Wow. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I honestly can’t remember the last time I sat down at my laptop and starting typing…it feels good. Good to be back, but it was also good to be away!
After six years of blogging non-stop (plus Instagram, and all the other social media that goes alongside running a blog), back in January I just…stopped. Deleted my emails from my phone, stopped worrying about keeping my numbers on Instagram up or sharing particularly popular or ‘likeable’ content, and decided to take a break from posting on my blog all together. The effect was like a cool breeze on a summer’s day- all the years of trying to keep up and keep posting and keep current and keep on keeping on, all that pressure just gone in an instant!
It’s been a mini maternity leave of sorts, and it’s been just wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, blogging isn’t the most stressful job going. At least, not for me. I love working from home, and being able to work around my family. Love the creativity, the freedom to experiment and try new things on a whim. But equally, it means that the work/life divide can become blurred at times. The constant pressure that sits on your shoulders, almost imperceptible until it lifts, to make sure that not only are you staying present and ‘living in the moment’ and giving your children your fullest attention at all times, but also documenting and photographing and planning content simultaneously without dropping any of those spinning plates.
I never feel like I’m doing it especially successfully. In fact, I follow countless incredible women online (Hannah! Gem! Jaclyn! Jess! Elena!) who inspire me on a daily basis but also make me wonder why I seem to plod along without ever making any progress.
But there’s going to be a shift here, as of now, and I’m so excited about it. Blogging used to be one of the greatest joys of my life. Cider with Rosie was my first baby! Back in 2012 when I first starting my blog, I used to get a little thrill of excitement every single time I published a post. The blogging community was the most exciting place to be, the community was supportive and close and way less ‘professional’ than it is now, and still now my Instagram DMs are full of messages from amazing, intelligent, insightful women whose advice and perspective and experiences my life would be poorer without.
I want to recapture that magic.
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As of September, this won’t be my job any more. That feels so strange to say! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that back in January I accepted a place at university to start training as a midwife. A midwife!! And THAT feels WONDERFUL to say!!
Midwifery has been a sort of secret passion of mine ever since I had Ottilie. Before then I never ever considered it as a job, it just never seemed to be on my radar! I always knew I wanted children in my early twenties, and had dreamed of being a mother my whole life.
As a teenager I was absolutely obsessed with pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. I used to devour pages and pages of Mumsnet threads, feeling like I was being let in on some secret world I wasn’t yet part of. Pregnancy fascinated me- round bellies stretched tight with a small miracle growing away inside. I used to daydream about what it would be like to be pregnant, grill family members and older friends about their birth stories, and remember vividly crying at the age of 14 because I knew I had years left to wait before I could experience it all myself.
I felt as though I was just in waiting, waiting to become a Mum.
And then I had Ottilie, and something clicked in my brain. I left the hospital, bruised and battered and elated and sore and absolutely sure that I was supposed to become a midwife.
It was like a fire had been lit in my belly, and I knew that all those years of obsession with birth and pregnancy weren’t just a longing to experiencing it all personally, but a desire to learn how to provide care for women and their babies at the most pivotal moment of their lives.
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It thought maybe at first it was just a hormonal thing, that I’d get bored of the idea and move on in a few months. But it didn’t. The interest grew, I researched and learned and made initial, tentative enquiries to local universities about their admissions policies. I doubted myself, whether it would be possible or if I was academic enough. Midwifery is tough and competitive, with roughly a 20% success rate. I contemplated training as a doula instead, and at one point had a course picked out and my finger hovering over the ‘Pay Now’ button on the page ready book.
And then I had a chance meeting in our local CoOp with a retired midwife. Her name was Helen, she stopped to chat to me about Ottilie and we got to talking about midwifery straight away. Her words were the sweet, encouraging push I needed- she told me that she could tell I wouldn’t be satisfied as a doula since my interest was in providing medical care as well as emotional support, that I should have my babies first and enjoy every minute of them, then to be bold and go for it.
So one more pregnancy and another baby later (my sweet Arlo boy, he’s 6 and a half months now if you can believe it!), one UCAS application started 10 days postpartum and one personal statement written in the evenings with a small bundle sleeping on my chest, two interviews and two offers and one place joyfully accepted…and I’ve done it!
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I won’t lie, I’m nervous. About the pressures it will put on my time, about spending less time with my own babies and about the responsibility of caring for others, about keeping up with the academic rigours whilst maintaining balance at home and in my personal life. I’m nervous I’ll drop the ball, not keep up, find it too challenging.
But I’m ready. And I’m excited! It’s been a pipe dream for two and a half years, and now I’m just 5 months away from the start line. Let’s do this!
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I’m not sure exactly how much I’ll be able to share here or via my social media about my training. There are, rightly so, tight regulations about confidentiality within the medical field, and I’ll err on the side of caution always so as to protect myself and and anyone I meet in a professional setting.
But I want to keep Cider with Rosie alive. It’s a relationship I’m not finished with, and a love I’m ready to rekindle.
And I hope you’ll stay with me, as I start this exciting new chapter of my life. <3