I want my daughter to feel confident, capable and ready for anything. I want to raise a little girl who enjoys challenges, who enjoys what she does and who, most importantly, knows she can do anything. I don’t know what she will be when she grows up, at the moment it’s a toss-up between doctor and magician, but ideally she’d like to combine the two careers somehow. And I’m happy to support her in doing that. I think a doctor who can also perform impressive sleight of hand sounds pretty incredible. I think she can be whatever she wants to be, apart from a midwife, she really shouldn’t be one of those. Is that because of the stressful working conditions, the shortage of midwives or the pay scale (they should get more, anyone who catches your baby as they enter the world should get more)? No, it’s because she’d be shit at it. Here’s why:
1. She lacks empathy
I’m suffering from a little bit of Pelvic Girdle Pain at the moment. I had it from 28 weeks last time, but I’m already getting twinges now at just 16 weeks. It’s depressing because I know it’s only going to get worse. I’m wearing a maternity support belt and trying to be careful about what I do, but I still feel like I’ve been kicked really hard in the fanny by the end of each day. Here’s what my midwife had to say about:
Me: I’m so uncomfortable, my whole pelvic area just really hurts.
Four year old midwife: Ha! Mummy, I think it will hurt more when the baby blurps out of your vagina!
2. She is way too interested in bodily functions
The very first time we played midwives, I realised that perhaps midwifery is not for her. She looked at me excitedly, widened her eyes, licked her lips and announced, “I’m going to be the wee one now.” Then she took on the role of the student midwife to check my urine sample. There was a lot of excited deep breathing and pretend hand wiping before she said, “It’s fine. Now, please can I have your poo sample.”
3. She cries too much
I don’t know about you, but when I’m at a midwife appointment, I want to be the only one having an emotional breakdown. It’s the hormones. If I need to have a good cry because I don’t like injections, then that’s fine. It’s not fine for my midwife to cry, though. She should remain professional at all times. Why would my daughter make a terrible midwife? Because she pretended to cry three times during a five minute game of midwives. Why? Because my baby was just so cute it made her need to cry. No, midwife, just no. Pull yourself together.
4. She doesn’t seem to understand much about pregnancy
Since agreeing to have a four year old midwife, I have discovered that four year olds know very little about pregnancy. You can buy and read them all the pregnancy books in the world, they still won’t get it. My daughter has been told repeatedly that the baby is coming in August, that this is a long way away and that it’s after nursery finishes. And yet, every single midwife appointment begins with her asking, “Will the baby’s head be coming out of your vagina today?” And when told that no, that’s not for ages, she has the cheek to tut. Loudly.
5. She’s a bit too touchy-feely
I’m not a lover of being touched by strangers. Obviously, your midwife needs to force their doppler deep into your bladder to try and get you to pee yourself under the guise of ‘trying to find the heartbeat’ (no? Just me?). She also needs to give you a little prod to measure the baby. I’m ok with that. What I’m not ok with is having a midwife who simply wants to stroke my tummy. Or one who leans her heads against it and acts out the sound of my baby’s heart beating. And, actually, kissing and blowing raspberries on my tummy is a big no, which is another reason why I think maybe my daughter wouldn’t be a very professional midwife.
6. She doesn’t seem to understand the point of the appointment
With my adult midwives, I have always felt that the regular visits were a way for them to check my health, check the baby’s health and offer information and advice. With my daughter, it mostly seems to be an opportunity to give and receive stickers. The appointments are littered with sticker-giving opportunities. I got a sticker for giving blood, and then she got a sticker for taking it. By the end of the appointment, I was covered in tiny coloured heart stickers. It’s just not what I think many women want from a midwife (I may be wrong).
7. Her bedside manner needs work
One minute she’s listening to the baby’s heartbeat and the next she’s insisting that the appointment is over. Here’s why:
Midwife: Ew. Your tummy smells.
Me: Like perfume?
Midwife: No, like bread.