I would love to give thanks to the most wonderful midwife, Paula Maguire of Barnsley Hospital. Paula is also known for starting the ice bucket challenge in the UK and the Pride of Britain ITV fundraiser 2015. I had a horrendous experience with my first born and was determined to have a positive birth experience the second time around.

I had a water birth and from the moment I entered the pool room I instantly felt calm and empowered thanks to Paula’s warm but strong personality. I got in the pool and Paula let me birth on my own as she sat on the side, checking me every so often but giving me words of encouragement. She made me feel calm and like I was invincible. My husband isn’t a man of many words so he supported me by sitting at the side of the pool, holding my hand. Paula respected our space but encouraged me. I was allowed to push my beautiful baby girl into the water and pull her up and into the world. Paula told me I was amazing and thanks to her not only did I feel it but I believed it. We didn’t name our daughter straight away as we wanted our little boy to choose her name. Paula thought this was lovely and asked us to leave her a note once he had arrived so she could know our baby’s name. After I got out of the pool, Paula made sure I was well and gave me time to adjust to my newborn. She aided my breastfeeding and helped us get off to a positive start. She told me my daughter and I fit perfectly together and that I should be proud of what I had achieved. She told me she was proud of me and she really meant it. Thank you Paula, you helped me have a wonderful birth experience where I felt strong, empowered and calm.