#ExpOfCare Blog: A Magical Midwife

Thursday 9th March 2017 by @AgencyNurse


It’s not very often that I come into contact with health care professionals on a personal basis, yes its true I work and tweet with them everyday, but I am fortunate enough to be happy and healthy. The same goes for my family – in fact it wasn’t so long ago that a family dinner conversation turned to “didn’t our family GP die?” … none of us were sure as it had been so long since we were in need of a GP! So one of the few times that I have encountered healthcare professionals personally was due to the births of my three children.


For my first two children – the boys - we had a wonderful community midwife called Marion. She was just the sort of midwife that inspired confidence. She was competent, quietly spoken, knowledgeable (without being condescending) and kind. For both of the boys we wanted to have hospital births but didn’t want to stay. Having worked in hospitals I knew that home would be the best place for me to rest after giving birth and the hustle and bustle of a ward did not appeal to me. Marion was very supportive, she helped us to plan how we could just go to the delivery suite and be discharged home as soon as possible without going to the ward. It worked really well for us and on both occasions Marion visited us that very same day, giving us confidence that all was well.


Roll on some 7 years later and with a house full of boys we thought that it was time to even things up. We started to try for another baby – keeping everything crossed that we would have a girl. I fell pregnant very easily and booked an appointment with the midwife and was really pleased to see that Marion would be our midwife again.


I was 19 weeks pregnant when I woke one morning to some abdominal pain. Having had 2 children already I knew that aches and pains were all part of being pregnant and reassured my husband that I would take myself off to get everything checked and he should go to work. I popped off to the GP who then made an immediate appointment at the local hospital for me – to which, thinking this was a lot of fuss about nothing, I drove myself. …… but everything was not fine. Our baby had died.


I don’t really remember much about what happened at the hospital. I remember being taken to a room where I could call my husband, I remember him taking ages to get there, I remember phoning him again … it turns out he was so shocked he drove to the wrong hospital ! Eventually he arrived and we hugged and cried.


There was then a period of waiting, I had opted to have some surgery rather than wait for nature to take its course. We had a whole day to say goodbye before the surgery took place – it was a beautiful day and we went for a drive, just the three of us.


Although this story is about the amazing care we received it also includes some poor care. I went for surgery and I remember waking up in agony … I was in pain to my very soul. I cried and cried. I recall a very stern nurse or midwife (I am not sure which) telling me that I shouldn’t be in pain and walking off ! I was glad to go home.


A few weeks later the phone rang and I answered it. It was Marion, my community midwife, on the other end. She said “You missed your appointment? I hope that what I think may have happened hasn’t happened?” Marion was lovely that day, she could have dealt with a missed appointment in the way we as healthcare professional do so quite often - by just moving on … but she chose to call me, to check that all was ok. I had never been so grateful for a simple phone call.


I got pregnant again very quickly and although I was nervous about literally everything to start with - Marions support was invaluable. During one of my appointments Marion threw a bit of a curve ball at me …. “what about a home birth?” she asked. It was something I had never considered, but Marion gave me all the information and said that our two boys were delivered easily and with no problems so a home birth was a great option for us. I went home and discussed it with my husband and to think about it.


Opting for a home birth wasn’t easy for us – we had grandparents worrying that it would “scar the boys for life” and “what if everything went wrong” – but Marion answered all of our concerns and worries and eventually we decided that a home birth was for us. We made plans – our bedroom was too small so we wanted to have the baby in the lounge, we bought emergency snacks and DVDs for the boys, and I wanted tea and toast with jam afterwards. The biggest problem was that Marion was due to retire very close to my due date … and we so very much wanted her to be the one to deliver our baby.


On the 17th March I awoke to labour pains and my husband called the midwife…. It was Marion. It was her last night of her last time ever on call before she retired. Marion arrived with a student midwife and shortly after another midwife arrived. However it seemed that our plans were already going awry … I was in our small bedroom and wasn’t moving! Somehow I had managed to get onto the floor wedged between our bed and a chest of drawers. The other midwife said “isn’t it time we moved onto the bed where there is a bit more space” .. I think a look of panic must have crossed my face … but Marion simply and firmly said “she’s not moving anywhere” So there we were, two midwives, a student midwife, my husband and me in a very small space with two boys who kept popping their head around the door to check that I was ok ! When I look back it really makes me laugh …. And remember how wonderful Marion was to ensure that at a time when I couldn’t speak up she knew exactly what I wanted.


Sometime after 7am – our baby girl was born. I don’t even remember Marion disappearing, and do wonder if she somehow had magical abilities, but she brought the boys in to meet their sister literally minutes after she was born. Marion not only cared for me that day but cared for our whole family.


Our daughter is now coming up to 10 years old and I feel that Marion has had a huge impact on the way she is. She is such a happy (and I really mean happy - other people even comment on it) – kind and confident child. She has a wonderful relationship with her brothers and with us. I truly believe that this is because of the way she was brought into the world – she was born into an environment where there was love … but not just that, because of Marion she was safe, well cared for and we had a little bit of midwifery magic there too.


Although everything didn’t quite go to plan (though I did get my tea and toast with jam) I wouldn’t have changed a thing – most of all I wouldn’t have changed Marion. A great midwife is a great thing but a truly wonderful and magical midwife is called Marion!


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