Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Paradise... or Alaska?


Everybody needs one, but a lotta people don't have them. I've been breezing (breezing?!) through this midwifery school thing, telling myself the whole time, "It doesn't really matter if I don't find a job right away, I'll keep working as an OB nurse until the right CNM job comes along..."...

(I don't know how to make a SCREECHING HALT noise appear on my blog, but if I could --- that would be the spot for it.)

Suddenly, almost two years into this thing - it hit me. I want to work as a midwife. Like, literally, the very second I can. I love being an OB nurse - but I hunger on such a much deeper level to be a nurse-midwife. The few shifts I've worked as a nurse since starting clinicals have been agggggoooonnnizzing. To stay in the background, trying to be encouraging while the (gasp) doctor gets to (gets to??) wheel in and yank the baby out?! Ridiculous! That's supposed to be me, sitting next to that mama, coaxing her babe out with her... not on that fun little wheely chair, with the bed broken down. Nope, I get on the bed, with her, and together, the four of us (mama, dad, baby, and me as an afterthought) we breathe, we push, we scream, we swear, we laugh, we grunt, we poop (well, maybe we don't all do that one...), and - eventually - mama delivers.

So, anyway, that's where I'm at today. And was yesterday, and the day before. Midwifejobs.com. Looking for - you guessed it! - a midwife job. (There are, of course, no midwife jobs in my near vicinity) New York? I'm too small-town. Florida? Ugh, too --- pan-handle. Paradise, CA? Bingo! I checked out the posting, and it sounds wonderful... looked at the attached link and website, and it's gorgeous. The more I snoop around on the site, the more I love it - especially when I learn one of the midwives is an alum of my school (not always a good thing, I suppose, but I love my school, so it seems like a good omen). But, my hi-how-are-you-hey-can-I-come-visit-and-maybe-do-some-clinical-hours-with-you-and-by-the-way-please-PLEASE-PLEASE-hire-me message is first rejected by their "contact us" form, and then by the email address listed.

Boo. Fail. Hiss.

I'm starting to think if Paradise won't work, maybe I should give up the whole darn thing, when I stumble across a listing for a tribal site in Alaska. (Now, I know what you're thinking... Alaska?! A girl who can't even handle the only-moderately cold, snowy, gloomy winters of the Northern Midwest would consider... Alaska?! And, you would be --- right. But, hey, Paradise is shooting me down, what do I have to lose?)

So, I started filling out the application. I've worked for tribal communities before. I've been a tribal games employee (I tried my damndest to know basic strategy for blackjack, but just never got it... even so, I seemed to make good tips), and a maternal child health nurse, so that seemed promising. I started having visions of pristine white snowfalls, Alaskan Natives and pure culture surrounding me... and then thought of having my closest family and friends being what google maps told me would be, officially, a 2 day, 15 hour car ride away.

Now, I won't say if that would be a good thing or bad thing - but it was enough to make me stop and think. And then, I realized, it was two o'clock, and time to get ready for work. And then I looked outside, at the pure, fat white snowflakes falling, and thought, "f*ck, it's going to be a cold walk to work."

I'm gonna hold out for Paradise.


  1. Like we don't have enough stress on our plates right now. You are so right though-that screeching halt sound happened here as well. Less than six months from now, I need a JOB! I need to make money to pay bills etc...BUT, the bigger issue is exactly what you are eluding to; I am not an OB/L&D nurse anymore, I am a midwife, at heart, in thought, and in being. I never TOTALLY realized the difference until I am in this moment and there are so so so many differences. My heart skips beats, I cry after deliveries (not at the hospital, and not bawling), I feel the power in these women (and families) as they experience new life. I feel their trust in me as they decide on their options. I could go on and on. It is so frickin' different and I am loving it. Yes, I thought the same-I can work as a L&D nurse until I find a job. Not gonna happen. I have also been doing the "job search" the last week or two and nothing here as well. I am encouraged through my preceptors that their is a huge possibility within my area (at other clinics and hospitals) and plan to start sending some letters out in March. Just the "Hi, I'm in school...almost done...would love to work within my own community..." Maybe this will get the right people talking and a job will come along.

  2. i couldn't imagine how hard it'd be being a L&D nurse with a midwife heart! I'd be biting my tongue all too often. but you know, those women are lucky to have a nurse that thinks like a midwife.. supportive, helpful, believes in the birth process, and can offer useful pain tips rather than 'just lay on this hospital bed, we'll hold your legs to your ears and you push until every vessel in your face has burst.. no, you can't get up, it's vital that you have that monitor strapped to your belly and wear an oxygen mask.. it's best for baby'

  3. It is so cool to hear other midwives (and yes, that is what we are, even if we don't yet have the CNM behind our names!) who "get" that being an OB nurse is NOTHING like being a midwife. I have hated working as an OB nurse, since I got deep into midwifery school. Most people think that is strange. I pray that I will be floated to MedSurg or ER when I get to work. I just have such a hard time pretending to be something that I no longer am in OB. The monotony of charting and cleaning and charting and cleaning, instead of sitting at the laboring woman's side, is just too much.
    I am very fortunate in that I do have a job waiting for me as soon as I obtain those three little letters- C-N-M, but I was planning to continue to work PRN in OB until then. I'm not so sure anymore... Maybe I'll take the opportunity to live off of student loans for a few more weeks...