I think it’s common for every mum-to-be to Google every step of her pregnancy. However, when it came to feeling confident and comfortable about my labour path when asked by the midwife at my antenatal appointments, I felt overwhelmed and honestly pretty ignorant about what my options really were.
What I did know is that I’ve always felt terrified of hospitals, we were just about to move home to a new area and that I wanted as natural a birth as possible. I had also heard that a water birth was a great way to achieve a calm and private atmosphere and also a good pain relief!! That was my starting point.
My husband and I started our search by looking at a few private hospital options but it was a friend of mine who planted the idea of a private midwife as her best friend had a great experience with one recently.
I met Jo for the first time at a local yoga pregnancy class. She was there to help answer any questions the group had relating to the hospitals in and around the area. As the conversation continued, the girls also started to talk about drugs, induction, Caesareans, breastfeeding and aftercare. It was then that I immediately saw the benefit of having an expert in the room and had a lightbulb moment.
If I could guarantee consistent and expert quality of care, build a strong relationship as a 3 (with my husband) and have a care package from week 36 until 2 weeks after baby is born, that would help me feel confident that myself my baby and I were in good hands.
Jo came to the house to meet my husband and I, review my pregnancy notes, and took the time to understand what was important to us as a couple and answer any questions we had!
Honestly, I’m not sure we would have had the natural labour we wanted or that I would have had the mental strength to get through it without her and my husband!
My labour was indeed ‘the marathon’ I had heard friends talk about but 4 days later our beautiful daughter arrived safe and sound. Jo stayed with us for the whole weekend.
We DID it and Jo took all the hospital pressure away from us by working beautifully with the hospital midwifery Team even when things got rocky!
I’ve recently just ripped off the postnatal plaster as we’ve just had our final meeting.
Having the support leaving the hospital has been just as amazing. I probably underestimated the emotions, hormones and generally ‘am I doing this right?’ daily questions.
Jo, without a doubt, you have been a huge part of Holly’s entrance in to this world and will always be a big part of our birth story! Thank you for being a friend and just being great.
We originally considered using an independent midwife to ensure a continuity of care as we moved house to a new area and hospital. From my perspective, I wanted to ensure my wife felt as though she was in safe hands and was getting the reassurance and advice she needed particularly in the lead up to labour and the early pre-hospital stages. It was also important for me to have the confidence that my wife and soon-to-be-born daughter were indeed safe and looked after throughout labour, a process I was yet to experience.
During our initial meeting with Jo, we were impressed with the depth knowledge and experience she had, the level of care being offered but most of all her commitment to delivering that care to a very high standard.
Meeting by meeting our level of trust and comfort in the partnership grew to the point where we felt confident and prepared going in as a team. As it happens we needed to be… we had a particularly long labour and Jo was there with us every step of the way, giving us advice and hands-on assistance when we needed it most.
For me as a husband and imminent father, it felt like I was given the tools to make difficult decisions, make them with confidence and move on, knowing the advice came from someone I trusted. This was of immense value when it is ultimately about the safety of your wife and daughter. After an amazing 3 and a half days, Holly was born safely and naturally in a pool in the birth centre.
We can’t thank Jo enough. In the end, we felt as though we had a special bond, as we had all been through the experience together. If Holly has a brother or sister in the years to come, it will be easy decision who else will be there with us.