Most people would gulp at the idea of having nine children but for most of Caron Spurway’s life, children have been the focus, especially now she is also studying for a career in midwifery.
Set to graduate with a Bachelor of Midwifery from Griffith University later this year, the Logan mum of nine started studying in 2010 when she was 49 and her children ranged from ages 9 to 24.
“It had always been a lifelong dream of mine to become a midwife. Some years ago I completed a Diploma in Childbirth Education and I also became a teacher of yoga for pregnant women,” says Caron. “I would often mention it to my husband Wayne and the children, but with having such a big family to care for, it was something that was always put on the backburner. Plus I was working hard to support Wayne in our First Aid training business.”
Eventually though, as the children got older and Caron only had the youngest five living at home, she managed to secure a place on the Griffith degree based at its Logan campus.
“It was an achievement for me just to get into the degree in the first place as I had not actually completed Year 12, therefore I first had to go and get my year 11 and 12 maths and English at TAFE, as well as complete the QTAC entrance exam, Personal Competencies Assessment and Employment Experience. Thankfully I ended up with an OP equivalent of 6 which was enough to get me into the midwifery program.
“It has been wonderful studying so far, and I really love assisting pregnant women more than ever. I have had the amazing opportunity to follow 20 women through their pregnancies as part of our ‘continuity of care’ ethos and I have learnt so much from them.
“It’s also been great that I have done two years of the program full time and the final year I have studied part time.”
Sacrifices along the way
But Caron says it hasn’t all been plain sailing with sacrifices having to be made along the way.
“There have been many times where I have felt really guilty that I haven’t given the children enough of my time. For example, since beginning my studies there have been two weddings amongst my older children and three grandchildren born – it would have been nice to have spent more time on these big life events with the children but they have understood. I think to do midwifery you have to have a real passion for the profession which shows through when you build a rapport with expectant mothers.”
Despite the inevitable ups and downs, Caron says that her husband and family have all been very supportive of her midwifery journey so far and they are proud of herachievements. In fact, she has inspired some of the children and even her husband to want to study at university.
“They have all kept me going during the tough times and have been a real inspiration to me, I could not have done this without their love and support and my faith in God,” she
With a rural midwifery elective course also under her belt, Caron is now turning her mind to where she will work next year following her graduation this December.
“I would really love to work in a local midwifery group practice, where I can focus on continuity of care for mothers as evidence shows this is the best practice.”