Tag Archives: Birth

Dear Midwife

Dear Midwife,

Today is International Day of the Midwife and I am a bit obsessed with Midwives it seems.  Have just been going through my blogs,  to discover what I have written about you and I discover it’s an awful lot! I wrote this thanking all that helped second time and this about my wonderful comunity midwives first time, and this  about my love for the NHS and this about the midwife with her brilliant deadpan humour that helped me hugely.  I also wrote real life letters – to the first hospital they received a huge complaint letter about some of the care I received but also a genuine thank you letter for aspects of my care and the second hospital received a heartfelt thankyou letter for helping me bring Omble into the world without trauma.

I am in total awe of Midwives and the impact on a woman’s birthing experience.  As many of you know I had an uttterly horrific first birth experience (here) which was made all the worse by poor midwife care (in particular this one who when complained about refused to admit she was in the wrong and so was placed under supervision), but thanks to incredible support from my community midwives and the head of delivery suite (a former midwife) I was able to go on and have an absolutely brilliant experience second time.  The head of the delivery suite kept saying “you just need someone to be kind to you this time”, and it’s true I did. I even had to put it in my second birth plan, but I needn’t have worried- the two midwives I had with me helping me bring Omble into the world were brilliant, so calm and  reassuring and I totally trusted them that it would be okay this time.  I am now even planning a home water birth for number 3 (if there is one?).

I do believe I was just very unlucky first time and I do think midwives do an amazing job under huge amounts of stress and pressure.  I know the horrible experience I had first time was partly due to staff shortages- we were left alone a lot and those that were on duty (early hours of Sunday morning) seemed to be agency midwives and rather inexperienced and unfortunately the ones I had were rather uncaring but I will never forget the “Midwife with the Halo” (who I wrote about in my first birth story- she came into me when we had been left alone and in those moments she was with me she calmed me down and made me feel safe and reassured and the pain genuinely reduced, but then she had to leave and it all went wrong again),  I do think had I had her with me during my first birth it would have ended very differently and much more positively.

So dear Midwife- I’m writing to let you know you are amazing, wonderful inspirational people who can make such and phenomenal difference to women’s lives and to let you know I have signed the petition*.

Lots of Love


P.S This letter was inspired by @Fiona_Peacock‘s letter to her midwife

*The Royal College of Midwives is asking people to please sign this petition calling for an extra 5,000 midwives to deal with the increasing numbers of babies born each year.   I know personally how staff shortages can affect  birth outcomes (I do feel had I had Midwives as good as I did second time as I did the first time- some of the stuff with Oddler wouldn’t have happened), so I’m begging you to please sign the petition as if this petition achieves 100,000 then this issue will be debated within the House of Commons. Spread the word, for midwives, for antenatal and postnatal women and of course for the babies.

Dear First Time Pregnant Ladies

Dear First Time Pregnant Ladies,

I need you to know this statistic. I wish I had known it before I had Oddler.

Approx 50% of first births will end in intervention. 25% of those will be (emergency) C-Section, 25%of them forceps or ventouse.

That means 1/2 may not get the vaginal delivery they have been expecting, planning or hoping for. There are lots of things you can do to try and minimise your chances of intervention but ultimately what happens, happens and it is most important YOU DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF FOR ANY OF IT.

I spent too long blaming myself for Oddlers Birth and subsequent time on NICU with Oxygen Starvation, I wish I had realised sooner it wasn’t my fault, but a set of circumstances combined, which ultimately we have all healed from, and for that I count my blessings.

That’s not to say an assisted delivery will always be a traumatic experience. I know many women who have had very positive assisted deliveries. In my own case although forceps were used (and I had in my head that I would rather a C-section than forceps) ultimately they saved my daughter from being any more oxygen deprived and they had to be used- a C-section could have been so much worse. It wasn’t a pleasant experience but it wasn’t the worst part of the birth, so please don’t be too scared of assisted deliveries, they can save the life of you and your baby.

I wish you a lovely positive birth experience that you will cherish, and I wish you all the very best on your journey into motherhood. However if sadly you don’t have that experience (1 in 10 women will suffer birth trauma, and that could be regardless of whether you have a vaginal or an assisted delivery) I beg you not to blame yourself for it and to seek help if you are struggling with what happened. The Birth Trauma Association and Maternity Matters are excellent sources of support and information. I also kept this blog detailing my journey of healing so that I could go onto confidently have Omble, which was a healing wonderful experience that I would be happy to repeat- maybe a home waterbirth next time (though it was still quite ouchy! ;))

Lots of labouring love


P.S Always more than happy to talk to women about birth trauma if you wanted/needed. Email me or contact via twitter.