As many of you know..well, because I announced it via Facebook, I started my new career as a certified nurse-midwife last week. I had waited to be able to say that for so long, but yet as I began my new career I was filled with doubt and honestly a few moments of.."I might have taken too big of a bite." I was trying to figure out in my head how many years more it would take me to pay off my students loans as an RN and how many shifts a week that would take. Okay, okay..so that may have been a fleeting thought, but it was there.
Last Monday, I was working along side on of my physicians. She is an incredible doctor and incredibly busy. So while trying to see a few of her patients, learn the computer charting system, remember how to be a practitioner, including diagnosing and prescribing meds, and not get in her way, the knots in my stomach grew. I felt slightly doomed. On my way home, I called one of my midwife friends to cry on her shoulder. Though she gave great reassurances, I was not really convinced. Upon arriving home, Adam threw open the door to congratulate me on my first day and was anxious to hear all the details, including how exhilirated I was to be finally working as a midwife. Instead I was without words as I could not describe what I was feeling. I kept saying things, like "It was okay" and shrugged a lot. Honestly, I had used all my brain cells for that day and could not talk. I was just immensely hungry, wanted a glass of wine and to go to bed. Poor Adam. He had invested so much of his time, love and support to get me through school and start my new career. I know my reaction was a let down for him.
The next day was not much better. I had to keep reminding myself that this was only day two and that I needed to give myself a little credit. Honestly, I think I put more pressure on myself than necessary, as the physicians and staff kept asking me how I was doing and offering their assistance. I felt very welcomed, but couldn't shake the feeling that they might decide that perhaps hiring a new grad was a mistake. Then a great thing happened..my midwife coworkers both on separate occasions approached me to ask if I was doing okay and that it was normal to feel what I was feeling. In fact, one of them told me that for the first few weeks after starting to work she would go home and not be able to talk. Her brain was just that tired and full. AHA! That sounded so familiar. Now they both seemingly breeze through their days..I felt better after hearing that.
Yesterday, I worked my short day and saw six patients...on my own. My nurse approached me and asked me if I had any preferences. *smile* Not yet, I told her, give me time. It was nice to start slow and be able to make the necessary decisions without too much time pressure. In fact, I had two new OB patients and it felt great to give care, educate, congratulate and reassure. I felt my midwife spirit being renewed as I sat with my patients and listened to their stories as they opened up to me. I did a few well woman exams and was able to connect and educate them my way. I began to feel myself changing as I know my midwife style is beginning to develop. Funny how I feel a certain kinship with my new OB patients, as it may take 9 months for me to really begin to know myself. And many years, to nuture. I know my schedule will be busier (I hope) but relish the idea of being able to build up and gain confidence along the way. So last night, I came home with a smile.