Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Some Zing Please!

Tonight I start placement, a few nerves are fluttering around like mad men in my stomach, but mostly I'm looking forward to it. I've been to the ward before, I know my way around, I won't get lost, I just need to slot in the zone and pray for a "good" midwife to work with.

Getting ready for placement is always something I find a little bizzar. I could have spent yesterday flipping through text books and brushing up on a few areas I need to refresh, but no I went and got my hair cut and then dyed it a copper/mahogany with henna. This is the second time now.... it went much better than the first but I do need to make a mental note for next time to have an assisant. I really needed four hands, but I got there... and am happy with the end result... it will be intersting to see what colour it settles to over the next few days.

Despite not spending yesterday with my nose burried in a text book, hennaring (is that a word?) my hair did get me feeling some what prepared. I hate the idea of blending in and becoming swallowed up by the hospital, having my awe of birth stripped away from seeing intervention after intervention, and women loosing autonomy. So I do things to remind myself about autonomy.... by mixing my own hair dye, that's natural and safe, and good for my hair, rather than dumping chemicals all over it. Perhaps that seems petty to some people, but I like having visible things to remind me to be different in my practice as a soon be midwife. Little things matter! As a student I can't do all that much at times to make a difference.... but at least I'll try to do what I can in the situations I'm in to make birth more sacred and good.

So I'll remind myself with my henna hair to be different. I'll wear my hippy necklace, with the tear drop shape pendant on it which has markings that remind me of a vagina, so I keep in mind that women's bodies are made to give birth and can streatch beautifully. (There you go Tim... now you know I didn't tell you the whole truth when you asked if the necklace had a meaning last month... I wasn't quite ready to divulge the truth with a circle of people standing around me at church ;)

Symbolism is one of my favourite things. I'm not about to let my student uniform make me become a faceless student, who goes with the flow of obstetric hospitals. I don't mix with obstetric hospitals when it comes to a normal healthy woman giving birth. I love them when they're need but can't give them any credit for playing doctor to someone who is healthy. So yes.... I like to show outwardly that I'm not going to fit.

I wish our uniforms were practical... navy pants are okay... but a white button down shirt looks lovely with amniotic fluid and blood on it! Oh yeah and it's kinda see through too... bonus for the obstetricians! Better top up my stash of with singlet shirts to wear underneath! For the life of me I will never understand the midwives at my first placement who wore knee length skirts with splits in them. If I could design the student uniform it would be comfy cargo pants and a t-shirt of some discription, in some colour other than white.

Oh and the other benifit of the hair cut and henna is that I'll look older and perhaps avoid too many, "You look young enough to be my daughter" coments.

Night shift here I come!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


What can I say to you?
Is there any word that could come from my mouth?
any thought? any sentence?

You died.

Let me just stand and look.
Your body is broken, your head wounded,
your hands and feet split open by nails,
side pierced.
Your dead body now rests in the arms of your Mother.

Let me look at you.

(my adaptation of the Good Friday reading from Show Me the Way by Henri J.M. Nouwen)