My little boy is 21 weeks old. He is in awe of his world and is developing fast each day. I have thought long and hard about writing this post, but during a brief twitter conversation with the lovely @tryingtobeamum I realised that it was good to be honest about how I feel.
When I was pregnant I became twitter friends with lots of mums who were due around the same time as me. I had planned a HomeBirth and met with one local mum who had had a home birth earlier last year and was really supportive in terms of the advice she gave me.
The pool was booked and we were due to collect it at the weekend, when I was 37 weeks. However on a routine ante-natal appointment at 36+2, the dreaded protein was found. That put my ideas of homebirth to bed and from then on in everything else about my son’s arrival feels like I was cheated.
Last night there was a programme on ITV about homebirths, and even seeing the tweets about it upset me. The birth experience for me is still raw. I feel like I was cheated and failed. I struggle to watch One Born now. I end up in tears each time.
It’s really hard to describe this. I knew that setting my sights on a homebirth was dangerous and that I had to be realistic that things could go wrong. But I had a healthy pregnancy and there was no reason to suggest that my plans would go awry.
I had wanted a homebirth as I wanted to have as little intervention as possible. I believe that we as a society have medicalised birth too much, and my concern about being in a hospital was that you inevitably end up on a doctors timeline, things must happen by a given point.
Being confined to a hospital for 10 days was my idea of hell. I felt like I had failed. My body had broken when I needed it not to. I think it is only through my sheer persistence that I was ‘given every opportunity to go naturally’. My poor husband was running from to the hospital then to work, then back to the hospital, all the while putting the finishing touches to the mammoth work we had had done in our house (complete renovation of the upstairs bedrooms) whilst also keeping family informed about what was happening and doing his best to not worry about us. I maintain that he had the rawer end of the deal.
I ended up having a Doctor deliver Daniel and lots of things went wrong. Looking back I believe the Doctor ignored my wishes in some respects and went with his own judgement, but I can’t ever prove that. Decisions were made for me, I felt like I lost my autonomy as a person and became just another labouring mother. The only thing that could have made it worse for me was if I’d ended up having a section – It was the thing I was most frightened of throughout the pregnancy.
I feel guilty for feeling cheated and for being upset when I talk (or rather ignore) the circumstances of Daniel’s birth. Too many people I know have felt real tragedies in the past year. I took my son home. My son is downstairs enjoying his morning snooze. But despite recognising all this, I still feel enormously cheated.
Am I wrong?
I see my twitter mum friends writing and recording their children’s birth stories. For me that is just a little bit more than I am able to do. Maybe one day I will make my peace with it.