So apparently 5 May is International Midwife Appreciation Day; who knew?! I’d been doing some Googling to find subjects to write about I stumbled across this and thought about my second midwife Laura Rowsome.
At the start of my pregnancy my confidence in the quality of care provided by the Community Midwife Team was at rock bottom. Our report revealed a number of mistakes that my first midwife had made; all were minor admin type ones (a red flag wasn’t missed) but I felt that the quality of care wasn’t what it should have been. I’ll probably write about that in another post at some point.
I asked for a different midwife for my pregnancy with Ophelia I felt having the same one wouldn’t be particularly fair on myself or the midwife. Thankfully, I didn’t have to push too hard for that and I was duly assigned to Laura. I had to do a fair bit of travelling around as she held clinics in 2 or 3 different medical centres.
She took the time to really listen; I never once felt that my appointments were rushed. I rather suspect she blocked out more time in the diary when she saw me. She was gentle in her care and referred me to all sorts of extra mental health support. This included more regular appointments in between scans with the consultant, referring both Andrew and I to “Pregnancy in Mind” a class for expecting parents who had anxiety for whatever reason in addition to referring me to the Mental Health midwife (although there aren’t enough and I think I saw her maybe once or twice) and to Birth Matters so I could confidently plan my c-section. Unfortunately, September and October are busy birth months and I had to do this over the phone. Post birth she referred me to the peri-natal(?) midwife who came to the house for regular counselling.
She let me off load and never told me to cheer up; be positive or anything she just went with me. We took each week and appointment as it came. I got to hear Ophelia’s heartbeat at every single midwife appointment. I don’t remember having this with Alexandra; the first time I remember hearing Alexandra’s heartbeat was when I had a sweep. Hearing her heartbeat in between scans gave me that extra reassurance that we had made it through another week; we were getting there slowly but surely.
Once I was home with Ophelia; she came to visit after hours before she went home. She gave me extra support when Ophelia wasn’t latching well and I was sat dejected with boobs like the Trevi fountain and a baby who still wasn’t cracking the knack of latching. She kept me under her care and the community team for longer than normal and it was because of these extra visits from Community Support workers that the possibility of O having a posterior tongue ties was mentioned. As a result we were referred and that little snip made all the difference to nailing the final hurdle of our breastfeeding establishment.
Laura also had my back when the Health Visitors were getting their knickers in a twist about doing extra weigh ins of O for reassurance. Seriously Health Visitors, if a baby has died and a subsequent baby has made it home; just weigh the dam baby; don’t get pissy with the midwife or the mother! I wish I could’ve had Laura’s care for longer but eventually I had to be fully transferred over to the mental health midwife and the Health Visiting team.
We’ve had so many different Health Visitors assigned to us that I can’t say if I’ve met them all and as a result I can’t say that bonded with any of them particularly well. I didn’t really bond as well with the mental health midwife who came to the house either. Looking at her watch during appointments wasn’t a great start and the fact that there wasn’t support for both Andrew and I that we could access together was a huge stumbling block too.
I nominated her for Midwife of the Year but as I was so muddled with getting to grips of parenting a live baby that it was nowhere near as detailed as I what I wanted to write. I’ve since tried to find her on the lists of community midwife teams on the Leeds Teaching Hospitals website to try and send a thank you to but I can’t find her (stalker!)
If you ever get assigned to Laura just know that you’ve got one of the best!
THANK YOU LAURA