Before I had my first child, I remember asking my 90 year old grandmother if she remembered giving birth. Her reply was: “I remember it clearly as yesterday”. She explained how there was no epidural or any medical option for pain relief as she had her children in 1944 and 1945. She said it was a life changing experience and she reassured me that I would be able to handle whatever birth ended up being for me. She also told me about the supportive midwife who attended her first birth – almost 70 years ago. Continue reading
I laboured for a few hours at home and only went into Holles Street when I couldn’t even talk to my partner anymore. He insisted on getting me to the hospital when he couldn’t get coherent conversation out of me. In Admissions at the hospital, I couldn’t even answer basic questions, such as “is that your correct address?” I was swiftly taken by wheelchair up to Labour and Delivery and brought into a delivery room. The midwife who attended me was brilliant. Her name was Heather and she was the only person in the room besides me and my partner. She was a fountain of calm and quietness! She allowed me to push my baby out at my own pace and he was born in just over 10 minutes.
I am convinced that her lack of interference and her strong supportive presence made birth even more of a joy for our new little family. When it came time to deliver the placenta, I requested that I be given time to do this without any medication. She was absolutely supportive and I delivered the placenta easily and effortlessly within 20 minutes. I can’t thank Heather enough for her respect for my wishes in childbirth, for being totally ‘hands-off’ and for being a significant support in the birth of my first child. Maybe she will read this and know what a difference she made to our experience in hospital? If you do ever get a chance to read this, Heather (midwife in Holles Street in October 2008), please know that you had an enormous impact on my positive birth experience.