Back in 2016 one of our clients told us about an ‘exceptional’ midwife who’d been a fantastic support during her journey to parenthood. That midwife was Carrie Sirry, and we didn’t hesitate in tracking her down and pulling out all of the stops to entice her onto our team of instructors! A few years later, we’re so proud to have Carrie as a long-standing member of the crew, and had a great time hanging out with her and her eldest son in Christmassy Convent Garden for this interview…
What do you enjoy about midwifery?
I love the nurturing side of midwifery, taking care of people, empowering them and giving them confidence. I’ve been doing my job for 10 years now and I always look forward to going to work. Everyday is different which keeps it exciting. I am working on the labour ward at the moment and the role is so varied. From the births that require a bit of extra monitoring to those that involve the whole multidisciplinary team – they are all amazing in their own way.
What’s the best thing about teaching antenatal classes?
I especially enjoy the moments in the course when you can see a light switch going on for people, and you feel like you’re really contributing towards them having a positive journey. When I first started teaching I was quite nervous and spent a lot of time preparing for the classes, trying to make everything perfect but, as time went on, I fell into my groove and realised my role is to inspire people and pass on the key messages without overloading them with information. I learnt to make it fun and now we have a laugh in the classes which is great!
You have a 3 year old and a 2 year old – how do you fit work around family life?
I don’t feel like I’ve cracked it yet, and spend quite a lot of time trying not to feel guilty! I am really lucky that my husband (who’s an obstetrician) works in the same hospital as me so we can share childcare with our shifts – he works during the week and I cover shifts at the end of the week. I work part-time, but I was doing that before I had the kids. I salute anybody who works full time in midwifery – it’s extremely difficult!
Has being married to an obstetrician given you both a different perspective in your work?
I feel really lucky to work in the same profession as my husband. We mutually understand the challenges the job can bring and can be supportive of one another. I learn so much from talking things through with him. I know he appreciates the midwives more since seeing it from my perspective and he advises a lot of women to try hypnobirthing!
What inspired you to become a hypnobirthing instructor?
I saw my first hypnobirth when I was a student midwife and it was amazing! We walked into the room and the woman was completely in her zone. Nobody said anything, nobody introduced themselves, she was just standing over the bed and within 15 minutes of us being in there she had birthed her baby. She brought the baby up to her chest and we all introduced ourselves after that! There was no screaming and no drama, it was really calm and relaxed and I thought ‘Wow! How can this happen to some women and not others?’ Then I went on a mission to see what I could do to create that lovely, charming environment for my ladies.
Tell us about the other strings to your bow…
Since I first qualified as a midwife I’ve always been very interested in anything that could help me to provide extra care towards women. I took a course in yoga for maternity professionals and I’m also trained in complementary therapies for midwives. I started doing my training in 2014 but fell pregnant so I didn’t have a chance to practise what I learnt so I’m just now getting back into it. Very soon I’m going to be offering postnatal and pregnancy massage in people’s homes. Watch this space!