So in my last post I touched upon the idea that somehow giving birth had become an almost unnatural thing.
Now don’t get me wrong I love the NHS, it came through for me and Sidekick, however it also caused some of the problems I had.
I was reminded by something Jamie Oliver said, yeah the chef, when he and his wife Jools allowed their eldest daughters to come in at the end of the birth of their last child, he had to defend their position on this. You can read about it here.
Now first it was their choice, they shouldn’t have to defend, secondly though, why shouldn’t the girls be there? Giving birth is natural and we need to educate everyone, girls, boys, men and women about it.
Not so long ago giving birth was done in the home with help. Young girls would witness how giving birth occurred. Now all we have to go off is Call The Midwife and One Born Every Minute!
Perhaps if we all had a better understanding of childbirth it wouldn’t become this terrifying ordeal.
I know when I was pregnant women would tell me horror stories, how they bled so much, how the pain was unbelievable, you get the idea. I got fed up, I wanted to approach my labour in a positive frame of mind. I told people I didn’t want to hear anything negative, that yes I was aware things could go wrong, but there is no need to focus on that in the first instance.
So I started reading, came across mindful hypno-birthing and active birth and started practicing.
I wanted to give birth at home, however due to it being my first Hubby wasn’t so sure, so I agreed to go to a midwife led unit. Alas I couldn’t, things happened and all of a sudden I was a high risk pregnancy. This led to one of the most stressful times in my life!
All of a sudden because of this label I couldn’t have the birth I planned, I would now be giving birth with a consultant, I would and the baby would be continually monitored and no I couldn’t have an active birth.
Just like that all my control was taken away.
I fought back. I would get some part of my plan.
I managed to give birth without any pain relief, I was able to implement the practices I learnt in my hypno-birthing to keep myself calm even when it all went kaplunk and I was having needles pushed in me and forms were being signed because it looked like I needed an emergency C-section.
Its funny actually. Everyone was gearing up to rush me off and slice me open, then something happened and the Midwife said something and it refocused me and suddenly I delivered Sidekick, so suddenly they only just caught her! The consultant looked at me and just said “that was impressive”. Turns out I’d been silent through the birth up until Sidekick made her entrance, really freaked everyone out.
So what is the point of this ramble? The point is I managed, my body did what it was designed to do. Am I saying I’m not grateful for the NHS, no, but I am saying that the way my labour was handled made it worse. It made me stress which in turn caused my contractions to slow as I went into fight or flight.
We need to be more open about birth, have frank discussions about what happens. We do not need to make it into a horror story, trust me I did not have a positive birthing experience, but I will not go around saying that, what I will say is that my body did what I knew it could. That by practicing mindfulness and not allowing the fear to consume me I delivered Sidekick in the most natural way I could given the rules.
So lets stop spreading fear and spread positivity. Lets congratulate ourselves and each other on this amazing thing we can do. Lets speak honestly and openly and acknowledge yes it hurts but you can move through the pain and cope with it.
A positive birth experience isn’t about giving birth in a hut, with no pain relief, it’s about being informed and having control.