run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Monday, 11 December 2017

Now is the time to say #ThankYouMidwife

Not many memories of giving birth to my two babes are crystal-clear. It's become a bit like one of those BBC sports montages: a mishmash of blood, sweat, tears and then - big soundtrack - the emergence of a tiny human being. 

I know biology's amnesia happens to all of us mamas, and that's the main reason why siblings exist… 

But what I do remember out of the blur are the two midwives who helped me throughout. 

There was Jenny, at the Whittington Hospital's birthing centre back in April 2015. She just told me, 'we're going to do this, together' when I despondently felt otherwise after more than 24 hours' back-to-back labour.. Jenny didn't leave my room until tiny man was safely snoozing in my arms, when she'd mopped up the blood and gore of birth and patched me up - and even then, she only left to grab some tea and toast. 

Two years, one month, and one day later, I was back. Same room in the same birthing centre in the same hospital. Same scared feeling - and more: what, I worried, would happen to my toddler, snoozing unaware in his cot at home, if, this time... 

So that was running through my head, and the pain wasn't any less all-encompassing the second time around either. But then, there was Cassie. "I don't want to do this anymore," I remember saying, about 15 minutes before tiniest man's head emerged. She didn't laugh at me, just gently said I should follow my body and guided me through; soon after, I had a tiny, pink baby snuggling into his first cuddle. 
With all the exhaustion and visitors of those first hours, and shift patterns meaning a saviour midwife there throughout birth could be far away when you've finally got your head sorted, hours later, the fact that nearly a third of new mums lament not having a proper chance to thank their midwife isn't surprising. 

I tried to with both Jenny and Cassie, and with Theresa, the stellar antenatal midwife who put up with me for every appointment with both of my babies, never minding my constant worries ("I feel a weird pulsating, what's wrong???" The answer was, hiccups...) and even giving me her number so I could text her any time. 

But it's hard to say thanks properly, because even chocolates or champers or vouchers aren't really enough for being the people who helped safely bring a human into the world. And it's hard to say thanks to everyone involved in a birth, especially if you're in hospital for a while. 

So I'm loving Pampers' campaign to say #ThankYouMidwife - the team is donating £1 to the Benevolent Fund of the Royal College of Midwives to support these amazing midwives, for every story shared with#ThankYouMidwife on Facebook, Twitter (@Pampers_UK) or  Instagram (@pampersworld)

With midwife pay being well below what it should be for such a tough, physically and mentally demanding role, it's not surprising that one in three of the UK's 47,100 midwives admit to feeling "underappreciated and undervalued", according to the RCM. I'm glad to be able to champion such an amazing group of people. 

Thank you Theresa and Jenny and Cassie. And to all in the profession - #ThankYouMidwife. 

* Post written in collaboration with Pampers, but rest assured we at ROOW are seriously gobby and only say what we really, really mean.


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