I knew I had it somewhere, a picture of her holding my placenta, so we could take a photo of it. When I found it I started to cry, a lot, big tears, with copious amounts of snot running down my nose. She was my midwife for my second baby. It was the only birth that had a bit of trauma in it. But at the time I think your just happy to have a baby and for labour to be over. I was a bit angry about some things people did to me without my proper consent but I was to busy with two little ones to have anytime to grieve about it.
I remember her though, she looked after me through labour and was the softly spoken voice in my ear, even when I started bleeding during the second stage (pushing). Her calm voice stayed. Other people entered the room, people I don’t remember, people that put cannula’s in my hand when I said not to, people that put a vacuum on my baby’s head and pulled him out without me really understanding what or why. I had never lost it in any of my 3 labour’s other than in this 15 minute period, I screamed twice, not in pain, but in fear, what was happening to my body? For awhile It was horrible but then I had my baby.
My midwife was about to leave, as it was shift change over but she stayed back to talk to me, obviously more aware than I was at the time of what had happened. I think she was upset, she was upset before I had a chance to be. I never had a chance to be, until now, over 6 years later. A plug I didn’t even know I had, was unplugged as soon as I saw the photo of her.
I finally got to cry.
And whats even more beautiful is that I’ve had the privilege to work with this midwife in my training. It took me a few months to realise it was her as we were now in a different town, but we reunited as colleagues and it has been very special. So I wanted to thank her for being exactly the way she was that early morning in January, years ago. She didn’t remember my birth, she has been to many, many births, but I remembered her.
It has only made me realise even more how much one person can change your birth. How much the way you are treated when you give birth stays with you forever. I didn’t even know how much I needed to cry about it, until I did.
And I think about all times I have gone home and cried about someone else’s birth. A midwife often knows before even the mother knows, when something isn’t right, when someone hasn’t been treated respectfully. My midwife knew that my birth wasn’t what it should have been, and even though I didn’t have the time or energy to know that, she did, and I know what she would have felt as she drove home, cause now I sometimes drive home with that same feeling.
A midwife and a woman can spend all day together, working hard together, laughing, talking, sometimes crying, cheering and encouraging. It’s a room full of the highest emotions and I hope to never grow numb of them, I come home exhausted, emotionally and physically drained sometimes. That woman becomes the most important person to you for that entire day.
Thank you to my midwife, for giving your all to me, for feeling what I couldn’t feel at the time, and now teaching me to be the kind hearted midwife you were to me xxx
I know its a strange photo to cry over, with a giant placenta in it, but it was the only photo I had of her, so it’s special to me.