"Giving Birth"

About: University Hospital (Coventry) / Maternity

(as the patient),

I would like to make very quick mention of my disappointment not to be offered the opportunity to use the new Lucina suite. It seems to me the criteria are ridiculously impossible and exclude the majority. It is a waste of the facility if no one is eligible to use it and I think it would be worth reconsidering the criteria or at least assessing on a case-by-case basis rather than tick-box.

The main reason I wanted to write though was to express my sincere gratitude to Paula who delivered my baby and to let you know that, in my eyes, she truly is a legend.

When I gave birth to my daughter, a few years ago, the midwife was absorbed with watching the heart monitor and I had a consultant at the 'business end' who didn't really interact with me in any way. I was vomiting for 7 hrs before being given anti-sickness and became exhausted and dehydrated. In the end my daughter got into distress when it was time to push and I was wheeled in for an emergency c-section under GA. The experience traumatised me and I've felt guilt, failure and fear of doing it again ever since. The most upsetting thing for me is that I missed my daughter's first moments.

Last Sunday I had a similar labour with my second daughter, very vomitus. After the first time I was sick I began to feel petrified of what was about to come. I was panicking and this obviously didn't help the situation and hindered my ability to breath through contractions.

Paula breezed into the delivery room and turned everything around. From the off she was reassuring, kind and professional. She has the medical expertise as well as charisma, empathy and passion. She offered sympathetic reassurance to calm me down and took a no-nonsense approach when I needed to buck my ideas up, there were even comedy moments! Most importantly she understood how much I wanted to give birth normally and fought my corner to do so when the baby got into difficulty and C-section became a possibility.

Despite the department clearly being busy and under-resourced Paula couldn't have done more for us. She was obviously in demand but made sure we were looked after before rushing to her next commitment and even checked on us later. We were so well looked after, we weren't made to feel rushed in and out, and my experience this time was completely contrary to my previous experience. It is thanks to Paula that I was there for my daughter's first precious moments and instead of feeling upset I feel proud.

Everyone we encountered that night was professional and friendly but to Paula specifically I just want to say - THANK YOU.

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