This week has been an interesting one and rather unpleasant too. Firstly I managed to put my back out standing up out of a chair, then I discover I have nits… And worse ONLY I have nits. So I must have got them at cybher. Ha.
That’s taking free gifts too far.
Then today I followed a link from my stats panel to a blog where Freddie’s story was being used to illustrate the disgusting (sic) (… Is that a moment for using sic? I always wanted to) risks women take when they home birth. Unfortunately in her haste to build a case, she rather missed the fact that actually he was born in hospital. Unfortunately I seem to have come in for the problematic confusion there is between American midwives (who I believe are closer to uk doulas in some respects) and uk midwives and the forum connected seem to have concocted that I laboured long and hard at home with a Midwife before going to hospital only to have my baby die because I didn’t put myself in sensible hands straight away. When this person found I had delivered in hospital she posted a sort of retraction but actually pointed people here so I found her where I might never have done so. And now she’s rounded on me for vbac, which was not her original beef, and just called me hideous for trying to defend my birth choices.
I’m not linking and I don’t need defending there any further.
So, for the record.
I had a doula. She was at home with me for a while, while we got sorted, while we fixed up the girls, while we decided if it was real. She was never going to be my primary carer, I never planned to labour at home, she was never going to deliver Freddie. He was always going to be born in a hospital.
I was 2cm when I arrived at hospital. My care was taken over by an experienced and well respected uk midwife and in the uk midwives deliver babies in hospital and legally and routinely attend home births too. My doula was there to be an advocate and a friend to me and Max. She was not caring for my health.
Freddie’s vbac birth was planned with experienced and highly regarded consultant with around 30 years experience. The vbac was a joint and supported decision. I had had a previous vbac. There were sound medical reasons behind it. It was a vba3c. The most recent guidelines say support should be offered up to vba4c. This same consultant attended my labour and delivered Freddie.
I was monitored for half an hour on arrival and Freddie and I were fine. A monitor was used while I laboured. I was monitored constantly for the last hour of my labour. Aside from one deceleration which was possibly heard and never reoccurred, all other signs seemed normal. There is a trace which appears perfectly normal for the last hour of labour. He was delivered in 2-3 pushes.
I suffered none of the potential complications of vbac. I suffered no outward signs of a difficult labour which was over in 3 hours. Freddie showed no signs of distress until after delivery.
No one knows why he died but the letter summing up his life states ‘there are unanswered questions regarding Freddie’s condition at birth’ and the context of that statement is that nothing in the birth indicates any problem was expected. The notes are accurate and complete and correspond to all our memories of the event.
Freddie was off the ventilator within 12 hours. He was given anti-convulsants but in retrospect no one is sure he was fitting, just that some unusual movements indicated it. His brother makes the same movements which has led to some questions as to whether Freddie just was a jerky baby. He had oxygen for very little of his life. Everyone but me thought he would go home. His EEG and brain ultrasound were pretty much normal.
I accept that I put Freddie’s birth and life and death on the Internet but that does not mean he can be used in a twisted and skewed way, to illustrate someone else’s agenda.
And really, if you are a obstetrician and you screw up because you are in too much of a hurry to build another case up, calling a woman hideous for defending her child’s birth is pretty poor. I pretty much question someone who brags about her latest blog tally of still births and neonatal deaths too.
And I’ve spent an adult life trying to get health professionals to understand birth trauma and I’m buggered if I’m going to bother educating a person who is too wrapped up in her own importance to try.
Edit: Today have rather impressively got myself banned from a forum. Why? Because I defended my sons birth against people who weren’t in the room or even the continent and because in the end I made the point that actually they could easily have pushed me into harming myself with their holier than thou attitude.
I’ll say again what I had removed from the forum. I don’t know any health professionals (and I know quite a few!) who would pronounce judgement on a case they hadn’t read the notes of, been part of or had any dealings with. They could, with their obsession with doing birth the American way, have pushed me into a state of despair I couldn’t come back from. I’m lucky that I am in a better place than that. People forget all too easily that the Internet is written by humans and I am human and my son was a small but perfect and important human. The people who know about his birth are in this house and this county. If he had died as a result of his birth, Ben’s birth plan would not have been as open ended as it was. I’m sorry our little life story does not fit your agenda, but it just doesn’t and you are bloody lucky I love my living children and have a wonderful husband and a heart built of steel casing that will keep me here. If it was not so, you might have blood on your hands.
But more than all that, Freddie was a baby, just a little boy and he was my little boy and I loved him.
So fuck off.