I haven’t managed to write down the full details of my birth story yet, I promise I will once I find the right words to convey the whole experience in a wholeheartedly positive way (because it was truly positive). I did, however, manage to write a letter of thanks to the team at the Midwife Led Birth Centre where my son was born which has already helped me start to work through the emotions of that day (accompanied by a giant tray of donuts and flowers for the team there obvs).
So I’m sharing my thanks to the NHS. Because they deserve medals, the upmost praise and respect and everything else in between.
Because they saved my sons life.
** Trigger Warning ; this is not meant to scare monger but contains a fairly rare maternity emergency called Shoulder Dystocia where babies shoulder gets stuck after the head has been born.
If you have been affected by a traumatic birth experience please think about asking for a birth debrief (Your hospital should offer a Birth Afterthoughts Service or try The Birth Trauma Association) and counselling, no matter how long after your birth.
An Open Letter of Thanks to the NHS
“I’m not sure I can adequately convey how grateful we are for the care that we received when our baby boy, Theodore Ace Guymer, was born last Saturday 19th Oct at Bournemouth Birth Centre, but I’m going to give it a go!
I quickly discovered postnatally that I was known as the ‘Shoulder Dystocia from Bournemouth’ which came accompanied with lots of head tilts and asking how I was. I don’t think I quite realised the severity of what happened to us and what could have been until a few days ago. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for saving our sons life! The outcome could have been so very different but I wholeheartedly stand by my decision to choose the Birth Centre as my first choice for birth because as scary as those last 20 minutes were, that’s not the part I want to focus on.
For all intents and purposes I had exactly the labour & birth that I wanted (scary bit aside). I was fortunate enough to have a complication free pregnancy, outstanding continuation of care with Lucy staying on shift longer so that she could deliver my baby & Jenny, my antenatal midwife, being with me for part of my labour, support in every decision I made, my birth plan respected and my husband well looked after. I wanted to avoid intervention and have as natural a birth as possible and I really do feel like I got that so thank you for making this a positive experience for me. That was all that I wanted.
Those long few minutes between my babies head and the rest of him joining us earth side were, on reflection, absolutely terrifying but I didn’t feel an ounce of fear or panic in the middle of all of that. The bits I remember, the things I heard and saw, were of a seamless, efficient team putting into practice an emergency drill where every single person knew there part. From having 2 people at my bedside and excitedly anticipating my sons arrival to (what felt like) 157 medical professionals jumping into action in a calm yet urgent manner. Putting mine and my babies health first whilst somehow respecting my dignity, ensuring I was encouraged to assist you all in freeing my son from his position, words of support, never forgetting that in the middle of everything I was still there with no clue what was happening. From the midwife who made sure my baby was brought to me so that I could see him before he was rushed to the hospital, the students who brought me water & stayed so calm in the face of something they had probably never seen before, to the emergency doctor who took the time to introduce himself to me and my husband and went with my baby to the hospital. Not one person forgot that in the middle of this medical emergency were 2 people with no clue what was happening and who desperately wanted to know their son was OK. I can’t tell you how much all of that made a difference to me and my husband.
Despite the scary bit (as it shall henceforth be known), I had a wonderfully positive birth experience and I am in awe of the work that you all do. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the birth centre as a first choice for birth, while I may not get back to you for baby number 2 (!) I am so pleased I chose Bournemouth.
With lots & lots of love & thanks
Tiffany, David and Theodore“