Diaries of a Midwifery Apprentice

Date

As a new apprentice these last few months, I have been privileged to learn so much! I more formally
began apprenticing and assisting in August. Since then, I have attended 14 births alongside Bethel, Noa,
and Cindy! We have gotten to help so many families welcome their new additions in a gentle and loving
way. The State of Alaska Licensing Board has approved my application for my Apprentice Midwife
Permit! I am beyond thrilled I am truly official as an apprentice.

I have been able to attend prenatal and postpartum visits which are honestly so amazing. It really has
helped me to get to know each of the members of the Haven family. Truly it has been my greatest joy to
get to know each and every one of our families and make new friends. I have been met with so many
patient and understanding women that have been so kind as I have learned and practiced new skills
such as IV placement, blood draws, fundal measurement, and feeling for baby’s position. Many of these
skills while seemingly basic, are beginning to come together more for me. There is much more to it than
meets the eye. As for the birth side of things I have been learning fetal heart tones, Pitocin
administration, delivery of the placenta, and newborn exams! I’ve been plugging away at my
coursework trying to gain more book knowledge to bring to the table as well!

My favorite part of apprenticing so far has to be prenatal and postpartum appointments. I love being
able to help families connect with their unborn babies by doing belly checks with them, offering tidbits
about their stage of pregnancy, and helping them hear their baby’s heart tones. After the birth, it’s so
magical to see the family begin to come together and get to know one another. Plus baby rolls are even
that much more snuggly when they are outside! Watching families grow and develop a rhythm in the
face of the typical bumps and bruises of the postpartum period is so very satisfying. I look forward to
seeing these families grow far into the future.

The part that has been most challenging for me so far has got to be reliably figuring out a baby’s
position! It takes years of experience and many bellies felt before it becomes second nature I believe.
Sometimes the babies make it easy for me and stick out a foot or their back. Other times they flip to
more challenging positions and keep me guessing. I’m sure with more time I will get better at decoding
the hiding places of those precious little ones!

So far I have gotten a taste of some of the best and harder parts of Midwifery. I’ve been discovering how
big this job really is and how much in the depths of my soul I love serving families through their
transition to completion of their family unit. I’ve been seeing how wise and experienced Bethel really is
as she knows when to sit back and she knows when to act swiftly and skillfully to keep everyone safe.
She’s got tricks up her sleeve for days, and I realize how lucky I am to have gotten the best teacher one
could ask for. I am continuing forward with great anticipation for what the future holds as I learn more
from each and every one of you. I appreciate all of you for treating me in such a kind and welcoming
way.

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