Saturday, 19 March 2011
Been thinking a lot about this lately...... A few hours after Alfie died I was sitting in a room in the hospital (can't even remember which room) discussing with the consultant on duty the birth procedure. My gut instinct was just to get Alfie out - I wanted a section there and then. I was persuaded however, for many different reasons to have an induction - one of the biggest reasons and the one that swayed me was my mums, she said - 'you've been robbed of your baby, don't be robbed of the experience of childbirth'......she was absolutely right. After Alfie was born we did skin to skin straight away - the labor itself was good under the circumstances, we were given a pessary at apprx 8am and he was born at 6.30pm good for a 1st labor. I felt like wonder women - I had actually given birth - theres teh cathc - I'd in reality given death, how awful is that!It was however not my ideal birth (aside from Alfie being stillborn), I had always wanted a water birth and we were on schedule to do that. I used to imagine having my 1st baby in water in the hospital and future babies at home in a pool. I love swimming and as I had just swam a 5k swimathon the day before i found out I was pregnant with Alfie a waterbirth seemed so appropriate. Since Alfie's birth both my other pregnancies have been inductions at 37 weeks - I couldn't have coped with any other way. So why does part of me still feel robbed of a more natural water birth - my babies are here safely and that's the important part. I also wonder why when I hear of somemone else's pregnancy do I still have a pang - is it because I want more babies? is it because I actually want Alfie, is it because I want the bubble back - the time before, before I lost my wee man when life was simple. So, robbed of my son and robbed of my dream to have a natural water birth. I imagine that if I have another baby I'll be brave enough to have a homebirth - I can only do this fantasy because I know it's exactly that - no more babies for us, so I can safely dream.....the reality would be I'd be too scared to not be monitored and in control.
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Sunday, 6 March 2011
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Sometimes weeks go by without much thought of sands and other times it feels like it is my life. I had a support meeting on friday night and listened to my wonderful friend tell her lovely son Callan's story, which was emotional....Monday I talked to 20 midwives and students about the role of sands in the journey of baby loss. It felt great to feel as though our story might actually have an impact on the way they think in the future, the way other parents and babies are treated and the way a woman is treated in subsequent pregnancies. That's my big thing - I know we can't bring the babies back, but we can insure the next pregnancy is as easy as possible - no repetition of story, the same faces to deal with, control over decisions and so on. Of course it also felt good to express the pride I felt in my son, that event hough he was dead I still wanted skin to skin, I wanted to see him - I'd spent 9 months imagining what he looked like, how he would feel, smell.....paradoxically I was both excited and frightened of seeing him. I knew my hello would also be a goodbye. Monday night I had a sands committee meeting and discussed many things that we can do to improve the services we offer, this resulted in me getting back on the email to our local MSP. I spent a while thinking recently about what I want for my role in sands and came to the decision whilst chatting with mum that I would like to be an advocate for parents who have experienced stillbirth. If I can influence the way doctors, midwives, health visitors treat us then I know Alfie's legacy will be fulfilled. He is the reason other mums are being treated with kindness and consideration, therefore his far too short existence has had a tangible purpose. I spoke with my health visitor on Tuesday and discussed what sands does, so I am now delivering some training to her 'cluster group' of surgeries, she didn't even know to contact us if she had to help a bereaved parent!!!! My friend Susan and I are now booked on to the sands befrienders training course, we will officially be able to help bereaved parents. Phew, I also started reading 'they were still born' thanks for the tip Jeanette. And finally last night I watched 'one born every minute' which showed a woman having a live birth after a stillbirth, I felt strangely detached......not sure how I felt about it - had anticipated feeling very emotional possibly built myself up for it, but then when you've experienced it for real watching someone else isn't too hard. On weeks like this, I think I appreciate all that Alfie has given me - my wonderful sands friends, my relationship with my mum and dad and most of all my husband and darling kids we brought home - without whom life seems impossible. had Alfie not gone before they wouldn't exist - a thought that is nothing short of terrifying. From the shadows of my darkest moments comes the light of my babies smiles xxxx