My name is Alex and I currently work as a Bereavement Midwife in a London hospital.
When I speak about my job, I think friends, family and the families I care for usually wonder why it is I do what I do.
It’s true, midwifery is usually the joyous and happy side of a hospital, however I care for bereaved parents on a daily basis. Every day, I wish my job didn’t exist. I wish I could take away the pain and grief my families feel on a daily basis.
My day to day usually involves a lot of emails and currently a lot of zoom calls. But my primary role is to support families who have lost a baby. I will meet them on the labour ward, support the midwives caring for them, and answer any questions parents may have about the process of labour, future investigations as to why this has happened, and funeral arrangements. It has been a big adjustment having to have such difficult and intense conversations with parents, especially as it is something as a parent you never expect to discuss – your baby’s funeral.
Another side to my job involves me being somewhat of a detective. I am the person behind the scenes looking into all the care you have received from the moment you have booked at our hospital, to the loss of your baby. I am searching for answers, reasons or issues that may have happened during the duration of your pregnancy and potentially led up to the loss of your baby.
Every baby I meet is beautiful. I meet your babies with you, and get to know them by your side. I support you to create memories and spend time together to cherish and love your baby. Your babies are never forgotten, and their names always stay with me.
The truth is, my job allows me to meet some of the most incredible, resilient and loving families. All families who have lost a baby, through a medical termination of pregnancy, a late fetal loss, a stillbirth or a neonatal death are some of the most courageous people I have ever met. And I think because of the nature of my job, I develop relationships with families I don’t think I would do otherwise. It has been an incredible privilege to care for these families during their darkest hour.
One of the most rewarding part of my job is supporting families throughout their grief and loss, seeing them slowly feel a little better each day, and having them call me sometime in the future announcing a new pregnancy, and saying they are ready to return to the hospital where they have lost their baby, because they still feel safe in our care.
Thank you for reading. Alex x