Midwifery Year Two: Review

I cannot quite believe that it's taken me over 6 months to write up my year two midwifery review. Oops! I guess life got a little crazy and I have had too much to post in the meantime! Nevertheless, it is finally here.For those that are just starting, you may be best starting off by reading my year one review first, and all about my year one exams too. Again, I am writing a separate post for the assessments and examinations which you can read later, as well as placements!

Year two started out with a normal theory block. Unfortunately, the rest of the year got a little switched up as the year went on. With increased students and difficulties with placement, our cohort ended up getting a couple of blocks switched which meant we had two placement blocks in a row and ended with a theory block. As you'll read from the assessments post, they changed slightly but the huge chunk of placement away from the cohort, was a real struggle for some, with little direction and physical support.

Each module this year, built upon the knowledge from the previous year, with a cycling metaphor of revisiting types of assessments and curriculum. Perinatal Mental Health was the first and honestly my least favourite. I think the topic is really vital and powerful. Something I think is important to be taught but I felt that some big areas were missed and that the teaching wasn't great.

This was followed by a research module, which I liked. I love research and having been apart of an extra-curricular research project, I already had a little experience with it so I found it relatively straight forward. Although the theory background wasn't the best, it was still interesting.

Finally, Complex Childbirth completed the year, and as I have previously mentioned this was how we ended the year, meaning we had no practice to apply it to afterwards. I've really fought and through feedback, encouraged the university to make this module earlier because I think it's important to have this knowledge of placement earlier in the year and I really benefited and enjoyed the content.

One of the hardest things for me this year, was the involvement in three very difficult situations on placement: a stillbirth, an amniotic fluid embolism and a neonatal death. I'm not going to go into details of each of them because I'm not ready and I don't know if I'll ever share the full stories because they're not mine to, but each taught me vital lessons...both about myself, but also about my experiences and expertise, or rather lack there of.

Midwifery is often seen as a career of joy, happiness and positivity, which is true. I will always be incredibly honoured to see the miracles I do and to love the job I do. But it's not without it's heartache. For some families, they don't get to leave with a baby and I am so glad I have now had at least a little bereavement training with Beyond Bea. They really do do amazing work and I wish I could support them more.
Conversely, I have also experienced massive joys. I once again participated in a caseholding schedule and even though this year it wasn't compulsory, I did nevertheless follow two women and their families along their journeys. My first was picked up at 34 weeks gestation, so I little later in pregnancy and my second was twins at 12 weeks. Once again, I felt privileged and honoured to have them let me be apart of their experience. They were both so lovely and have written such sweet words in thanks.

This year, I really tried to use my knowledge and voice to have the courage to advocate for them. Both women were not happy with the care they were receiving in certain aspects. They had told me but not their providers and so I often opened that door for them, which I think they really appreciated. It really shows the importance of continuity of carer and developing that professional friendship.

Having my caseholding lady last year be my last delivery of first year, at number 21, and twins this year be my last of second year, I finished on such a rewarding high. Now with 41 births (although at 36+6 the twins technically don't count towards the final figures) under my belt, I feel I have a lot of pressure removed so I can truly enjoy the experience. I am also very proud that all my deliveries are of women I have cared for throughout shifts and I haven't been forced upon them last minute. There were four women who were not in my care for long, but two were women I had looked after on both the antenatal ward and in the community so they were really pleased to see a familiar face and two were shortly after handover, with one of the latter I had also looked after in labour the previous shift, so I have had a really great continuity of carer experience overall.

This year, I also got much more involved in the university but I've decided because that expands over all three years, I'm going to write a little summary of that at the end of the course. Overall, I really loved second year. Despite some of my experiences, it really secured in me how midwifery is the right path. I feel like I've found my happy place and my people.