I have been a midwife for over 10 years now and never experienced a time like this in my career.
The hardest part I would say for us as midwives is the no partner allowed rule. At our hospital partners are only allowed during active labour and in theatre for c sections. It breaks our hearts that partners cannot be there for the scans as we know how precious those moments are… And worrying! They cannot be there if the woman attends in pregnancy after a bleed or with reduced fetal movements and we know what a scary and worrying time that can be for everyone involved. We have to wave the new daddies off sometimes only an hour after meeting their newborn child and watching them go with tears in their eyes absolutely kills us as its just not what the whole experience should be like and having something as simple as this taken away makes us realise how precious it really is!
We cannot wait for this part of this whole nightmare to be eased off and hopefully partners will be allowed back soon to support their wives and gfs and be part of the whole experience again.
The other main difficulty for us is wearing ppe. Not only due to the personal discomfort of it because trust me 12 hours in ppe is not pleasant at all! It’s exhausting. We are all hot, extremely tired and experiencing lots of other symptoms probably due to dehydration…. But also the impersonal factor to it all. My patients can’t see who I really am. They can’t see the reassuring smile or face of joy when they meet their baby for the first time. They can’t see the empathy we feel with every contraction. We just hope that each of our women know that it still all exists behind the mask.
Staffing is short as we have lost some of our colleagues due to Pregnancy and/or shielding! But the teamwork within our department is absolutley immense! I am so so proud to be a part of the amazing maternity team at glan clwyd hospital. Some days we can be extremely busy and short staffed but everyone pulls together and helps each other out. It really has brought us altogether and makes coming to work so much easier. One of my amazing colleagues is baking cakes every single shift she works to raise money so that we can all have a post covid party…. Great excuse to enjoy cake every week! And the generosity from local restaurants and companies has been amazing delivering food and treats to keep staff going through tough shifts!
I guess all we want our women to know is that despite this scary and difficult time for them during a time in their lives which should be full of joy and excitement just know that we are there for you. We will hold your hand where your partner can’t and sit and chat with you in the middle of the night when your being induced and things are tough. We will be there for you through it all….. And hope this madness is over soon ♥
Wow, thank you so much Jenni, for sharing your experience about being a midwife during Covid-19. What an amazing story. If you have a story you would like to share about giving birth during Covid-19 or would like to book a session, please get in touch here