Over 40 and Back in School: It’s never too late!

The decision to go back to school took about a full year to make. I didn’t go into this career change lightly. I mulled it over and over in my head for a month, then I talked to my husband about it, then I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I reached out to another student midwife of whom I asked a lot of questions;  she patiently answered them all.

After much thought and discussion with my husband, we decided this was the right thing for us at this time in our lives. Our children are now older. Most of them are teenagers and they can take care of their own personal needs. Translated: I don’t have to clean up after them or do their laundry. They have chores and contribute to the upkeep of the house. They can cook, clean, and do their own laundry. Everything just fell into place perfectly with family and our lives.

The application process wasn’t short. There were essays to complete, reference letters to gather, and the waiting.  When I finally had all the essays completed, the two reference letters, and the whole application completed I was so nervous that I would not be accepted. Then there is the phone interview, also! I was a nervous wreck waiting for the acceptance letter. It finally arrived in my inbox, and I was a student at MCU at the age of 44!

I’m in college with people who are considerably younger than me. One of the benefits of doing online schooling, is that I don’t have to see these younger students face-to-face. It makes is much less embarrassing! It can seem intimidating, at times, when if I think about the age difference. However, I push those thoughts out of my mind, and tell myself that I am right where I need to be. We encourage each other, and I’ve never been made to feel that my age is means much. I am a fellow-student and we are all working towards the same goal.

I made a guest blog post, here and here is a portion of what I wrote: I will be a young, 48 years of age, when I complete all my work, and can begin my own midwifery practice. I am a prime example of “It’s never too late.” It’s never too late to start on a new pathway/journey. It’s never too late to go back to school. It’s never too late to change careers. I’m enjoying this change, and taking it all in, while trying not to cry from the hard, demanding work that it entails in going from a doula to a licensed midwife.

Sometimes, pursing a dream is not possible earlier in life. Sometimes, it’s necessary to wait a little longer until things in our life are different. That’s how it was for me. Yes, many times I have regretted not starting earlier. If I had started even 10 years ago, I would already be a midwife. But 10 years ago, I wasn’t ready to pursue this. I would have probably failed, because it wasn’t the right time. I have to force myself to not think about where I could be, but to think about where I will be 10 years from now.

College life is challenging. My brain is learning a whole bunch of things it never knew. I’m taking a Genetics class, for crying out loud! I’m learning about DNA, RNA, chromosomes, genes,  genomes, and a bunch of other stuff. Bring it one, Genetics! My older brain needs the work out to keep me young.

Please, watch this video entitled,”It’s never too late,” because it really is never too late!!!

 

By age 48, I will be a certified, licensed midwife.

 

 

Review: EZ View Med Bag (Hopkins)

When in the search for a workable assist bag, it’s extremely hard to visualize the images on websites selling their medical bags. Many times students ask which is the best bag for the assist phase. I’m not going to say this is the “best bag ever”, but I will give it the best review I can possibly give. I have provided pictures and descriptions of each section of the bag. This bag is being put to use as I assist at prenatals and births in the assist phase.

I purchased this bag to correspond with the Midwife Assistant class I took during winter semester, 2016.

When purchasing online, we are given an option of purchasing a black, navy, or royal blue bag. I chose the black bag. The purchase price was $54.95, and the EZ View Med Bag from Hopkins Medical Supplies arrived as promised. The bag came with a mini lock to facilitate locking a pocket on the bag wherever I see the need for protection. There are several pockets, two outer pouches, zippered baggies, small zipper pockets, and a main compartment.
Bag with folderOne of the outer sides of the bag has a zippered pocket where a few files can be stored and locked.

 

Front pocket with notebookThe other side’s outer pocket is not zippered and can easily hold a notebook or small planner or other non-essential papers. I keep my notebook in this pocket.

 

Both sides of the bag have  two zippered pouches. The picture online shows that a one-quart sharps container can fit in one of these pouches. One of the zippers has a red band that would indicate where the sharps container is located. I don’t have a sharps container, yet, so that pouch is empty. The other pouch holds my small tens unit.

Directly above these two side pouches are the handles where the shoulder strapped would go. That is an additional purchase which I did not make. However, I probably won’t ever purchase it, as carrying it with the handle works just fine.Handle

 

 

 

Inside bottom flapThe bag has two front (side) open flaps that lay flat when completely unzipped. This picture is the view of one of the side flaps opened all the way. It has six, small, rectangular, zippered pockets.

 

 

Inside these flaps are six clear ziplock type baggies with a slide zipper for closing.

These baggies are thin (9 1/2″ x 11″ each) and see through, and can fit a good sized amount of items in each baggie. The four-ringed binder clasps make the baggies easily movable: think a big binder with pages that can turn from side-to-side. On one side of the bag, I have my newborn stethoscope, adult stethoscope, and student stethoscope: one in each baggie. On the other flap, I have my scale and sling in one baggie, and some vitamin bottles in another baggie. There are a total of 12 baggies.

 

InsideEach flap also has different sized zippered pockets. These pockets are thin, and fit a limited amount of items. On one side of the flaps, I have my gloves and a whole bunch of alcohol prep pads. The pockets do stretch out a little bit to make some room for the items. On the other flap, I have a measuring tape and a pulse oximeter. These pockets are small and only fit a few small items in each pocket, but they serve their purpose. I will eventual transfer some of my essential oils to these small pockets.         Inside 3

 

 

 

Main pocket 1                          Main pocket 2Main pocket 3                          Side pocket with clinical binderThe inside, main compartment isn’t as big as I would have liked it to be. I am able to fit my blood pressure cuff and gauge, a gallon sized ziplock baggie with extra gloves, fetoscope, and a rebozo (not pictured). Just with that alone, it is packed. I would have like to be able to fit my clinical binder, but it doesn’t fit (side note: I can also put my clinical binder in the side,  non-zipper pocket, where I have the red notebook). On one side of this main compartment, there are two small mesh pockets. The other side has one zippered pocket where I can put some loose change, maybe a ponytail, or some lip balm.

 

 

Left: Pictured is the bag completely opened next to two cookie sheets for size comparison.

Right: Pictured is the bag completed zipped and on top of a cookie sheet for size comparison.

In all, I am pleased with this purchase. It is meeting my needs when I take it to prenatal appointments and births. The bag has room for more items and I look forward to filling it up. I would recommend this bag to anyone who is looking for a small enough bag to fit enough items to be able to effectively work at prenatal appointments and births during the assist phase. (I will update this in a year or two when I’m in primary phase.)