Tuesday, 1 March 2011
After a sweep at 39 weeks into my third pregnancy where if felt like the doctor was examining my tonsils while she was in there, I went into labour. I wasn't concerned or at all worried. My last labour had been pain free so this one should be a doddle. I did my relaxing techniques at home till the contractions were regular, there was no pain. I duly arrived at the hospital and explained to the midwife how I just wanted to sit in a chair and relax as I had done with my last labour. Oh no. She wanted to put me on a CTG monitor even though I was low risk, the NICE guidelines have since put an end to unnecessary CTG monitoring in labour. While on the monitor I kept trying to sit up and do my relaxing but the midwife kept pushing me back down. I tried to relax in a semi sitting position but it just did not work and I was in a lot of pain. I explained this to the midwife and she said I had to stay on the monitor, she was becoming a little tired of me moaning and eventually said "Do you want your baby to die?" That shut me up. However, at no time did anyone look worried, no doctor came in the room to look at my CTG. I think she was lying to shut me up. All I wanted to do was sit up and relax. Was that too much to ask? Eventually after a lot of unnecessary huffing and puffing, I gave birth to my third little boy. Before I could look at him he was taken away "for a bath" the midwife said. A support worker came in to clean me up and I asked about my baby, she looked worriedly at the door and said he would be brought back soon. Half an hour later he was pushed into the room in a cot and put into the farthest corner away from me. "The midwife said that he is not to be disturbed" I was told by the support worker and then she left. I stared at the little white bundle for a while. Every fibre in my body was aching to hold him but by this time I felt totally disempowered. With my stress levels at maximum I decided to risk all and ring the buzzer, the support worker came in. I asked to be handed my baby, she quickly gave him to me with a guilty look and then left without a word. I was finally able to look at my beautiful little boy and offer him his first breast feed. I did not skip home the next day. I was a victim of institutionalized torture and would carry the scars for the rest of my life. I decided then that if I ever had a fourth then I would never ever, ever attend a hospital for the birth again. The maternity services had totally lost my trust. It would have to be a home birth. All I had to do was to persuade all the other interested parties that it was a good idea. Game on.