From my first appointment with Kim I knew I had made the right decision in choosing One to One. From the beginning I felt listened to and supported. This was my second baby and I had chosen to have a hospital birth due to having a difficult and long labour the first time. Because of this past experience I was naturally nervous, however Kim reassured me that it would not necessarily be this difficult again.

We also discussed how I could be empowered to make better choices about how I was looked after in the hospital environment. Also, because I was the ripe old age of 41, the hospital staff had concerns about me going overdue and wanted to induce labour at 40 weeks.

After some research I decided I did not want this to happen and because of One to One I was able to state my case clearly and reassure the hospital team that I would be monitored regularly at home in the weeks leading up to and beyond my due date and that I would not take unnecessary risks.

The antenatal care I received was excellent, Kim came to my work, my house and my mum’s house, and nothing was too much trouble. It was great not having to take time off work and go to health centres rather than hospital for the scans and the photos were free!

As my due date approached I was getting more anxious. Memories of my previous experience and the logistics of what I was going to do with my 2 year old while I could potentially be crawling on the floor sounding like a cow in agony (again!) was all getting a bit too much. Kim and I discussed a plan and although I was going to hospital to have my baby, she reassured me that she would come and see me before I went to avoid the dreaded scenario of being sent home for a bath and 2 paracetamol if I got to hospital too soon.

So, 5 days overdue and 2 sweeps later things started to happen. Calm and empowered I ‘hopped ‘ onto the gym ball, switched on the tens machine and did some very deep breathing, only to find 2 out of 4 pads were not working despite numerous rehearsals and reading of instructions. My contraction timer app informed me that things were happening more quickly but through all this I remained calm. Ironically I didn’t feel I needed to ring Kim, because of what we had discussed previously I knew what was happening and I knew I needed to go to hospital.

The journey to the hospital involved a lot of swearing and shouting at traffic lights and I was beyond listening to the well thought out playlist, let it go and circle of life just weren’t enough anymore! When I got to hospital I was reliably informed by the midwife that I had “the labour face”; I should think so as I was 8 centimetres dilated! I was able to save the cow impressions for the hospital, along with “get me into theatre I can’t do this” speech in between the groaning, but within 3 hours our beautiful little girl arrived weighing 8lb 15oz. Because I felt more prepared I was able to stay focused, I will never forget the tears of joy in my husband’s eyes when his little girl was handed to him. Of course it was painful but I wasn’t scared, I knew my body could do this, and if I needed help I had faith in those around me.

The care I received at Ormskirk hospital was excellent but I was glad to get home to be looked after by Kim again. It was great having the same person looking after me before and after my baby arrived, this really is gold standard care. I also saw Michelle from the MaMA service who gave me much needed support with breast feeding without unnecessary pressure.

I was sad to say goodbye to Kim and am so grateful for the care I had. I do not plan on having any more children but I tell everyone who is pregnant or wanting to be pregnant to access the One to One service. The experience of having consistent support from a caring and highly skilled midwife is invaluable.