Student midwife recap, 2016

Hello all! I wanted to pop on here and give an update for anyone even slightly paying attention to my midwifery journey. I have just completed my first year at Midwives College of Utah. This college is MEAC accredited and I am pursuing my Bachelor's of Science in Midwifery. After I graduate, I will take the NARM exam to become a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife). Due to previous experience and college credits, I am on course to finish this degree in 3 years. I have 2 years left, starting in January. The school runs almost continuously from January to December, with 2 week breaks between the "trimesters" and slightly longer over the Christmas holiday. It is demanding and rigorous but that is to be expected from such an important field of education. I completed my NRP and CPR training earlier this year, as well as certification for placenta encapsulation and my observe phase for the clinical portion of the program. I am awaiting approval for the assist phase. The "assist" phase simply means I can get credit for some of the things I do in clinic and at births when helping my preceptors. 

As of this week, I am honored to be working with 3 amazing local midwives. They are beyond generous to open their practices up to me and invite me in to learn midwifery from such great practices. I am humbled and appreciative of them. This step has most definitely taken the dream into reality. Watching these women run their personal practices, interact with expecting families, overcome obstacles and always remaining ever supportive and encouraging is inspiring. I thank them from the bottom of my weepy student midwife heart. 

My favorite class to take this year was a tie between Midwife's Assistant and Herbology for Midwives. Anyone that knows me knows I love plant medicine. For this course, I was *requried* to plant a midwife's garden! Can you believe it! My favorite herb to grow by far was chamomile. I am also eagerly awaiting next year to harvest from my Vitex tree. Midwife's Assistant was really fun. I learned some basics and got to walk through case studies. 

 Captured by my husband, while I studied late one night. 

Captured by my husband, while I studied late one night. 

 My chamomile garden! I made tea, tinctures and glycerites from this amazing crop of herbs. 

My chamomile garden! I made tea, tinctures and glycerites from this amazing crop of herbs. 

My most challenging class this year was Prenatal Care. This was the very first "midwife" specific course I took. I was required to think like a midwife and with that brought the enormity of what I am actually doing with my life. While I love the piles of books that sometimes even contradict each other, I really enjoyed the live conferences I had for this class. When you're in such a diverse group of people, some of whom might have even been practicing as a midwife already, it's really nice to be able to ask people who have more first hand knowledge than myself what they might do in a given situation. 

In August, 2 other local student midwives and I attended a week long school conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the school is located. It was so nice to be with a group of student midwives who love to learn! We had great meals, met other amazing women, experienced growth and increased our knowledge. Salt Lake City is a beautiful, albeit hilly, place to visit. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes and take in the view. On our last night there, a group of us took a moonlight hike. It might have been my most favorite thing we did. We sat as a circle of women, at the top of the beautiful Red Butte Canyon, honoring the earth, the importance of our work, and each other. A truly spiritual experience. On the way down, the full moon showed her stunning self over the top of the butte. 

 Holding sweet baby Dash as he sleeps, while his mama holds his sister. 

Holding sweet baby Dash as he sleeps, while his mama holds his sister. 

 Our charming Air B&B, located a few blocks away from the retreat center our conference was held at. 

Our charming Air B&B, located a few blocks away from the retreat center our conference was held at. 

 Amy, practicing IV skills on me. We did a lot of hands on learning over the course of the week. 

Amy, practicing IV skills on me. We did a lot of hands on learning over the course of the week. 

 One of my successful placements! Thanks for the amazing arms, Libby. 

One of my successful placements! Thanks for the amazing arms, Libby. 

 Great food. Great women. Great friends. 

Great food. Great women. Great friends. 

 Looking into the city from our hike.

Looking into the city from our hike.

 The full moon, lighting the way for us. 

The full moon, lighting the way for us. 

This year was interesting. I learned a lot about myself and my ability to learn. I have always been a fantastic student but this learning while holding down 2 jobs and raising 3 boys with a husband that also has a full time career thing is hard! I realized my limits include needing to leave the house to get anything done. I split my study time between the doula offices at Thrive Mama Collective, Panera Bread and All About Cha (get the Goguma latte...it's fantastic!). I also learned I actually retain more than I thought. This in itself is the highlight of my year because I thought 3 pregnancies made my brain a sieve. 

 Study time at Aspen Coffee Shop. 

Study time at Aspen Coffee Shop. 

Looking forward to next year, I am excited to get more core classes under my belt, as well as working more consistently beside my preceptors and more closely with local expecting families. I am very thankful for the guidance of my preceptors and fellow student midwives, as well as their friendship. This is a hard road and we only make it by lifting each other up. This entire journey would not even be slightly possible without the support, love and encouragement of my amazing husband. I am away from my family often and he ensures the children are well taken care of and the household runs smoothly on a daily basis. He is my rock and I appreciate all of the sacrifices he makes to pave the way for me to move forward in this career. I am lucky to have him and thank him from the bottom of my heart for all the ways he stands beside me. 

 My super amazing partner in crime. 

My super amazing partner in crime.