So, yesterday I booked a home birth with the community midwives.
I keep saying that it’s by way of keeping my options open – it’s much easier to book a home birth, then go to hospital, than the other way around. But mostly I’m saying that to avoid having to justify myself to people who might not approve. I’m saying, “I’m not committed to the idea…” but the truth is I’m pretty sure it’s what I want. My biggest worry is that I could end up with my heart so set on not going in to hospital, that I refuse to recognise it if the situation should make it desirable.
I’ve become very distrustful of the maternity procedures – from the ones that dictate your due date in the face of all common sense, to the ones that define high risk as a perfectly healthy mother and baby who’ve crossed a time marker – either relating to how long you’ve been pregnant, or how long you’ve been in labour. Daisy crossed all of the said markers, without a hint of a problem to her or to me, but with lots of medicalisation of the process along the way.
Plus, today, I heard about a mother who had a caesarean at the weekend, and was put on a ward further from her baby than she could walk. The staff were too busy to take her to him by wheelchair, and her husband had chosen to go work, to save his paternity leave when they’re discharged, so she didn’t see her baby from bed time on the day he was born, until 2pm the following day. I don’t know the details – he might have been taken away to be in the SCBU, rather than because he wasn’t wanted on the ward she was on, but I’m nevertheless rather impotently furious for her. What price breastfeeding? What price bonding, and skin to skin, and letting the poor mite hear her (already familiar) voice when he’s suddenly out in the big cold world? And what price PND, and the effect on her of essentially having her baby kidnapped and taken from her?
It’s one more reason to stay here, really, isn’t it? No one can take your baby anywhere in your own house. And if they do, you give them what for, because it’s your house.