You are an incredible woman who did the most incredible thing and I never got the opportunity to really thank you. There really wasn’t anything unusual or extraordinary about the birth of my daughter. As far as births go it was really straightforward and simple and considering the number of babies that you deliver, I doubt that you can even remember it.
What I really can’t get my head around though is that you played such a huge role in our lives, helping get our daughter safely and peacefully into my arms, but you do that all day, everyday at work. Delivering babies. What a job.
You were the first person to touch my baby, you coached me when I wanted to give up (not an option by the way ladies!) then at the end of it all you handed my precious tiny bundle to me. You helped me with her first feed and encouraged me when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. You helped me shower and dress and get comfortable to bask in those precious first few hours as a new family. You even brought me a drink and a snack and then disappeared to allow us to just enjoy our new baby.
You came and checked that we were all ok and congratulated us, but then you were gone. Your shift was over and someone else was there. I wasn’t ‘with it’ enough to notice at the time but I had missed my opportunity to really thank you for being my midwife. One of the most significant people in my life and I don’t even remember your name.
I had no idea how much you would mean to me. To be honest I hadn’t really given you much thought at all. I just figured that I would go into labour, get to the birth centre and someone would help me deliver my baby.
It wasn’t until being pregnant this time around in America that I realised how unique and important the role of a midwife is.
Here in America the whole birth show is mainly run by Drs and surgeons. Most women don’t even see a midwife at all through their whole pregnancy or birth. The role of the midwife totally unique. They are expert medical professionals and there is nothing that they don’t know about pregnancy and childbirth. There are times when a Doctor is totally essential, but for most normal, low risk, uncomplicated pregnancies and births, I feel that the midwife really is the best person for the job. My midwife was on my side the whole way through. She listened to my birth plan and did everything in her power to make it happen in the calmest and most gentle way.
My experience having a midwife led birth in London was so great that there was no way that I was going to miss out on that this time around. We have searched long and hard, battled with insurance companies and been to SO many appointments to find a midwife-led birth centre to have this baby. The cut-off for the birth centre accepting patients was 22 weeks, but at 21 weeks and 5 days, we finally found one that was accepted by our health insurance. Phew.
I am so thankful for the midwife that I had with Belle and for the amazing, positive birth experience that she blessed me with. Because of her, I am going into this second pregnancy with no fear, knowing exactly what a calm, natural birth should look like and feeling totally in empowered and in control of this birth. Thank you.
Midwives really are incredible people. They must see everything. Their jobs are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting, yet they greet each woman with fresh comfort, joy and patience. They are real heroes.
I would love to trace my midwife so that I can properly thank her now that I am not high on birth. I only have these photos, but she was working at UCH in London on the 24th August 2015 in the Birth Centre. It is a long shot but if anyone happens to know either of them then please do get in touch with me! I want them to know how flipping great they really are.
And to any midwives reading this: thank you for all of those years of training, for working those long hard hours and for committing your careers to supporting mums and babies everywhere in their most vulnerable hours. You are amazing.