Last night I was getting ready for a nightshift at the hospital when I received this beautiful and wonderfully heartfelt email from Jonathan, one of the fathers whose wife I supported at the Homerton Birth Centre/Alongside Midwifery Unit, last month.
I'm sure that many of you - Midwives, Doulas, Mothers and Fathers - can relate to how much it means to us Healthcare Professionals, when we hear just how deeply our care is appreciated by the families that we support.
We all work incredibly hard to make parent's experience as caring and personalised as possible - so it's great to hear when it's appreciated!
SO, I wanted to share this story with you all as I feel it so wonderfully expresses the difference it makes when we (Midwives, and other health professionals) go beyond the call of duty.
It is stories like this, and knowing that we can make such a huge impact on the people that we care for, that keeps us going even when we are on our last legs! (lord knows - it definitely isn't the money!)
I can also attest to what Jonathan describes here as the unique spirit of the Homerton hospital. It really is such a positive and friendly place to work, and a fantastic team to be part of. I too have felt so nurtured by many of the senior Midwives and Doctors there, who have always been willing to support me, since I started working as a Midwife at the Homerton (Patricia, Nettie, Modupe... - you know who you are!) Staff encouraging, supporting, and being kind to each other really does make a huge difference to the overall positive atmosphere of the place - and this relays to patients too, which is clear from Jonathan and Emma's experience here! Go Team!
Thank you Jonathan for sharing your beautiful words with us:
"My wife Emma and I had our baby at the Homerton just over three weeks ago.
We started in the Birth Centre with Jodi, but Emma was bleeding so we went to the delivery suite to be monitored, and eventually to theatre for an emergency c section due to placental abruption.
We then stayed for 3 nights on the Templar Ward.
During our time we probably encountered over 50 different staff members, from consultants to cleaners, and we felt so often that not only are people really in command of their field (even at the end of a gruelling nightshift) but theygenuinely care, and will so often go that little bit further than the call of duty.
Jodi and the other midwives were wonderful and really supported us, and gave us time to try natural methods when we could, and explained to us when and why we needed to try other things.
The consultant who made the call to take Emma to theatre and performed the op was extraordinary. I have a vivid image of her holding Emma, stoking her hair, soothing her as she sat on the operating table while the anaesthetist had some difficulty finding the spot for the needle in her spine. She understood that we wanted things to be as natural as possible, and even asked me to bring in music, and I had skin to skin with our son almost immediately.
I could go on for pages: a midwife called Mica who spent 45 minutes tenderly helping Emma to breastfeed on day 1, Josceline the breast feeding specialist who took us even further on that journey with patience and humour and spotted the tongue tie (that had been missed earlier), countless little moments talking and getting advice: in SCBU, NICO, and Precious who shared our last morning with us and discharged us feeling like we were really special.
And having seen the relentless turnaround on that ward, I know that feeling comes from the fact that so many of the staff are doing it from the heart.
And that really means a lot given the very trying climate that you’re all working in.
I was really bloody scared when we were whisked into theatre, and after both Emma and Nico emerged healthy, we were very very grateful for the efficiency and skill of the team, and the fact that we live in a country where such cases routinely result in happy outcomes…and not least that there was no financial aspect to the story as there would have been in other countries.
So we’d like to salute you all, and thank you enormously.