Jennifer's Personal Notes

Of Ice and Storms

Second semester of midwifery school has begun, but not really.  The ice in Atlanta has made travel dangerous so the city is effectively closed. Gives me a few days to finish preparing myself for the work of a semester.

I underestimated the amount of work it would be to complete the MPH and the MSN together.  This next semester is going to be my most difficult in terms of balancing classes, family and clinical.  20 credits! But I remember the purpose and I remember my women who are waiting for me to return.

As part of the midwifery program, we “practice” our skills with experienced midwives.  I have the tremendous opportunity to learn my skills at a birth center.  This gives me the chance to not only learn how to do the health care work, but also how to make sure the health care is available.  I am learning about working with few resources, maintaining a birth center and all the details that need to be in place for a maternity program to be effective.

I’m also learning midwifery skills that have nearly vanished in the US.  For example, today I learned how to listen to fetal heart tones with nothing but a stethoscope. I knew it was possible, I just didn’t know how to actually make it work.  I do now.   The midwives I am training with laughed at my excitement, “we used to manage labors with nothing but a stethoscope,” they said.

I’ve tried to get involved with different programs to help find additional resources for the midwives, but my study schedule doesn’t leave room for extras.  It is the trade off I have to make – I need the midwifery training and it will never be easier than it is now to learn midwifery skills.  I can participate in other groups later.

This may be the last you hear from me for a while – I wish it wasn’t because I have so much I would love to share. Unfortunately I am predicting a very busy few weeks with little blog time.  So say prayers for me to make it through this semester.  I’ll need them!

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)