I was never able to write a #ThankYouMidwife post when the campaign first came out. Not because of any ill feeling towards any one person, but just because the images of the campaign didn’t sit alongside my images – I couldn’t relate.
Yet I wrote something the other day for a publication that isn’t going to be used, and it frustrates my soul to not utilise things that I write and as it fits with the campaign… I thought I’d share it.
“I’d like to thank the midwife who was there for us when we found out that our son had died. I would like to thank the midwife who honestly answered my questions about what he would look like. I’d like to thank the student midwife who stayed with us throughout our birth – that must have been such a challenging shift.
I’d like to thank the midwife support worker who mistakenly congratulated me – it was the only congratulations I heard. I would like to thank the midwife who dressed my son, and who taught us how to hold him. I would like to thank the midwifes who spoke to him, who stroked his face, and showed him love. I would like to thank my community midwife for looking at his photos, but ask her to not just tick ‘appropriately teary’ and discharge us so easily. Those tears might be appropriate, but they are still tears.
I would like to thank the midwives who took us into the maternity assessment unit at 20 weeks in our next pregnancy, so I could feel brave enough to go back through those doors. I would like to ask the midwife who suggested I try some orange juice after reporting reduced movements to read the NICE guidelines, and ask herself if an A&E nurse would offer a struggling patient orange juice and leave them be. I would like to thank the midwife who heard my anxiety and asked me in so that she could help. I would like to thank her for calling Perinatal Mental Health so quickly. I would like to tell the midwife who wants to weigh me before letting me hear his heartbeat, that I think my baby is dead, my weight can… wait.
I would like to thank the consultant midwife who arranged for a private postnatal room so that we could grieve and feel joy all at the same time. I would like to thank my midwife at his birth for reassuring me that he was still alive every time the CTG slipped. But I would like to ask her not to leave me alone and terrified after they whisked him to HDU. I would like to ask her if he is alive, because my brain can only see him dead. Just like his brother. I would like to ask her to not just leave me at the door of a dark high dependency ward to find him myself, please take me to him.
But mostly, I would mostly like to thank the midwife who fights passionately against baby loss and believes in their power to change things.”
– J x