A mum has seen the worst and best of times – first losing her beloved grandfather to Coronavirus and then having a baby in the midst of the pandemic.
Hayley Thomas from Swansea has paid tribute to the midwives and staff at Singleton Hospital who helped her bring son Nolan into the world.
Baby Nolan with big sisters Esmie (left) and Lyra.
With her parents and oldest daughter all self-isolating and her partner looking after their youngest daughter, Hayley found herself in the unexpected position of going into hospital alone.
But she wasn’t really alone as the Singleton team supported her from the moment she arrived until she returned home the following day.
“First and foremost I was fortunate enough to have Michelle Hirst as my community midwife on my last baby,” said Hayley. “She is a wonderful lady and is utterly fantastic at her job.
“Over recent weeks during the pandemic I have been affected by the death of my grandfather Cyril Jones, who was aged 92, due to COVID-19.
“Following on from this my father then subsequently received a positive diagnosis.
“During such uncertain and difficult times, Michelle has been no end of support and I honestly cannot thank her enough.”
Hayley is mum to two daughters. The oldest, aged 10, was staying with her parents so had to self-isolate with them. The youngest, aged 19 months was at the family home in Morriston, as was Hayley’s partner.
“When my waters broke my mum couldn’t go with me because she was self-isolating too, and my partner had to stay home with our daughter.
“I got a lift to Singleton but I had to go inside on my own. It was just me and the midwives. It’s not how I imagined it would go.
“I wasn’t due for another two weeks and I had thought my mother would be with me but it wasn’t to be.
“They were concerned about the baby’s position so I was there all day.
“I had Nolan a minute after midnight the next day, which was April 15th – the day of my grandfather’s funeral.
“He was a true gentleman with a heart of gold and we will all miss him dearly.”
Right: a photo of Cyril with his wife Vilma (known as Mims), who is in a care home. Cyril passed away the day after their 70th anniversary
Nolan arrived weighing 6lb 7oz. He and Hayley went home at 6am that morning and both are doing really well.
Hayley had special thanks for another midwife, Ellie Brown, who visited her at home and provided support and reassurance about going into hospital with no birthing partner.
“When I arrived at Singleton I met several supportive midwives. I was so impressed with the cleanliness on Ward 19, the professionalism and safety set up.”
Hayley was supported throughout the day by Rhian Love, Katie Davies and Eleanor Taylor. She said she was so grateful for their professionalism and support.
“When the time came for me to deliver my baby. I was supported by Emily Perkins who I just say has impressed me massively.
“Emily was so relaxed, caring and professional whilst also being so confident that this really allowed me to be at ease.
“I thanked her so many times during the birth of my son and she took it all in her stride.
“However I don't think Emily is aware of what contribution she made to the most positive and empowering experience of my life and I will genuinely be forever grateful.
“Thank you to all ladies for providing such high quality care through such difficult times, I cannot thank you enough.”