MSMC: What excites you most about becoming a midwife? Zainab:What excites me the most about becoming a midwife is being able to empower women through their own strengths and devotion. I look forward to teaching women that pregnancy is not a pathological condition but rather a form of strength where our bodies are able to withstand this natural and beautiful process called birth. I also look forward to building a close bond with each client and being able to learn from their stories and births.
MSMC: What is the most interesting thing that you’ve learned this year? Zainab: I’ve recently learnt how to crochet, which is very exciting for me! My first scarf is almost complete…right in time for these chilly winter days! Next up: knitting ☺ Another very interesting and inspiring thing I learnt during first semester was the global scale of midwifery and how this profession, as many don’t expect, is a political act. I always had my heart set on working in my home city of Mississauga, but by learning about the history of midwifery and all the various countries and communities involved has inspired me to go beyond my comfort zone. I remember leaving that lecture feeling so enlightened and driven with the hopes of one day working for more vulnerable communities.
MSMSC: What was the most challenging part of the application process? Zainab: One thing I remember struggling with was building the confidence I needed for the interviews (MMI). I doubted myself a lot and it took some time to really build up the assurance within myself that I am good enough and trying to convince myself that “I could do this”. What helped me the most was the support that I received from friends, family, and community midwives that I reached out to help prepare for the MMIs. This is why I cannot stress enough how much social support is important from the time of the application process and continuously throughout the program. Don’t get me wrong though, even when I was able to build up some confidence and belief in myself, I did enter the first interview room with uncontrollable nerves and still a little bit of doubt in myself. What got me through all the interviews was the kindness and warmth I felt from my first interviewer. She continuously smiled and nodded at my responses, making me feel comfortable and welcomed. So, to that interviewer, I thank you for leaving me feeling able and reassured.
MSMC: How did you find balancing your home, social, and school lives this year? Zainab: Balancing school and a social life isn’t easy, so having regular time off from studying is how I get my dose of family and friends on a somewhat regular basis. In my house, family day is every Saturday evening! As a full time student however, that isn’t always doable. Therefore, I always simply try my best, and my family is aware of that. Additionally, I make it a point to schedule some time out with friends, at least one evening every couple of weeks. It’s important for me to get a few hours to let loose and have absolutely no conversations or thoughts of school during that time, this helps me regenerate my mind and body for what’s yet to come. Fortunately, we live in a time where communication isn’t difficult with the help of all the technology and apps available. So, even during busy and rough times in school, keeping in touch and staying connected with family and friends isn’t difficult at all.
MSMC: Do you have any advice for people considering applying to McMaster? Zainab: The advice I have is very cliché, but is also something that I cherish very much every day of my life. As a Muslim who wears a hijab/headscarf, an Egyptian Canadian and a person of colour, I seek to find value in every unique aspect of who I am. This program has taught me that every person has their differences, but it is those differences that make us beautiful, competent, and unique. Thus, I encourage everyone considering McMaster and all those already in this profession to understand what makes them unique and to use it to their advantage, especially to diversify the midwifery profession. I also found that all my fellow classmates have embraced me and my uniqueness and have made me feel included, loved and accepted, and for that I am thankful to all my midfriends ☺ So be yourself, whoever you are, and you will be just fine!