I totally love this analogy. The world belongs to us all, no one really has ownership rights over her or her inhabitants. It’s so wrong.
Many wounds were healed within me as I held Inky in my arms, I didn’t sleep that first night in hospital after she was born. I was soooo elated. I finally knew and FELT the meaning of the expression ‘I felt like all my Christmases had come at once.’ I stayed a further night in hospital because of my c-section, and again, I could hardly sleep because I had that excited feeling in my tummy like when your’e a kid and you just can’t sleep because something really exciting is going to happen. Though I had one of those cots that attach to the hospital bed, my girly still ended up snuggled right up next to me and I couldn’t get enough of looking at her face when she was asleep. I knew I should try and sleep but that’s impossible when the best thing ever has happened to you and you’re floating on cloud 9…. I was worried when the midwife came to see me on her rounds, she would tell me off, as according to ‘official’ advice co-sleeping is so unsafe (yeah right). However, when she did stop by I was already apologising for having my baby in bed with me, she actually ENCOURAGED me to co-sleep and said it was the safest and best place for a baby to be! Nuff said.
My mums boyfriend actually paid for me to stay in a private room at my request. I wanted these moments all to myself, not interrupted by the cries of other babies, lol. Nor didn’t I want to potentially witness anyone who had had a baby and was unhappy. Believe me, I’ve met a few people like that in my life, and it breaks my heart. If women who didn’t appreciate/love/want their babies / saw them as an inconvenience, actually knew the heart ache of still birth they may perhaps appreciate and SEE the miracle a baby is.
I was released pout of hospital after 2 nights and I felt so proud leaving hospital with my girly, her first car ride. My Mum picked us up. I was so elated to be going home with my live, healthy baby. It was like teh most amazing dream come true. Ever. On top of that, I was somewhat surprised and happy that I hardly felt any pain from surgery at all. I didn’t even have to take co-deine like last time with J. Just 6 days of paracetamol instead of the recommended 10. I didn’t even have morphine like last time with J. The natural high, the baby moon, the endorphin’s coursing through me were my medicine. My gorgeous, perfect daughter cleansed my soul and restored my heart and my faith that amazing things could still happen to me. I breastfed my little girly for years and co-slept with her. I never thought I’d ever have another baby. I didn’t ever want to risk it again. I couldn’t deal with losing another baby now that I knew what it felt like to love my own living flesh and blood. I thought I’d always be content with it being just Inky and I forever… But then I didn’t know that I would fall in love with THE best man in the world when Inky was 5, and that we would actually have another baby…. nearly 3 years later, when Inky was 8….
I can’t fault the NHS with the care I had during and after my 2nd pregnancy, but I DIDNT WANT IT. I just done it because I was scared. I felt powerless and like I had no control over what was being done to my body. Like I had to listen to the system that was responsible for damaging my soul and killing my first born in the first place. However, like I said I cant fault the care and attention I received with my second pregnancy. I have to add that it felt surreal feeling paralyzed from the waist down during the c-section, yet feeling things going on. I must confess that I was so nervous about the cesarean that when I glanced over my shoulder and they were coming at me from behind with this big fat needle when I was sat on the operating table, legs dangling down, that I actually jumped straight off it and said ‘F*** this I’m going home’, but my Mum managed to calm me. I hadn’t slept the night before, I was petrified of something going wrong and this baby dying too. I was also super duper hungry (not allowed to eat before surgery – apparently its unusual for anyone to be hungry whilst being operated on, but I kept saying I was hungry lol). My mind was racing and I was physically shaking. She told me to think about my Grandad, whom I had loved so much and who had passed away exactly 3 weeks ago, and my beloved Maxi horse and J… I actually found inner peace from somewhere and calmed right down as I looked in to my Mums eyes. Then I just let it all happen to me. I even had my own playlist of songs. Before I had the c-section I asked a friend who had had one as well how it felt – she likened it to the feeling of someone rummaging around in your handbag whilst its still hung on your shoulder. Spot on. At one point I remember hearing something like the sound of scissors cutting through my abdomen and even said jokingly that it sounded like scissors – they are scissors I was told. I remember my Mum suddenly shouting kind of excitedly that she could see my insides! ‘So you love me inside out now Mum’ I said jokingly. When they lifted my baby out I remember Mum tearfully announcing that the baby was a girl… WOW. When Mum passed her to me, I was overjoyed to finally hold my beautiful girl and look at her sweet, gorgeous, animated, alive face. It took me a while to get her latched on to my breast for her first ever feed – looking back I’m sure it was because of all the drugs pumping around my system that had passed in to her…. my 6lbs 7oz little wonder girl. My constant companion for the last 38 weeks 🙂 The little person I already knew so well and whos life was so precious to me ♥
A still birth, a cesarean and a HWBA2C – back to part 1
Upon returning from Brazil I started dating someone for a couple of months, but it fizzled out. I hadn’t really thought about my period in weeks and suddenly realised it was late…. I took a home pregnancy test and it was positive. I was terrified. The sad thing is, being one of 5 siblings I’d always thought having a baby was pretty straight forward. My Mum had us all naturally. She did have an ectopic pregnancy in 1989 and lost her left tube, but still want on to have 2 more healthy baby’s. Little did I know that I too would have an ectopic pregnancy this year February, and also have a tube removed. You can read more about that HERE … back to my story though. Like I said I was terrified. I would never have planned to have another baby ever again after my first experience, but I also knew that if I ever did fall pregnant I would have that little baby and hopefully nothing bad would happen to me or them and if everything turned out OK this time, I couldn’t even picture how overjoyed I’d be. Even thinking about hospitals produced such fear and anxiety in me and I was so deathly afraid of ever going back to hospital that I wanted a home birth. One meeting with the consultant (a male who will of course never experience pregnancy let alone giving birth) and I changed my mind. He asked me if I was crazy and that the same thing could happen again as no cause had ever been found. I was instantly backed in to a corner, believing what he said and feeling like I had no control over my body and what I really wanted. He made me feel irresponsible for even thinking such things. I was 23 and very easily swayed, so I felt I had no choice but do what this man wanted. I had regular scans, blood tests, monitoring – all the things I just DIDN’T want and I DIDN’T realise WEREN’T mandatory. I was assigned the most lovely midwife, Lisa, who would be my ‘mentor’ the whole way and also would be present at the planned c-section mid September 2005….
My Mum was also there the whole time to support me, normally she questions everything, but as she had been present during my traumatic ordeal with my first born J, she said to go with what the hospital said. Also as the guy whom I had been dating was not interested in having a baby at this time in his life and it was me, my little bump, Mum and family supporting me. I So I was booked in first thing in the morning on a day in September 2005 to have a planned c-section, although every fibre in my body didn’t want it. But at the same time I just couldn’t wait to meet this little person, yet I was afraid of being cut opebnagain, the pain, the fear of loss…my heart and soul surely wouldn’t be able to take anymore bad things happening… I had countless check ups, monitors attached to me, blood tests etc. I done everything they asked…..
I couldn’t comprehend how I had outlived my baby already. It’s meant to be the other way round. I was at that age where I’d never had any serious set backs in life and still felt ‘invincible’, like nothing bad could ever happen to me. The worst thing ever had happened…. I also had to see the consultant, Dr E, at Worthing Hospital, many times because they were trying to find out how my body ’caused’ this… they never found anything. The post-mortem showed nothing, they had ‘accidentally’ incinerated the placenta so couldn’t look at that… my Mum wanted to take it further so I said she could. The consultant TOLD us we’d never win as NHS staff stick together! That was him admitting they f****d up right then and there. I let Mum request the notes – many pages missing. After that I just kinda didn’t have the strength to carry on. My mum left it. I felt so damaged on the deepest level that I stopped seeing my family for about 2 years because it was too agonising. I couldn’t even meet my own gaze in the mirror anymore… the only thing that kept me going was my horse Max, whom I’d had since I was 12. My bestest friend. There for me, gently resting his head against me whilst I would try and cry, I so wanted to let out my grief, but it was so deep rooted that I just couldn’t. My now ex didn’t want to talk about J after about a month after he died 🙁 It really hurt that he just didn’t want another baby, though that is what I really wanted and needed…It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my last and wanted a home birth that my new amazing midwife brought along J’s intact notes and I was so shocked to see that it was pretty much written there what happened, and that we had been right! She even told me that I could and should still take it further, that I had 25 years to! Anyways, back to teh past – having a boyfriend who, looking back, probably didn’t know how to deal with our loss either meant that over another 2 and a half years we drifted apart ever more and things got so bitter and horrid that I left him after he cheated on me. He’d been my first proper boyfriend and we had been together for nearly 5 years by the time we parted. 6 months before I dumped the cheat, my horse also died and I started getting severe panic attacks and anxiety. I thought my number was up next. I’d lost my baby, my best friend and I had a boyfriend who told me that if I got upset over my horse having to be put down following complications after colic, he would leave me. I left him first due to his actions and moved back in with my mum and started training intensely at martial arts which I’d been doing for the past year and a half as a way of release. I would train 10-12 hours a week. 6 months after all that I went to Brazil with my Mum to drink Ayahuasca – she had already been and been told to bring me in a vision. Well, I feel in love with that place and went back for 6 months 3 months later. I chucked in my really well paying job and that was the beginning of healing myself. I lived right by the beach surrounded by virgin rainforest. 6 months of shamanic studies, reading and long walks on teh beach helped me get over my panic attacks…
This time 3 years ago I was around 3 months pregnant with my 3rd baby boy B. I had previously had 2 c-sections and was planning on having a home water birth (HWBA2C). My first pregnancy ended in a horrific still birth in hospital, after being tended by a complete bitch of a midwife, who clearly lacked empathy, skill, knowledge and understanding the entire time she tended me. I carried our boy to full term, 38 weeks + 1 day, which happened to be the 25th March 2001, also Mothers day that year. It was obviously my first birth but the labour felt wrong and too painful the whole time, I kept asking the midwife (something Creegan) for help because I was in agony. She told me to take gas and air, which didnt help a tiny bit, just made me feel dizzy and nauseous on top of the band of burning pain engulfing my belly. The midwife literally didn’t give a fig. Her MOTHER called from Australia for instance and she left me alone with my now ex-boyfriend and my Mum to take the call which lasted around half an hour. I even asked my mum to get the midwife because I couldn’t handle the pain. The midwife told her to leave her alone as she hadn’t spoken to her Mum for ages! she eventually came back, monitored me and then left to take another call! All the time I was in agony. At one point the midwife couldn’t find the heartbeat for about 20 minutes, so she called in someone else to ‘have a go’. 25 minutes later they still couldn’t find it. Somewhen in that time I felt wild thrashing in my tummy and was like whats going on?!? So they broke my waters with those horrid crochet hook/knitting needle looking things – the water gushed out with lots of merconium present so I was rushed straight to theater on a trolley, my Mum and now ex next to me. I remember looking up at my Mum, tears running down my face and saying – she killed my baby…. well they operated on me after they managed to assemble a team that is – they were very short staffed that evening. I basically arrived at hospital at midday, and then wasn;t operated on until 17:30. I remember being in theater and them asking me to count backwards from 10. I reached 3. When I awoke I was surrounded by the team and a couple of them were crying. I knew my baby was dead. I didn’t even know what sex teh baby was at that point, we couldn’t see on the scans! I was told he was on a life support machine, they’d managed to resuscitate him briefly but no luck… they told my Mum he was a ‘flat’ baby. She asked them what this meant. It’s like a flat beer, they told her. And if they would have managed to keep him alive, life expectancy – 10 years and severe brain damage and bound to a wheelchair for life. All that midwifes fault. She actually had teh audacity to speak to me after and apologise!!! She said she thought that I had been putting on the pain I felt, and that she thought I was just too young (I was 19 at the time) to handle it. I asked her if she had children and she said no. How can anyone without their own experience of childbirth actually assist someone in giving birth. A stranger who doesn’t even know you… It was the worst time in my life and I never planned on having any more children as I was terrified the same thing would happen again. I ended up staying in hospital for 2 weeks after, on morphine, in pain, beyond grief. Suffering. Holding my dead son for a few days. not even being able to cry the pain cut me so deep. Having to even register J’s birth. Then get a death certificate and organise a funeral. The little white coffin with balloons on it, going to the crematorium and allowing them to burn his little remains along with a bunch of teddies and gifts 🙁
A psychedelic-free mind-blow! I would love to have this in my garden. Imagine how chilled you would be sitting in that garden for a while, gazing at the sculptures. How long before you’d switch off the internal dialogue and start ‘meditating’….. lost for words at the sheer beauty and talent that created this – Anthony Howe ♥