It’s #mummyfriday and today’s post is another one about my birth experiences. If you’ve not read them yet, I documented both my first birth and my second birth experience here on the blog. But today’s blog post is something slightly different, it’s a thank you post, a thank you to the midwives that helped to safely deliver our daughter and son and kept me going in the process…
My two births were quite different in many ways, but same in one way…they were both long! The first, I was in labour for around 18 hours and the second, 20 hours. Both of them, I needed the physical and mental support of my husband (my birthing partner) and my midwives. If I didn’t have this support, I think I would’ve given up and I’m sure my births wouldn’t have been so smooth in the long-run.
I won’t go into detail about my labours and births here, as I’ve already done that (posts linked above), but in support of the #ThankYouMidwives campaign, I do want to talk about the role my midwives played in my labours and births.
First time round, although not fearful, I was full of the common anxieties of going into labour for the first time: what will it feel like, will it go smoothly, will I need pain relief, how long will it last, will my baby be safe, will I need stitches, will I recover ok? etc. etc. Although the hubby and I had done our fair bit of preparation, research, antenatal classes and discussed how we’d like the labour to go, neither of us had ever been through it before and had no clue what we were doing! So when we knew it was time to phone-in and let the midwives know we were in labour, we knew we would whole-heartedly be relying on the guidance and support from them.
My first experience, we were consultant-led and it felt a little bit more medical as I was being monitored and hooked-up to machines etc. However, our midwife did everything she could to give us the birth experience we wanted: relaxed, calm, non-interference and with techniques of hypno-birthing. She laughed and loved that we had a “Motown Birthing Playlist” interspersed with some Ibiza Chill-out tunes and she answered each and every question we had along the way. When my waters needed to be broke for me and I had to reassess my pain-relief options, our midwife was there to guide us and reassure us and keep my chin-up.
My second experience, our needs from our midwives were wholly different. Unexpectedly, my labour was so long, that we needed someone to keep us going and to reassure us that our baby would actually arrive! My second labour was in the birthing centre, with no pain relief but TENs machine and gas and air…but it wasn’t as smooth and short as I’d hoped. So when I continually looked to my midwife for reassurance and to check it was okay that my contractions were slowing after 10 hours, I hung on every word she said. When I asked if I’d be pushing any time soon, I believed every piece of advice and knowledge she gave us. That kept us going.
I was lucky to have the head midwife, Cathy, at our hospital and she totally shaped how the birth of my son went. He was unexpectedly big and unexpectedly happy in my tummy and not wanting to come out, even after 16 hours of labour. But Cathy monitored him, knew he was safe, knew I was safe and kept me going through those last few hours when all I could imagine was that he wasn’t coming out. I was anxious about pushing him out safely and at 9lb 2, I was worried about tearing and recovery. Cathy guided me through every minute of pushing and I successfully birthed him with minimal interference and 1 stitch! I couldn’t believe it.
So thank you
So, I want to say thank you to our midwives at Wythenshawe Hospital, South Manchester. If it wasn’t for your knowledge, experience and smiles, I don’t think either of our birthing experiences would have been so positive. Giving birth it one of the most vulnerable experiences of your life and having caring, experts to help you through it, is for utmost importance.
This post is written in collaboration with Smartcells, however I wouldn’t share it if it wasn’t something I truly support.