Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership - Women's stories

Carolyn’s story


After a text book pregnancy we slowly ticked overdue from our expected arrival date.

Raspberry tea was drunk, I walked and walked and the birthing ball was bounced on to no avail. I had been so determined to have a home birth, but things weren’t going my way! I had a lovely midwife, who suggested a sweep; we did so to find at 13 days over there was nothing going on! I began to have irregular contractions, which carried on for a couple of days. I was booked in for an induction (something I wasn’t overly happy about doing) for 15 days over. Much protesting from me got me a simple monitoring appointment earlier the same day, which I insisted upon and the heart rate was perfect.  However a scan showed that my baby had shown no growth for 3 weeks based on the chart data (tracking at a birth weight of 7 1/2lbs); and that as I was so overdue my placenta, which looked fine in the scan, could stop working at any time.  They quite forcefully recommended induction. I returned to the monitoring ward for another, incredibly painful, sweep. At this point they managed to get me to 1cm dilated so they could break my waters. This was the point where I felt the cascade of interventions I had read about really kick in.

I was moved onto labour ward at this point.  I have to say the midwife was absolutely brilliant. The first thing she did was go through my birth plan, looking at what we could achieve, given I had written it for a home birth. She was very reassuring and considerate with me recognising my distressed state. At no point did I feel under pressure about anything.  I had a cannula put in (something I was desperate to avoid, as I’m very needle phobic) and my waters were broken; a very uncomfortable experience that I wouldn’t want to repeat!  Half an hour later the drugs and fluids were started and the contractions began. They were hard and fast almost straight away.  I had plenty of gas and air!! About 3am, despite me drinking plenty I hadn’t pee’d, so I had a catheter fitted. About 5.30am I remember telling my Mum I couldn’t do this much longer as I was exhausted.  The midwife examined me at 6am and told me I was only 1.5cm dilated! We discussed my options at this point given how tired and upset I was. We discussed epidural and continuing the labour; or a c-section. I opted for the c-section, as I didn’t feel like I could carry on with the labour given how slow the progress had been so far.

The theatre staff were amazing, as I was scared of seeing the needles, let alone having them in my spine! They were all super reassuring and very friendly, putting me at ease and explaining everything they were doing as it happened. They talked through my requests of seeing her being taken out, delaying clamping as much as possible, not wiping the vernix and immediate skin to skin. The whole procedure was so fast I barely had time to register it happening, when suddenly they were dropping the screen and holding this huge beautiful girl up for me to see. Weighing in at 9lb1oz, it was safe to say she hadn’t stopped growing in there!! After quickly weighing her they brought her to me and placed her on my chest while they stitched me up.

The whole experience overall was a positive one, if not the birth I had imagined.  The staff were brilliant, caring and amazing. The midwife from the night before came up to see me in recovery that night and meet Megan. I would like to thank them all for what they did for me.          Carolyn



Clare’s story

From our first appointment at Lakeside surgery, Corby at 9 weeks, Gemma our midwife has been brilliant. She is wonderful at her job and we feel very fortunate to have had her with us along our journey. She has been so kind and caring in every way, not only towards myself and baby, but she was also brilliant with our 2 year old daughter. Our 2 year old absolutely loved seeing Gemma regularly, as Gemma always let her be involved and it was so lovely that she could be so included and enjoy the journey with us!  

We were also so incredibly lucky that Gemma was actually able deliver our baby girl, as we were part of the Eden team.  Gemma was amazing and made the experience so special. 

I genuinely feel sad that our time with Gemma has come to an end. However, we feel so very fortunate and lucky to have received such a wonderful experience and brilliant care all the way through.

We will forever be grateful for her!

Many thanks 


Northamptonshire Maternity Voices Partnership - Women's stories