Here I am, ready to make amends for the lack of content, and I’ve armed myself with pictures of the Sandman and a brain not too sluggish to that end! I want to discuss my decision to hire an independent midwife, and my plans for the birth of baby number two.
If you read Sandy’s birth story then you will be familiar with what went down first time round. For those who haven’t read it, it can be surmised as follows: long, back to back labour which was okay until the hospital forced a whole load of unwelcome interventions upon me resulting in one good thing (safe and, ultimately natural, birth of Sandy) and many bad things (epidurals, a lack of control, panic, institutionalisation and PTSD). This is the point where I should say, ‘but I’ve moved on from that, and all is rosy now’ but really I haven’t. Honestly, how can you move past it when it’s all still such a mystery. I don’t know that things like this ever leave you.
Regardless, I have to some extent made my peace with what happened. For a long time I thought I didn’t have any birth trauma to speak of, I clung to the idea that he came out naturally and used this as a shield to bat off any unwanted thoughts. In the end I realised that, actually, Stuart was right, it was pretty god awful, and my coming through in the end didn’t right all of the wrongs.
So fast forward to me sitting, eight weeks pregnant, in my bed, in a sea of morning sickness, feeling so lost and so alone and so scared that I picked up the phone and called the midwives. I didn’t want to, but I knew I should at least try. So I did, and I was told basically to
woman up and deal with it. Deal with the fact I couldn’t get out of bed. Deal with the continual sea sickness that was making me lose the will to live. Deal with the fact that my son – who hitherto I had spent nearly every day with – was being shipped off to anyone who would take him (thank you, I mean that) and I was left, bereft of his funny little presence, alone. As I hung up the phone I burst into angry tears and took the ready, steady, baby book they gave me (which had their number on it) and started ripping it into shreds in a fit of rage. I threw bits of it across the room and I screamed as I did it and suddenly I realised just why I was so angry, because it was the same uncaring, unwilling, and ultimately negligent attitude which haunted me post-natally with Sandy. So I sorted myself out and piled the carcass of the NHS literature together and flipped open my iPad and searched Independent Midwives.
This is how I found Allison. Allison is my midwife for this baby. She comes to my house at a time to suit me, working around Sandy’s naps, and we chat. She will be undertaking all of my antenatal and postnatal care. She is the same person I will see throughout this whole experience. And when it is time for my baby to come she will come to my own, safe house, where I will be able to relax and go with labour in the way I was made to, knowing that she understands what I want and what I need. And when I’m in my most vulnerable state ever, it shall be someone I know and trust who is there with me, not some randomer who I will have never met before, and who won’t know what it is that I want. And I won’t have to worry about explaining anything, or feeling pressured, or not being understood.
So that’s the plan. To have this baby at home, and keep it at home, and never let it see the inside of a hospital. Of course, this is all dependent on things progressing favourably, and worst case scenarios not happening. If anything bad does go down though, the hospital is only a few miles down the road and Allison will be there, not as a midwife per se (insurance related) but as an advocate and adviser.
Anyway, I’ll keep you up to date on the plans and preps as they happen, including the important issue of readying a house to birth a baby in. But it’s still many months away, so there’s much time.
Recently I’ve been reclaiming some energy. I bought a car (finally, hooray!) his name is Dash and he has been just what Sandy and I have needed to get about. It’s hard to get buses and trains with a toddler in tow when you feel like you’ve been run over. I couldn’t trust myself to not run out of energy and get stranded. So we found a car I could afford (just) and it’s really nice to have a lot of freedom.
Meanwhile, at home…
We’ve been hastily preparing for Halloween.
I expected this to be messy and a hassle but it wasn’t. Sandy was happy with the spoon and the seeds while I carved the pumpkin.
All it took was one change of clothes and…
The mess was gone.
Hello Mr Penguin! (A quick pre-halloween dress up session)
Look at him holding his car, he always likes to have a car to take around.
Another lovely Sandy Selfie.
And some fun. With me incredibly happy to be back in the deep end with this boy, and managing to keep my head above water. Just.