On Facebook I ‘like’ a person who calls himself ‘The Anaesthetic Registrar’ and I get updates of his postings (it is actually a group who write under the one name but for ease I will refer to them as he). I liked him because they always had comical anecdotes and stories of the hospital working day (or night). It’s funny how the same things happen all over the world and most of the time the black sense of humour most health professionals relate to prevails through the posts. One morning however I read his comment about a woman’s birth plan. I was slightly annoyed at the concept he was presenting (women with birth plans are the ones that are most likely turn to shit), but I know this to be a common belief amongst medical personnel, so took it with a grain of salt. I was even willing to ignore the part about ‘laminating it making it easier for your Doula to wipe the blood off’. What however I could not take was the 150 or so comments that followed his posting. I read with disgust at the lack of care and downright disrespect for birthing women that was coming across the board. With a few heaven sent exceptions (who were quickly shot down) these professionals were very clearly displaying their attitudes. Irate, I posted a response on empowering birthing women and giving them the right to choose. Almost as soon as I posted it I decided that a Facebook slanging match was not where I needed to spend my energies that day, so deleted it. Not soon enough it turned out. The response from another follower – ‘Empower the birth mother, like giving a handgun to a child, you’re pretty sure someone will get hurt’. These are the people we trust to guide our babies into the world and to have the best experience with.
If it sounds as though I am hospital bashing I really am not, but at some point enough is enough and attitudes have to change.
We are still searching for our ‘birth team’. We have three as a given (Todd, myself and baby) and with Lynda we make a happy four, but we need more! The search is far and wide, we started locally but have expanded wider… still we continue.
The wife of a friend of mine is a midwife at a small-town local hospital. I have been recommended them a few times as a great option for low-intervention hospital birth and it is certainly on our list of possibilities. I had to laugh at the classic ‘small-town’ joke my friend made when speaking about the hospital, ‘Oh yes, yes, very good. Don’t forget one important thing though.’
I was intrigued. ‘What’s that?’
‘Your baby will forever have where it was born on it’s birth certificate!’