Setting Sail

Have I mentioned I hate moving house? No? Well I do.

It reminds me how easily I accumulate crapola, and how I have to sift through it to make sure I’m not just trailing it all over the place like a big trash heap from Fraggle Rock. 

Also, and I think this is important to consider before you try and placate me with “new start new job new home new blah blah blah” I have moved home 12 times – 4 of those within the last 5 years. It’s not fun – and it’s known to be one of the top ten most stressful things you can do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about living in a new home and finally living with my doggies again; I’m looking forward to discovering new places to walk and run, and to eat! I’m hoping that the local pubs will turn out to be lovely and dog-friendly. I am, of course, mainly looking forward to making my long-distance relationship a very short-distance one. 

My new role is at the excellent maternity hospital, and isn’t too far a drive from home, but of course that will come with all the new girl worries, as well as different Trust policies, and hierarchy, and extention numbers, and corridors, and keys and argh!!!!

I’m going to miss my friends and will increase my FOMO 100-fold, as events and shows come and go on my Facebook, and photos of people having an excellent time doing everything litter my timeline.

Yes I will make new friends, and join new groups and do new things, but it’s inescapable to fear being forgotten, in a way.

And yet, today, I suddenly feel ready. Ready to start a new adventure, to meet new challenges and to carve out a path for myself whereby I can do what I have wanted to for years:

Live a simple, relatively normal, everyday life.

Most of my belongings are packed, and the removal van is booked. I finish my career at McDonald’s on Sunday, and I have a week to tie up loose ends.

But, I’m ready. Let’s do dis 
H xxx

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Strong Women Build Each Other Up

When I say 43%, to what could I be referring? Remain voters? Hillary voters? 

I’ll be more specific. 43% of midwives and student midwives have had this happen to them. Something that has been experienced of half of all of them.

Amniotic fluid facial? Perhaps it’s babies named after them?

Any guesses? Ok. It’s bullying.

43% of midwives and students have been been bullied by their colleagues or management. 

May I say to those bullying  (on behalf of everyone else) What the fucking fuck are you fucking playing at?

We are in the sphere of supporting women and their familes and you are unable to do that for your own colleagues? Look we all feel annoyed by people or the things that people do or say (and some times it’s hard to bite it back); but as an over thinker myself who bends to the will of others in a bid to appease…well, stop being unkind.

What do people get from it? There’s the old adage that blowing out someone’s candke does not make yours burn any brighter, but metaphors aside, the snide comments of a person to impressionable people, or vulnerable one can cut like a knife.

There are other forms of bullying of course: systematic undermining of practice, like pushing a midwife to carry as much as she is able and to work autonomously – yet telling her she is over confident without the skills to back it up. That’s just wholly confusing – especially if the women she is caring for respond well to her care.

So people should stand up for themselves, right? Or follow an appropriate course of redress. 

Of the three people I have known who did just this, all of them were then subjected to the most awful treatment when the information surfaced. Midwives who had previously criticised one another behind backs, suddenly closed ranks and became openly derogatory to the person in question.

There lies at least one of the problems, people’s moral compasses are off; friendships mean more than what is right, it seems. It’s hard for people to stand against such bloody mindedness and what subsequently happens is they become homogenised – its classic Mean Girls syndrome. People would rather assimilate with what is wrong to avoid being left out or victimised themselves – and this has got to change.

There needs to be a cultural shift where doing what is right is prized above being popular, or “included”, then the homogenisation would be positive! 

We have to choose between doing what is easy and doing what is right. 

Time to advocate for each other 
H xxx

Jobsworth

Before my new job starts in a few weeks, I have a couple of weeks left at my interim job: McDonald’s.

I have loved working here, I’ve told loads of people this; I’d recommend it, I’d do it again, and truth be told, I wish I had started while I was still at uni.

End of gush.

One of my favourite bits is working on the drive thru’ windows as it means that all of the “not-allowed-in-store” dogs (aka all my best friends), get to meet me and I can smoosh them (then wash hands!), or at least say hi and tell them that they are best dog*.

What I also see is people doing things they shouldn’t

1.  Talking on the phone while driving. 

Actually the police have said recently, in light of the new law, that even smart paying with your phone is considered a contravention as your engine is on. But I’m talking about actually phone to ear, driving, being a knob. A guy recently got convicted because he was scrolling through music on his phone while driving a lorry and killed several people. So, put it down.

2.  Smoking in the car with children present.

What are you doing? That’s been against the law for well over a year, but even if it weren’t, what are you playing at? Pack it in, or let the kid light up. Oh, you wouldn’t do that?! Then don’t make them breathe your bastard smoke.

3. Too many people in a car

“Lol there were like 6 of us in the back!”

She said.

Before the overloaded car couldn’t navigate a corner at speed and it flipped and most of them died.

I’m not saying that happened, but it’s all fun and games until someone’s parents have to start an awareness FB page as if most of us didnt know that the “elephants in a mini” joke was just a joke.

4. Various dangerous seating arrangements for children 

So this one really boils my piss; today, I told the parents.

They came to the payment window and their toddler was sitting on the lap of the passenger.

“Your child needs to be in a car seat.”

-shocked faces…then attitude- “Yeah, we’ve GOT a car seat. It’s THERE (points to the back seat and a child-free car seat)

“That’s good, but she shouldnt be on a lap when you’re driving”

I take the money politely, and give them their change.

“You’re wasted in this job, you should be a police woman (have they seen my bra?!), jobsworth”

“Actually, I’m a Midwife.”
But you know what? NEITHER job is worth more than a child’s life. I wondered if I had really stepped over the line (maybe), but then if people don’t speak up when things are wrong or dangerous, then they will just continue.

Perhaps that car was only dawdling through the drive thru’, but I’ve seen and heard cars zoom round the corner to the window. And what if was one where they were already looking for their money, or one of the people above who are on their phone?

It takes one unexpected knock for that child to fly forwards off that passenger’s lap, and either knock their head on the dash board or for their neck to snap as they are caught by the passenger.

Funnily enough, a midwife and her husband (a police officer) came through about 20 minutes later and I asked their advice, they agreed: if you see something like that, you say something. Better than than the child’s face be on the front page of the local paper with the parents rying to educate us on child seats in view of their own error, after losing their daughter.

*every dog is best dog.

The future’s bright, the future’s Hospital Grey

“Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.” 

Ann Landers


I think it’s important to acknowledge that this time last year, my life was slowly emerging from the epic shit show of a catalogue of poor decisions.

Boy-related, obviously. 

My life is full of strong women, and they raised me up; because it’s true: strong women build each other up.

I managed to complete my student practice hours, against a few apathetic obstacles; I finished my course; I was awarded with a PIN; I was added to the register and permitted to legally call myself a Midwife. R effing M.

Now I’m leaving my home city for pastures new and exciting and…have I ever told you how much I hate moving house? No? Well it’s a lot. A very lot. Since 2009 I have moved house SIX times. 

I accumulate shit like I’m auditioning for “Hoarders”. I need to streamline. At some point.

Anyway.

So a friend told me recently that I should just “rip the band aid off” and start my new life in a new city etc etc etc. She was right but it’s so hard to do; it’s not just the people I will miss but the scenery, the coffee shops, the familiarity, the triggers for childhood memories. It’s a bit of a wrench.

This weekend I’ve popped to New Pasture (NP) to head to Occupational Health, and to hand over all the most important documents in my collection for my DBS scrutinisation. I was also scrutinised by the efficient elfin woman in Uniform Fitting; the interim job at McDogald’s places me firmly in “Size Pie” dress. 

I decided after the appointments to pootle about NP; I drove through the areas and streets on a bit of  Brownie Trail, until I decided to do a little bit of shopping, and pop into a museum for some comedy genius level dicking about. Oh and some learning. I did learning.

I’m not sure if it was the beautiful weather, the strength of the city’s history communicated through the museum, or seeing just how close and accessible the nearest Drag venue is, but it started to feel comfortable. I started to feel comfortable.

So aside from the packing, and the moving, there’s a strong possibility that I’ve started to actually look forward to putting on my Hospital Grey dress, entering and saying:

“Hi, I’m Heather, I’m your midwife.”

Remind me of this when I’m bitching about boxes and parcel tape, please