Written by Vivienne Connor, UTS Bachelor of Midwifery student
As International Day of the Midwife has come and gone, I would like to thank my fellow midwifery students for all they have taught me. Through your stories, our shared experiences and imparted wisdoms, I have learned something from each of you.
In our first classes, we were taught that to be a midwife is to be ‘with woman’. To be with a woman in solidarity and in sisterhood. To support women from all walks of life, with stories, histories and lives of unimaginable uniqueness and complexity. Supporting women who have come before us and are yet to come. Women far and wide. So far in fact that, in celebration of the International Day of the Midwife, we banded together to support women worlds away. Such is the expansive vision of midwifery.
In aid of the Birthing Kit Foundation Australia, UTS Midwifery students in their first and third years joined forces to assemble birthing kits. Each kit was made of just a few items, to help create a cleaner, safer birthing environment for women in developing countries. Soap, a plastic sheet, gloves, gauze, string and a sterile blade are all that is necessary.
Chatting animatedly, we all engaged in our task, sharing stories from our recent practical placements, answering questions and providing advice to those first years shortly embarking upon their first placement. If there is one thing I have learnt during the two and a bit years I have been in the Bachelor of Midwifery, it’s that when a group of midwifery students gather, there is no shortage of conversation, laughter and support. I have learned so much from your stories, have been able to laugh with you about the mistakes I have made and have relied on your support when I have experienced hardship. In each and every student, I recognise a shared passion for midwifery. It cannot be described as simply a job, at least not one you can leave behind at the end of the day. Every day, every woman we encounter, every story we are a part of impacts us, shaping the midwife we hope to become.
Engaging with first years today was a reaffirming experience. To think that a little over two years ago I was just as wide-eyed and in awe of the third years stories. Today was an opportunity to realise how much we have grown, changed and learned. What I value most is that I have had the opportunity to transform alongside an incredibly loving, passionate and engaging cohort. Where some students may dread the days spent at university, I long for them. The chance to catch up with friends, to listen to one another’s stories and glean pearls of wisdom from the experiences of our teachers, all of them midwives themselves. These are the days that refresh us, that renew our passion for Midwifery and make us look forward to the future.
Midwifery is to be with woman. What better way to hone our skills than by learning alongside a collection of unique, driven and passionate midwives. I look forward to all of our futures, to hearing about our endeavours and working alongside the women who have helped me grow. I have no doubt that each and every Midwifery student will enhance the landscape of Midwifery in Australia and worldwide, providing loving and generous care to women. Little by little changing our world.