End of First Year!

Has it really been a full year of being an official midwifery-student? It feels so surreal to be at the tail end of this first year. There have been lots of changes, many new things learned, new skills practiced, and even my first ever cervical exam, which went perfectly! What an amazing feeling to touch and feel a baby’s head before he/she is birthed into this world. I’ll never forget it, and I will never forget the momma who so patiently, and willing allowed me to learn on her. Thank you, C, you are the best!

At the 3-day postpartum visit, C and her husband gave my preceptor and I some flowers. Here are the ones they gave me:

My preceptor is also now giving me more opportunities to learn other skills. She has taught me how to draw medication from vials, so I can now prepare syringes for her. She taught me about the cervical exam and what to feel for and how to measure the dilation. What I love the most about my preceptor is that she never makes me feel inadequate. I know I don’t have the hands-on skills perfectly, but she never makes it seem like I’m inept. She is so patient, kind, loving, and gentle. Thank you so much, Linda!

This academic semester was a very difficult semester for me and for most of the student body. In an effort to streamline and become better equipped at serving their students, the school switched over to a different platform called Canvas. While we had a couple weeks to get familiarized with the new system, it didn’t prepare us well enough for the arduous task of navigating the new system. It took many of us weeks, if not the whole semester to finally feel comfortable using it. It took me 6 weeks to feel like I understood the system. I worked even harder than I had in past semesters, because it took me a minimum of two hours at the start of each day trying to figure out how navigate the system.

It reminded me of the time when I worked at a staffing agency a few years ago. We had been rolling along just fine with the system that was in place, when corporate decided it was time for an upgrade. Our office was one of a few offices chosen as a test pilot office. We got trained on the new system, but, again, it wasn’t enough time to prepare us for when it went live. I was in the office very late trying to manage all the payroll on the new system. It was days upon days of figuring it out, emailing with IT, and stressing. A few weeks into the change, my manager paid the massage lady next door to come to the office and give us a neck massage. That was awesome, Samantha, and I’ll never forget that you took care of us during that change! We all managed to figure out the new system, eventually, but not without a lot of headaches and stress. And this is exactly how this semester has been with the switch to the Canvas platform.

I’m positive that next semester will be easier, especially, because I finally understand the new system. I know where to find the syllabus, modules/assignments, how to upload assignments, discussion boards, and lectures. That in itself is a huge step forward!

This semester, I took three classes, Prenatal Care I, Genetics, and Herbology. Each class came with its own set of challenges. Out of the three, though, Herbology was the easiest and most fun. I blogged about Herbology, here.

Prenatal Care 1 had us creating a lot of handouts and forms. The three big assignments were the Guidelines for Universal Precautions and OSHA Compliance (6 pages of safe standards for infection prevention: hand hygiene, handling and disposing of sharps, water birth, personal protective equipment, and more, and being compliant with OSHA regulations), the Informed Disclosure for Midwifery Care (12 pages regarding how my own practice will function: philosophy of practice, transfer and transport plans, services provided, equipment carried and not carried, California laws, etc.) and the Pregnancy Discomforts Handout (13 pages). The Pre Consultation Form and the First Contact Form prepare me and the client for our first visit and our first contact. The Discussion Checklist will be perfect as a checkoff during each prenatal visit to ensure that I’ve covered all the necessary information at each visit. The Initial Prenatal Visit and Medical History Form is self-explanatory, and will be a form used for the client’s medical history. I’m thankful for these assignments, because now I have them all set and ready to go for my future practice.

Genetics class was extremely challenging. Here is a post I made about it earlier in the semester. Several past students had to extend this class, and I purposed in my mind that I would not extend it! I did learn a ton about chromosomes, mutations, diseases, disorders, and how to create a family health pedigree. I’m planning on including a family health pedigree for my clients who have markers for possible genetic diseases. I’m thankful that I had to create a pedigree key, because I now have the key to use with future clients. I also created a Prenatal Genetic Testing Table which list all the genetic testing available so clients know their choices. Thankfully, I will be completing this class on time and I do NOT have to extend it!!!

In all, even with the switch to Canvas, the challenging Genetics class, I thank the Lord that He gave me the knowledge, strength, and health to complete this semester, and close out my first year of college!! I was even able to take a week off to go to teen camp with the teens from our church! That was a wonderful break, and I had loads of fun. Those teens make me feel young!

I look forward to becoming a second year student-midwife at the end of August with the commencement of the fall semester.

Here is a list of all the forms and handouts created this semester that will be a tremendous asset to my future practice:

MDWF 338 – Prenatal Care 1
Warning Signs in Pregnancy
Breast Changes
Discussion Checklist
Fetal Movement Record
First Contact Form
Guidelines for Universal Precautions and OSHA Compliance –  6 pages
Pre-Consultation Form
Pregnancy Discomforts – 13 pages
Prenatal Examination Form
Initial Prenatal Visit and Medical History Form
Informed Disclosure for Midwifery Care – 12 pages
(Here is a section about the legality of midwifery in the state of California which I
included in my informed disclosure:

Legal Status of Midwifery in the State of California
California Association of Midwives states the following (Licensed Midwife Practice Act)
“The licensed midwife may assist a woman in childbirth as long as progress meets
criteria accepted as normal. Normal pregnancy and childbirth is defined as meeting all
of the following conditions:

  1. There is an absence of any preexisting maternal disease or condition likely to affect the pregnancy.
  2. There is an absence of significant disease arising from the pregnancy.
  3. There is a singleton fetus.
  4. There is a cephalic presentation.
  5. The gestational age of the fetus is greater than 37 0⁄7 weeks and less than 42 0⁄7 completed weeks of pregnancy.
  6. Labor is spontaneous or induced in an outpatient setting” (CAM)

BOTNY 150 – Herbology
Six Herbal Reports (5 herbs each report, for a total of 30 herbs)
Red Raspberry Leaf Handout
Safe Herbs and Herbs to Avoid
Pregnancy Tea
Herbs for Midwives Form

BIOLOGY 306 – Genetics
Pedigree Key
Prenatal Genetic Testing Table

MDWF 338 – Prenatal Care I:    98.61%
BOTNY 150 – Herbology:         98.92%
BIO 306 – Genetics:                   98.88%

That’s another straight A semester!

2 thoughts on “End of First Year!

  1. I’m curious if you applied for the tuition discount that’s available? I’m currently looking into attending MCU and would like to know how that works and if it’s pretty easy to obtain.

    I’m so happy I found your blog. I look forward to reading it so that I have an idea of what to expect and can feel like someone is going through similar struggles!


    • I was awarded the Briana Blackwelder Equal Access Scholarship last year https://www.midwifery.edu/diversity-scholarship-fund/ so I did not apply for the discount. I’m not sure how it all works.

      The struggles are there, but, and I should really blog about this, the staff is always very willing to help students. I have an amazing house mother who has helped me through some difficult times. The support from her, staff, and other students makes this an ideal and exceptional school.


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