Claire's story, posted 15/03/13
Claire McNaughton shares memories of her three magical Montrose births
Molly's Birth, posted 19/09/12
Katy Slessor had read that giving birth can be enjoyable - but didn't believe it until the day she and her husband Brian met their daughter Molly in the birthing pool at Montrose.
Joshua's Birth, posted 17/09/12
As her family moves from three to four, student midwife Emily Miscioscia toasts new life, natural births and Montrose midwives for supporting Joshua's home waterbirth.
Hannah's Birth, posted 15/07/12
Liz Thomson chose to travel from Aberdeen to Montrose because of the unit’s philosophy of care - but even then the experience of Hannah’s birth far exceeded expectations.
Murdoch's birth, posted 15/07/12
Kitt Mackenzie recounts the day his wife Sarah gave birth to baby Murdoch at Montrose where they found the "right blend of space, advice and support".
Lucas's birth, posted 11/08/11
Louise Wilson explains why she is grateful to the midwives at Montrose for their care before, during and after the birth of Lucas.
Joslyn's birth, posted 14/07/11
Having had a long and tiring labour with her son at Montrose Maternity, Sarah Clark thought about what worked well and what she would do differently second time round, including choosing to give birth at home.
Keir's birth, posted 13/05/11
Angela describes how a long latent phase of labour was followed by a speedy dilatation in the birthing pool and the happiest moment of her life as she held baby Keir for the first time.
Noah's birth, posted 4/01/11
Following a straightforward birth at Montrose, Lauren Smith developed complications which meant she had to transfer to Ninewells Hospital for urgent medical treatment. In spite of this she looks back on it as a positive experience, and is revelling in the bond she has with her son Noah.
Lottie's birth, posted 25/11/10
After just 12 days, Iain Hingston reflects on the birth of his daughter Lottie at Montrose from the perspective of a first-time father.
Ethan's birth, posted 11/10/10
Michelle Spink has had two children in the pool in Montrose in the past 2 years. This is her story of Ethan's birth, written just 10 days after his arrival.
Reuben's birth, posted 30/09/10
Judith MacDonald tells the story of the waterbirth of her 5th child Reuben.
Emma's birth, posted 26/05/10
After her experience with Emma, Janice Boggon would definitely recommend a waterbirth.
Hugh's birth, posted 31/01/10
Sally Mitchell gave birth to baby Hugh at home. Click here to read her story.
Vicki Cracknell, Montrose, posted 31/01/10
I was exactly 37 weeks into my pregnancy when my waters broke. I was a week into my maternity leave and at my 36 weeks check up two days previously I’d been told that the baby wasn’t even engaged. I was therefore looking forward to at least another 3 weeks of lying on the sofa and watching This Morning.
My booking in appointment had been in Laurencekirk but since then I’d had all my ante-natal care at Montrose. I couldn’t believe my luck that we had this place just down the road from us. Every time I went for an appointment I was made to feel welcome, the midwives were informal yet professional and made me feel confident about the birth of my baby. They made me see pregnancy and birth as a totally natural and positive experience, and not once did I feel like a patient. From the start I really felt that I was in control and that they were just there to join me on my journey, offer support if needed but not to take control. Antenatal appointments were always a pleasure; I used to look forward to them.
So my first thought when my waters broke at 1pm on 28th February was ‘thank goodness the baby had waited until 37 weeks because it meant I could have it at Montrose!’ I gave the unit a call and they said to drop in at about 9pm that evening so they could see how things were progressing. By about 5pm that afternoon I started to get some cramping and by 6pm I was hooked up to my TENs machine. For the next 2 hours I knelt on all fours and gently rocked my way through the contractions whilst watching the Six Nations rugby on TV. I had been going to the relaxation classes at the unit, and although I’d been a bit sceptical about the importance of controlling my breathing, I gave it a go… and what a difference it made!
By about half 8pm I decided that things were really starting to hurt down there and maybe we ought to head over to the unit. We arrived just before 9pm and as soon as we got there the midwife started to fill the pool up for me. I was amazed that there was no internal examination, no one ‘took over’. I felt I was in safe hands but that I was still in control. Once I got into the pool my body seemed to take over. My midwife didn’t need to tell me what to do, she just encouraged me to listen to my body and do what it was telling me. My beautiful little girl was born at four minutes past 10. It really was the best moment of my life so far!
My Montrose Maternity tale doesn’t end there though as the continued support I received post-natally was incredibly significant. We had to transfer to Ninewells the following day but were welcomed back to the unit 24 hours later so that I could make sure that we had established breastfeeding and to be shown how to bath the little one. Then 10 days later, when my baby was continuing to lose weight and I’d been advised to top her up with formula by the Health Visitor, I returned to Montrose again for some much need emotional and physical breastfeeding support. They were brilliant and if I hadn’t felt that I could turn to them I would have stopped breastfeeding there and then, something I desperately didn’t want to do. Within 24 hours, the guidance paid off and she started to put on weight at last.
Even 11 months later I’m regularly up at the unit to meet up with other mums, and I still know that if I have any questions or concerns the midwives would be there to help if they could or to send me in the right direction. Many of my friends who have not had the privilege to give birth in a midwife-led unit, let alone Montrose, can’t believe the service that I received. I count myself very lucky indeed!
Jade, Montrose, posted 03/08/08
On the 9th of July, I went into labour at 4 o’clock in the morning. I went into the Maternity at Montrose at about 08.30, as I just wanted checked and to make sure I definitely was in labour.
About an hour later, I went into the birthing pool, which was absolutely great for the pain. Both my mum and a student midwife were in the room with me, it was very relaxed and we even managed to have a laugh through my contractions. I was in labour quite a long time and had another two midwives look after me. I gave birth to baby Ethan at 10.30 at night. I had been in the pool throughout the entire labour, but ended up giving birth on the birthing stool.
I feel I had a very relaxed time thanks to the wonderful midwives at Montrose. I really couldn’t have hoped for a nicer birth or place to give birth. If I ever have another baby, I would definitely come back to Montrose for the wonderful experience.
Montrose, posted 01/05/08:
Before becoming pregnant, I had never known anyone who had given birth in Montrose, and didn’t really know much about the unit except that it had won awards and was highly praised by the local press. I just assumed that I would go to Ninewells, but I’m so glad I decided to have my baby in Montrose.
During the course of my pregnancy I met most of the midwifery team, which is a really positive aspect of the unit; it meant that when the time came, I knew I would be comfortable with whoever was present at my birth. I also found it reassuring to know that I could phone in at anytime for advice, particularly as this was my first pregnancy. Looking back now, I realise I asked some really silly questions, but was never made to feel like an inconvenience or that I was wasting anybody’s time.
The birth of my son went exactly as planned and was everything I wanted it to be – intimate and relaxed. Before meeting the midwives, one of my main worries about labour was being shouted at to push or not to push, but in Montrose I was encouraged to allow my body to dictate what happened. It was very calm in the room; the midwife spoke quietly and always asked before listening to my baby’s heartbeat, which was really the only thing that was monitored – I was left in peace, with no fussing, which I appreciated. I have heard a lot of women say that after giving birth you lose all dignity, but this is certainly not how I view my experience at Montrose.
My son is now nine weeks old and we are still benefiting from the excellent postnatal care at Montrose. I really wanted to breastfeed but struggled, and was on the verge of giving up twice. On both occasions people spent a great deal of time giving me one-to-one help and I now feel much more confident that I can continue. First time parenthood is such a steep learning curve and I really appreciate the fact that I can still ask the midwives for help and advice.
Having my son in Montrose has been such a positive experience, from pregnancy through to postnatal care. Although I have since moved away from Montrose, I will definitely return to have baby number two!