true tales from the gates of the underworld


Looking forward
December 12, 2013, 2:15 pm
Filed under: birth, Life | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today I’m mostly grieving for the end of our our pregnancy journey. I feel totally fulfilled with the experiences of my last two births, I think our family is complete now, so with today’s day 3 hormone surge I’m saying goodbye and looking to the future – I have learned so much as a person and as a doula from my experiences. I also know that my heart is firmly anchored in the “birth world”, for lack of a better expression.
I know for sure that there is no other area that I would want to support women in as much as coming out of the other side of their birth feeling healed, strong, empowered or just plain happy.
My experiences won’t disappear, and they will never lose significance, they will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I will always be able to draw strength from them.
I truly feel like I looked the Goddess in the face.
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Birth matters

There’s something I would like to say (while we’re being honest and all that)….
I find it really hard to read posts like “I don’t really want an induction/caesarean/sweep so I hope I give birth before” or something along those lines. Or “Next time I have a baby I HAVE to have a caesarean/induction/whatever”.
I don’t care *HOW* someone chooses to have their baby, it’s a very personal choice and it has to be right for you. I’m not going to get all sanctimonious about natural home water births with delayed clamping blah blah blah, because for some people induction is the right choice, or caesarean.
The important thing is that you all know you have a choice, and if you don’t want to go through with a procedure, nobody can make you. We live in the age of information – if you are unhappy or unsure about something, please ask! Ask here, ask in groups on facebook, ask an independent midwife or doula, contact organisations like AIMS (http://aims.org.uk/) for unbiased advice. Ask your doctors and midwives for evidence of why what they are telling you they would like to do is the right choice. (You may be surprised; NHS procedures are not always based on evidence.)

Use your BRAIN.
Ask the following questions:

Benefits – What are the benefits of this procedure? How will this help me/my baby/my labour?
Risks – What are the risks of this procedure? How might this negatively affect me/baby/labour?
Alternatives – Are there alternatives to this procedure? Are there other options?
Intuition – What is my gut feeling about this?
Need Time, or Nothing – Can I delay this procedure and take some time to think about it/Discuss it with my partner? What will happen if I choose to do nothing for now?

Use the answers to make your decisions. It’s not “informed choice” when the person making the decision doesn’t have all the relevant information to base that decision on. 
It’s ok to say “no, thank you.” You won’t be punished for it. Nobody has authority over your body and your decisions, other than yourself. Take ownership of your birth, however you decide it should play out. Make plans, have a voice. Be heard. 

Even if I don’t know you, I’m heartbroken for every one of you who is coerced into making a decision, sometimes even bullied (the “dead baby card” should NEVER be used by a professional to make you agree to a procedure!), and who ends up traumatised. Birth should not leave you feeling broken, coerced, bullied, degraded or abused. Regardless of the circumstances, even in medical emergencies, you can always come out of the other end feeling like the decisions you made were the right ones, that even when things didn’t go to plan you were treated respectfully, like a sentient human being who matters. Because you do.