Parenting, Pregnancy
Comments 2

NHS Birth Plan and choices: Why will I never choose Home Birth?

Good morning all of you! I hope you are well on this Tuesday morning.

JUNE now and I shared with you few days ago some third trimester symptoms and tips.

These last few weeks being the most enjoyable, but also the hardest for body and mind: I think this is the best time to pamper yourself and prepare yourself to labour.

LET'S TALK LABOURSo I have instituted a routine every evening to gather myself and be more connected to baby bump and my body. It is not easy during the day to really be conscious of what is going on inside of myself when running after a very active toddler, trying to teach a pre-schooler and coping with all the housekeeping tasks. So at the end of the day, when things eventually slow down, I try to grasp the most possible of time for myself and little one to link in a calmer atmosphere.

It is a magic moment  I do need to prepare myself properly to labour. I have always done it, like if my mind and my body needed to be in a symbiose to prepare themselves for the beautiful yet very tiring work they will face.

Am I a pro natural Childbirth? Not really. I do think that each woman is different , each body, each pregnancy and each baby too.

The fact that one woman can endure natural childbirth with no issue does not mean than another can do It.

We just have to learn what is the pain we can tolerate: the level and intensity of it. We are all different and we have no right to judge each other decisions.

For my first baby, I was so anxious and worried about giving birth. I did not set up anything in my mind really. I was so unsure about everything and at the end, the way I have been cared for, the circumstances decided for me. I had a natural childbirth in a Hospital Setting not really by choice but simply because some people did not do their job, did not listen to me and what I was desperately trying to say. The Medical Body, I have noticed, think they know best than you. From the first midwife I saw in the morning to the last before I gave birth, they just decided that because I was a first time mum, my labour will last long. Therefore I have been left apart in a room and no one was listening to me when  I was begging someone to check me because I was sure that baby was coming. Until It was too late and baby head was here. So for my first experience, I felt so alone with no help at all. I was coping by myself with all my contractions in a room, with my so afraid and worried husband. This was not the most enjoyable labour not because I had an issue, more because I have learnt this day to never never trust a midwife anymore {It is a shame for a nurse trained in midwifery too}.

Photo Courtesy Choice in Child birth

Photo Courtesy Choice in Child birth

So second pregnancy, I tried my best to trust the NHS again and obviously my nominated midwife. We went through mistakes and oversights to eventually learn that she was going on Maternity leave when I was 30 weeks pregnant. It was a chock! Why on earth allocate a pregnant midwife that is due the same time and will not be able to follow up??? Again, it was all shambles. The new midwife who was the matron should have contacted me for new follow up but she never did….{sight}. Thankfully, I knew I would see a consultant: this saved me a bit. I just explained the consultant that no, no midwife was following me anymore. She was furious and so was I, but I could not do anything when she could. Few phone calls later, and we were back again on track. I do remember the Birth Plan. She was sitting in front of me, asking me. I answered to her, I am not going to fill it as none of you will read it at the end. So why try to persuade me that you care about me and my wills when you absolutely don’t? She was a bit surprised but after first baby, I swore to myself not to hide any of my feelings. She convinced me, reassuring me, promising me that they will follow my birth plan and respect my wills. I told her, then, will see. My first choice: NO STUDENT! Why? I do respect them a lot, I have been one too. But I have noticed here something really bad in practice: they are put in the field without proper knowledge and most of all, without help. My lovely Matron midwife swore to me that they will be no student, that no one will never endeavour my will, blablablablablabla….{you understand}

Phpto courtesy All about birth

Photo courtesy All about birth

Guess who took care of me the D-DAY? A student….. {sight} What is the most annoying is that they {the responsible midwife and student} did not ask for our agreement…. When you are in labour, coping with your contractions {alone again}, you do not have the strength to fight and I will be honest I was so worried that if I say something, the midwife would have been bad with me…. So I looked to my husband, some tears in my eyes and he just understood.

I had to do it again. Alone. Hoping that everything will end well. The lovely student {because she was really lovely} tried her best to compose herself. I knew she was panicking as she has been left alone with the baby arrival when the other midwife was at the desk ticking some boxes in the usual paperwork. I saw her hands checking and do remember myself saying to my husband in french {I am soo afraid} and baby arrived on its own as usual, just picked up like a balloon by a very very poor, anxious young, very young student midwife.

comic-style-woman-with-blank-speech-bubble_459-19

The first thing she said to me was: baby was so slippery that I nearly missed her! Guess how I felt…. And the supervising midwife was still on the desk… I DO NOT blame the student, she has done her best with what she knew and I am sure I was HER first. How do I know it? The relief and excitement afterwards. As I said I have been a nurse/midwife student  so I exactly know how it feels. She has been really caring with us after delivery and she was really proud. Her hands were still checking, her speech flow was now so fast. I do thank her for having been here at least.

I have learnt during my midwifery and nursing studies in Belgium that during delivery, when the baby’s head is dilating the vulva, the midwife should ask the patient to stop pushing and breathe slowly. The midwife role is to maintain/sustain the perineum with her hands while the mother has to push slowly to avoid tearing.  Maybe, this is not something we do here. As for my two “labours” , I have not been guided, neither has someone helped me. I do not need to tell you that I have teared both time. Not a bad tear. I did give birth standing for both.

“A slow, controlled delivery is the key to an intact perineum and reduced incidence of laceration. The baby must not suffer any form of foetal distress and the mother and partner must listen closely to the midwife or health care provider for advice on when to push and when to stop pushing.  As your provider slowly guides your baby out, you are less likely to experience lacerations in a controlled delivery.”

{Aasheim, V, Nilsen, A, Lukasse, M., Reinar, L. Perineal Techniques during the second stage of labour for reducing perineal trauma. The Cochrane Library: DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD006672.pub2.Dec 2011}

My overall experience is not very reassuring {sorry ladies} and this pregnancy is not going to change my mind too. 33 weeks pregnant, have had 3 Midwife appointments {not counting ANC- AnteNatal Clinic and scans} and have seen so far 3 different community midwifes.

Do I feel secure? NO

Did I build a confidence relationship with my community Midwife? NO

So Will I give Birth at home and leave my baby’s life and mine onto a community midwife hands? DEFINITELY NO.

Do I feel more confident giving birth in a birth centre? NO but I am still hesitating.

Exeter Birthing centre - Photo courtesy which.co.uk

Exeter Birthing centre – Photo courtesy which.co.uk

Do I feel more confident in a hospital setting? NO. I am just telling myself that all the necessary equipment is around if something happens and consultants are not far.

RDE Labour Ward- Photo Courtesy Which.co.uk

RDE Labour Ward- Photo Courtesy Which.co.uk

Before living in UK, I DEEPLY LOVED AND RESPECTED MIDWIFERY. Now, I do see it like a bureaucratic work: just ticking boxes and not really taking their time by doing what their job is really about, helping mums-to-be. Is it their fault? I do not think so. A  15 minutes appointment is just ridiculous. I know that they are always in under number. We are the collateral damages of the NHS politics.

I did have the chance to encounter lovely caring midwives and I really hope that for this third experience I will meet one of them. I still believe in the deepest of myself , even if I am terrified and anxious about giving birth in a hospital setting when my real wish is to give birth at home that I will meet a real midwife, caring and taking her time, guiding me through labour. But my lack of trust on the medical corpus push me to go to the hospital.

pop-art-woman-portrait_23-2147493067

Again, I will prepare myself as best as I can by reading all the breathing techniques during the stage 2 of labour to be able to do it by myself. I am a WOMAN, I CAN do it, with or without help.

I will love to hear your own experiences to be reassured and to think that I am just an isolated case. That this is not the way pregnant women are cared for. So please leave comments if you feel it might be helpful.

Note: Many of my friends are midwives so I am not doing here a bad statement, just trying to share my own experience hoping that the others have had better luck.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Rachel says

    Thank you so much for telling your story. I am 26 weeks pregnant and am worried about giving birth to my first baby. I have seen multiple midwives at my health centre, and although everything seems to be going well (a little too well) I don’t feel the Midwife has given me all the information. She did say I would have a double appointment next time (20 mins instead of 10) to discuss things. We’ll just have to see. I wish you all the luck in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rachel! My advice will be not to worry too much but always express your feelings and mind. Do not let anyone decide for you wherever you decide to give birth, or the way you want to do it. If necessary, make sure your birth partner knows what you want and will speak out for you. Labor is a natural process with or without help. Your body and your baby know how to do it, you just need to listen to yourself. Good luck for your pregnancy, and I am sure everything will go well. 🙂 Thanks for sharing Rachel and feel free to ask if you have any question.

      Like

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