One month until our due date – so in something between 2 and 6 weeks I will have to have a baby
I’ve had enough trouble coming to terms with actually being pregnant and the fact I have stayed pregnant and that this appears to be a healthy, happy baby and to be honest I have mostly ignored the fact that at some point I’m going to have to labour and birth again
Part of this is hormones – I know I forgot a lot about how labour was in the 18 months between Bigger and Littler being born (I have a clear memory of spending my second labour repeating on a loop that I didn’t remember it HURTING this much) and, reading back over my pregnancy and labour notes, there is an awful lot that I just don’t remember about either child’s arrival
Another part of it is the fear of the unknown – not only do I not know when he will be born, I don’t know if this will be another super fast labour or if it will be totally different from the girls but most importantly I do know that the lovely midwife who supported us before will not be with us
What I do know is that, even if the midwife who is very supportive of homebirth is on shift when he starts coming, is that I am not sure I will be listened to
The community midwife visited us a few weeks back to check the house is ‘appropriate’ and ran us through a list of her views of what we cannot and can do. It felt like a list of rules rather than a discussion between adults and, when I tried to suggest that our views differed and we were making informed decisions, I was told we’d discuss it again, presumably in the hope that I will give in nearer the time?
So many of these things make me feel that I am not being listened to and that worries me about how I will be treated when labouring – will these women listen to me and respect my body and my baby or will they continue to try and ride roughshod over our views?
I can quickly think of three examples where I don’t feel listened to – I’m sure there will be others and that is what worries me
I am told I am not allowed to get in the bath or pool before they arrive just in case a midwife who can’t do a water delivery comes out but what about labouring in water? What about having the security of my own space? What if this is another fast arrival and water is the only pain relief I can access before they get here? What about that there is nothing to suggest that labouring in water is a bad thing if I want to do it?
I am told we must have vitamin K despite our wishes otherwise and our informed decision previously to not give this to our children and have found myself being gently but firmly encouraged to ‘just have the drops’ instead of our response that we don’t want them unless it is a traumatic birth being listened to – we haven’t pulled this decision out of nowhere, we have researched it and talked before deciding and it would be nice to know that when we make a decision it is viewed as such and not as something to be overcome
I’m told I must have anti-D after the baby arrives. Yes I have had it before, yes I am rhesus negative and Mr M is positive and if the baby is positive I might consider it EXCEPT our family is complete – we took 3 years and 4 miscarriages to have this miracle baby and we will not be having another child so, given any post birth injection is only to protect future pregnancies I will not be having it. End of. A response that has been greeted with a smile and an ‘oh go on you must have it just in case, it’s only a little injection’ – again ignoring my informed decision. Part of me worries that I will be unable to stand up to emotional blackmail or just injected without consent
All of which puts me in a difficult place when I try and think through having this baby – I want to know that I am supported by a midwife who I can trust but all of these little niggles suggest that our relationship is only based on me doing what she wants and not on her listening to what we may like to do differently
I hope it will be alright on the night, that I will be left alone to focus on my body and this baby, but I can’t say that I’m terribly hopeful and it is that which is really worrying me at the moment and I’m not sure how to solve this
All the lists and planning in the world are not going to make things better if I find myself having to fight just to be listened to and what happens if they won’t listen to me? How can I insist on being treated as a sentient, informed adult rather than a confused, ill informed child?