by Guest Blogger Aubre Tompkins, CNM
Aubre Tompkins, CNM, is in her second year as a midwife. She has been
guest blogging about the lessons she’s learned during her first year in a
series for ACNM. Check out her first six posts here:
#1 and #2: Remember to Breathe, and Listen
#3: Emotions are Healthy
#4: Be Humble
#5: Be Water
#6: It Takes A Village
Pearl #7: Nurture Yourself
It is a well-known fact that this work can be hard on a midwife. The hours are
long, the emotional outlay can be draining. Babies will come at anytime day or
night, mamas will need questions answered and support at all hours, and all of this
happens without regard to our personal lives.
Now, we know this going in, nobody
surprises us with these facts at the last minute. It is a choice that we have
made, a path we have prepared for—but our families may not always feel the same
way. Our partners surely know who we are, know that we are at times unavailable,
and have decided to walk with us. However, that does not mean that they have to
like it. Our children, on the other hand, have had no say in this route; we
have brought them along for the ride. It is a difficult thing to share your
parent with “all the pregnant ladies” as my own children have informed me,
numerous times. This brings me to Pearl #8….cherish your family.
There is an unfair irony to our profession. Midwives believe
strongly in supporting, guiding, and empowering women in the creation of their
families. We fight for women to have choices in all aspects of their life
cycles. We foster breastfeeding and promote a balanced postpartum period of
recovery. We are “on call” for these women and will come when needed, at all
times and hours of the day and week.
The other side of this coin is often overlooked. Who is with our family?
Who is supporting our efforts as partners and mothers? It is a cruel twist of
fate that in a profession so dedicated to the promotion of healthy families,
our own families often pay a price.
Just as we must care for ourselves, we must care for our
families. Family comes in all shapes and sizes, whether you have children or
not. Whether your family consists of relatives, friends, pets, or all of the
above—cherish them. Block out time that is dedicated to your children. Plan
date nights with your partner. Make time for your friends. All of these things
will not only benefit the people in your life, but you as well. When we are
well-rounded and fulfilled, we are better providers of care. When we are
supported by a full, healthy network of family, we can be at our strongest to
support our clients.
Aubre Tompkins became a certified nurse-midwife in 2010. She has a busy
family, with 3 fantastic children and a great husband. She lives in Denver
and works at Colorado's only freestanding birth center, Mountain Midwifery
Center. She has been learning to knit for the past 3 years and is almost done
with her first scarf. Her blog, With Woman, The First Year…And
Beyond, is a chronicle of her experiences from her developing