Returning from Barcelona I did feel a little worried that the momentum of the retreat would somehow slow down and eventually fizzle out once back in the real world.
I was absolutely sure that this idea could work and would help lots of people, but I worried that without the support of my retreat buddies I would slip back into my feelings of not being up to the job, not being good enough.
I started working on my idea and decided to start a facebook group entitled Self-care for midwives. I invited all the midwives and student midwives I knew encouraging them to spread the news.
As a launch event to try to encourage people to sign up my friend Alex suggested doing a live interview where she asked me about my ideas surrounding midwifery and self-care. This was scary-I hadn't done anything like this before, but Alex really put me at my ease and by the end I was actually quite enjoying it!
As the evening went on, I gingerly checked every so often to see if we had any more members, every time I checked the numbers were steadily increasing. Within 24 hours we had over 500 members, by the following morning we had reached 1000 and I was wondering what on earth I had started.
Day 2 ended with 2000 members and I was beginning to realise what a big problem we must have in midwifery for so many midwives looking for self-care advice.
By the end of day three we had 3000 members and I simply could not believe it! Women were posting things like "this is what I've been waiting for" and " I need this so much" .
I found myself becoming overwhelmed and anxious at the enormity of the need, wondering what to do next and wondering if I was up to the job.
I decided to take some time out and switch off my phone notifications for a while to do a bit of thinking and calming myself down! A little bit of practising what I preach.
The things I've learned over the past 4 days through this experience are, if you have a dream you have to go with it, you never know how many people will benefit from you doing this.
I've also begun to realise what a huge problem we have in midwifery when so many midwives are struggling with the pressure they are under on a daily basis.
I hope that learning how important they are and learning self-love, self-compassion and self-care will in some way improve the lives of midwives throughout the UK and beyond ( at time of writing our furthest member is in New Zealand!) and self-compassion will then spill out and increase the compassion in midwifery thus benefiting the women and families we serve.