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Birth

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A tale of two births

I can’t quite believe that it has taken me a whole year to write Esme’s birth story.  Maybe it was due to me finding those early months so incredibly overwhelming; maybe it was PND.  Or maybe it was because I have found it difficult to reconcile my feelings towards birth since losing Orla.
 
The thing is, I was so prepared for Orla’s birth.  Not only was I prepared, but I was excited.  I had planned a home birth, had practiced hypnobirthing for months and every detail had been planned with love and hope.  And whilst I am proud of how Orla’s birth unfolded, I mourned the birth I didn’t get, which has left me with many complex feelings.  Anger.  Shame. Guilt.  I mean, how could I talk about feeling sad for not birthing in the way that I had hoped when really all I should feel sad about was the fact that my baby died?
 
But I did.  And I continue to feel sad, because even if I ever feel brave enough to try for another baby, I don’t think I will ever get the birth that I had so dearly wished for. My anxiety will never allow me to wait for spontaneous labour, and my knowledge of what can go wrong will always prevent me from birthing in the comfort of my own home.  And I’ll be honest and say that I always get a pang of envy when I hear these stories from others.  I am happy for them – genuinely happy.  But I am sad for me.  And maybe that makes me selfish, but it is the truth. Continue Reading

Mental health and wellbeing, Pregnancy after loss

Why midwives matter

This week it was officially announced that my midwife Michelle (yes, that is quite confusing!) is the London regional winner of The Royal College of Midwives Mum’s Midwife of the Year.  I nominated Michelle back in the summer last year when we were away on our fundraising adventure and then promptly completely forgot about it until I got a message from her in December saying that she had won.  Cue lots of tears from both of us!  Michelle is wonderful woman and midwife; she is kind, compassionate, dedicated and passionate about her work.  She has gone above and beyond in her duty to look after myself and Andy and I feel that we have a bond that will last forever.  I am so honoured to have Michelle as my midwife and incredibly proud that she has won this award.  She thoroughly deserves it and anyone who has the opportunity to have her as their midwife is very lucky indeed.

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Michelle is a caseloading community midwife.  This means that she runs a team of midwives who have a small caseload of women who they see all the way through pregnancy, birth and up to a month afterwards.  This provides women like me with:

  • Continuity of care. I don’t need to explain who I am, what I need or what my journey to motherhood has been thus far at every appointment.  Michelle will always follow up on any questions or concerns I may have, and there is a sense of progression at each appointment – that together we are moving towards bringing our baby into the world.
  • Continue Reading