2013 and the start of another year: I love the New Year; of feeling positive for the future, of letting go of the past, of seeking new goals and possibilities.
This time 14 years ago I was expecting my first baby..... and I was waiting for my first baby who was still to put in an appearance after my due date had been and gone! I would still be waiting for another 6 days and my experience of midwifery care and birth was 'normal', but not great. It took another two babies to understand that birth can be the single most transformational moment in a person's life, and during that powerful home birth, a midwife was also born, one who wanted to share the 'secret' with other women. Roll on 9 years from that birth and here I am.........
In 2012 I cared for 10 birthing women and their families; 3 first time mothers (all normal births, 1 breech, 2 in hospital), 2 VBACS (1 a HWB, 1 ended in caesarean), 4 multips all having home water births and a water birth in the local birth centre on an NHS bank shift. It was a privilege to care for these families and to support them through their inspiring births; the lack of alcohol is a pain and I wrote before about how up and down midwifery can feel, but it still never ceases to amaze me. I'm not sure it ever will.
This year will be a testing year for Independent Midwives as we try to find a way forward with the looming PII issue and the EU laws preventing our practise from October 2013. I have a busy case-load for the first half of this year, but feel confident and full of optimism that a solution will be found somehow, and I will be able to continue with my midwifery journey as I would like to in the second half of the year. I also have plans to finish my book, to continue to work with aspiring midwives, to work to ensure IM's exist next year, and somewhere in between fit in my home-schooling family. It won't be easy, but then 2012 challenged me in more ways than I ever felt possible, and I got through that! Just as in birth, sometimes it is harder than expected; transition can be frightening and overwhelming, but the hard work is worth it as you push your baby into the world. This year I am looking forward to the birth of a new era in Midwifery and facing those challenges with the same excitement, hopes and fears as any new mother; I have a feeling it will be a year to remember.