This week I have just reached the half way point of my second labour ward placement, meaning I only have 4 weeks left on placement and a few more pieces of work to complete until year 2 is finished. Scary!
Heading back to labour ward has been lovely, I’ve seen so much that I did not see in my first placement there and now I’m really starting to feel like things are starting to come together. I’m beginning to be able to plan the care of my women, which is one of the main learning outcomes for this placement. I now feel capable of caring for low risk women and I have become more familiar of the factors that make women ‘high risk’ such as augmentation and diabetes.
In my first placement, I attended eighteen normal births and cared for lots of women without too much intervention; however this time round I’ve been to theatre a little more than I would have liked to have been. These are helping with my fear of theatre though!
I’ve attended 2 instrumental deliveries, a forceps and a Kiwi, and have been involved in some emergency caesarean sections. It was scary, but amazing, to see how quick the staff work together. I’ve seen fetal blood samples being obtained too, meaning I’ve also seen the cervix as it’s dilating- fascinating!
In between this, I have helped lots more women birth their babies and have seen some truly beautiful scenes. I am now gaining confidence in conducting a delivery in a number of different positions and places, allowing me to help women get off the bed and let physiology work its course. I’ve aided women to birth standing, kneeling and in the birthpool which is wonderful.
I’ve just completed my last two weeks at the birth centre which I was sad to see fly past so quickly. The birth centre creates such a relaxing, calm environment where women are machine-free and left to let labour work it’s magic. It’s amazing to sit back and watch everything come together slowly, seeing a woman change through the stages of labour and seeing things like the Rhombus of Michaelis and the purple line appear as their baby edges closer and closer. From my time there I have learnt that every labour is far from predictable and listening to your woman is the only way you can tell what is happening without using examinations.
Our university’s midwifery society held a fantastic homebirth event earlier this month. It was wonderful to hear the stories of home birthers and free birthers and why they chose the birth they did. The women and families were inspiring and made me very excited for the future where I will hopefully attend many more homebirths. Throughout the day, we used art to express our feelings and thoughts surrounding childbirth, creating a peaceful and loving environment.
I now have 3 weeks remaining on the labour ward and a week on the Maternity Assessment Centre which I am really looking forward to. During this time I need to lead the care I provide and find confidence within myself. I find that I understand what is happening and know what to do, but I can shy away from my knowledge and not believe in myself is what is holding me back. I need to be confident in my plans of care during these final few weeks.
In a few weeks’ time I am heading back into university to give my applied pathology presentation which I will be doing solo. My presentation is on a pathology, explaining how this effects the care a woman requires. I’m really enjoying producing my presentation so hopefully I enjoy presenting it too. In that week I also have an exam, which I am keeping my fingers, toes and everything else crossed for. I’m finding it hard to keep focused on revision in between all the excitement of placement, but hopefully the hard work will pay off.
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