A special midwife

By Clare Worgan on 09 November 2018 Student midwives

Clare Worgan tells of the compassion, honesty and strength of one midwife who inspired her to leave an unfulfilling career and begin midwifery training herself.

It’s extremely difficult to put into words everything you did for us and how grateful I am but I want to try. When we met, I was an expectant mum in labour and I am now proud to say I am a mum and a student midwife. 

We first met on the delivery suite, on what felt like the hottest day of the year. I was in early labour and very scared but your kindness helped me relax. You made me feel safe. I felt like I could trust you.  You held my hand when the sonographer said ‘I’m afraid it’s bad news’. I sobbed and sobbed and you held me close when they told me my daughter had died. You cared for me when my world fell apart and for that I can never thank you enough.

A doctor spoke to me about options and risks but I didn’t understand. My mind and body had shut down. You seemed to know that my brain wasn’t working so you translated for me. I am grateful for your honesty and compassion. Your gentle words helped me decide that I was going to birth my baby.  

I was filled with fear and I talked about how I couldn’t live without my daughter. You didn’t try to placate or fix me. We both knew there was nothing you could say to make anything better. You sat with me, you let me talk and you let me cry. You listened and made me feel heard, this is all I needed in that moment.

I saw tears in your eyes when you said ‘I’m sorry this has happened to you’. Your emotions showed me you really cared about my daughter and that brought me some comfort.  

My daughter was born still, silent and perfect. I fell in love with her instantly. I felt like a proud new mum. I must have looked like every other proud new mum too, because you smiled at us and told me she was beautiful. A moment I will always treasure.  

You listened to me when I said that I didn’t want to go home after she was born. You understood that I couldn’t leave my baby behind. I know that you fought so that we could stay on the ward together, against trust protocol. I am very grateful to have had you on my side. Those precious days with my daughter are my most cherished memories and it’s these memories that get me through the darkest days of grief.  

I am truly grateful that you were with me when my daughter was born. I have learnt that stillbirth can be extremely difficult for midwives and on reflection I now see that you were upset and anxious too, so I want to thank you for being strong and caring for me when I couldn’t look after myself. I hope that one day I can provide the same strength and compassion for the women in my care. 

You once said that all midwives are special and now I know that it’s true. As a student midwife, I have witnessed the staff shortages and restrictive protocols that midwives work with every day. Yet despite these pressures, you, and many more midwives deliver amazing care and for this I will always be grateful.

Clare Worgan is a second-year student midwife at the University of Brighton
Email: [email protected] 
Twitter: @WorganC