New mums have been thanking midwives at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust for their care and support as they share their memories of giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tomorrow (5 May) is International Day of the Midwife and women from across north and west Cumbria have been thanking maternity teams for the care they received from Maternity Services.

Baby Rory.jpegEmma Penrice, of Workington, said: “Myself, and my other half, Jonathan Williams, would like to thank all the midwives and the team who helped bring baby Rory Williams into the world on 17 April 2021 at the West Cumberland Hospital. 

“For the majority of my care I saw midwife Sarah Hargreaves, both in the community and on the labour ward. It was lovely to have a familiar face helping me through especially at the end when I felt all my energy was depleted.

“Sarah respected how I wanted to give birth and also helped my partner through it all as well. 

“We ended up staying in hospital with our new son, Rory, as he needed antibiotics. All the staff have been so helpful in our aftercare.

Eilis Lightfoot and Daniel Spires welcomed their baby girl to the world on Christmas Day 2020.

Eilis said: “Our baby Niah Spires was born on Christmas day 2020 at the West Cumberland Hospital. I cannot thank the team that looked after us enough. Hannah Pullin, our midwife, was absolutely amazing through the whole experience!

“It was a very quick labour, arriving at hospital at 12.30 and having Niah at 2.30 but I was always reassured and everything was amazing on the day!

“As it was Christmas Day, it felt extra special and the staff definitely made it feel that way too. It was a pleasure to have my baby at West Cumberland Hospital.”

Lucy Fitzsimmons and Danny Gee became the proud parents of baby Mariel Gee on 20 December 2020.

Lucy said: “The care we received before, during and after giving birth to our baby girl was remarkable. 

“I would especially like to thank Hannah McGarry. Hannah was absolutely fantastic and gave me so much support whilst I was in labour. I had some complications afterwards, which was pretty scary but Hannah remained calm and professional throughout. 

“All the midwives, doctors and nurses were so kind and caring - I felt very well looked after during my three night stay in hospital. Thank you so much West Cumberland Hospital.”

Rachel Bryant and Craig Graham became the proud parents of twins – Max Joseph and Ember Star at the West Cumberland Hospital on 26 January,Twins Max Joseph and Ember Star.jpg 2021.

Rachel said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to all the midwives, particularly Sarah and Diane; Alex for support breastfeeding and Fiona for all the baby cuddles when I needed to sleep and shower!

“Also a huge thanks to the community midwives who, despite wearing heaps of PPE, managed to make me feel very personally cared for, particularly Keeley, who helped me tell the other half it was twins when he didn't believe me!

“They are a great team of ladies working their socks off through some difficult times. Thank you all.”

Baby Freddie-James.jpgKyra Haughan and Adam Carr are now the proud parents of Freddie-James. He was born at the Cumberland Infirmary on 11 April 2020 at 10.48pm.

Kyra’s sister, Phoebe Haughan, was present at the birth as Adam was shielding due to Covid-19.

Kyra said: “I would like to say the biggest thank you to the maternity ward and delivery. Firstly, for many trips in the last few weeks of pregnancy to maternity.

“The midwives and health care assistants were brilliant, friendly and so understanding of the stresses of being pregnant in a pandemic.

“A special thank you to Jane who went above and beyond to help me while I was struggling with anxiety and secondly, to all on delivery who helped me while I was in labour. Nothing was too much trouble and they were so attentive. A huge thank you to Hannah Wallbank who delivered Freddie-James. He sneaked up on us but you kept me so calm and relaxed. “At the end of your shift you came in to see me to say bye and you leant over Freddie’s crib and said: “I hope you have a lovely life little Freddie.” You really were wonderful.”

Mum Charlotte Blain said: “I have had two babies in Carlisle after two very different deliveries. My last labour was in October so in the swing of the COVID craziness. I came in alone as my husband was working and came separately and I was told “We’re here, we’ll care for you, you will be great“ and in the swing of labour I was reassured and told  “you’re doing amazing” and just made to feel “I could do it”.

“To perform this role anytime is staggering, but to do it during COVID - and all of the extra pressure of that - is a huge achievement and the midwives have dealt with the unknown with such professionalism.”

“My message to them is: “Be proud of yourselves because on the day I became a mum twice was life changing and the midwives that supported me to do that were intertwined in the fabric of that whole experience.. so I absolutely salute you on the International Day of the Midwife, you deserve all of the recognition that day brings and I just cannot thank you all for being superheroes which in the main wear blue!”

Sarah Scott gave birth to her daughter, Ruby, in March at the Cumberland Infirmary. She wrote to the staff to thank them. In her letter she said: “I cannot put into words how exemplary the three midwives, Lynn, Sam and Chris were throughout my stay. I wholeheartedly believe that this being one of the best and most positive experiences in my life is down to these three midwives.

“The hospital should be proud to have such amazing colleagues working on the maternity unit, doing the most incredible jobs with the greatest of compassion and professionalism. They are all an absolute credit to NCIC and the midwifery profession.”

Mabel Welch.jpgMum Jessica Welch said: “I delivered my little girl Mabel on the 27th of April 2020 at the Cumberland Infirmary, during the height of the first lockdown. My little girl is now one and I still think back fondly of how brilliant my care was despite the carnage that was unfolding in the world outside.

“Our care was faultless by my midwife Sam, she reassured me, helped ensure my baby was delivered safely and made my labour experience truly brilliant. There aren’t enough words to thank Sam for all the care she provided to me during my swift labour, but I hope she knows how fabulous she is!”

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