And there I was minding my own business on a Thursday morning, going about my post summer holiday Mumdmin (a massive fuck off pile of washing) and I get a message from my lovely One to One midwife asking me how I am. Not too bad thanks, I tell her. To which she replies that she is glad I am ok and how would I like her to be my midwife… I am not 100% what she means. Has she got a job at my local hospital?! Nope, she is going to be an independent Midwife and would I like to be one of her first clients.
I wanted to say yes on the spot but obviously I needed to discuss money and the whole thing with Joe. We chatted about what would happen and the cost (why is discussing money so awkward?!). She offered to pop round the following day to answer any of my questions and to discuss it further. I thought that Joe would take a bit of convincing but he really surprised me by being totally on board. He said that he could see that I was feeling very uncomfortable about having a home birth with the community midwives and he wanted me to feel happy and secure during the birth (and I suspect, he was fed up with my moaning!)
After talking with Joe and then having a long chat with my lovely Midwife I felt so much better. Having a home birth with someone who I knew, who I trusted and felt in good hands with is so important. Not having to explain about Eilys to different people is so important to me too. At my booking in appointment with the community midwife I could see that it said on the screen something about Baby Number 2 – RIP (I can’t remember the exact wording but it definitely said RIP because that really annoys me). When I brought up the subject of wanting it explicitly in my notes that Eilys had died the midwife said “oh yes, I read your notes. I am so sorry” followed by “did you know if the baby was a boy or a girl? I think it is in some ways easier if you are able to name them” making it quite obvious that my “notes” were either very misleading or that she hadn’t read them very well. After an awkward chat about Eilys, with a very puzzled Dylan looking on, she said that she would adorn my notes with a teardrop sticker to indicate a previous bereavement and that she would make it more obvious on my computer notes. But she didn’t have any stickers and after another awkward chat with my named midwife it seems that the computer note didn’t do it’s job either. This chat included “Isn’t SMA hereditary? Do all your children have it?”…this question always makes me feel instantly panicky even though they have all been tested and another awkward chat ensued. And this time I could see that Eilys was spelt Lilys which really pissed me off… Anyway, these are the things that I don’t fancy explaining to 2 midwives as I am trying to keep my head in my special hypnobirthing place.
After our long discussion we decided that we would go for it. The way that it works is that our Independent Midwife will now do all my antenatal, intrapartum and post natal care. I can have as many appointments as I feel like I need between now and the birth (I have opted for the usual ones…), she will be on call for the birth and be with me at the birth, if I need to transfer into hospital for whatever reason she will accompany me as a additional birth partner if I want her to and she will do all my postnatal bits and bobs and appointments. As the NHS have “claimed” my maternity care fund for me already I am free to access them for any scans I might need, any blood tests, baby’s post-birth medical check (although she does have someone doing these for her if they are available) and like I said if I need to for whatever reason I can transfer into hospital.
I know I called this post a Big Decision but it really wasn’t that big a decision at all. Yes, deciding to spend money on something that we had been getting for free was a decision and quite a big one at that but I feel confident that this is a very good decision for us. I felt like a weight had been lift and I am feeling a lot happier about the whole thing. Birth is unpredictable and can be scary. I really didn’t want my last pregnancy to end in me feeling out of control and left with trauma (which is a strong word but fitting). I want things to be as easy and straightforward as possible without having to advocate for my choices and fight for what I want.
So this week I have a fun job of calling my named midwife and letting her know and I have my first “booking in” appointment with my new midwife (3 booking in appointments for 1 pregnancy must be some sort of record, right?). All in all I am a lot happier about everything. I am ploughing ahead with baby prep. I have brewers yeast on order to make lactation cookies, granola and whatever else takes my fancy (I am thinking falafels too this time… watch this space). I have my home birth box on the go and filling up nicely. I am packing my hospital bag ready, just in case. I have essential oils and healing crystals on order. This week I am recording some hypnobirthing scripts to use. My blessingway is being organised and I am very excited about it. And I even have some fun baby crafty projects planned (wall hangings, a mobile, maybe even some booties if I can remember how to crochet). It is all going on!
Thanks for reading