Ode to the real midwife

Ode to the real midwife

Written by Rosie Stephens, a first year student, at 2am the night before an assignment was due.

If I were a midwife in control, oh what a birth it would be!

Antenatal care would be top-notch, postnatal care a breeze.

I’d get a call, the due date, perfectly timed for me,

Not birthday, nor at Christmas time, nor my week off in Fiji.

There’d be no complication, no history of trouble.

The woman would be a ball of sweetness, in a healthy little bubble.

Each appointment would be as smooth as silk, with wee as clear as a bell,

Blood pressure would be of standard gold, and loud as a freight train as well.

My students would get educated, and fawn about my feet,

I’d teach them all best practice, their marks would not be beat.


As weeks progressed that fundus would measure PRECISELY where it should,

And abdominal palpations revealing more than an ultrasound could.

Labour would start on due date, at 7 AM sharp,

With contractions beginning gently at five minutes apart.

Three minutes apart by eleven, latent stage at noon, (Time for a quick lunch break, don’t start again too soon.)

That urge to push would then appear, descending round the bend,

A pout, a bulge and then a head, no tearing that would offend.

No cord around the neck, no dystocia or whacking bums,

Just a lovely squally baby and a totally serene mum.

A latch that’s instantaneous, milk supply like a dream,

No bonding issues, infection, but a happy family scene.


Postnatals would just fly by, only good things to report,

Weight only going upwards, not a single battle fought.

At the end of those six weeks, I’d be waved out of the door,

With the woman singing praises and “I’ll call when I have more!”

But it’s a real midwife I want to be, not this mythical sort of creature.

I want to be in the community, in women’s lives, a feature.

I want the 230 AM calls, the labours lasting days,

I want to be that midwife that can support in every way.

And even complications, or the harder things out there,

I want to be beside the families, with knowledge I can share.


So I take these years of study, student loans and sleepless nights,

I read the heavy textbooks, the words in black and white.

I lean on friends and lecturers, meet midwives that will soon

Turn from teachers into colleagues, when I’m grinning like a loon.

Grinning cos I’ve made it, smiling cos I’m there, With the help of friends and family, and the people that are here.

All these ones beside me, who want what I want too, To be a real midwife, whatever that means to you.