Covid Chronicals – Rachel Priestley, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

10th April 2020


Today I asked a woman how her birth had been.  She told me she had no idea how to answer that question – she couldn’t see a full picture, and she repeated this to herself until she found a place to begin

She had been booked for an elective section which turned into an emergency section. As she spoke she broke down saying she didn’t know why she was crying, she had just desperately wanted to enjoy the birth, as she had done her pregnancy. 

And that was where she found her beginning. 

She and her partner have children from previous relationships and this is their third child together, and their first boy.  Things had been difficult at home during lockdown with her partner being irritable about every small thing. She understood this to be out of being unable to express his feelings around not being able to be there to support her at the birth, but also, things had been amazing. 

She had felt blessed as she watched her daughters find a friend in their father – and him develop a relationship impossible to achieve between work and bed time, and when recovering from the weekdays on the weekends.  

One day as she was leaving the house to attend an antenatal appointment – for which her husband was not allowed to attend, she broke down.  She thought about the possibility of something happening to her – and not being able to enjoy being with her baby.

She decided there and then to enjoy her pregnancy and birth as much as possible, just in case she wasn’t there afterwards.  She told me “I just don’t know how I’ve survived…I really don’t know how I’ve survived.” 

On the 8th of April she went into labour and found herself at the hospital without her husband, who had to be at home to look after their two girls.  She remembered now that as she entered the theatre, she felt as if she was surrounded by angelic beings, each of them there just for her. 

She said she forgot then that she was there alone without her husband, because she felt as if these people had always known her, and she realised “I am just as important as the baby in my womb, I am important too, I am important.”    

She told me she had never ever felt that way before.  She added “I will never worry about anything again. I haven’t got time for that. I have nothing to worry about.” 

Finally, smiling she said “it was a wonderful birth, it really was a wonderful birth.”


On behalf of BfN and all of the new mothers that you have supported – thank you Rachel!