This is the unedited picture of me moments after giving birth by emergency c-section. Tiny Arthur was finally out.
I wasn’t one of those women who got to experience labour pains. I’d been called in for an induction which never happened. The evening of my admission to Wigan’s Albert and Edward Infirmary they monitored Arthur and his heart rate was insane. Up and down as if I was in labour; only I wasn’t.
Moments later someone arrived to take me to the delivery suite. I made the poor girl go back and check. After all, I wasn’t in labour. What I didn’t know was that at that moment the emergency team were prepping in case they were needed. I was wheeled off, hyperventilating and terrified something was wrong.
In the delivery suite I met Mary. Strong, smiling and the most calming presence I have ever come across. I focused on her, begging her to get my husband as the surgeon took the decision to operate and the delivery room suddenly went mad with activity. Will had already gone home for the night because this wasn’t supposed to happen.
She calmed me, held my hand, called Will and reassured me he was on his way. I was in shock, crying and apologising to anyone who would listen, and still Mary soothed me. It was all about me as far as she was concerned.
All the way through it she was there. Just before I had my spinal she told me Will had arrived, and even when he came into the room and held my hand as they got Arthur out Mary was still reassuring us. When he was born it was Mary who showed me my baby and asked his name, who weighed Arthur, with Will by her side. It was Mary who stayed with us in the post-op room, encouraging Arthur to breastfeed. She did it so well that we’re still doing it nearly 18 months on.
Mary even sent us a congratulations card. I can’t tell you how I felt when I received it. I’m hoping to take Arthur to see her one of these days.
When this campaign happened last year I wasn’t ready to write this story. It was still too raw. Pampers are donating £1 to the Benevolent Fund for the College of Midwives for every story like this where a parent says #thankyoumidwife.
Mary, you were amazing.