I walked in from work tonight and asked Hubby for a towel. He looked perplexed, so I elaborated, ‘I want to throw it in. Quit. Give up. I’ve had it’, and then I burst into tears. It’s the frustration that does it. I want to do a proper job. I want to be able to offer, give, whatever, the care that I believe is appropriate. Today there should have been 7 community midwives working in our half of the county, 2 of whom should have been in our sub-division. As it was I was by myself, the other midwife was off-sick. The other 5 midwives couldn’t help me because 2 of them were at a homebirth, so we were 4 instead of 7, a year ago there would have been at least 10 of us. The impact this has on the postnatal care and any breastfeeding support we can offer is huge, and I am ashamed. Most women now only have 3 visits; we attend their first day home, then on Day 5 to weigh baby and do the heel prick blood test ( guthrie, PKU) and then on Day 10 to discharge them, I feel that I have to apologise to all the women, their partners, their families, visitors for the scant attention we are paying to their needs.
In my personal life there is always the dream that we could win the lottery, who knows what tomorrow may bring. If there is a lack of something, an unexpected expenditure we can reorganise our budget, we make our own decision about what is superfluous. If something can’t be provided it is our fault. At work everything is out of your control, someone else makes a budget decision, it impacts on the equipment you have and the care you can provide, it has nothing to do with you, but you feel responsible, unprofessional, incompetent and uncaring, and there is no hope. There is no ‘lottery’ to win, no dream of things getting better, just disillusionment and embarrassment.