This is my heart-felt thank you letter to the midwife who in my mind, showed the world how it could be done. I write this is in the hope that it will be shared with midwives and parents everywhere, to remind everyone how birthing is messy and painful and scary but also amazing and wonderful and sacred... and a human experience!
A Letter to our Midwife
As our daughter nears her first birthday, I want you to know something.
I don't know if you get letters like this everyday or even whether you think you deserve them.
But I have been thinking a lot about you and how you helped us safely deliver our baby into this world all those months ago and I wonder if perhaps, I could have written a letter like this for the birth of our first daughter.
I don't know if midwives like you are rare or if all share the same grace and understanding. But here is what I am truly thankful for, as a mother, as a woman and as a human being.
Thank you for speaking to me throughout the whole experience of giving birth with compassion, kindness and love. You made me feel at ease. You enabled me to feel strong and powerful. You reminded me how capable I was, how amazing my body was... how I could keep going, even though the pain was great and I was tired.
Thank for asking me if I wanted to be checked internally on our arrival. Yes, it might have been necessary but being asked made me feel relaxed and in control and that my body belonged to me.
Thank for you agreeing to a calm, peaceful and natural birth and for honouring all of our requests, even when the same music had been played on repeat for four hours and you asked, quietly, would I like to change it. And when I replied 'Nooooooo'! you simply kept playing the CD.
Thank you for taking care of my husband as he took care of me by asking him if he was ok, whether he wanted a drink and did he want a rest after rubbing my back for an hour and for you to take over.
Thank you for being in the background and leaving me and my husband to birth our baby... and for stepping in, calmly at every moment needed.
Thank you for not batting an eyelid when I asked my husband to repeat a prayer continuously during the most insanely intense part of the whole birthing experience... and for saying 'How lovely!' when I whispered a prayer into our babe's ear straight after birthing her. I felt as if you wholly respected and honoured our wishes and our faith.
Thank you for keeping the lights low, the pool warm, and the ambience calm and serene in the birthing room... I felt like we were in a unique and sacred space. Giving birth is sacred and special as well as off-the-scale painful! And you completely honoured every single need and request.
Thank you for restoring my confidence and validating my previous birthing experience where harsh words had been spoken, where I felt trapped and confined, disrespected and dishonoured.
Thank you for speaking in the calmest of tones throughout and for telling me... yes! That is supposed to happen! (on numerous occasions!)
Thank you for looking deep into my eyes and telling me... You can do it. I know you can. I believe in you.
Thank you for the aftercare... for laughing at my ramblings whilst having stitches afterwards and for laughing at my inappropriate comments when I couldn't help myself (gas and air... such fun!)
Thank for to the midwife who stepped in to join you and to rally together to realise the final moments of baby arriving into this world, for leaving the cord until it stopped pulsating to cut it without me not even asking... for offering to take photos of us all in our postnatal bliss.... thank you SO much! Thank you for enabling me to leave the birthing centre feeling in charge, feeling loved, feeling empowered and strong and able and completely wonderful!
You may not realise this but I think of this event frequently and it has left me feeling on top of the world.
This is how birthing can be... no matter how it happens, whether or not the mother has pain relief or a C-section, whether her feet are in stirrups or whether she is down on all fours... this is how it should be. A human, loving, supportive, wonderful experience.
Victoria shares her full birthing story on her positive parenting website Mama Baba Do.