Shelley Wild has just completed the graduate midwife program at Epworth Freemasons, and throughout the year she created something really special to reflect on her time as a grad.

Shelley handmade a quilt, representing how many baby boys or girls that she delivered and whether they were a Caesarean section or vaginal delivery. We caught up with Shelley to find out a bit more about this project.

Tell us about the quilt.

I wanted to create something that would enable me to look back at the completion of my grad year and see how far I've come. Each pinwheel block represents a baby during whose birth I've supported their parents through, regardless of the type of birth. The blocks were then kept in order of the births as they happened. At the beginning of the year, I had no idea the number of blocks I'd have at the end of the year, which became part of the challenge to put together the final design. Was a happy surprise to be able to turn then into a heart.

What inspired you to start this project?

Being creative has always been important to my mental health. It's the place I escape to in both happy and hard times, so planning a long term project that combined both self care and constant reflection on such a huge year, seemed a good mix.

Where did you learn to quilt?

I've only been quilting for a couple of years, but I grew up surrounded by creative women who always had something on a machine, canvas, or hoop. They taught me to sew clothing when I was very young and I've been designing and creating ever since. Quilting is now just an artistic way to stay warm!

What would you say are your best memories from the grad year?

From quickly developing relationships with women and families during their incredibly life-changing times, to getting to know some of the most amazing colleagues a person could ever hope to become friends with, my best memories from the past year have all involved relationships. All the laughs, the endless stories shared and so many different emotions all stand out beyond any clinical moments.

Any advice for future grads?

Be patient with your confidence, and don't compare yourself to others, because you'll start your grad at exactly the skill level you're expected to be at. The learning curve can seem incredibly steep, but there will come a point at which you will look back and see how far you've come. Ensure you take some time for your mental well-being, and reach out for support whenever things are tough. You're never alone! The quilt will be displayed at Epworth Freemasons Maternity.

15 July 2020


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