5th January 2016
Four years ago I received my initial home birth visit from my health visitor. I have had a roller coaster of a journey from start to finish, and I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Penny Dougan and the Health Visiting team at Shirley Road, Birmingham, for the support and advice received.
I did not realise when Penny (shadowed by a student) turned up at my house two weeks after the birth of my daughter, just what an important role she would play in the next few years of my life. I had no idea what to expect from this visit and thought it to be just another NHS tick-box exercise. How wrong was I?!
Penny supported and guided me through the removal of a breast abscess following poor postnatal advice from midwives; she provided counsel and a shoulder to cry on when my father passed away and signposted me to further help; and was there on the day that my son came home from hospital following his week stay in the Special Care Baby Unit after contracting congenital pneumonia. Penny has been a pillar of strength for both me and my family.
I was viewed as a person, not just a carrier of a red book and I felt that every visit and every contact was 100% dedicated. Penny went beyond the call of duty on many occasions and I have so much to thank her for – I am not sure where I would be without her.
My son has had his two and a half year check now so all of the official visits are now complete, but I know that if I ever need her she will be there. Thank you Penny.