This is a lovely guest post from one of last year's Regional Winners (South and Midlands) in the Johnson's Baby Mum's Midwife of the Year Awards, Pauline Ellaway.
"I have been a Midwife for 28 years and a Community Midwife for most of that time. My inspiration for this career path came from my time accompanying a Community Midwife on her rounds as a 2nd year student Nurse. I was young, naïve and lacked the skills that she possessed. I was so impressed with her relationships with the families she looked after and her knowledge and wisdom. She was well respected by all of her colleagues and when we walked onto the labour ward she was greeted by the Midwives, Receptionists and Doctors – everyone seemed to know her. I remember times when looking back, emergency situations did obviously occur but she retained this calm, efficient, confident approach and always dealt with the situation. All I could do was follow and watch this wonderful Midwife at work. I look back and remember feeling, ‘I wish I could be like that, her role is awesome’.
Many years later my role is similar and I love my job. Meeting new mothers and their partners for the first time and building relationships that often continue throughout their subsequent pregnancies is so rewarding. Each mother is embarking on a journey that I am accompanying them on – Sometimes I am with her throughout the birth and this is such a special period for me. I treat my mothers and their partners as though they are my own family, with dignity, respect and love. The moment of birth is a time that a family remembers forever and if my presence can help to make a difference then I will obviously try to make that happen.
I am so fortunate to work in a lovely, small birthing unit miles away from the main busy maternity hospital. I work with a small team of likeminded Midwives who give high standards of care to mothers throughout their pregnancy, birth and following birth. We strive to achieve a gold standard of care and this is demonstrated through the accolades and feedback we receive from our grateful families and the local town of Wallingford. We have achieved ‘baby friendly status’ for the last 10 years which in many ways highlights our success in helping mothers to breastfeed their babies. More than 30% of our mothers who have babies in our unit know their midwife and more than 70% have just one midwife throughout labour. These statistics are why I love working in my little birthing environment.
The lovely Emily Townsend nominated me for the JOHNSON’S® Baby Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award in 2012 and asked me if I minded being nominated. I was so touched and humbled by the fact she would go out of her way to think of me – I cried! Even now writing this it is makes me emotional to think that someone feels I am so significant and special, it makes your job so worthwhile. Emily felt I went the extra mile by looking after her throughout her second pregnancy and being present at her birth, despite actually being officially on holiday at the time!
|Pauline Ellaway (right) with Emily who nominated her.|
I was informed I was a JOHNSON’S® Baby Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award South & Midlands regional winner when I was on my way home from work – I had to pull over in the car to take the call as I never expected to hear back from the awards! Receiving the news that I was a regional winner made me cry again, I couldn’t hold back the tears. It really acts as recognition that someone values you and your role.
The JOHNSON’S® Baby Mums’ Midwife of the Year Awards ceremony was awesome, two of my friends accompanied me and I am so grateful to them for coming to share my day. I felt a winner and I was a winner! It was the best award any midwife could ever want and I was so proud. Any mother who feels her midwife is special should make the time and vote for her, the feeling your midwife will get from a nomination like this will stay with her for the rest of her life – it’s her moment of glory!"