There were many midwives who supported me during my pregnancy; through the routine appointments and also the extra checks Amelia and I were looked after so well. When it came to labour the team at Epsom hospital supported me through my induction and birth of Amelia as well as the aftercare from the community midwife team.
There will always be two midwives that stood out for me during my pregnancy, labour and aftercare; Laura and Geri.
Laura was my midwife I saw throughout my pregnancy. I was extremely lucky that I got to see the same midwife throughout my pregnancy bar one appointment (I’ll let her off as she was on holiday!). She got to know me and my baby and this was so reassuring for me to know that someone with medical knowledge knew what was normal for our baby. Countless times I cried in her room and some how she always knew how to comfort me and reassure me. She kept me calm and throughout it all I adopted the approach that if Laura wasn’t worried I wasn’t worried. Every appointment from 20 weeks we listened to the heartbeat and everytime she let me record it to send to Steve. She got that listening to this little heartbeat was everything to me and she always made sure we had the opportunity to listen. Throughout my pregnancy I had a number of ‘extra’ check ups. I was classed as high risk for gestestional diabetes due to my weight so had an extra check for this as well as several additional scans where they thought Amelia wasn’t growing at the right rate by measuring my tummy. Low and behold everytime we went and had a scan she was just perfect but this didn’t stop Laura sending me for a scan if I didn’t quite measure where I needed to be whether that was too big or too small. She always remembered what I had been up to since we last saw her and remembered little things about my pregnancy, not the medical stuff more on a personal level. She even guessed that Amelia was a girl very early on. When I gave birth I was really sad that I wasn’t going to show her my beautiful baby girl that we had gotten to know in my belly; that little wriggler that kept us on our toes. Amelia dropped quite a bit of weight when she was first born and it took us a little while to get back to birth weight so we were under the community midwives for the first month of her life. Laura made sure she was able to come on our last visit before we were discharged at home. I am so glad that she got to meet Amelia and I was able to thank her personally for everything she had done for me.Basically from the get go I felt like Laura was on our team.. my very own personal cheerleader.
Secondly and probably the one who I couldn’t have laboured without was Geri.
Now when Geri walked into the room after the hand over at shift change I was really upset. I had been with another midwife called Sarah for a number of hours and felt like we had built a relationship. I felt comfortable with her being ‘down there’ and just her demeanour was calm and kind. When Geri walked in she was a small Irish lady with a stern face. She looked like she was going to get this baby out of me whether I liked it or not. When she spoke she was sharp and purposeful – the complete opposite to Sarah. At the point of the shift handover I had been labouring for over 24 hours and I was exhausted and thought I needed love and care and didn’t think that Geri would be able to give me that.
Oh how I was wrong….
Geri was absolutely what I needed for the last part of my labour. There were quite a few complications (birth post coming soon!) and she had the right balance of being firm and straight to the point to deliver our baby safely but emotionally was standing with us too. I didn’t expect the kind/emotional side to come through when I first met her but I think that’s why she was the best midwife for me.. she adapted her personality for the situation and what I needed. There were times I needed someone to tell me straight that I needed to stop groaning in pain and use that energy for pushing, times where I needed a softer tone with words of encouragement.
After the delivery she helped me to get cleaned up; I had lost a bit of blood and was absolutely exhausted from labouring for over 24 hours so getting up and moving around was a bit of a challenge. Small as she was, Geri was she was mighty and she held me up when my body failed me. She helped to freshen me up and praised me for my achievement of bringing a new life into this world. Now don’t get me wrong I was blissfully happy and so proud of what my body had just achieved but I was so exhausted and thought I had failed as my labour hadn’t gone to plan, my body had reacted differently to labour than I had hoped. Geri sensed this and had all the right words of encouragement and support.
Pampers are running a social media campaign at the moment to thank your midwife and have joined up with Moonpig to offer a range of cards.
With every card purchased a donation will be made to the Benevolent Fund of the Royal College of Midwives Trust which is used to support midwives in need. There are several designs to choose from ranging from text to being able to personalise with a photo. I ordered 2 cards (see below!) to send to Laura and Geri which cost me £7.23 including postage. I think this is fantastic value for money bearing in mind this included Moonpig covering postage, a monetary donation and my lovely midwives get a personalised card to thank them. I hope that when they receive these cards it makes them feel as valued and as special as I see them. Without them I wouldn’t have my little girl and for that I am forever grateful.
I suppose the moral of the story is some times things change and sometimes they don’t seem like they are going to be as good as you thought they were. My advice is trust that it will be alright in the end and if you do it might just work out better than you could have planned.