AN OPEN LETTER TO MY MIDWIFE ON LABOUR WARD

Dear Antonia,

On Friday the 28th of June 2019 our beautiful second boy came into this world. The first hands to touch him were yours. It wasn’t in the way I had originally imagined. Especially having had a successful waterbirth four years earlier. I perhaps naively assumed I would repeat this. With the calmness and knowledge of what was to come to make it an even better experience. Yet it wasn’t to go that way. What made it a unique and equality special journey was, however, because of you.

My water started leaking on Wednesday morning and I knew to call the hospital. They called me in and then gave me 24 hours to start labour naturally. I bounced, walked, ate my dad’s spicy spag bol and tried everything to get it going but the little boy in my tummy had different plans. The next morning we grabbed my packed bags and headed into the hospital.  As soon as we had been given a bed on the antenatal ward we were informed that we wouldn’t be leaving until the baby had been born. It was exciting and a little scary at the same time.

INDUCTION TIME AND BEING TRANSFERRED TO LABOUR WARD

After trying the hormonal gel for 6 hours without any results I was moved to the labour ward. Firstly we were greeted and settled in by another midwife. Yet as it was 6 pm her shift soon ended and you took over. Arriving in our room on the labour ward I felt overwhelmed and emotional. This was not how I wanted it to go. My serene waterbirth floating away before my very eyes.

Then you walked in. I immediately took to your calm nature. Your warmth. The fact that you had read my notes and knew that I possibly felt cheated out of my natural birth in the nearby birthing centre. You recognised that being hooked up to a drip and constantly monitored wasn’t how I had pictured myself giving birth. Also, you listened when I said I would ideally want to avoid an epidural and even more so an emergency c-section. You engaged with me and showed me I could trust you and that we were in this together.

OPENING UP ABOUT YOUR OWN LIFE

In the course of 12 short hours and in the middle of the darkness of night you became much more than my midwife. Becoming my friend, my coach, my doula, my confidant and someone I will never forget. You fought for me when the doctors were close to bringing me into theatre. You encouraged me to carry on in that moment when it felt like I had nothing left to give. Also, you had wisely adviced me to listen and focus on your guidance when the going got tough which meant I didn’t tear and required no stitches. It also meant I had an even quicker recovery than with my first which was needed on levels no one had imagined.

As I lie with our baby boy feeding him in the darkness I think of you. You do this job most nights. You told me you deliberately had chosen nights as more babies are born then and it’s obvious how much you care and how important it is for you to give mothers the very best birthing experience possible.

On your feet for hours with very few breaks and little rest. You stare at charts and screens holding the life of both mum and baby in your hands. It takes concentration and skill. It requires involvement. Also, it would probably be easy to just distance yourself but you throw all you have at the person in front of you. It shows and it’s amazing and it’s much more appreciated than you will probably ever realise.

You gave me a gift so special and I will always carry you and that night in my heart. The work you do, the passion you show is invaluable. From our talks that saw me through that night, I hope that you find the happiness you so deserve. Thank you for bringing mine safely into this world!

With love,

Nadia

Gifted: Rainbow Muslin Swaddle from Pattie & Co. £5 from every sold goes to Tommy’s – The Baby Charity.

8 thoughts on “AN OPEN LETTER TO MY MIDWIFE ON LABOUR WARD

  1. Aw this is lovely! I’ll always remember the midwife I had for my middle child. She didn’t give up on me even when I’d given up on myself. Midwives are heroes.

  2. What a beautiful letter! I have to confess, I can’t remember my labour ward midwives names from either birth, but both births were very quick so we didn’t have much time together.

  3. Oh this is just beautiful. A couple of my midwives were really amazing (I was in there for 2 very long weeks and an induction just over 3 days long) and I wish I’d got my feelings out like this at the time

  4. Congratulations on your beautiful boy. It sounds like you had an amazing midwife to help you through. I still remember my first midwife who sounded similar. My second was born far too quick for the midwife to make an impression on me!

  5. The job a midwife does is amazing. I have met some lovely midwives during my two pregnancies who went above and beyond the call of duty to make my experience as easy and special as possible.

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