New Clinical Placement

A bit of history: Back in 2012, I became friends with Tesa Kurin. Back then, she was a doula, and was studying to become a midwife. I watched Tesa as she moved along through midwifery school, being in a clinical placement, and even going to the Philippines for three months to do clinical work. She did this all while parenting six children. I have eight children, and was parenting six children when I began to wonder if I could become a midwife.

As I began to get the midwifery calling, I started asking Tesa questions about school, and asked her if she thought I could do it. She answered all my questions, and encouraged me to look further into midwifery. Although I had already received the calling to be a midwife, I had not fully listened to it. However, having seen someone with a boat load of children, such as myself, doing this, I knew it could be possible. Watching Tesa’s journey inspired me to move forward and to accept what God was calling me to do.

Fast forward to 2015: I began classes at Midwives College of Utah (MCU) in January 2015. I began my first clinical placement in March 2016. However, my preceptor retired, and my last birth with her was in November 2016. So, now I was in need of another clinical placement. While there are two other midwives serving my city, they are currently not taking any students.

Tesa filled out the preceptor application and is now an approved preceptor with MCU!!! A couple weeks ago, Tesa and I signed the clinical training agreement, and I now have my next clinical placement!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Still in the assist phase.)

One little thing, though: Tesa’s birth center is 93 miles, which is approximately 1 hour and 30-45 minutes depending on traffic, away from my home! Right now, distance is not a barrier! I’m ecstatic to begin this placement, and I’m excited to see what Tesa has in store for the future of her birth center. I do believe I’ll be able to move right into the primary phase by the end of this year!

Today (4/18/17), I began apprenticing at the Antelope Valley Birth Center in Lancaster, Ca. It has been a great day and I also get to apprentice along side another MCU, Rebeccah! She is the primary student, and I am the assist.

All those Practice Guidelines and Client Handouts

We are nearing the end of Winter Trimester, 2017. It was a great semester! I was able to complete the trimester way ahead of schedule which gave me a nice long break! I was not in a apprenticeship this trimester, so there was plenty of time to complete all assignments, and complete them well ahead of schedule. There was also time to take a one week break mid-trimester to visit my parents out-of-state.

This semester, I decided to create a schedule, in a notebook, for all classes and all assignments, including the required participations (no computer scheduling this time, because that has not worked in the past; I’m the pen and paper type!) I followed the schedule precisely, and it allowed me to submit assignments on time, and not fall behind, but to move far ahead in assignments.

This trimester was the trimester of practice guideline and client handouts: 42 total!! The three courses I took were Chemistry & Nutrition, Complications of the Prenatal Period, and Postpartum Care. Below is a list of the practice guidelines and handouts I created this trimester.

Chemistry & Nutrition Client Handouts:

1. Glycemic Index and Low Glycemic Diet Handout
2. Hydration in Pregnancy Handout
3. Prenatal Vitamins Research
4. Nutrition During Pre-Conception, Pregnancy, & Postpartum Handout
5. Take Charge of your Home Handout

Complications of the Prenatal Period Practice Guidelines and Client Handouts:

1. Group B Strep Practice Guideline 1. Group B Strep Handout
2. Ectopic Pregnancy Practice Guideline 2. Bleeding in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Trimesters Handout
3. IUGR Practice Guideline 3. Miscarriage Handout
4. Placenta Previa Practice Guideline 4.  Gestational Diabetes Client Handout
5.  Abruptio Placentae Guideline 5. HELLP Client Handout
6. Miscarriage Practice Guideline 6. How to Prevent Preeclampsia
7. Gestational Diabetes Practice Guideline
8. HELLP Practice Guideline
9. Gestational Hypertension, Preeclampsia, Eclampsia Practice Guideline

Postpartum Care Practice Guidelines, Forms, and Client Handouts:

1. Immediate Postpartum Checklist 1.  Preparing for a Healthy Postpartum Handout
2. Postpartum Midwife Chart (a checkoff list) 2.  Postpartum Information for Parents Handout
3. Rh-negative Informed Consent & Waiver 3.  Nutrition for Postpartum Handout
4. Healthy Attachment of the Newborn and Mother Practice Guideline 4. Toning Your Body in the First 6 Weeks Postpartum Handout
5. Postpartum Depression Practice Guideline 5. Postpartum Depression Handout
6. Postpartum Needs of Women in Diverse Ethnic Cultures Practice Guideline 6. Sexuality in Postpartum Handout
7. Sexuality in the Postpartum Practice Guideline 7.  Healthy Attachment & Bonding Handout
8. Postpartum Visit Care Schedule Form 24 hour 8. Midwife Resource for Postpartum Services
9. Postpartum Visit Care Schedule Form 72 hour 9. Special Help Postpartum Handout
10.  Postpartum Visit Care Schedule Form 7 Day
11.  Postpartum Visit Care Schedule Form 2 Week
12.  Postpartum Visit Care Schedule Form 6 Week
13. Postpartum Visit Care Record Form 24 hr, 72, hr, 7 day, 2 week, 6 week

Final grades for Winter Trimester, 2017:
Chemistry & Nutrition: 100% A+
Complications of the Prenatal Period: 98.67 A+
Postpartum Care: 99.47% A+

Last semester, I forgot to update with grades. So I’m adding those in this post as well.
Fall Trimester, 2016:
Principles of Evidence Informed Practice: 96.85% A+
Prenatal Care II: 98.09 A+
Labor, Birth, and Immediate Postpartum: 96.71 A+

Paper schedule:

Halfway Mark!

This is the halfway mark!! Today marks exactly TWO years since I began my journey with Midwives College of Utah (MCU). When I considered becoming a midwife, I was a bit unsure of which school to attend. Could I really do long distance learning? Would it be structured enough for me? Would I be able to be committed? Would I be smart enough? So many questions, and no way to figure it out unless I tried it out.

Thankfully, MCU  has a continuing education program. Students can enroll in a few classes, without any on-going obligation. Entering the continuing education program was my way of testing the waters before fully committing to distance learning. After the first semester, I was hooked! I took a second continuing education semester, and applied to become an enrolled student. In Aug of 2015, I became an official enrolled student.  However, my academic journey began earlier that year in Jan 2015 with the continuing education classes.

Today, I reflect on how frightened I was to go full force, still unsure of my calling. Unsure if I was fit for long distance learning as a student over 40 years of age. Still praying about moving forward and wondering if this was God’s will for my life. Wondering if I could hold it together while still raising five children, with six still living at home, and cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, school runs, teaching P.E., helping my children with their homework, helping my husband with his business, continuing to be a doula, church activities, volunteering at church, yearly youth camp (week long) trips, periodic youth trips, my daughters school competition trip and then comes the preceptorship. What’s more, attending MCU is year round with a three week break between semesters to rest before the next semester begins. Their academic year is divided into trimesters: three-15 week trimesters with three week breaks. Thankfully, I have been able to continue the forward momentum.

This journey cannot be forged, though, without the support of many people. With the support of my husband, my daughters, my son and his finance who sometimes pick up the slack and will drive my school-aged children to school or pick them up after school if I’m at a birth, MCU students who have cheered me on and have been my study buddies and a listening ear, and my MCU house mother whom I can text or call anytime I need help, I am able to continue on this journey to becoming a midwife!!

Here is a small window into the support from my children:

When I am taking an exam with an online proctor, there cannot be any interruptions. For this particular exam, I told all the children that they could not come in the room while I was taking the exam. When I was done with the exam, I found this chair they had put in front of the door to block entrance into the room. One of them wrote this note: Don’t go in. Mom is taking a test.

Completion of the didactic work should be somewhere at the end of Dec. 2018 (almost exactly two years from today). It does seem unreal to be two years into this work, it will be equally           unreal when it’s all completed!!