But then while she was hooked up to the monitors she was having decels, so of course we wanted to keep and induce her. I felt for this woman. Here she is, her cousin's wife dropped her off at the hospital, no one was going to be with her in labor or for the birth. She hadn't eaten since 5pm the previous day. She did not want to be induced and could recite the cascade of interventions that she was worried about, and I couldn't even pretend that it wouldn't happen. But, it was so nice to see the midwife and the doctor work together to help this woman. They are from the same part of the continent and so they came in together and talked about cultural customs and how they understood the pressure she was under. They talked about tradition vs the American way of doing things, and helped her figure out what to say to her family back home. The conversation happened in English, French, and their native tongue. The four of us in this tiny room together going over the risks/benefits of induction, still birth info, showing her the strip, asking about her needs, reassuring her that we weren't going to leave her, and just an overall understanding that were in this together. I was so happy to be able to witness it and be a part of it. She delivered vaginally the next day.

The other lady I delivered was a multip who came over from the clinic at 6cms. She was 5'2" and having her second VBAC. The baby came out fine, but then the placenta stuck. After about 30 minutes, she started to look a little shocky- basically pale, and we realized that her last H/H was like 8.9 and 25! We opened fluids, lowered the head of the bed , and called the MD stat. The MD tried to see if she could get it out (light manual removal) but couldn't (and the woman didn't have any pain med left- she was feeling everything!) and so then there was this big rush to get an interpreter phone because the doctor couldn't take her back to OR without informed consent for the anesthesia and hysterectomy she thought she might need (basically the doc felt that the placenta was probably stuck on the old c-section scar and she was going to try to really manually remove it but she would have to anaesthetise the patient, and if she couldn't get it out, she would have to have a hysterectomy) This probably would have been a lot scarier if we hadn't have just passed off the patient and went straight to our other patient who was pushing in another room! I had also done postpartum rounds during the shift, so by the time 11pm rolled around I was exhausted and ready to cry.

I was also upset that I really hadn't been prepared, like didn't have the experience of managing more than one patient at a time. Everything had to be done so fast and there were so many women to check on and strips to read and details to keep straight that I was really overwhelmed.

Tuesday: All day in the clinic connected to the hospital. Another long day. 34 patients showed up. The midwife said that it was a lot, even for her, so she called over to the hospital to ask the midwife on call if she could come help. Well she had three women in labor so she couldn't leave. I felt a little better knowing that the midwife herself felt a little flustered. I don't like how the clinic operates, but I guess this is what it's like at a high volume place. Women are given a number and called back by that number, never their names. She said this is not how midwives like to practice, afterall, this is why we went to midwifery school in the first place, to not practice this way! But this is how it is, you just have to work with it. The RNs do all the teaching- you write in the plan of the soap note what you want them to teach the woman before she leaves. You only have time to do leopolds, fundal height, and fetal heart tones. Also paps, GBS, etc.- the clinical exam stuff. Everything else, the nurses do. The MAs stay in the room with you and hand you everything so that it goes faster, and basically rush you to keep you on schedule. By the end of the day, again, I was exhausted. The midwife apologized for having to feed me to the wolves, but basically I was in shock. We both saw patients at the same time (she in her room, me in mine) and other times I saw patients with her in the room if it was something I didn't know how to do or couldn't find. It was crazy, and I did not feel like I was giving good or safe care, but I do know that I was doing the exact same thing she was doing. Also, almost every patient speaks spanish only. I swear I just can't get away from this. I'm telling myself that there's a reason this keeps happening. The only good thing is that they have multiple translators on site, and they come to you literally within a minute of asking for them, much better than those damn phones!

Wednesday: similar to Tuesday, except it was all GYN/Family planning and I only had a half day, which was lovely.

Thursday: Call- similar to Monday, except I had even more PP rounds to do, and one of my births was in the birth center!!! It was actually almost a waterbirth but she had light mec on AROM and you can deliver in the tub if you have mec stained fluid. So, she delivered in the bed and something funky happened with the cord after it was cut- blood sprayed everywhere! (even though both clamps were still on) The midwife said the cord snapped, but I couldn't tell how or where. It was really nice to see a birth in the center with the woman laboring in the jacuzzi. It was so much calmer, and the midwife seemed so much more like a midwife. It was also a beautiful birth because of the woman. She was this dreadheaded woman with this dreadheaded man for a partner. She was spiritual and really into symbolism. She had prayed the whole pregnancy that this particular midwiwife would be on when she came in (the practice has 'double digits' of midwives in it, so you never know) so she was really happy to have her there. Plus she was in nursing school and wanted to go to midwifery school so she was actually happy to have me there too and we talked about what midwifery school is like. Then, her partner had a friend who was struck and killed by a truck the night before, so they had talked about how with death comes life, and her partner's best friend was having a baby at the same time in the other part of L&D. The woman was also excited that she was having her baby on MLKs birthday in this year of Obama. It was just really good energy all around. Again a room full of women of color (the nurse was from India) feeling the love. As you can see, there have been good moments mixed in with all the scariness.

But it has been scary.

I feel underprepared by my school, and this doesn't feel like IP at all. All of a sudden my hand skills at birth SUCK. And per usual, they ask me stuff I feel like I should know but dont. Plus I really miss electronic charting- writing soap notes fast has been rough. Plus I think I work too many hours. I can see myself getting burnt out here very quickly.

Early morning tomorrow, again, going to bed!