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A day in the life of a Limerick Midwife

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(L-R) Midwife Valerie McInerney with her daughter Louise Kennedy in the Labour Ward of the Maternity Hospital, Limerick. Limerick Midwife.

As the sun begins to rise from the dark sky and glisten off the river Shannon, a new day is dawning on Limerick. Many are nestled in bed but the midwives of Limerick are up and about, already bringing new life into this new day.

My earliest childhood memory was of my mother in the front room of my grandmothers in Corbally studying to be a midwife. She would spend endless hours studying and as I grew up and matured as a person she advanced in her field of practice. Limerick Midwife.

Now, I’m studying at the University of Limerick while she is the Clinical Midwife Manager of the Labour ward in Limericks own maternity hospital.


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Her day starts by waking me up for college as she rushes out the door in a bid to find a good parking spot in one of the busiest maternities in the country. Limerick Midwife.

The Limerick maternity is unlike no other, catering for Clare, Tipperary, North Cork, North Kerry and our very own Limerick. Expectant mothers from near and far travel to this prestigious maternity, after all, it is a few of many maternities in the country to have a neo-natal unit.

She clocks in for work, has a quick coffee and distributes her staff to work in various sections all while I am slowly gaining the motivation to get out of bed.

Limerick midwife

Routine checks on machinery follow and the familiar phrase, ”hi love still no luck yet?” echo from room to room as each patient is closely monitored.

More Coffee ensues.

Pagers beep as deliveries begin and my mother teaches the student nurses and helps in any difficult deliveries that may occur.

If they’re lucky, an emergency bleep will be avoided today. Something my mother talks about grimly. If an emergency bleep occurs it means a situation is so serious that life is in danger and immediate action must be taken.

Rush hour seems to have calmed and the screams of babies fill rooms as tears of joy are produced. Friends, family, and partners arrive as my mother leads them to their loved one’s rooms.

Exhausted mothers are heard on the phone demanding a snack box from Chicken Hut off their visitors when they come, as my mother performs a ‘prick test’ to ensure the babies blood flow is normal.

 

My mother has time for a quick bite to eat as I am in my second lecture of the day.

The rest of the day runs smoothly for my mother, the general chit-chat with colleagues and patients, the taking of pictures of newly mother and child, and if she’s lucky she might squeeze in a phone call home to check in on her own children.

The day draws to a close as she hands over all duties and obligations to the night shift manager and gains a new set of duties and obligations at home.

The sun sets as she drives over Sarsfield’s bridge on her way home and the lights of the city begin to glisten through the windscreen.

She arrives home greeted by her four children and husband patiently awaiting her arrival.

The remainder of the day is spent caring for her children at home and catching up on the latest Coronation Street in the sky planner.

The sight of her bed is satisfying as she cherishes every moment of sleep for no-one can ever be certain what tomorrow will bring.

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Louise Kennedy.

Read more about the Maternity Hospital Limerick here.

Follow the Maternity Hospital Limerick on Twitter here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.