Becoming a midwife in my early twenties has given me the most incredible window into the very essence of life.
From complex relationship dynamics and how the human body processes pain, to managing life-threatening emergencies and bearing witness to hundreds of first breaths, I have had the privilege of being at the frontline of it all.
Watch midwife Cath Curtain bust some birth myths. Post continues after video.
This has left me with some pretty unique insights and exhilarating stories to tell from the birth unit floor. A common saying within midwifery is, 'What could be more beautiful than bringing new life into the world?' and this is at the very centre of what we do.
Through my uncanny knack to insert the subject of birth and vaginas into any conversation, no matter who the audience is, I’ve learnt that the role of a midwife and the nature of birth is very much kept a mystery to the outside world.
So what better opportunity to share what it’s like to be a birth worker than let you in on some things you probably don’t know about being a midwife?
1. Midwives cry too.
Nothing gets me in a slobbering mess more than a partner absolutely losing it at a birth. There is nothing like bearing witness to the cumulation of two people creating a human being together and becoming parents for the first time. Especially when this involves hours of enduring labour to get there.
Although generally, the job does involve boundless joy and euphoric celebrations, there are also times of devastating sadness. As a midwife, walking with women in their grief is just as significant as the joy. Holding space for families who have unexpectedly lost their children and, with it, a future they envisioned, is one the hardest aspects but also the greatest privileges of the job. As catastrophic as it can be, there is nothing more humbling than knowing, along with the parents, that you are one of the only people in this world to know a baby born sleeping.