Ann-Marie Kelly loves being godmother to babies she’s delivered
For a midwife, it is not just about delivering babies and providing pre- and post-natal care.
The nature of the job means that there are no 'off-duty' moments. Just ask Ann-Marie Kelly, a midwife with a little more than 12 years of experience. She will readily tell you that she hardly ever signs off for the day and has played the role of mother, godmother, prayer warrior and counseller for hundreds of her patients at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) in Kingston.
"Yuh know how much godchildren mi have? There is one particular mother who some will believe is my daughter. Sometimes after giving birth, a mother will say 'Nurse is your baby this eno'. I have offered countless prayers for my mothers and counselling sessions. You have to have a genuine love for people and be selfless when venturing into this career," she said.
Kelly said that she developed a love for the career after working as a receptionist at a health centre.
"I used to watch the nurses and the babies and I was in awe. I knew this was something I had to do and that was where my calling was so I pursued it and I have no regrets," she said
Kelly, who mostly works in the antenatal clinic at the VJH, has delivered more than 300 babies. She said that her job requires compassion and patience. This she said is essential for dealing with mothers who sometimes get boisterous during the labour process.
"I have to be the calm one and remember what I am about. I usually speak in a very soft tone and their voices will come down. There are times when we will have devotion first before we start our shifts. You have to have the love of God in your heart and have compassion," she said.
Also dear to her heart are her teenage mothers who she says she encounters each Thursday at antenatal clinic.
"I don't just offer prenatal care but encourage them to do something positive with their life. Sometimes they will see me afterwards on the street and remind me that I was the one who delivered their baby or offered care," she said.