Friday, February 09, 2007

My many hats

Every now and then, I will be taking off my tinfoil hat and putting on one of my many other hats: mom, friend, cook, feminist, midwife in training. This week it will be my midwife student hat on my head.

I am training at the Miami Maternity Center and International School of Midwifery, the same place where I gave birth to my younger son Z. It is a grueling but beautiful program. I get to be part of some of some of the most memorable and emotional experiences of women's lives. I also get to catch vomit, mop floors, inspect placentas, and dipstick urine, sometimes at 2 o' clock in the morning. Sometimes I wonder what is harder, giving birth naturally or midwifery school.

Especially this week. Tomorrow starts my "Hell Week". In our 3 year program, we are required to spend one full week at the birth center in our second year, and two full weeks there in our third year. We have to attend every birth, every clinic, every class. We shadow the director and ignore our families.

It is the albatross around the neck of every student in the program, and it is especially hard on those of use who are parents. I have so much to do - pack clothes, pack food, pack a sleeping bag. All I want to do is run away and hide. I know if I worry about sleep deprivation, missing my kids and husband, or the amount of work and cleaning I will be doing, I will make myself miserable. OK, more miserable. I am really looking forward to the experience and all of the moms I will meet and births I will see, but I am going to have a hard time leaving home tomorrow morning.

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