It is completely impossible to articulate the enormity of what Emily and Jo have done for me and for our family. Having experienced a traumatic hospital birth in 2020 I was determined to do things differently with my second pregnancy and birth. I had thoroughly researched HBACs (homebirths after caesareans) and felt confident that it was the right option for me. I attended my NHS booking appointment and was really disappointed on discussing my intentions that it was apparent I was going to be unsupported.
Riverside Midwives came highly recommended to me by a friend. I will never forget my first phonecall with Emily, it was one of the first times that I felt so completely ‘heard’ by a medical professional. Emily listened to me so carefully and earnestly and then gave me such considerate and knowledgeable feedback and thoughts. I honestly can’t even summarise how faultless and joyful our journey with Riverside midwifes was. From that first phonecall, I have felt so respected. So cared for and nurtured. Supported beyond what I ever thought was possible. Consent and respect underpin everything Emily and Jo do. It goes without saying they are so knowledgable about all things pregnancy/birth/baby related but their passion for what they do is also very apparent. They reflected our excitement and joy right back at us throughout our pregnancy.
As my pregnancy progressed I really felt like I was welcoming friends into my home. By the time I was giving birth, the trust and love I had for these women was established and looking back that happened so seamlessly but was so integral to me achieving my HBAC! Both Emily and Jo were so relentlessly ‘beyond the call’ throughout my labour, birth and postnatally. There are so many instances that my partner and I have reflected on since giving birth where both of them supported us in ways that were unbelievably kind and completely outside of their remit. For us, they were so, so much more than midwives.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, that I would not have achieved my homebirth without Emily by my side. I had a long labour and Emily’s faith in me and my ability to birth vaginally was just so unfaltering. My birth ended up being a hugely psychological process for me that I absolutely would not have been able to cope with, emotionally or physically, without Emily gently encouraging me on. Emily knew me well enough by the time we were birthing our baby to instinctively suggest numerous things that enabled me to continue labouring and get that step further to birthing my son. And he finally he came! 42 weeks and 9lb10z. Our HBAC has been so healing for our family. Emily and Jo have gifted us with a very different lasting impression of birth compared to our first hospital birth. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!