When I was having JJ, I spent 10 days in hospital in total. During that time I came across numerous members of staff, all of which were working hard to do their job but still took the time to check in on me and see how I was doing. By the time I was discharged I was so desperate to leave that we only paused long enough to hand over a card and box of chocolates to the girls on shift before we bolted for the door, itching to get home to see Piglet and settle down with JJ.
Smart Cells are trying to highlight the work that midwives and other staff in maternity hospitals, so they’ve launched #ThankYouMidwives. A chance for us to show our appreciation to those who helped us throughout our pregnancies.
Thank you to the community midwife for reminding me that pregnancy is meant to be a fun experience. I have many appointments with my consultant led care due to my diabetes. These appointments are often uptight, a strong focus on what can be improved and where changes need to be made to my lifestyle in order to keep the baby safe.
My community midwife appointments were far lighter in comparison. A chance to listen to the babies heartbeat purely for pleasure rather than diagnostic reasons. To talk about the baby, gender guesses and name possibilities. To discuss ways to bond with him before he was even born, and to remind me that at the end of it all I will be having a baby.
Thank you to the midwife who took the time to speak to me when I was alone and scared. When I was first admitted to the hospital I was placed in a ward by myself and told to wait for more information. She came through and spent 5 minutes speaking to me, 5 minutes which were probably very precious to her but she chose to spend with me. Giving me company and a much needed distraction from wonder what was going to happen.
Thank you to the midwife who listened to my labour wishes. I was ready to fight my corner, but she never once questioned why I wanted things done a certain way. She did all she could to accommodate my wishes and make my labour as pleasant as possible.
Thank you to the maternity support worker who sat with me for hours through the night. When JJ was having phototherapy he spent one night crying none stop. I hadn’t slept (and I’m sure others on the ward hadn’t either). He couldn’t be taken out from under the lights so we had to have him cry. She sat with me, helping me to rock his crib and make a nest out of blankets to make sure he was warm. The company was invaluable when I thought I might lose the plot from lack of sleep.
Thank you to the midwife who supported my decision on how to feed JJ. I wanted to breastfeed, but I knew he was hungry and needed formula to help him build his strength. She assured me that I was making the right decision regardless of what I chose, and helped me to be at peace with it very quickly.
Thank you to the midwives who treated me like a human. They laughed with me, joked with me and moaned with me when something else would crop up to prevent us being discharged. I know them by name, and they knew me and JJ. They left me alone to get on with caring for him with minimal interference, but were always there to lend a hand or have a chat if needed.
The time I spent in hospital was a rollercoaster, but it would have been a lot worse if it weren’t for the women working on the ward. Their support was invaluable, and I hope they know it.
This post was written in collaboration with information from Smart Cells.
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