Oh hey there – welcome to my blog! My name is Roxanne but my friends call me Rox. I thought as my first blog post, it would be cool to tell you my story of becoming a midwife.
It might interest you to know that Midwifery was actually not my first career choice. Through my adolescent years I aspired to be a preschool teacher. After graduating high school, I started a bachelor of primary education. It was during my first prac in second semester that I realised that small children weren’t for me (the whole ‘wiping snot on each other’ thing kind of grossed me out!) and so, I applied to study a bachelor of midwifery instead. As for teaching – well that’s definitely still something I love – and luckily birth work still allows me to dive into these skills.
When I started midwifery – I was young and a little naive (but what 18 year old isn’t?!). I thought I would be cuddling cute babies all day but boy was I wrong – and my peers and lecturers quickly let me know. “Midwifery is about the women Roxanne!” I remember my course convenor sternly telling me. I was shunned that day in class.. Whoops! But as soon as I started working in the hospital – getting to know the women who soon became my clients – I fell in love with the birth world.
A few months later that same stern lecturer sat me down in her office and told me I was on her ‘watch list’. She didn’t believe I had the perseverance and discipline it takes to get through such a heavy course like midwifery. She said I was likely going to fail. I was devastated. Two and a half years later though, I proved her wrong when I walked across that stage to accept my bachelors degree. The same lecturer then called me a year later to let me know that I had been accepted into the university’s first round of their masters course. She was “So surprised to see my name on the application list.” Well that pissed me off even more.. Three years (any many, many mental breakdowns) later, I sure showed her when I was the first of my graduating class to receive a masters!
I’m not telling you all this to bad mouth my lecturer, because to be honest, I wasn’t the best behaved student.. I may have turned up to lessons hungover, wearing last nights hair and make-up. BUT I did turn up. To [almost] every lecture, every hospital shift and EVERY. SINGLE. BIRTH. I did not miss one! I passed every exam, every assignment and every clinical competency. Because I was dedicated. Because I was passionate.. and a little because I wanted to prove to everyone that doubted me that they were wrong.
My pathway for me to become a midwife wasn’t easy though. In the six years I spent doing both my degrees, I suffered from depression, anxiety and panic attacks. The stress and emotional load of studying, working fulltime and being on call for birthing clients took a serious toll on my mental wellbeing. And to top off all of that, my Dad suffered a stroke during my bachelors, was diagnosed with cancer during my masters and then diagnosed as terminal just before I graduated. The only reason I finished my masters degree and walked across that stage was because I wanted him to see me graduate one last time. He was always so proud of my achievements and constantly bragged about his daughter ‘the midwife’. I’ll never forget his smile when he saw me in my cap and gown. It’s a memory I’ll cherish forever.
When I think about the journey I’ve made to be where I am now, I’m honestly amazed at how far ive come. From the naive girl that wanted to cuddle babies all day, to the woman to stands her ground against a doctor to advocate for her client. Seriously, if you knew me back then, the only thing you would recognise in that fresh faced 18 year old Rox, is the same level of passion. The same love of this world. That’s what keeps me going..