When Anticipation Turns to Anxiety: My Current Mindset about Midwifery School
Just a couple days after my video recording about how excited I was feeling about midwifery school, I had a terribly anxiety-ridden day and thought I'd share the darker side of anticipation. Sometimes anticipation is healthy and can be really productive. When a client of mine is in anticipation of meeting their newborn baby at birth, I see it as a joyful thing. But if anticipation bleeds and becomes anxiety, it can look like a pregnant person googling kick counts and the purported reasons a baby hiccups prior to birth.
So, here's me checking my anxiety and actively trying to shift back to a place of anticipation that is productive, healthy, and sane. Midwifery school is still on the horizon, and taking things day by day is the best way to approach becoming a midwife in my book.
I’m having a lot of anxiety tonight, specifically regarding the big picture of midwifery school and becoming a midwife. So here’s what I did that was stupid – and I’m being so judgmental of myself right now, which is part of all of this. I was on Facebook and I found more student groups because I’m not in enough groups on Facebook, right? For just checking out, skimming, looking at what other people are doing, reading what other people are struggling with, trying to figure out in a silly way what I might struggle with, which is ridiculous as a concept because you can’t know how you’re going to struggle until you’re in the struggle. But that’s part of my process, trying to prepare for all the possibilities, which comes from trying to control things.
I’m reading about people who are so close to the end, and I’m reading their posts about how exhausted they are, and fatigued about life and school and everything, all of it. And there are still a lot of people who are like, “Yes, this is the best thing. I’ve chosen so well.” And then there are also people in the midst of – about to take their NARM exam – not quite licensed, not quite a student anymore, but proving that they’re not a student – this weird in between space that I’m sure feels like hell, like limbo. It seems so far off and it is, it’s years off. But that fact is giving me a lot of anxiety tonight. There are a billion thoughts running through my head.
I feel like I’ve been in the birth world and working around birth for so long. This is my seventh year and I’ll be heading into my eighth year soon. I have so much knowledge around this specific topic at this point, and I just feel like I know nothing. And I think that that’s probably pretty valid, in total. When I think about midwifery school and what other student midwives are learning, I know I know none of that. I can feel they’re leaps and bounds – just so much that they’ve learned throughout their degree and midwifery school program process.
And for some reason tonight, that thought is really just eating away at me a little bit. To think that I have so far to go and even when I get “there” – whatever that means, licensure, practicing – that there’s still going to be a far distance to go – there’s still going to be learning on a regular basis, challenge on a regular basis, difficult scenarios, things I couldn’t have prepared for. Even if I’m amazing in midwifery school, even if I rock every moment of it, even if my apprenticeship is on point, there are still going to be things that I flail at because that’s the nature of birth. This flailing and this out of control sensation is part of it. And it’s weighing on me tonight. I’m about to spend a good hour off my phone, offline, off of everything. I’ll probably practice some yoga and breathing. Wish me luck. I need to disconnect a little bit tonight.