From an early age, I’ve been a non-conformist and have always liked to do my own thing in my own way. As the eldest child and the only girl, I loved looking after my brothers, and saw early on what a difference I could make.

My father wanted me to become a doctor but I knew that wasn’t my calling. I went on to qualify as a midwife, as I believed that is where I was needed to make a difference. After a thorough grounding in the NHS and hospital environment, I decided to focus on community midwifery, helping women to have their babies their way. I loved enabling women to have continuity, choice and control in pregnancy and childbirth, and it was always a great honour to be with families at the precious time of their child’s birth.

In 2004 I Fell Pregnant

Little did I know just how my life was about to change! The pregnancy had not been planned. I was scared and felt alone.

I drew up what I thought was a masterplan to move house, change jobs and how things would go at every stage of my pregnancy and my homebirth. To that point, things went to plan and my pregnancy progressed well until I had my 20-week anomaly scan.

What should have been a straight forward scan took an unexpected turn for the worse…

I was rushed for an emergency procedure as they found my baby was on his way out! If he had been born at this stage he almost certainly wouldn’t have made it. During the night I prayed so hard and was overcome with guilt. Maybe, if I had wanted this baby more this would not have happened to me.

I remembered all the women I had looked after with this condition, and felt terrified. Some of these women lost their babies. I couldn’t sleep a wink. I cried all night. I felt so alone. The shock and trauma I went through is still hard to describe.

I Felt a Flutter!

As the tears rolled down my cheeks, I felt a flutter in my belly. It was my baby!

This was the first time in five months I had sat still enough to feel him. I lay there in the dark talking to my son, telling him how much I loved him and that he meant the world to me.

Over the next few weeks in hospital I was kept on bed rest and was monitored regularly. I knew then that I had to think positively, I had to save my baby. I named him Joshua and started talking to him regularly. I maintained a positive outlook and I know that this was what kept him inside me.

We Made It!

Joshua’s birth was eventually induced at 36 weeks. He was born prematurely, admitted to the Special Care Baby Unit and eventually after five months in hospital, we were both discharged.

The trauma of the pregnancy, giving birth to Joshua and becoming a single parent was the hardest time of my life. I learned so much from the experience both personally and professionally. Being a midwife hadn’t prepared me for the reality of becoming a mother.

The journey through pregnancy, labour and childbirth is an unpredictable one. There is much conflicting advice on every aspect of the process that makes it hard to know what to do for the best.

The biggest lesson for me is that even if things don’t go to plan as long as you trust in yourself and tune in to your baby, you can handle whatever situation you find yourself in.

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