Snow Day Number Two

I slept, amazingly, for nearly ten hours straight last night.  I also had the unusual experience of having a dream.  I don’t dream much anymore – I blame it on the short sleep hours I keep.  But I tell you this because it demonstrates what I was explaining yesterday – to manage all my work I skimp on sleep. I would challenge myself to make adequate sleep a goal this year, but I am too familiar with my class schedule to believe I could be successful until the summer.

However, I do intend to make better use (better being defined by marking more items off my to do list) of today’s snow day.  I will be reviewing my school notes and putting key items into a little notebook I can keep with me. What are key items? Things like how I would identify things on a wet mount, criteria for diagnosing gestational hypertension and pelvic inflammatory disease, and the process for determining the cause of amenorrhea.

As I thought about it this morning, I realized such a notebook could be helpful for any level of midwifery training.  Keeping track of information that is new to you in a way that allows you to easily review it gives you the opportunity to learn and understand more whether you are just starting or have caught babies for twenty years.

So here is the challenge for you, keep a notebook this year.  Not a big three ring binder or a letter sized spiral book.  Just a small pocket-sized notebook.  When you read, attend a conference or learn something while working with a client be sure to put that information in your notebook.  Be sure to go back and read the things you write, and if you feel comfortable with it, share what you have written with others.  No two books will be the same because each book will focus on the parts of midwifery its individual owner is currently learning.

I’ve been keeping journals for years and enjoy going back over what I have written to see how much I have learned.  Imagine how delightful it would be to keep these small midwifery journals each year, to be able to go back and see what I was learning five, ten or twenty years earlier.  Yeah, I’m hooked.

For fun and inspiration, I personalized my book with my current birth philosophy, “A woman cannot birth apart from how she lives the rest of her life.”

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)


  1. catalinakel

    Crazy. I recently found your blog and also decided just today to begin a notebook. I am brand new, and have purchases 12 books to go through this year on my journey toward midwife-hood. I want to record what I am learning in the books so I have the info handy, but I also like the idea of small notebooks. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jennifer Vanderlaan

      We seem to think very similarly. I can’t wait to hear about what you are learning. Could you share what books you purchased?

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