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Call the midwife!

(20 Posts)
KatGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 16-May-13 09:46:52

Leading midwife Caroline Flint says she was destined for her role since the age of eight. She delivered nine of her 12 grandchildren, and one of Davina McCall's children and both of Thandie Newton's. We have signed copies to give away to five lucky gransnetters. Winners will be picked at random from those who post on the thread.

Read her guest blog here and tell us what you think. What was your midwife like?

JessM Thu 16-May-13 19:04:06

Hey - I knew Caroline when we were both NCT tutors. Wonderful woman. This blog made me nostalgic for those days.

weather Fri 17-May-13 16:52:10

I had my first baby in a Royal Naval Hospital in Malta in the 60s I hated the whole experience...I could only hold my baby at feed times as they were put in a room with a mosquito net over the cribs..I myself was covered in bites so I did understand why they did it, but I so wanted to cuddle my the end I came home to our flat earlier than I should have as I just couldn't stand it there.
My next baby I had at home in rural was a lovely experience having a midwife and a doctor present and the services of the midwife throughout my pregnancy I would recommend it to anyone.
I enjoyed reading the blog.... how wonderful to be able to deliver your grandchildren and have such happy memories.

MaggieP Fri 17-May-13 17:02:17

I was a nurse and went into Midwifery really for the added qualification for travelling to Australia to work!
However I ended up as a hospital midwife in Norfolk for many years until retirement.
A very rewarding, tiring, stressful, at times sad, job but an amazing one too , I had my three kids after I was qualified so that was an extra experience!
I enjoy watching the TV midwife programmes and nothing really has

goose1964 Fri 17-May-13 17:15:45

I remember that at my middle birth I had a male midwife & because my labour was pain free he & my husband kept trying to make me laugh with silly jokes.

At my daughter's recent labour we changed midwives as she was pushing & the new one was very stern & told me off for getting sympathy pushes (she'd had a hard labour & baby came out sideways)

audnay Fri 17-May-13 17:17:31

I had the same 2 midwifes for the births of my girls, one in 1977 and the other in 1975, they were fantastic with me, it was different to what it is now, I was induced with both of them and both ways were different, one I was in labour 20 minutes and the other 2.5 so I was quick and had the best midwives ever, little and large, one quite plump and the other, a skinny sister, and I remember them saying put your legs on our hips, I said I cant I might hurt you, she said I have plenty of meat on me, I said you might have, but she will be black and blue. I couldn't complain about nothing, lots of things have changed, but I prefer the old years 77/75 far better than now, these days you are in and out, then we were in 10 days, so you got to know the midwives all of them and it was fun. smile

inishowen Fri 17-May-13 18:36:09

My daughter was born in a military hospital in Germany in 1976. She was born at 6pm and about 10 minutes later they took her away and put her in the nursery. I spent the whole night awake, aching for my baby. The next morning a nurse came to fetch me. She took me to the nursery which had about 30 babies in it. She told me to get my baby. I was so upset as I didn't recognise her, and went towards the wrong one. The nurse found it funny. My son was born 3 years later in Ulster. I was all alone as thy failed to phone my husband when the birth was imminent, as they had promised. When my son was born he didn't cry, and they were busy with him for what seemed like ages. Eventually he cried, and a student nurse held him up at the end of the bed and said "don't worry, all new babies are ugly". She then whisked him away to the nursery. I had not held him or looked at him. Some hours later, when back in the ward, the cleaner asked where my baby was. She went to investigate and came back pushing a cot. She said there was no reason why he was taken away. My son was perfectly healthy and yet I'd been led to believe by that student nurse that he was ugly. Sorry, for the long post. I guess my experiences have never left me. I know things are much better these days.

Nelliemoser Fri 17-May-13 18:48:05

inishowen that is horrible. flowers

Gally Fri 17-May-13 19:50:55

Plus ca change!
My youngest daughter's first baby was born in 2009. She started contracting at 5 pm and called the hospital at 7; she was told to 'relax' and call back when the contractions were more frequent. She did - they were coming every 5 minutes but only lasting for 30 seconds - so was told to have a warm bath and call back later. She got into the bath which promptly filled with a profuse amount of bloody fluid. I hoiked her out, shouted to her father to get the car and towels, poured her into some clothes and we raced to the hospital. She was told to give a wee sample which she was unable to do, the blood was running under the loo door into the corridor - they then insisted on taking her to an admissions room to 'do the paperwork' and still didn't believe the baby was imminent, so young Nell was delivered 2 minutes later on the floor onto a pillow, with the midwife shrieking for '2 more midwives here NOW'. Needless to say, they admitted her early for her most recent delivery which was just as speedy. The Granny still hasn't recovered from the shock shock but Nell and her Mum don't seem to have suffered any long lasting complications from the trauma of such a speedy arrival. Moral of the tale - listen to the Mother and take her seriously......

upsydaisy Sat 18-May-13 20:19:31

By coincidence I was talking to my mum today about my grand-daughters imminent arrival (due any day now). My mum was saying how when I was born in 1961 that your own GP was called to the hospital when you went into labour to assist the midwife with the birth in those days. She said she went into normal labour and everything was fine and was given gas and air but she said when the Doctor arrived he gave her an injection and she remembers absolutely nothing about the birth, she said she remembers being given the injection and the next thing she woke and I was there - already born. How weird? What on earth did they give my mum that she couldn't even remember me being born, she didn't have a caeserean birth.

One thing I would request is that midwives learn to recognise when a gas and air bottle is empty. I went through about 2 hours of contractions with no pain relief at all, just the frustration of an empty gas and air bottle which one midwife said was fine then when they changed over, the new midwife said it was empty - grrr. The same thing happened with my daughter just 3 years ago. When she was transferred to the labour ward from the Mat ward, she asked if she could have pethidine as she couldn't cope with the pain and she found the gas and air to be useless. The midwife on the labour ward suggested trying the gas and air one more time as the bottle she had on the mat ward was actually empty !!! My daughter couldn't believe how brilliant it was.

RockNanny Sun 19-May-13 13:34:44

My first grandchild (granddaughter) is due on 5th July and my daughter has asked me to be a birthing partner, along with her hubby (it's their first anniversary today :-) !). I am nervous about it, particularly about seeing my darling girl in pain, but also excited. I had pethidine, an epidural and gas and air for my labour. I don't remember much of it, feeling like I slept through a lot of it, so at least I will now get a chance to see what it's really all about. Sounds a bit daft, doesn't it?

numberplease Sun 19-May-13 14:35:25

My first two daughters were born in hospital because we didn`t have running hot water, a bathroom, or even an inside toilet. My next daughter was going to be a home birth, as we`d moved into a brand new house by then, but just over a week before my due date, I was told at ante-natal clinic that because I was very anaemic, I`d need to be delivered in hospital, and have a blood transfusion before the birth. I was due on January 2nd, went into hospital on December 28th, she was born on New Years Day, and I`ve still not had that transfusion, more than 46 years later! My fourth baby, son number one, was going to be a home birth, a couple of weeks before, I was told that I was too anaemic and had to go into hospital. I refused, and he was delivered, safely, at home, and it was a much pleasanter experience, as was son number two as well. And the midwives in each case were wonderful.

mazgoli Tue 21-May-13 10:47:27

I would love to read this book, it sounds fascinating and Caroline Flint sounds inspirational. I've had six hospital births (in three different countries), had wonderful midwives every time, and I feel very lucky. I think that it's wonderful if you can give birth at home but it's not something that was ever offered to me. However it's not always the best place to be, my daughter had a baby 8 weeks ago and things did not go according to plan. I won't go into details but we have a beautiful baby grandson and, fortunately, a healthy daughter because she was in the right place.

Gorki Tue 21-May-13 11:42:11

I remember the midwife who attended my cousin in that dreadful winter of 1963. The baby arrived just before the midwife on January 21st when the snow was at its worst. The poor midwife somehow battled her way through and arrived just as dawn was breaking (the baby was given the name Dawn ) to do all the necessary. She continued to come every day for the next week and I remember her arriving once when my cousin was cooking cabbage. She asked for a glass of cabbage water for herself and suggested my cousin had some too. Uggh !

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 05-Jun-13 14:45:49

Congratulations to


who were pulled out of the hat and will each receive a signed copy of Caroline's book

An email on its way to you now

upsydaisy Wed 05-Jun-13 18:48:42

Aww thank you, I shall look forward to reading it. My grand-daughter who I referred to in the post, who was due on 21 May only just came into the world on Monday 3 June. She unfortunately had to be born by emergency caeserean as her head was presented forehead first? and was basically stuck. However she came out a healthy 8lb 12oz !! Mum and baby came home today.

Babs1952 Wed 05-Jun-13 20:27:12

Congratulations upsydaisy! So glad all is well nothing like a new baby in the family [ smile]
My own experience of child birth was lovely apart from a midwife who hated baby boys "they grow into men". She also took great pleasure in giving me a horrible injection. Sad person really. Never mind I had a son 1975 and a daughter 1977.

RockNanny Tue 11-Jun-13 23:42:05

Brilliant! I don't usually win stuff so this has made me really happy smile.

Congrats from me too upsydaisyflowers! That must've been a very anxious time for you and I'm relieved that all is well. My own granddaughter, due on 5th July, is in an engaged position now but in the posterier position (her back to my daughter's back). She has time to turn around yet and I really hope she does!

pinkprincess Wed 12-Jun-13 01:41:48

Both of my two sons were born by emergency ceasarian.

My older son owes his life to the midwifery tutor who came with two student midwives to do a teaching session on me when I was in labour.
It was 1969 and I was left alone for most of my labour-as it was then.The baby's head was not engaged and a doctor had just broken my waters to speed things up.
The tutor asked if the two students could palpate my abdomen, I cant remember what I said but it must have been yes.She pulled down the cover sheet, took one look at my tummy then listened to the baby's heart with a worried look on her face.She then shooed the girls out of the room and said something about getting a doctor to see me.I the saw that the shape of my ''bump'' had changed.The room was suddenly full of people who started prepping me for theatre fast.The midwifery tutor had immediatly seen that my baby had gone into transverse lie.They lifted me on to a trolley and ran all the way to theatre.I got put under GA and the next thing I knew I was on a ward and nurses were telling me that I had a baby boy.He had just been brought out in time as was in foetal distress, had an Apgar of 1 and needed resusitation to breathe.
The next labour my baby got stuck inside,again I was left alone in labour midwives came and went.A new doctor came on the morning shift, realised what had happened and got me to theatre again before my uterus ruptured along the previous scar.
I have two live sons out of all this, the younger one is the father of my five lovely grandchildren who could well have not been here
Sorry to give such a story.

I had trained as a midwife after my nurse training before I got married.But my experiences of childbirth put me off practising as a midwife.
I can remember the tutor midwife's name, as she was my tutor as well.She sadly died a few years ago.Lovely lady.Alife saver.

grannyactivist Wed 12-Jun-13 19:04:41

Like inishowen I had my second baby in a (probably the same) military hospital in Germany in 1976 (Rinteln?). I was in slow labour for three days and then she came very quickly at the end. I had no pain relief for any of my children and never had an episiotomy (pretty standard when my first was born in 1972). The first midwives thought I was very strange to not want pain relief and seemed to glory in telling me I'd soon be begging for it. (Wrong!) My later midwives were wonderfully encouraging and were happy to let me be the judge of what I needed.
I have now been present for for the births of two of my grandchildren and also for two other births. I am contemplating training as a Doula.