Mu­mand mid­wife a spe­cial bond

Sunday News - - FRONT PAGE -

Ihave to ad­mit, when Jacinda Ardern thanked her mid­wife Libby for mak­ing her mac and cheese, among other im­por­tant things, it gave me all the feels, as the kids would say.

It’s a strangely unique bond you form with your mid­wife.

Both times I gave birth, the (ex­pen­sive) pri­vate ob­ste­tri­cians I’d come to trust over the pre­vi­ous seven months, were away overseas on hol­i­day.

But Noreen, my mid­wife, was there through it all. She’s the one who told me be­fore any­one else could pos­si­bly have known, that my baby girl had red hair. Noreen never once grum­bled about mak­ing the trek out to our re­mote coastal house, mul­ti­ple times, to see that we were all OK.

But I only re­alised how strongly I felt about Noreen 15 years later, when I spot­ted a face that looked fa­mil­iar in the su­per­mar­ket.

For a brief sec­ond I had to think why I knew this per­son, and then I was lit­er­ally run­ning to her and pick­ing her up in a bear hug (she’s only a wee thing), em­bar­rass­ing my­self and prob­a­bly her as well with a large pub­lic show of af­fec­tion.

Noreen is re­tired from mid­wifery now, but was a rock of calm en­cour­age­ment and knowl­edge for hun­dreds (thou­sands?) of fam­i­lies. To me she is a saint.

Every time I see re­ports of the stress, in­ad­e­quate pay and poor con­di­tions that mid­wives tol­er­ate – al­beit in rapidly shrink­ing num­bers – I cringe and won­der why we per­sist in un­der valu­ing such a cru­cial job? Libby, Noreen and their col­leagues are worth their weight in gold to the new mums and dads they help.

Ardern’s mid­wife came to the res­cue with mac­a­roni and cheese af­ter a sleepless first night.

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