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The background & why I stopped blogging – part 1

It is hard to know where to start really if I’m going to go back and explain all the things that have happened, to explain the background actions that have sapped my voice and my ability to write

The wrong approach is probably to just jump in but in the absence of a better plan that is what I am going to do – hopefully it will all come together or at least create the bones of something I can use to build a proper explanation

I did write a little about it last year but I’m going to start at the beginning and lay out the whole ghastly story here in one place

Last January Littlest was born at home – born without anyone being with us – that bit wasn’t planned but had come about after one of the midwives who had attended us but had acted so unprofessionally my stop/start labour had stalled within 10 minutes of her walking in the door.

When I say unprofessional what I mean is that she (I’m going to call her Midwife One) got nose to nose with me and screamed at me right in my face.  She was asked to stop, had it explained why we were making the informed choices we were making and she came back again, got right close to me and screamed at me again and made me cry.  Again she was asked to stop at which point she threatened to leave us alone, without care, unless I changed my informed position.  At this point, in tears, I left the room, curled up in our bed and sobbed.  I was so upset my labour had stopped and I felt panicked and bullied.

She had only been in the house 10 minutes and had managed to have a devastating impact.

What we didn’t realise at the time was how much further her impact would be

After we had all agreed that my labour had stopped, the midwives had agreed a follow up care plan and had left us alone, I had breakfast with my family – my parents took the girls away for the day and I curled up on the sofa to snooze.

Some time later, after our groceries had been delivered and we’d agreed to go back to bed and recuperate from the excitement my labour kicked off.  As with the girls it went from something to nothing in next to no time and 30 minutes later Littlest joined us.

It was perfect – yes it was painful, yes N would have preferred to have had trained help there, yes the people on the phone were incredibly unhelpful but our son arrived witnessed only by the 2 of us safely and calmly in our living room

Eventually paramedics and midwives arrived (apparently neither had been called much before he arrived despite us calling for help nearly half an hour before his birth) and we all agreed he was perfect although his left leg looked a bit funny (remember this bit, it will be important later)

The long and the short of it is that we curled up together and got to know each other, later the girls joined us and we made a little bubble of baby mooning happiness around our family – we stepped out of it to go to the hospital to have his leg looked at the next day and when various midwives turned up for checks but we had a wonderful couple of weeks – life was perfect, he was perfect, our family was complete and we were just happy to have been blessed by our unexpected, miracle little boy – I really struggle to explain just how right it all felt and how healing it was after all the problems we had had conceiving

What we didn’t realise was that behind the scenes Midwife One had started to cause us a lot of trouble.  This woman had never seen my son, had had no contact with us since we agreed there was no point in her remaining since she had stopped my labour and there was alternative care available for us if we needed it later

For reasons I still do not understand, although I suspect were driven by her thinking we would complain about her behaviour, her breaches of her own professional code and her lack of professionalism and hoping to get in first and warn us off*, she made formally raised concerns with social services about us – her referral says that our child, the one she hadn’t seen, was bruised and we had had an illegal birth

Just to be absolutely clear – my son has extensive birthmarks which were identified as such by a consultant at her hospital the day after his birth and not having medical professionals at a birth is not illegal

Once an allegation that serious is made by a healthcare professional social services have to get involved – when we later got hold of their notes we found that they had reviewed our case, talked to our GP amongst others and decided that we weren’t a threat to our children and our case did not merit further investigation

All good

Except it wasn’t and what appears to have happened next is that Midwife One persuaded several of her colleagues to back her up – I don’t know the reasoning behind their actions but I do have our maternity and post natal notes and the files from our GP, the health visitors, social services and the hospital and I can see what was said and by who

I can see that lies upon lies were told about our family to push social services to reopen our case

The lies became so serious that social services had no option but to investigate and quickly

The first we knew was a phone call on a Friday morning telling us social services and the midwives were coming to our house to examine our child.  That they had received reports that he was bruised and we had had an illegal birth and that they had to examine him.  Our reaction was that he had birthmarks and that we had tried to have an attended birth and to ask if this involved Midwife One

Eventually we agreed to an emergency medical at another hospital at 7pm on a Friday night – what we did not know at this point was that the allegations were so serious that social services had started the legal process to take our children away if the medical showed any signs of abuse

The medical showed a healthy child with extensive birthmarks, as had been identified 3 weeks before

When one of the midwifery team was told this her response was ‘this is not the outcome we wanted’ – make of that what you will

Unfortunately despite having proved that there were no birthmarks and no such thing as illegal birth we were caught up in a process.  The allegations were so serious our entire family was subjected to a section 47 investigation – my daughters had to be interviewed without either N or I present, our house had to be visited and the contents of the fridge looked at, the children’s rooms examined, their clothes looked over.  We had to answer intrusive questions about our relationship, our finances, our jobs.  Our parents were interviewed.  It was a nightmare, a living nightmare

At the end of 6 weeks we received a copy of the report from social services exonerating us – we are good parents, our children are well looked after with their needs met, we have strong family support around us, our child wasn’t bruised and we didn’t do anything illegal in our baby arriving before medical professionals

Unfortunately that file won’t be deleted even though it shows that the original allegations were utterly unfounded – those pieces of paper are on our record for ever.  We decided that, even though we were exhausted by the process we had been through, that we would push for a full retraction of the allegations and an apology for the unfounded and, in our view malicious, referral

The story of that process comes next

 

*interestingly AIMS  has helped out on other cases where this has happened to other families

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53 comments to The background & why I stopped blogging – part 1

  • I am so deeply shocked by this I don’t quite know what to say, from what I know of you online, I can honestly say you are a mother I respect and admire. You are someone I would turn to for advice. That midwife sounds horrendous, from the start, what a way to treat a woman at all, let alone one in labour. I just wanted to send you love and I hope things are settling for you, I just cannot imagine what a horrendous time you must have had. Corinne x

  • Jem

    Oh Hannah :( I remember one of your earlier posts in which you briefly touched upon the midwife’s allegations and I am still shocked that someone in a supposed position of care would be able to do that, let alone do so with such massive repercussions. I almost don’t want to see part 2 because I can’t imagine what else you could have had to deal with on top of this.

  • I just do not know where to begin. I am so so sorry that this has been your life for the past few months. I hope Karma bites that meanie pants on the butt and doesn’t let go.

  • Oh Hannah. *sends the biggest hug possible*

  • Oh Hannah- I honestly don’t know what to say. I can’t begin to imagine what you must have gone through. Truly awful. Much love to you x

  • Aaaaaarrrrghghgh…

    How was it in any way your choice to have an unattended birth, if you had phoned for help and no-one had arrived in time? That’s just for starters. Feeling angry on your behalf. Big hug.

  • This was an absolutely unbelievable read. It seems an impossible horror story and ‘ghastly’ doesn’t begin to cover it. Brave share.

  • Oh my goodness. I am so sorry to read this. How awful.

  • Good grief Hannah. I’m so pleased you’ve written about this because someone somewhere will be going through something similar and thinking that they are alone. Shame on that midwife, because for every ‘innocent’ family they push through the system you can guarantee there is a child somewhere suffering and slipping through the cracks.
    So sorry you went through this my friend, but as everyone here has said, you are a fabulous mother x

  • Oh Hannah, I’m so sorry you’ve been through this. Love and strength to you and yours xxx

  • Wow this is horrendous! How utterly awful for you all. There are some wicked, malicious people in this world. So sorry you’ve had to endure such an awful situation :( x x

  • Your story is just so heartbreaking. I don’t seem to even have the words to describe how you and your family must have felt though all the trauma. Just please know that my heart breaks for what you had to endure and that you and all of your family are in my prayers.❤️

  • Wow, what a horrific time for you when you should have been celebrating your new addition. It must have been awful x

  • OMG I am so sorry for what has happened to you

  • Oh gosh Hannah! This sounds horrendous! No wonder you went quiet on social media and the blog.

    Sadly people will be people, opinionated and all, whatever their profession. I had one such midwife who did not agree with my choice, but had to attend my son’s homebirth. In the end I almost bled out because she was too busy looking for her mobile phone. (Which was ironically at the bottom of a blood-stained birthing pool.)

    I look forward to reading the next part and really hope that you are living the happily ever after.

  • Oh lovely I am so so so sorry you’ve had to go through all of this. How can someone do that to a wonderful and loving family. It wasn’t like you hadn’t contacted people about the birth. Big hugs lovely and I hope you get everything gets sorted. Big hugs xx

  • Make do mum

    I’m astounded and very sorry that you were put through that. It’s so extreme – didn’t social services ever question the fact that the midwife hadn’t even seen the baby?! I hope you do start blogging again, yours was always one of my favourites x

    • Hannah Brewer

      Thank you – sadly when people keep telling ever greater lies and are in a position of responsibility their voices are given greater credibility – it’s staggering that people can make so many untrue statements and still carry on

  • Hi Hannah. I wanted to comment yesterday after reading this but didn’t quite have the words. Having slept on it, I still don’t. I can only send you lots of hugs and hope that you all somehow manage to get through this truly awful ordeal x

  • No words. Just no words. Just lots of love and understanding x

  • Oh my word! I am so sorry that you’ve gone through this. All because of one bitter woman who shouldn’t be doing her job.

  • Good god, I’m astounded that any of this happened because of a spiteful person making things up and continuing to push.
    As for illegal birth – absolutely insane. A friend of mine had a home birth with a doula. The midwives didn’t turn up in time because they didn’t have enough cover, and were arguing about it. Baby arrived and that was it. As it should have been for you.

    • Hannah Brewer

      Exactly – and you know what, having him with just to the two of us there was incredible – private, loving, quite intense but very positive – and absolutely not illegal (isn’t it amazing that someone can not know the law around their job?)

  • My god! Am utterly speechless that after the hell you went to getting to this place, and the thought and care you put into your family that someone could be that cruel and vindictive. I can’t imagine what was in their mind, let alone what you have been through and hope you have managed to get justice xxx

  • Omg what can I say? I am gobsmacked by what you have all gone through. I sincerely hope that one day that vile woman gets her comeuppance she should not be in the position she is in. Sending big hugs x

  • Omg what can I say? I am gobsmacked by what you have all gone through. I sincerely hope that one day that vile woman gets her comeuppance she should not be in the position she is in. Sending big hugs x

  • Such an injustice, waste of resources and unnecessary pressure on you and your family. I really hope that midwife will be struck off for providing such a horrific experience. She was in a position of care when you needed it and let you down. Can’t even imagine the ongoing impact that has had at a time that should otherwise be joyous. Well done for writing about it, can’t have been easy to do X

  • Absolutely shocking and disgusting that this can happen because of what sounds like spite and unprofessionalism- glad that you are through this, and I hope it’s the end of it and that as a family unit you’ve stuck together and proved the lies to be just that.

  • Mavis

    This is an absolute nightmare scenario. I really feel for what you have been through. The very idea of them coming to your house and looking at your children’s rooms etc is mind-numbingly upsetting.

    The thing I don’t understand is what started Midwife One on this horrendous campaign? What was it about the birth (initially) that made her feel (quite horrifically wrongly) like screaming at you?

  • I have literally held my breath reading that. I can’t believe what you have been put through. What an incredible pressure on you during what should have been a special and happy time – and what an irresponsible waste of resources which could have been used to help a child who really needed it!

  • I’m gutted for you that the midwifewas so insensitive and unfeeling, and to behave like that afterwards is horrid. We’ve had malicious reports filed against us, it’s not fun and it puts you in a position of having to try and defend yourself when you did no wrong, and are just trying to get on with your life. Fortunately now we have a great relationship with Social Services as we’ve always been completely open and honest and done what you have done, supporting them however we can. We even got an apology earlier this year. I hope you end up with as good a result and can live the rest of your lives in peace xx

  • bloody hell i do not know what to say. utterly disgraceful behaviour on her part and what anwful time for your family, when it should have been such a special family time. xx

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