I don't know why but Healthcare seems to run in the family...... My mother was a Mental Health Nurse and Hospital Manager, My Dad was a Support Worker, My Partner is a Nurse in A & E and the latest member of the group is my Cousin Tina who just a few years ago qualified as a Midwife.
..... So what better way to celebrate International Day Of The Midwife than to hand the reins over to her and let her tell you her story of how and why she changed her direction and became A Midwife.
I hope you enjoy her story..... Over to you Cuz.
At the grand old age of 48 I decided to go to university and retrain as a midwife. Here’s an insight into what led me to this decision. I’d been married for twenty years but the relationship wasn’t healthy and after our 2nd son was born I took the decision to end the marriage. I was on my own with a seven year old and a three week old and on maternity pay from my job at the local radio station. My family thought I was suffering from postnatal depression but I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
Later that same year, Andrew, who I’d, met whilst volunteering at a local drug and alcohol rehab invited me out on a date. He’d been a treatment practitioner in drug and alcohol services for the past twenty years. Our relationship grew over the next five years and he got me through some really low points in my life.
I went through a messy divorce with my ex-husband and there were times when I felt like getting in the car with the kids and just driving away. I just wanted all the pain, heartache, and drama to end. Those difficult years gave me time to think about my career plans and how I could possibly make a difference…..sounds a bit cliché I know!!
My niece was a midwife at the time and she put the idea in my head about training to become a midwife. However, it meant going back to college to study maths, then completing an access course alongside working full-time, running a house, and caring for 2 children. There was no guarantee I’d be successful in getting a university offer as midwifery is highly competitive plus going to university was a big financial commitment. However, I knew with Andrew’s support I’d get through it.
I was nervous about being a mature student in my late forties at first, but those nerves were dispelled after my first week on the course. Healthcare courses tend to attract a variety of people from diverse backgrounds – I loved meeting new people of all ages and made several friends. I never felt out of place, my only regret was that I hadn’t started it sooner. It took a toll emotionally, and there were times where I questioned whether I’d made the right decision, and there were so many times I wanted to quit. Looking back now I’m glad I found the courage and the strength to take the plunge.
It can be daunting to start something new later in life but going back to university has been invigorating. I’ve learnt so many things and have made life-long friends. As women, society tells us that we have an expiry date, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You’re never too old to try something new!
Love Tina xxx