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So, I'm unhappily facing something that I didn't think was my issue but has slapped me in the face. "It IS my problem." It's been a tearful night. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">:<br>
I'm facing leaving a second apprenticeship at the request of the midwife. She just doesn't think I'm at the level I should be at after 100 births. She doesn't want to attend births with me b/c she doesn't feel supported - like she has to do my job and her job.<br><br>
I stuggle with performance anxiety and shyness (that doesn't translate well to the online world). I didn't WANT to try to go to a site for only a few months - that terrified me, but I can't afford to go somewhere for a long time and I've been told that no midwife near me wanted to work with me by a school representative. I could afford to do that. I'm feeling rejected and that I shouldn't try to be a midwife anymore. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">:<br><br>
Sometimes I feel like I don't do things fast enough - like decide to get the pit and give it - what is wrong with my hands? Why do I feel like an observer of my own body, why isn't it under my control. But sometimes I feel like it's not MY problem. Like, duuude, we are so far away from what I'd ever do that I can't figure out what I should do, you know? I don't want to say more b/c of privacy, But I do want to take responsibility for what's mine...<br><br>
I feel like I'm being "set up" sometimes - like I'm being dumping into some situations on purpose to point out my inadequacies. Especially with nutritional counciling - I do feel comfortable with my own abilities to councel - but not that party line. I stumble over the words coming out of my mouth that I feel are wrong.<br><br>
Please, help, anything, positive/negative, I'm just not sure where to go/what to do.
 

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{{{hugs}}}<br><br>
I think I know how you feel, I suffer from performance anxiety too, not a great way to be in a clinical atmosphere. Somehow I survived in Texas but it wasn't easy until I found my longest standing preceptor. What will happen with my nursing school clinicals is beyond me. I also think sometimes dumping you into situations is how some people teach, it's not my choice but I have seen it before.<br><br>
Do you think what you need is confidence? I know you said you didn't want to go somewhere like Casa (I totally understand, that place scares the crap out of me) but maybe it's exactly what you need. I know my fear of functioning without the safety net of my friend and preceptor drove me away from practicing in this state at all which sucks.<br><br>
Don't let this stop you but maybe it is a lesson you need to learn, an obstacle that must be overcome.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I can relate to what you have to say. I don't have any answers, but just wanted to send you some hugs.
 

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I want to be kind here, but given what you wrote I wonder if this is really the path for you. If after 100 births (that is quite a bit considering that you can get a CPM after doing 40 births under supervision) you are still tentative, unsure what to do, and not a help to the preceptors you are working with, that's a pretty big problem. If the preceptors are good teachers and have given you clear direction, then you may just be too scared to be a midwife. Lets face it. It takes huge "boobs" (didn't think balls was appropriate here) to think yourself capable of taking the lives of two people into your hands. Lots of birth junkies out there get into the work thinking they would like to be midwives, but find that there is a big difference from doula work to making that leap to capable and confident senior midwife. I can see that a preceptor, not seeing the things she is looking for after 100 births, may have to tell someone that she doesn't think this is the work for her. Now when I was apprenticing with another apprentice the other one was much like that. Just fearful and tentative and screwing up all the time. She was given much the same lecture, but it was a first warning. She found a way to get her act together (homeopathic gelsemium, aconite and Rescue Remedy were part of it)<br>
completed her apprenticeship with another midwife (the apprentice had moved about halfway through her packet) and is now a fine homebirth midwife. It is doable, but it seems that you need to make some changes and really take some time to evaluate whether or not you can envision yourself with the self confidence this work takes.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Apricot</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9843256"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Please, help, anything, positive/negative, I'm just not sure where to go/what to do.</div>
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I don't really know what to say, except that I feel for ya. I left my first apprenticeship because things weren't working it out, and I cried for days after that. It was my decision, and for the best, but I felt like I was giving up something I had dreamed about for years. Things have worked out in the long run and I'm happy to be in the spot I'm in now, but I definitely remember the feeling of my dreams getting shot down.<br><br>
Is what your preceptor said coming out of the blue for you? Did you have any idea she felt you were not performing up to par? Do you have reviews every couple months and re-evaluate goals? You've seemed pretty knowledgeable from your posts on here!<br><br>
i'm thinking about ya! Let us know how you're doing!
 

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Apricot--<br><br>
Here is the part that jumps out for me, and I want to be sure I understand you:<br><br>
"Sometimes I feel like I don't do things fast enough - like decide to get the pit and give it - what is wrong with my hands? Why do I feel like an observer of my own body, why isn't it under my control. But sometimes I feel like it's not MY problem. Like, duuude, we are so far away from what I'd ever do that I can't figure out what I should do, you know?"<br><br>
Are you saying that the preceptor/s you've worked with are practicing in a way that just doesn't fit with your own ideals/philosophy of care? If so--well, does this mean you aren't trainable or only that you haven't yet found the right preceptor for you?<br><br>
"I feel like I'm being "set up" sometimes - like I'm being dumping into some situations on purpose to point out my inadequacies. Especially with nutritional counciling - I do feel comfortable with my own abilities to councel - but not that party line. I stumble over the words coming out of my mouth that I feel are wrong. "<br><br>
Again, this sounds like you are in a situation where you are expected to think and act in a way that feels foreign to you. And with that--whether you are being 'paranoid' or actually picking up on unspoken dynamics--it seems that you feel you are being judged rather than supported.<br><br>
am I getting this right?<br><br>
I think it is valid to consider whether you have the ovaries (female corrolary to 'balls'!) to be a midwife, to work with life and death. Maybe not, I wouldn't know. But my read of your post is that this is more about your having been, so far, in the wrong situations of training for your particular goals.<br><br>
Is that what you are trying to say?<br><br>
hugs to you
 

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I understand the "being set up" thing... I think that has a lot to do with the person training you - if they have grace for themselves and grace for others they likely will NOT do this. But I have been a part of a very serious program where this was considered THE way to make a weakness a strength. Needless to say that doesn't work. Just makes you feel like a failure.<br><br>
I am not sure why thinking longer before acting is a *bad* thing. Sometimes that hesitation of a second before grabbing pit or what not is a GOOD thing and something I think a few people could resurrect in their practices with good effects. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
So my opinion (totally NOT in your shoes) is that you are not set up with the right people.<br><br>
Can you come over this way? (I'm in WA). I am not sure if you remember me from a few years ago when I was headed to where you are at school. There are some local MWs here who would be so grateful for the assistance (and probably not the ones you are thinking of if you know my area).<br><br>
A lot of people can talk the talk (say the right words, jump into action) but don't have the longevity to make it a practice where they take the time to listen and consider before reacting. I don't know... but there's my non-shoe-opinion. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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MsBlack, your words have soothed me more than once. Thank you.<br><br>
Apricot, I realized I was holding my breath while reading your post. A hundred births is a good number (And to the poster who pulled up the 40 births number, that is 20 births as an active participant and 20 as the decision maker, the spirit of those numbers is that it takes a good few births to get to that point in the first place. In my area apprentices are attending many more births than 40 before they get their wings.)<br><br>
Have you had several years to absorb these experiences? Do the midwives sit down with you and hep you process the flow?<br><br>
Perhaps I'm not reading your words right but I'm hearing that you space out when a situation calls for your complete attention? Have you found a way to role play the spots that you find yourself detaching? Some of the learning is stepping into a role you might not define for youself once you are in solo practice. And some is seeing enough drama that it dosen't catch you off guard. Some is finding balance between handsitting and playing with our toys. But it can be useful to reach for the pit now, your body will remember doing so later. I know it is just one example of your situation but why not put your hand on the vial, maybe even load the syringe?<br><br>
It is a great honor to be invited to births with a teacher. And a relief to not be the final word. But it also sucks to have someone else's protocols to follow, philosophy to implement. There are still times where I'm not sure what I should tell a mother. I usually know what *I* want to tell her her, but I'm not sure if that is what the midwife wants. There are a few things that i choke on as well. I've learned to write them down: this is what I'm asked to do now, this is what I plan to do once I'm taking my own clients. I'm sure I'll eat some of those words later and other I won't.<br><br>
This rambling mess is to surround you in words and hugs and thank you for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Levatrice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9843505"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">{{{hugs}}}I think I know how you feel, I suffer from performance anxiety too, not a great way to be in a clinical atmosphere...</div>
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Thanks for the hugs. Yeah, it's definitely not good in a clinical setting. I do great (IMO) with clients, that doesn't make me nervous at all.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Lennon</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9844036"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I can relate to what you have to say. I don't have any answers, but just wanted to send you some hugs.</div>
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Thanks, I'll take the hugs .<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>homewithtwinsmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9845333"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I want to be kind here, but given what you wrote I wonder if this is really the path for you. If after 100 births (that is quite a bit considering that you can get a CPM after doing 40 births under supervision) you are still tentative, unsure what to do, and not a help to the preceptors you are working with, that's a pretty big problem. If the preceptors are good teachers and have given you clear direction, then you may just be too scared to be a midwife....It is doable, but it seems that you need to make some changes and really take some time to evaluate whether or not you can envision yourself with the self confidence this work takes.</div>
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I appreciate this feedback. To clarify, I've been to 15 births with this preceptor, 10 with another, and the remainder with a third midwife with some fill-in work as a birth assistant with a few others. I was not scared or unable to act quickly with the one preceptor and was doing births as primary midwife under supervision with her. So far, she's been a great backer and thinks I'll be a good midwife. It's the other two who I had problems with. I did ask for this feedback and I do appreciate it. I think you've stated some of my fears. It's hard to hear, though.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rnchrista</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9845528"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Things have worked out in the long run and I'm happy to be in the spot I'm in now, but I definitely remember the feeling of my dreams getting shot down.<br><br>
Is what your preceptor said coming out of the blue for you? Did you have any idea she felt you were not performing up to par? Do you have reviews every couple months and re-evaluate goals? You've seemed pretty knowledgeable from your posts on here!<br><br>
i'm thinking about ya! Let us know how you're doing!</div>
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Thank you! It's not out of the blue, but sort of. It's my first review with this midwife. I don't quite understand how other students act in the clinic - we're always sequential, so they've left before I arrive and vice versa. I've never seen some other student in action, so I'm really unsure how I don't measure up. Apparently the way I came up with on my own is not okay and I'm not sure where to change - even if I can change. I tried really hard to be "different" in this placement. Maybe I should ask that here? I'm certainly going to ask her.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MsBlack</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9846108"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you saying that the preceptor/s you've worked with are practicing in a way that just doesn't fit with your own ideals/philosophy of care? If so--well, does this mean you aren't trainable or only that you haven't yet found the right preceptor for you?</div>
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Yeah, it doesn't fit my philosophies very well. Some of it is interesting and definitely worth considering, for sure, might add it to my practices, but some is so strange to me, I'm not sure what to do. It's a stumbling block in my thinking. I know what I'd do - and what I've learned to do in other places, but sometimes I have no clue what she's gonna do next.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MsBlack</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9846108"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Again, this sounds like you are in a situation where you are expected to think and act in a way that feels foreign to you. And with that--whether you are being 'paranoid' or actually picking up on unspoken dynamics--it seems that you feel you are being judged rather than supported.</div>
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Yeah, you said it. I feel like the teaching relationship is broken, like nothing I do will be taken as good evidence and everything I do that's not ideal will be marked up, like the judging is very prejudicial.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MsBlack</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9846108"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think it is valid to consider whether you have the ovaries (female corrolary to 'balls'!) to be a midwife, to work with life and death. Maybe not, I wouldn't know. But my read of your post is that this is more about your having been, so far, in the wrong situations of training for your particular goals. Is that what you are trying to say?<br><br>
hugs to you</div>
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Thanks for the hugs. I am considering whether I have the ovaries to do it. I didn't have any doubt before. Obviously I won't/can't be a midwife unless I think I'm a GREAT person to attend a birth. Mothers and babies deserve that.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BirthFree</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9846886"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I understand the "being set up" thing... I think that has a lot to do with the person training you - if they have grace for themselves and grace for others they likely will NOT do this. But I have been a part of a very serious program where this was considered THE way to make a weakness a strength. Needless to say that doesn't work. Just makes you feel like a failure.<br><br>
I am not sure why thinking longer before acting is a *bad* thing. Sometimes that hesitation of a second before grabbing pit or what not is a GOOD thing and something I think a few people could resurrect in their practices with good effects. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
So my opinion (totally NOT in your shoes) is that you are not set up with the right people.<br><br>
Can you come over this way? (I'm in WA). I am not sure if you remember me from a few years ago when I was headed to where you are at school. There are some local MWs here who would be so grateful for the assistance (and probably not the ones you are thinking of if you know my area).<br><br>
A lot of people can talk the talk (say the right words, jump into action) but don't have the longevity to make it a practice where they take the time to listen and consider before reacting. I don't know... but there's my non-shoe-opinion. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"></div>
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I certainly remember you from back then and the auction and I'm thrilled to see you're expecting a new one. I'm your secret stalker enjoying your travel reports from the land of UC and motherhood.<br>
I'm not against travel, but I have financial considerations (I own a house on this side) and honestly, I don't feel comfortable leaving my husband alone for long. He has some health concerns that I "mind" for him. I won't say more on the internet, you know. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
I'm starting to wonder if it was a huge mistake to stay with the most unflappable midwife for so long. She is so calm - you can tell when she's really, really worried, her voice gets higher and she smiles more at the client. (she has a commanding voice, too, of course). Clients love her and I'd like to copy her style of dealing with the undesirable. I wonder if I have copied her more than I realized and it's freaking my preceptor out?<br>
I hate being a student sometimes, not the preceptor part - I dislike the transition of different locations, but not the midwives or clients - I love that. The part I hate is the school part - going from the workplace to being someone assumed to be an idiot because I'm in the clutches of a school that just doesn't "get" the adult learner. Why can't they assume that we can read the stupid handbook and understand stuff? Why are we drawing on posterboard with crayons - I'm 30, not 3. I'd like to write a paper, not cut stuff out of magazines. We get enough "hands on" stuff with models and clinicals to statisfy my need to be kinestetic, IMO. That's obviously a rant that's been waiting to bust out 'cause that's totally OT. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>daintyfrump</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9847620"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you had several years to absorb these experiences? Do the midwives sit down with you and hep you process the flow?</div>
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A few years - I do get some processing - more with my favorite preceptor, less with this one. Pretty much all of the processing is criticism lately. It's disheartening and I've been avoiding it.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>daintyfrump</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9847620"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Perhaps I'm not reading your words right but I'm hearing that you space out when a situation calls for your complete attention? Have you found a way to role play the spots that you find yourself detaching? Some of the learning is stepping into a role you might not define for youself once you are in solo practice. And some is seeing enough drama that it dosen't catch you off guard. Some is finding balance between handsitting and playing with our toys. But it can be useful to reach for the pit now, your body will remember doing so later. I know it is just one example of your situation but why not put your hand on the vial, maybe even load the syringe?</div>
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Thanks, that's helpful.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>daintyfrump</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9847620"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It is a great honor to be invited to births with a teacher. And a relief to not be the final word. But it also sucks to have someone else's protocols to follow, philosophy to implement. There are still times where I'm not sure what I should tell a mother. I usually know what *I* want to tell her her, but I'm not sure if that is what the midwife wants. There are a few things that i choke on as well. I've learned to write them down: this is what I'm asked to do now, this is what I plan to do once I'm taking my own clients. I'm sure I'll eat some of those words later and other I won't.<br><br>
This rambling mess is to surround you in words and hugs and thank you for posting.</div>
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Wow - you really got some of what I couldn't get into words the reaching for words - it really is a great honor. I really am grateful for the chance to see how other midwives practice - it's my only opportunity to do so. And I am so honored by the families that have given me permission to attend their births.
 

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Apricot, you are so thoughtful.<br>
Well the travel to where I am would not have to be just you if it would work for you - but I understand heath issues you watch for others. My children have intolerances I cook for - my DH would be lost.<br><br>
And yes, the land of UC... it has forever changed my life so no doubt my path was meant to stall (now for longer - heh, surprise!).<br><br>
But back to your post, I will be watching to see what ends up working out for you - that is a situation that I imagine is something many 'students' could find themselves relating to. I hope you find someone that both supports and teaches you - while giving you space to be the midwife you're going to be... rather than trying to mold you to practice like they would. Again, I don't have any direct understanding, but I'm sending my thoughts and support your way regardless.<br><br>
Blessings.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
just wanted to write and say that i can relate to many of the things that you are describing. i was painfully, painfully shy when i first started birth work and would shake when i would go to do bp checks. i've struggled with a lot of self doubt through my journey. i understand how painfully difficult that is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the hugs Papaya! Can I ask if your "burn out" (from your sig) was contributed to by being shy?
 

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Apricot--<br><br>
again, some of your words jump out at me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
"I am considering whether I have the ovaries to do it. I didn't have any doubt before. "<br><br>
For some of us, 'having the ovaries' really means 'growing the ovaries'.... perhaps not naturally gifted with a lot of moxie, but willing to grow into it. You know, I have known a few 'painfully shy' people in my life who DID grow into confidence, quite beautifully....mainly because they decided to, and worked at it.<br><br>
Other than that:<br><br>
"Obviously I won't/can't be a midwife unless I think I'm a GREAT person to attend a birth. Mothers and babies deserve that."<br><br>
Well, Mothers and babies deserve a mw who is also humble. I don't know as you have to believe right now that you're a GREAT person to attend a birth. In fact, I have known some mws in my day who, IMO, could have used a lot more humility and a lot less of believing they were a great person to attend births...because of 2 reasons, very much interrelated:<br><br>
1. Too much of their 'high self-esteem as a mw' is based on what they can *do*. Which means, they have to be *doing* something to keep feeding that self-esteem. The mw becomes the one who makes it happen rather than one who merely serves the mother, ever-mindful that the mother is the ONLY ONE who can make birth happen.<br><br>
2. Too much of their 'professional demeanor' is essentially based on patriarchal power dynamics, based on the classic doctor-patient relationship. Oh, sure, most of the time there is a lot more warmth...genuine warmth, along with more informed consent usually, I add...that emanates from mws who engage in this. But they are still enacting fairly conventional relational politics...and imo get too much of their feeling of being 'a great person to attend births' by virtue of their ability to play that Face Game...to appropriate power in the relationship, however subtly, through certain dance steps enacted that aren't really all that hard to learn and imitate (certain kinds of phrases, tones, postures); and this does not necessarily translate to a truly solid confidence or 'power from within'.<br><br>
To me, neither the ability to do things, nor the ability to play a superior role in relation to clients, makes a great mw. And I will say that these are issues I struggle with a lot in my own practice. Some mws have basically accused me of being too shy of adopting the proper professional role--whereas I would say more like, I am loathe to adopt that role! And because I am having to create a new interactional system, a new relational model as I go, there are times when I feel somewhat inept, 'not great mw material' and so forth. This new relationship is both my relationship with Birth itself, as well as my relationship with clients.<br><br>
I don't know if this makes sense as it is written...there is so much more to it but you'll have to await my upcoming book--if I ever get around to writing it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Anyway. I think it is terribly important to have the right kinds of training opportunities for one's own 'type'. Only you can know if you are going to someday be a mw. I keep coming back to a basic issue here, which is that it seems you are not in a healthy, affirmative apprenticeship for you. Maybe you need to step back emotionally from all this (and I can only imagine how hard it would be to hear that no local mws want to work with you!), and clarify what *you* want. That is, let yourself express and process all the feelings you have around this, and make some space think in terms of your own wishes and goals--separating yourself from entanglement from other people's feelings/perceptions toward you, others' ideas on what constitutes 'proper apprenticeship expectations', etc. Stop seeing yourself in THEIR light, and see yourself in YOUR OWN light. What works for many apprentices and preceptors simply might not work for you. That is not necessarily a problem! It is just your challenge to sort out for yourself.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Apricot</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9849625"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks for the hugs Papaya! Can I ask if your "burn out" (from your sig) was contributed to by being shy?</div>
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I think that it definitely contributed...there were a lot of reasons why I needed to stop though including being pregnant and being really sick! I felt like I needed more time for things to feel right on my own - I didn't like the idea that once my "numbers" were done that *poof* I was supposed to feel like I was "ready."
 

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Oh, Apricot!<br>
I'm so sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time with your apprenticeship. I have so often thought that you give such good, well rounded advise, and you seem to have a deep knowledge base. It seems to me that your difficulty lies in the preceptor/student expectations, and since every preceptor is different, you need to confront this one and ask her to spell out exactly what she wants from you. Is your preceptor concerned that you do not just jump in without being told what to do, or does she give you clear directions and you still find you cannot act? Do you have a clear list of duties at births, such as setting up, taking vitals, cleaning up, etc?<br>
I think it is soooo difficult to take on the role of primary midwife with a strong, very experienced midwife sitting right beside you. For me, I found counseling became much easier when I was doing the prenatal care myself. There are also many ways in which you can deal with the anxiety that makes you feel frozen.<br>
I hope you can work through this. It takes a lot of guts to write a post like yours and confront your problems. I'm glad your getting some good advise.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br>
Nicole
 

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Apricot, I realized I was holding my breath while reading your post. A hundred births is a good number (And to the poster who pulled up the 40 births number, that is 20 births as an active participant and 20 as the decision maker, the spirit of those numbers is that it takes a good few births to get to that point in the first place. In my area apprentices are attending many more births than 40 before they get their wings.)<br><br><br>
I know about the 20/20 division in the CPM packet and apprentices in my area working with reputable midwives are certainly doing <i>a lot more than that</i> before going solo, but my point is that NARM considers the total of 40 to be the required number for certification so 60 MORE births than that one would hope a person would be getting the hang of things if the preceptors are actually teaching and clear in their expectations. I have worked with midwives with whom I did not always agree on everything, but I did the work their way when I was with them. You can learn from anyone (even if its just what not to do), but you have to respect that their practice is established and run a certain way and that as a student you are to mesh and compliment that practice. Sure a vegan student can apprentice with a Brewer diet kind of midwife, but i she starts telling clients to avoid eggs and milk or won't give the kind of advice her preceptor expects of her, then there is going to be friction (this is just an example out of my head, I am not saying this is what was going on with the original poster).
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s<br><br>
ITA with everything MsBlack has said to you, Apricot. If you want to talk a little more about it, PM or e-mail me.<br><br>
FWIW, at the only birth where I've given pit, I fumbled with it, dropped the vial, swore and felt every eye in the room boring into the back of my head. I guess there are situations where that 10 seconds might make a huge difference, but I don't know how often we're going to see those. (and I don't fumble with the herbs that are my first line of defense <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">).
 

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I didn't want to read and not say anything <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Will come back and write more when I have a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MsBlack</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9850884"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Anyway. I think it is terribly important to have the right kinds of training opportunities for one's own 'type'. Only you can know if you are going to someday be a mw. I keep coming back to a basic issue here, which is that it seems you are not in a healthy, affirmative apprenticeship for you. Maybe you need to step back emotionally from all this (and I can only imagine how hard it would be to hear that no local mws want to work with you!), and clarify what *you* want. That is, let yourself express and process all the feelings you have around this, and make some space think in terms of your own wishes and goals--separating yourself from entanglement from other people's feelings/perceptions toward you, others' ideas on what constitutes 'proper apprenticeship expectations', etc. Stop seeing yourself in THEIR light, and see yourself in YOUR OWN light. What works for many apprentices and preceptors simply might not work for you. That is not necessarily a problem! It is just your challenge to sort out for yourself.</div>
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Thank you Ms. Black. I appreciate what you have to say, especially about seeing differences in people and perhaps recasting failure to assilimate in a more positive light. I have found your words to be the ones I am most mulling over. Thank you. I wish you good luck in your recent suprises. If you come up with a legal fund...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PapayaVagina</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9852345"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that it definitely contributed...there were a lot of reasons why I needed to stop though including being pregnant and being really sick! I felt like I needed more time for things to feel right on my own - I didn't like the idea that once my "numbers" were done that *poof* I was supposed to feel like I was "ready."</div>
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Thanks for answering my "nosey" question.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>olive&pimiento</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9853411"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It seems to me that your difficulty lies in the preceptor/student expectations, and since every preceptor is different, you need to confront this one and ask her to spell out exactly what she wants from you. Is your preceptor concerned that you do not just jump in without being told what to do, or does she give you clear directions and you still find you cannot act? Do you have a clear list of duties at births, such as setting up, taking vitals, cleaning up, etc?<br>
I think it is soooo difficult to take on the role of primary midwife with a strong, very experienced midwife sitting right beside you. For me, I found counseling became much easier when I was doing the prenatal care myself. There are also many ways in which you can deal with the anxiety that makes you feel frozen.</div>
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Thanks Nicole for your reply. I think you've understood some of the problem. I did have a revelation today that I've been attempting to succeed in a position that doesn't exist - that of a midwifery student. What has been expected of me is to just go in and act like a midwife. I feel stupid that I didn't get that before, but I just didn't. I think I was trying to be a birth assistant still, a position that I felt comfortable with and had been "trained" to do.<br>
And, oh yeah, it's hard when this super experienced person is sitting right next to you who could do everything I'm attemping to do, and perhaps do it faster, easier, or better than me.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Charmie981</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9859013"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s<br><br>
ITA with everything MsBlack has said to you, Apricot. If you want to talk a little more about it, PM or e-mail me.<br><br>
FWIW, at the only birth where I've given pit, I fumbled with it, dropped the vial, swore and felt every eye in the room boring into the back of my head. I guess there are situations where that 10 seconds might make a huge difference, but I don't know how often we're going to see those. (and I don't fumble with the herbs that are my first line of defense <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">).</div>
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Thanks Charmie, especially for the offer to PM or email. I can see that someone else has felt that sensation - the "everyone is watching me fumble this badly".<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarolynnMarilynn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9868170"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I didn't want to read and not say anything <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Will come back and write more when I have a chance.</div>
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Thanks, look forward to reading it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So, an not-great update. I just got a copy of my review from my preceptor. It's absolutely terrible. There's not a lot that I agree with about it, many of the listed items are not rooted in reality, at least my reality. I was blindsided by this review, really, which is surprising, b/c I knew things were not going to be positive, but this is crazy. It *almost* feels like she made it as bad as possible to get me kicked out, which it's likely to do.<br>
As I mentioned above, I did have a revelation about what my role is supposed to be, and I feel pretty stupid to have wasted some of my opportunities trying to do the wrong thing. But this is crazy.<br>
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. It feels a little silly to go back to the clinic and work alongside someone who wrote that - it's that bad. But I feel like I want to carry out my end of the obligation so that can't be held against me, and I feel like it's possible I could somehow leave her with a better impression - it really couldn't be worse (I think), but it doesn't really seem likely or possible to fix such a bad eval.
 
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