Thank You To My Midwife For...

May 5 is International Day of the Midwife

You never forget your midwife and the role they play in your children’s birth. Whether a familiar community midwife you’ve seen for appointments throughout your pregnancy or a midwife you ‘meet’ for the first time when you’re already in labour, these amazing women - and men - can transform the experience of giving birth; helping you feel calmer and more capable, explaining and reassuring. Midwives, we thank you for your kindness, calm authority and joy.

”Thanks to my midwife for calmly eating a bowl of breakfast porridge while standing between my be-stirruped legs. Even though my mind was in utter meltdown, the banality of her doing that was a beacon of physical reassurance, that she’d seen it all before and was completely in control.” Cath

“Thank you to the midwife at a hospital I’d never heard of who looked after me when I went into premature and very fast labour away from home. After the birth she took me for a bath, stayed with me and washed my back as my baby was whisked to the NICU, calmly answering my dazed, panicky questions, including whether my (high risk) baby had Down’s. I’d have named my daughter after her if her name didn’t clash quite so badly with the surname.” Karen

“Thank you to my midwife for yelling ‘if you have that baby before I get these gloves on, I will shoot you...’ seconds before my waters broke all over her shoes. She never did get her gloves on – my baby was in my arms within 25 mins of arriving at the hospital car park. But it made me laugh and distracted me from the utter panic.” Heidi

“Thank you to my midwife for treating my stillborn little boy with such care and respect.” Clara

”Thank you to the trainee midwife (who was also a bloke) and who pissed himself laughing when the snooty consultant airily told me to ‘push through the pain’. During the birth he whooped and cheered like he was at the football. It was a brilliant experience.” Scheenagh

“None of my midwives. One told me all about her own ‘painfree’ birth. I wanted to strangle her.” Bibi

“Thanks to my lovely midwife Sue for saying, ‘I’m not going off shift until you’ve delivered this baby.’ She was a wonderfully calm and reassuring presence after a long and difficult labour through multiple shifts of midwives.” Kim

“Thank you to my trainee midwife who sat by the birthing pool for three hours telling us her incredible life story. It made time go so quickly and made me ignore the pain because I just wanted to get to the next bit of the story. I remember breathing on the gas on a particularly painful contraction saying ‘hold that thought, I really want to know how this ends!’ It made it all about her and less about me which is just what I needed!” Emily

”I had two amazing midwives - Jade and Alison. They kept us calm and laughing when things kept going wrong, and both stayed past their shifts to come into my emergency c section (and cried when my son was born). Then they went to let my parents know we were both safe and that they had a grandson! We took Ralph back to see them when he was four weeks old and they were delighted - apparently they rarely get to see the babies again.” Alex

“Thank you to my midwife who stayed with me until my son was born at 4am, chatting, consoling, just being so strong and sensible. I was going to be a single mother and until she arrived in the room I’d never felt more scared or alone.” Janine

“My community midwife was brilliant and really cared. The same week I gave birth another local lady had had a stillbirth and my community midwives visited me either just before or just after her each day, It was eye-opening to see how much the experience affected them too. I was quite poorly so was under her care for a while and if I bump into her in the street she still remembers both of my children’s names (my youngest is now 7) and many of the other mums in the area have similar stories of her and how much she cares - it’s more than a job to her. Our local NCT branch were able to thank her with an award a few years ago.” Claire

“I’m thankful for the midwife who stayed with me past her shift, came to theatre with us, tried to distract me when things didn’t go to plan and stayed with my partner and newborn while I came round from the general anaesthetic.” Kate

“I was unlucky enough to have third degree tearing and had to be whisked off for an operation. During the op, my midwife came at regular intervals to let me know how my baby was doing then, because I missed lunch, she bought me a cheese sandwich with her own money after her shift finished. She was truly an angel.” Alia

“I’m thankful to my midwife for giving me the confidence to trust my body and my judgement and refuse unnecessary medical intervention.” Rachel

“Thank you to my midwife for arriving at our (planned) home birth, examining me, ringing the second midwife for back up because ‘she’s ready and pushing’, delivering my baby and then calmly sending reinforcements back to the hospital because we were all doing fine...all in the space of 10 minutes from the time she walked through the front door. It was a lovely calm birth, albeit quick. The midwife whisked off again an hour later after making us all a cup of tea and all the while crept about the house like a mouse so as not to wake our sleeping toddler.” Liz

“For telling me I should definitely have an epidural!” Laura

“Thank you to my wife’s midwife for being so joyful and capable from the moment she breezed into the room with her big laugh. I don’t mind admitting I was dreading the birth - but she made it a wonderful experience for all of us. And of course, my wife Jenny is a warrior.” Adam

“For realising I had an infection, changing my catheter, sitting up with me all night while I cried my eyes out in pain, for helping me to breastfeed when it just wasn’t working, for changing my baby when I couldn’t move and for being wonderfully kind, supportive and calm when I really needed it. “ Helen

“Thank you to my midwife for being 42, the same age as me when I had my second child. And for her comment after my baby arrived in the birthing pool: ‘C’mon granny. Time to get out of the bath’.” Susan