Jane’s Journey: Continuity of carer patient story

I am a mum of two girls. My first child is five years old and was born on the main labour ward at Heartlands. This delivery went well and all was as it should be.

I originally wanted to give birth in the midwifery-led Willow Suite as I wanted to use the birthing pool – not so much for the delivery but for the run up to delivery.

I was told then that as a Jehovah’s Witness and therefore classed as high risk, I was not allowed to give birth there due to there being no doctors around if there was an issue about blood.

I didn’t think any more about this at the time as I wanted the best care for my baby and myself.

This time I was pregnant, I was assigned my midwife. She asked me about my previous birth and how it went and I told her my circumstances, in that I would have liked to use the birthing pool but couldn’t.

She was incredibly supportive and explained my options to me. She put the Willow Suite down as my preferred place to give birth and, because my first birth had been fine, she couldn’t see a problem with me using it this time.

At my 34-week check up at the Willow Suite I spoke another midwife who told me that they were happy for me to go there but I first needed the go ahead from my consultant. Unfortunately my consultant said she didn’t want me to use the Willow Suite because I was at risk.

I reported this back to the staff on the suite and, because I was tired and quite emotional during the end of my pregnancy, led to me getting quite upset.

I told them I didn’t want to cause any issues but they said they would speak to the Consultant midwife about me. A week later, I had another check up with my assigned midwife, who I told I couldn’t use the Willow Suite.

The relationship I had with her was brilliant, we got on really well, and she knew how much I wanted to use the Willow Suite. So she got in touch with the appropriate people and that day I had a call from the Consultant Midwife who said I could use the birthing suite after all. I was very pleased with this and the support I had from my assigned midwife really helped.
On the day of the labour, I arrived on the Willow Suite and was very pleased to find there was one room available and it was the one with the birthing pool! After examination they said I was all set to stay there to have my baby and I got to use the birthing pool as I wanted.

I felt the whole experience of using the Willow Suite so much nicer. The staff were so lovely and I felt the care and attention given to us was amazing!

The midwives who helped me that night were amazing and I can’t thank these ladies enough for all their help. I felt like they were so caring and were there exactly when needed! Myself and my husband would highly recommend the Willow Suite. I can’t say that giving birth is a nice experience, and don’t believe any woman can say that! I felt that getting to use the Willow Suite in the end made my experience so much nicer and calmer!

I felt so comfortable talking to my assigned midwife about my options and we really built up a good rapport with each other.