Mum of nine becomes a midwife

Photo courtesy of Alana Ashton, Sunlit Studios.

Most people would gulp at the idea of having nine children but for most of CaronSpurway’s life, children have been the focus, especially now she is also studying for acareer in midwifery.

Set to graduate with a Bachelor of Midwifery from Griffith University later this year, theLogan mum of nine started studying in 2010 when she was 49 and her children rangedfrom ages 9 to 24.

“It had always been a lifelong dream of mine to become a midwife. Some years ago Icompleted a Diploma in Childbirth Education and I also became a teacher of yoga forpregnant women,” says Caron. “I would often mention it to my husband Wayne and thechildren, but with having such a big family to care for, it was something that was alwaysput on the backburner. Plus I was working hard to support Wayne in our First Aid trainingbusiness.”

Eventually though, as the children got older and Caron only had the youngest five livingat home, she managed to secure a place on the Griffith degree based at its Logancampus.

“It was an achievement for me just to get into the degree in the first place as I had notactually completed Year 12, therefore I first had to go and get my year 11 and 12 mathsand English at TAFE, as well as complete the QTAC entrance exam, PersonalCompetencies Assessment and Employment Experience. Thankfully I ended up with anOP 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 morethan ever. I have had the amazing opportunity to follow 20 women through theirpregnancies 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 yearI 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 theway.

“There have been many times where I have felt really guilty that I haven’t given thechildren enough of my time. For example, since beginning my studies there have beentwo weddings amongst my older children and three grandchildren born — it would havebeen nice to have spent more time on these big life events with the children but they haveunderstood. I think to do midwifery you have to have a real passion for the professionwhich shows through when you build a rapport with expectant mothers.”

Despite the inevitable ups and downs, Caron says that her husband and family have allbeen 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 towant to study at university.

“They have all kept me going during the tough times and have been a real inspiration tome, 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 oncontinuity of care for mothers as evidence shows this is the best practice.”