Mother nominates epilepsy specialist midwife for award
Clair Cobbold, 31, who was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy at the age of 19, had a bad experience when giving birth to her first child, Riley, now three and a half years old.
"The hospital saw me as a high-risk case and they over-medicalised my daughter's birth. They weren't familiar with epilepsy and gave me Clozabam when I was 9cm dilated which slowed down my labour. After 12 hours they rushed me into theatre to deliver Riley with forceps."
Clair and her husband, Rich, 30, were so traumatised by the birth that they were put off having another baby naturally and were looking into adoption.
It was then that the couple met Kim Morley, who works at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital as England's only epilepsy specialist midwife. Although Clair was not being cared for at the same hospital, Kim was able to advise and assist.
"I chatted to Kim. It was great, she let us both cry for the first time since the birth and gave us the hope that it could be different the second time around."
Clair met Kim two or three times after she became pregnant for the second time. Kim wrote the care plan and asked the hospital not to over-medicalise the delivery.
Clair said: "I felt like I could be treated like a normal woman. I had most of my labour at home and was able to relax. I felt in control of my care and like I had more choices. Kim had helped me to make more informed decisions about my own care."
Benjamin was born in October 2015 in what Clair calls a "really really positive birth experience".
It is for this fact that Clair decided to nominate Kim for the award:
"I had been trying to find a way to say thank you to Kim and this felt like the perfect way. I was so pleased that she was shortlisted because she doesn't realise how amazing she is. It's good for other women to see that help is available to them to give them the best chance of having a good birth."
Clair, Rich and baby Benjamin will be present to support Kim at the central London awards ceremony on 8 March.