Every year on May 5th we celebrate the International Day of the Midwife.  This year’s theme is “Midwives leading the way with quality care”. Last year, we reached out to the families of Headwater Hills for Love Letters from their Little Ones to their midwives, and the response was overwhelming.  We loved these letters so much that we reached out again this past week and have received the most beautiful stories and photos.

To the entire team at Midwives of Headwater Hills:  Linda, Stephanie, Emilia, Melissa, Alina, Maurning, Jen and their student Kelly.  Thank you for being true leaders in quality care for the families of our community.

Dear Emilia, Kelly and Melissa,

Mommy and Daddy tell me how wonderful you were to us during mommy’s pregnancy and my birth. Mommy was scared she couldn’t do it because of her own fears but I remember hearing Emilia’s reassuring voice and words of encouragement to mommy as I started to enter into this world.

Mommy and Daddy say there are no words to describe how grateful they are for you ladies. I too would like to thank everyone for the love and support. I am a very happy and thriving baby, which is a direct result of the excellent care both mommy and I received through our loving and generous midwives.

Forever grateful,
​Baby Kensley Maiato
Mom & Dad: Jessica & Bryan Maiato
Born at home
7lbs11oz 01/10/2018 with Emilia & Kelly

To our midwife team:  Alina, Linda, Stephanie & Kelly,

​Mommy and Daddy went in to an ultrasound to find out my gender, and instead they were told what no parent wants to hear, that something is wrong with their baby. From the minute Mommy called you, someone from your team was on the phone comforting and educating her. You ladies provided Mommy and Daddy with contacts and resources to get testing and talk to specialists. Even though Mommy and Daddy were terrified, they felt confident and comforted by your kindness, expertise, and helpfulness to find answers. You were there for every phone call, every piece of paperwork, and to follow up with every downtown appointment. It’s because of your care that Mommy and Daddy were able to find out about my condition way before most people in our position have. 

You’ve given our family resources, connections, and knowledge to prepare ourselves for what was to come once I arrived. And now, here I am.. living, loving, growing, and thriving at Sick Kids with no other health issues …just waiting to grow so I can have a procedure and come home.
Thank you team for being so supportive, thorough, informative, caring, concerned, and just all around amazing to me, my Mommy and Daddy.

I can’t wait to meet you soon!
Love, Adam

P.S. Jen is amazing too (the Administrator), she dealt with all of Mommy’s phone calls and all the requests for paperwork and updates!

Dear Alina and Kelly,

Guess what? I can write now! (…just kidding, Daddy is typing). Thank you for helping to make sure I was growing perfectly and for bringing me earth side. You mean so much to my parents and I. You always made my parents feel at ease and positive, so now I’m a happy and peaceful baby too.

Thank you for helping to bring me into this world calmly and confidently in the comfort of my parents house. Thank you for trusting us and being so gentle in how you treated both my parents and I. We’re so proud of our birth story. Every time I meet another baby, they can’t believe how lovely my birth was. Thanks to you, I’ve become quite popular. 
​You are very special and will always hold a treasured place in our families hearts. I hope you can visit us again soon. Mommy says you’ll be the first to know when my baby brother or sister is coming. 

Friends Forever,
Baby Savy

Dear Stephanie, Kelly, Linda & Alina,

Thank you so much for all the support you gave to my mom and dad when I was born. I admit it, I did not make life easy for my mom!

When I did not want to come out, you were there to support us when she had an unplanned c-section. I could tell that both my mom and dad were very scared and disappointed. You were there to keep my mom calm when she had the spinal block, which she was terrified of, and you made sure my dad could do skin-on-skin with me before my mom made it to the recovery room. Afterwards you were available to talk about my birth to reassure my mom that the c-section was the best option. I think she would have had an even harder time accepting the way I was born if it weren’t for you! 

My mom is pretty stubborn and doesn’t like to slow down so thank you for convincing her to go to the hospital when she had an infection after the c-section. I could tell that she did not think that she needed to go but was happy that she did. Also, I am so thankful that you came to visit me at home. My mom and I were having a hard time with the whole breastfeeding thing. I was really hungry, and my mom was really sore, but you were able to coach us through that rough patch until we both breastfed like pros!

​Love Noah

To Stephanie and Alina,

I wanted to write this letter to thank the two amazing women that helped my mommy. She really doesn’t like doctors offices but with your visits she always felt happy which made me happy! Thank you for the support you gave her to bring me into the world. You both will always have my love for taking the time and being so patient with not only my mommy but me as well. 

There will never be enough ‘thank yous’ in the world that I could give. I leave both of you with this quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

​Love, Cosmo

Dear Melissa,

Thank you so much for helping my mommy enjoy the first moments of my life. Thank you for helping reassure her that birth is not scary, but beautiful. Thank you for letting her hear my heartbeat. Thank you for answering all of her crazy “ first time mommy “ questions and for reassuring her that the decisions she made for me were the right ones. Thank you for sharing stories of your own children with her, as it has given her strength and hope. Thank you for always taking the time to genuinely ask how we were doing when I was camped out in her belly. Thank you for answering her postpartum phone calls when she was crying. Thank you for making extra long wintery trips to check on us. Thank you Thank you Thank you for helping mommy get through day three. 

Thank you for helping her get over that “ day three “ hump and for pushing her to continue breastfeeding. Thank you for being a part of my first bond with mommy and for taking the time to include daddy. Most importantly, thank you for safely bringing me into this great big scary world, and for reassuring mommy and I that there are still some pretty amazing people out there. Thank you for being one of my very first friends. Today is your day, and we celebrate you. With gratitude and love.

Love always,
​Little miss Aubrey, Brandi & Brent

Dear Linda & Melissa,

Mom gushes to everyone about how much you made her pregnancy, and delivery’s the most empowering moments of her life. Apparently in addition to getting us (best gifts EVER), she gained the knowledge and confidence to birth us the way she dreamed. Jack even got to be born into a pool!!!
Melissa, thank you for always going above and beyond to educate clueless mommies like mine. You taught her so much, and pushed her to not only make choices for herself, but make educated, informed choices. Every night, mom reads us books on famous feminists. We strongly believe that you have a place in those books. 

Linda. You were the person that first welcomed us both into the world. Naturally, we are both obsessed with you; even with your cold hands. ​ Mom always says that you were the rock that held her together (apparently being pregnant is hard?). She would go into appointments spiralling out of control, and you would calm her down in a matter of seconds. During labour, mom said that you made her feel relaxed, yet powerful. I’ve even been told you made her laugh while in active labour! 

Our family is eternally grateful for the sacrifices you have made to live and breathe for your passion “with woman”.

Thank you to the entire Midwives of Headwaters team!

​Love, Willie & Jack

Dear Midwives,

Please consider keeping this letter in a place where you can re-read it whenever you need some extra reassurance. Little ones like me are so thankful for angels like you!

My mama was nervous.
You should have felt the anxiety she had as she counted down the days until I reached my 10-week “gestational” birthday and she was [finally] able to meet you! Your smiling faces warmly welcomed her.
Thank you.

My mama was nervous.
Was my heartbeat going to stop? She and Daddy anxiously checked in on me with their Doppler at home. At each visit you reassured her.
Thank you.

My mama was nervous.
At my 20-week ultrasound I wouldn’t open my hands for daddy and her to see all my fingers. The doctor wanted to peak in at me again in a few weeks. You comforted my worried parents until I cooperated at my next appointment.
Thank you.

My mama was nervous. Her tummy didn’t seem to be getting very big and I didn’t like to move much back then [boy have I changed]! You measured her tummy and explained to her that I was hiding behind my placenta. I was growing happily and right on schedule!
Thank you.

My mama was nervous.
And boy was she full of questions! You never made her feel rushed. Or silly.
Thank you.

My mama was nervous.
She didn’t want to use any medications but was scared to have me at home. You made a plan to use the bathtub at the hospital until I was ready to make my grand entrance!
Thank you.

My mama was nervous. And so was my daddy. But you weren’t. You never were. You believed in my strong mama!
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

With your help, my nervous mama and daddy were able to give me the best start in life. All three of us are forever grateful for you.

Lots of love, Vincenzo Spremulli

Dear Emilia, Linda, Kelly and Alina,

Even before I was born, my mommy tells me that you walked with her through all the ups and downs of my baby brother and I being in her tummy. My daddy and her were both nervous once they knew I was going to come into this world, since I was their first, and any time they got worried you were the gentle kind voice that reassured them that everything was going to be okay. I really enjoyed the warmth and the calm sounds in my mommy’s tummy and didn’t want to come out on my own. But Emilia stood beside mommy when she was induced and supported her through labor.
My brother Jack came into the world with the support of Linda and Kelly. And he was a BIG boy. There were times mommy tells me that she was so tired she didn’t think she could go on, until hearing the voices of Linda and Kelly to get her through it.

Both my brother and I developed jaundice and it was really scary for mom and dad. But the midwives visited the hospital, visited our home and even came in when the office was closed just to make sure that we were okay.

Thank you for taking care of my mommy, my brother and I (and my daddy too). We are so blessed that we were all able to come home and into this world safely. It is all because of you my parents tell us.

Mommy and Daddy tell us that we won’t get to visit your office any more because two kids are enough for our family. But they say no matter what, you will always have a special place in all our hearts, one that even words in this letter can not describe.

Thank you.
Ava and Jack Squire-Smith

Dear midwives,

It has been almost four months since I came earth side, and I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you!

Thank you for supporting my mom and her choices during both pregnancy and birth.
Thank you for supporting and assisting my home birth.
Thank you for knowing that my mother’s body can birth me naturally and healthfully.
Thank you for answering all of my parents questions without judgement.
Thank you for checking in on me every month to ensure I was growing into a proper potato.
Thank you for checking in on all of us after my birth to make sure we were all ok and I was getting fed.

You guys are awesome!
Love Theo Kovas ‘Potato’ Petrauskas

Thank you to the wonderful families of Headwater Hills for generously sharing your stories and your beautiful photos!