There are so many other terms for it. I like to call it itchy feet and there’s this awesome song by The Be Good Tanyas that calls it the wandering blues.
I get it about every two years. That’s probably how we ended up on this quirky little island in the middle of the Caribbean. Midwifery here is very different than on the mainland – some ways better and some not. One thing I love is that everyone knows what midwives are and it is never surprising that your baby may be caught by a midwife. Also there is an extremely low epidural rate, mostly based on the fact that women here don’t want them and have the inherent knowledge that they can have a baby without it. There are downsides however. Working as a staff nurse midwife at an extremely short staffed hospital where an old school hierarchy prevails means that I am responsible for nursing and midwife duties (sometimes both for one patient), a ridiculous amount of paperwork, and simultaneously have both a lot and next to no autonomy. This is also a high risk population, one of the reasons being that many women do not receive adequate, or any, prenatal care.
A little side note on my choice of working in a hospital. I love out-of-hospital birth, but often those options are not available to the underserved populations – clients who are uninsured or have government insurance. This is because many will most likely have to pay out of pocket to have a birth at a birth center or at home. Before I knew about midwifery, I knew I wanted to provide good care to those who may not get it otherwise and that is why I choose to work as a staff nurse midwife at a hospital.
Wow. When I actually type those words out, it is actually kind of reinvigorating.
But there are days when my feet get itchy and I dream of other jobs or other places. When I was a new midwife and nervous I might accidentally kill someone, I would sometimes think – I could always quit and be a bus driver. Sure there is a lot of responsibility in driving a bus, but there are days when you just want to do something else. Recently I’ve been daydreaming about starting a bakery. Or teaching. My dream before we came here was to just travel the world, or work at a clinic in rural Honduras. Some dreams are obviously more fantastical that others.
I love being a midwife and connecting with women, not only is it a perk of my job but I actually (not to be too boastful) think I’m pretty good at it. But unfortunately working can be hard (whine) and my father was right when he said as much to an idealistic 16 year old determined to always enjoy her career.
I’m not sure yet what the solution is yet but my 2013 Resolution is to stay positive and not bring the stress of work home with me. I’ll expand that to remind myself why I do this. I came to the Caribbean because they needed health care providers and in that situation you know there will be challenges to overcome. And I guess when I can’t stay positive I will bake the sorrows away or go enjoy some of the plethora of beauty here.
|Enjoying our walk|
|Sunset off the F'sted Pier|