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Saddened by an inevitable outcome

I hate being unable to stop something I see as inevitable, not least in a week when I read that a third of
women don’t feel they were treated with respect whilst birthing their child.
I’m all for allowing people to control their own destiny but I hate that I can’t help them when I can see them moving down a path which could lead towards an inevitable conclusion.
A friend of mine has recently given birth to a bouncing baby boy.
We had chatted about births, I mentioned that I’d had two homebirths and had the usual ‘oh I’m not brave enough to try for a homebirth’.
And yet I’d been hard pushed not to say how I wasn’t brave enough to have a hospital birth knowing what I did.
Which is not to say that, given all of our issues with Babygirl we hadn’t been scheduled for a hospital birth, just one where we’d gone in fully informed, empowered and aware – information gave us the ability to question, to challenge and to change what we were told was inevitable.
Hospital births around where I live tend to follow an almost inevitable plan.
Too much monitoring forcing women to labour lying on their backs, little encouragement to use active labour positions, machines and partners replacing trusted one on one midwife care, over stretched dedicated midwives trying to work an unreasonable caseload
And then the inevitable stalling of labour, shroud waving and serious interventions.
Yes, amongst mums I know around here, there is a 50% emergency c-section rate, another 30% have serious interventions.
I am one of two women I know who have had simple, calm, births that went more or less according to plan.
And yet all of them tell me they were lucky to be in hospital so that they and their baby were ‘saved’ by medical science.
Would these things have happened at home, attended by a midwife who’d had the time to get to know both mother and unborn baby – to have a relationship built with both that is invaluable during labour?
I consider myself lucky to have been empowered – to not have been in hospital where the ‘routine’ rupture of membranes would have killed Toddlergirl, where our emergency would have been accompanied by panic and shouting rather than something dealt with efficiency and calmness.
I’m glad I knew enough with Babygirl’s horrid pregnancy to push back on induction plans when they might not be appropriate, to work with the hospital midwives to find a way to minimise the medicalisation of a hospital birth*
Sadly for my friends that weren’t ‘brave enough’ for a home birth, they had what seems to me like the inevitable outcome – a healthy baby, a healthy mother but an emergency c-section that may not have needed to happen if they had had trusted, known midwifery care in a non medical environment.
If you are interested in supporting one midwife for one mother, please have a look at this site – I just wish that we could find a way that all women are given a positive experience of giving birth, be it at home, birth centre or hospital.
*if you are planning a hospital birth and want a more ‘normal’ birth, your hospital is likely to have recently appointed a consultant midwife for normality who is there to help you achieve this
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6 comments to Saddened by an inevitable outcome

  • Perfectly Happy Mum

    >It is quite interesting. When I gave birth to my 2 I didn't even want to consider home birth just because I was scared something might go wrong and we might not have enough time to get to hospital. I also wanted to know the sex before hand both time and now if I think of having a third (madness I know) I am thinking that I would like to consider home birth and not knowing the sex because in my mind it is one of the most natural thing women do everyday and I would love to experience it the "old fashion" way ie the way it was intended to be.
    I also believe that all the intrusion you get in hospital plus the fact that you are in unfamiliar surroundings complicate the process and I agree that it must lead to more difficult births as a result.

  • Mummy's Little Monkey

    >Wow, this has really made me think… I had the horrendous induction, hosp birth, emergency c-section just as you outlined. I thought my experience was extreme, so I was really shocked to hear so many almost identical stories afterwards. Now, because of the previous c-section, I feel even more trapped into a hospital birth for my second, due in a few weeks. Now I wish I'd had the confidence and reassurance to opt for a home birth first time around.

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >PHM – you see I was scared that if i went into hospital I would end up caught up in needing medical care that I might not need at home. And in any case at home I'd have good care and the ability to go into hospital if things went wrong, and it'd take about the same time to get there from home as it would to get involvement in hospital AND my husband wouldn't have to act as a midwife

    Mummy's Little Monkey – I'm so glad its made you think, that's all I wanted to do. I realise its late in the day now but there are resources about challenging subsequent c-sections – here is a great place to look http://www.homebirth.org.uk/vbac.htm

  • cartside

    >I'm one of those not "brave" enough for a homebirth – considered it before but in spite of intervention my experience at the local hospital was good. I had the same midwife throughout my labour, and she took my birth plan serious. The hospital has a track record of encouraging non medicalised birth, so I feel it's the best place for me.

    Still, I too almost ended up having an emergency c-section and I'm not sure if it would have been necessary. I later found NHS guidelines that indicate that at 3 hours of second stage, intervention is "done".

    So I'm still in two minds but at 39 weeks it's a bit daunting to bring up the topic at my next appointment. Interestingly, at no antenatal appointment have home birth or birth preferences been mentioned, or any offer of information on breast feeding been made.

  • Noble Savage

    >Fantastic post, nothing else to add to it, really! I admit, I get a bit irked when people trot out that 'Oh, you're so brave!' line. It feels very patronising and more like they're saying "Oh, you're so lucky it didn't all go horribly wrong. I went into hospital where it's nice and safe." Maybe that's just my PMT talking though… ;-)

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