You probably won’t remember me. Though I’m sure there’s no such thing as a typical birth, my little boy’s was happily uneventful in the medical sense. There was no real drama. He was safely delivered just as your shift was ending, after a fairly long labour. He was healthy. And I was well. There was and is no real reason for you to remember me.
But we will never forget you.
Larissa. I’m sorry, I can’t remember your surname. It’s on the record of Sonny Jim’s birth, along with his weight and time he was born. That record is tucked away in a little memory box in his bedroom.
But anyway. Larissa. I first met you when you came on shift that morning. I’d already been in hospital for a few hours. I was, if I’m honest, just starting to get a bit panicked by all this giving birth malarkey. I was in pain. I felt out of control. I wasn’t sure I could actually do it anymore.
But for the next 12 hours you were there. You held my hand. You rubbed my back. You brought me sick bowls. You listened to my gas and air induced ramblings. You reassured my poor husband who could do nothing, but helplessly watch.
You were a quiet strength in the room. You knew better than I did what my body could do. You were calm, unflappable and encouraging. For the biggest, scariest, most amazing, most wonderful 12 hours of my life you were there, helping me through what seemed, at times, an impossible mission.
Your hands guided my boy, my oh so longed for baby, into this world. You caught him as he left my body and passed him to me.
Though we, Gary, me and our Sonny Jim, are merely bit players in your life, you will always be a big part of ours.
And today, on International Day of the Midwife, just over a year after you were my midwife, I just wanted to say thank you.
I truly don’t think I could have done it without you.
PS The utterly fabulous Keri at Do It Like A Mother ran an AMAZING #givethankslikeamother campaign and spoilt the fabulous midwives at Southend Hospital today, on behalf of all us grateful mums. Do check her out at www.doitlikeamother.co.uk