Why am I writing this? Not because I want to advertise home births only, but because I want to advertise choice, power and the importance of gaining as much information as you can before consenting to decisions, wherever you give birth.
I believe the most powerful point in a woman’s life is birthing her child. That this is when she feels at her most vulnerable, yet most proud and strong. If a woman successfully, in her own view, controls her own birth and does a good job, that pride lays the foundations for a strong mother who will always defend her child. If the mother feels she lacked control and did not do a good job, in her own view, then she has already begun on the path of handing away her parental rights, and soon vaccinating without thought and indoctrinating her child at a prison called school. I believe that birth today is yet another thing taken from us, to strip us of our self-worth. I believe the birth trauma is the beginning of you not trusting yourself as a mom, and then you begin to let others make your decisions for you. The state then mothers you and your baby; the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Because you are reading this, I assume you are already aware of the fact that the intention upon your soul is to weaken you into submission, so that you are under a dictatorship you are unaware of.
As a man, or as a woman who has not yet given birth, or cannot, you may not be able to relate to this, so I shall attempt to help you understand. Have you ever left an argument with things on the tip of your tongue that you wished you had said or done? And it has niggled at you for weeks, maybe longer, that you let another person overcome you? Well this is most births, that niggly feeling that not only one person overcame you but an entire room of people, one after the other for as long as 30-40 hours, whilst you were vulnerable, tired and totally trusting of them. Only this is not an argument, this is what should have felt like a miracle. Without ever experiencing it, you know with your entire being that you were cheated of its existence.
I will give as brief an outline as possible of three very different births. Because I have had three babies this may be a long story, but I shall attempt to keep as best a structure as I can, not being a professional writer. I have referenced subjects at the end of what I call the story text, to give a little information about the interventions and procedures I have discussed. The reason I am sharing these births is because the first birth was heavily intervened, the second one partly intervened, and the third left alone. I will call these births, the botched, the bullied and the beautiful, although my partner insists the bullied birth was only an attempted bullying, as he never knelt to anyone.
I would like to add at this point I do not advocate any woman to make the decisions I have made, based only on this text. Births are very different, so to ensure that your birth is safe and how you want it to be, read, read, and read some more. Find your areas (state, town, city, village) midwifery guide books, textbooks and standards for working practice, learn them, then research all of the possible interventions and technologies involved. Yes, it is hard work, but this is your baby, and my (or anybody else’s) experience is not enough to give you the strength you need to make the safest, happiest and best informed decisions, for your body and your baby. You have to gain an understanding and be able to discuss decisions with the professionals on their level, and understand and reason with them, to come to beneficial conclusions with which you are happy. Without a good understanding and with handful of fears ‘us more questioning types’ can often look mad, in comparison to the conforming norm. Understanding their terminology will take away these fears, and allow you to hold rational discussions. I promise you.
Do not be persuaded by only positive home birth stories, or negative hospital stories, or vice versa. Knowledge of yourself and all available literature should be your guidance. As I have said before hospitals are full of people, some very passionate who make the right decisions at the right times, and can intervene when ONLY necessary. My problem with hospitals is that they intervene too early and often cause more harm than good, because they treat every birth like an emergency and not a natural event. It is about knowing the risks and reasons for all procedures and feeling a part of the process, not apart from the process. This is your labour, your miracle.
I am sharing this information to motivate you into becoming aware of the birthing process and asking questions, and to feel good about yourself after the birth. As I have said, if you feel without power in your labour, it is the beginning of feeling without power throughout your entire parenting. A mum and dad who start strong gain momentum; if they begin weak they lose momentum. We as a people today have to resist the pressures applied to us and bring up strong children.
During my first pregnancy I had not done any research on scans, birth, vaccinations or anything. I had five scans. When my waters broke (kind of) we went to the maternity hospital and I was told I had meconium in my waters and should head to the city to give birth. Off we trotted; contractions had not really begun so it was just an ache from the baby positioning himself lower.
I was told meconium was a bowel movement from baby, which had mixed in the amniotic fluid, and the baby would be distressed. I was told I needed constant monitoring. We arrived at the hospital at about 4 am on Thursday morning where they broke my waters properly. The first day I had an external foetal monitor strapped (EFM) to my stomach (1) and I was unable to move. I begged for food as I was starved, but they advised against it in case I needed a caesarean. At 8pm, they decided to induce me; a doctor entered, tried to begin induction, could not find a vain and left in a huff after several attempts, leaving my hands like pin cushions, and the bruises lasted weeks. About thirty minutes after, another doctor arrived and he managed to induce me.
Contractions came very fast and intensified immediately, I was not allowed off the bed (or so I thought), as I did everything I was told like a good girl. They soon decided I needed a clip on my baby’s head, a Foetal scalp electrode(2), to read his stress levels. I took pethidine(3) for the pain, at 4 am I asked for an epidural(3), which had previously been offered. I was falling asleep when they administered it as I was drowsy from the pethidine and tired from lack of sleep. I told them I was still in pain and could feel everything; the epidural had not worked. They topped me up with more epidural, but still I felt every contraction, I kept telling them I was in pain and they refused to believe that the epidural had not worked.
I remember the midwife saying, ‘you have to give birth soon do you understand, you have to have this baby’, she looked worried. They said they were going to cut me and had some very big sheer looking things, so I panicked at being cut and pushed as hard as I could without a contraction, the midwife said you’re not contracting do not push, but I continued to push, and ripped myself quite badly from front to back (sorry to gore you out). My son was born and immediately disappeared. He was blue with a rectangle head and not breathing; unfortunately I was so drained I had no idea what was going on. It was 8am. They brought him back and began feeding him with a bottle.
I was being stitched without pain relief as the woman told me, because I had already had an epidural there was enough pain killer still in my system to deal with the stitches. As I had said, the epidural did not work so it hurt, a lot. The bed was covered in blood, the blinds and floor and wall had splashes so big it looked like a horror movie. Two women came in to wash me down and brought toast and tea. After they cleaned me I stood up and walked over to the tray. One women said, ‘I thought she had an epidural and couldn’t walk,’ tutted and left. I assume because of their unkind attitude that you only get a clean down after an epidural, and are unable to clean yourself? I was none the wiser, as I had no comparison, but felt she was very annoyed. I felt too sick to drink or eat so went back to the bed I gave birth in.
My baby was in the cot beside me. He was beautiful. I fell asleep and the next thing I heard was ‘shit, we forgot about them.’ It was 12.45pm on Saturday. They started rushing around rubbing my baby and pulling at my top, ‘naked to naked, best way to warm him up, he has gotten a little cold’ they said.
I could have also done with a warning about how sore weeing would be.
On Monday a doctor announced I needed a blood transfusion as my haemoglobin was extremely low. She asked how much blood I lost, I said the room looked like a psycho film set, and she asked why I had not told anyone I had haemorrhaged, was extremely weak and needed help. I said I hadn’t had a baby before and had no idea what was normal. I was given two bags of blood and iron tablets for three months.
The night after my transfusion, my baby tried to suckle as I leaked milk. I went to a midwife and asked if I should feed him (how ridiculous, I know), she said I was too weak and he was already used to a bottle, I fed him a bottle whilst dripping milk, it felt like the most unnatural thing I have ever done.
I apologise if this was a horror birth story, but my only intention is so you understand that ignorance causes harm, that a lack of personal knowledge and a naive trust of those in authority are a bad combination.
After 11 years I became pregnant again and spent a lot of time worrying about my labour and researching things. This time I was a lot older, and had a good understanding of the real world and knew that sociopaths were in control of it. I read everything I could about each stage and intervention. I refused my first ultrasound(4) scan; I was ridiculed, the main consultant rolled his eyes and said to his staff, ‘she has been on the internet’. Enraged and sent home like a naughty girl with a new scan date and a lot of fears they had instilled in me. They said they would get the notes from my first birth to see if a scan could be missed or not (they talk like you have no choices). They wanted me to have an internal scan as they were worried about damage during my first birth. They said there could be complications with us both if they did not check. Worried by their concerns, again I did as my told, although I did tell them they were to take no longer than necessary. They did the scan within a couple of minutes, and apparently everything was fine.
However, the nagging self-hate of going against my will pricked at me. I refused the flu jab(5), but admitted consent for the anti-d injection (I am Rh negative, none of my babies are) as I had not and still have not looked into this enough to fully understand the concerns that they present to you. If anybody does have this information please share it with me, as I would be interested and grateful.
Fast forward to the day of my second son’s birth; again my waters broke with meconium. I had planned for a home birth and told nobody about the greenish smears on my pad, as I wanted a home birth so badly that at first I kept it to myself, but I kept the pad, because I knew I would have to own up and be sent to hospital, and I was.
All of a sudden things seemed very similar, although this time I was wide awake, refusing all drugs and pissed off to be there. They were worried about the baby’s stress, and wanted to monitor. I did not want to be strapped down to an EFM (1), and got narky, so they decided to induce me and the contractions hit hard and fast. By this time there was a room full of suits arguing with my partner who whole heartedly defended my honour in refusing the clip FSE(2), monitoring on my baby’s head, after arguing with countless practitioners that I did not want one. They were forceful, threatening and totally against the notion that we have a choice. I agreed to the EFM (1), as a compromise (niggle, niggle, self-hate). My baby did not have the clip (Pride and self-respect).
I needed the toilet. I had never had a contraction standing up before, and the difference in pain is about 70% less. I was bewildered and kept saying, why doesn’t it hurt when you stand up, but they shushed me to bed and re-monitored me, as I lay there knowing the huge difference in pain. I sucked it up but wanted to cry, my mind thinking, but if I stand up and am in less pain then the baby will not be as stressed, surely?
I am worried that my baby was not okay and after every contraction I asked if his heartbeat was okay. She confirmed after each contraction his heartbeat lowers. I did not realise at the time that I was buying into bullshit and panicking when I shouldn’t have. I kept my mind sane by talking about research I had read, in-between contractions I was telling my midwife about ‘synthetic happiness’ and how affirmations can help mold your subconscious into driving your conscious to make the decisions you want in life. At this point the contractions were very painful. The witches were holding my legs down and telling me not to move. Understanding my subject matter was aimed at myself, I started doing affirmations ‘I am a strong women, I can handle this, I am doing really well, I will hold my baby soon, I am proud of myself’, believe me, it was better than drowsy drugs, which increase your labour time, but they don’t tell you that when they offer them. My beautiful son was born, but the bullying didn’t end there.
I had no stitches, just grazes. I slipped into the shower and got myself cleaned up. They commented that they could not believe how well I did so soon after birth, or that I managed to chat all the way through my labour like we were at a morning coffee. My diet was amazing when I was pregnant; I ate fruit and vegetables all day and took spirulina, chlorella, hemp protein and flax in smoothies. I drank fresh carrot and apple juice daily; I was almost superwoman. I put my recovery down to my diet, fitness and refusing painkillers.
The next hurdle came in refusing the vitamin K injection. My decision for this was that it was full of preservatives and plastic. I had been taking vitamin k for 6 weeks before my birth and did not let them cut the cord until it had stopped beating (some doctors argue that the cord being cut too early does not allow the required minerals and vitamins into baby). I was breastfeeding so the baby would get the vitaminK in my milk, but they argued babies do not get enough from milk, and I argued my diet was very good and that I had also supplemented from natural plant sources in pills. The reason to give vitamin K is in case the baby haemorrhages due to any internal bleeding, vitamin K ensures blood clotting. I told them my son had not had forceps or any signs of pressure to his head, and I felt no need for the injection.
My partner is very logical and often points things out at almost a child’s level. I am not dissing him, he has a magical ability to just state something or ask a question in a way that leaves everyone as awkward as when a child points at a dwarf and says why he is little like me. With this logical brain he suddenly saw what most of us do not. When our baby’s umbilical cord bled a little, it soon stopped, and my partner observed ‘there you go, his blood clots, no need to worry then’.
Unfortunately, with the inability to trust myself as a mother, I had been worried when the head paediatrician came into our room telling us how our negligence could cause the death of our baby, but I did not cave in, even though the pressure was difficult and tiring. Our entire time at the hospital was spent with us defending our position. Our so called ‘choices’ being held against us like we were putting our child at constant risk, being given each list of worst case scenarios one after the other to scare us into conforming.
I also refused the hearing test because I felt it was invasive, and as my partner logically pointed out ‘he reacts when the door open and shuts, he doesn’t need one.’ I had to sign papers to refuse this, and again was given questions and person after person to explain things to me, in case I had ‘misunderstood’.
The day after the birth I was allowed home, unlike my first birth in which I had to stay for almost a week. I was very tired, though, and just wanted to sleep, but little babies are hungry monster sand he fed hourly… for a few years.
My last pregnancy came as a shock. A health visitor checking the wellbeing of our new little boy happened to hand us a leaflet with contraception methods, and one was breastfeeding, which is apparently 98% effective (thank the gods for this little leaflet).
My math is a little rubbish but a few weeks later the intuitive side of me said, so out of every 49 women who breastfed, one of them becomes pregnant? That is quite high really.
A few weeks later my partner made a sandwich for me, and the onion in it made me feel sick, and alarm bells rang. I had a doctor’s appointment the next day, so whilst I was there I asked for a pregnancy test. On the way home I was in massive shock as my new son was only 11 weeks old.
Luckily because we had just been through the pregnancy mill, it was fresh in our minds, and fresh in the minds of our midwives. When starting the refusals for scans and requesting a pinard horn instead of a Doppler, most of the midwives were aware of us. Saying no thank you was easier the second time around. Because I had no period to guess a due date from, I allowed one scan, to assume the due date. The midwife who booked us in had also read research and gave us a scan date when she thought the foetus would be older. She said that in some countries they were introducing earlier scans, and she thought it would affect the hearing of babies and that the future would be full of children with hearing problems.
Things seemed a lot easier this time. There was less intervention as I was a recent mom, meaning there were less check-ups. It was a much nicer pregnancy. I had the anti-d injection. I refused the flu jab at the same time as refusing my little man’s vaccinations (7); my doctor asked me questions about my reasons for refusals and wrote a small but quite kind report, saying that I had made an informed decision through the understanding of academic literature. He discussed with me if I understood what a ‘causal relationship’ in research was, and was happy that I did. Although I felt annoyed about this, he put notes on my file that stopped me having to re-explain to health visitors in future.
I again requested a home birth, and after reading about veiled births and how they hurt less, asked the gods above for one of those. My labour began in the early hours of the morning; I had slept as usual with my little boy in my arms suckling away at milk all night. When I got up and decided to ring the midwives it was almost 9am. Contractions were every 2-3 minutes, everything started quite fast, so I rang my mom to come and pick up the baby outside of the womb, but was very worried about him, because although he was eating solids, he still fed from me constantly. I had never been able to express, so he had rarely left me either. He fed on demand and I was worried he would be hungry and sad.
When the midwife arrived I was already 8 centimetres dilated. Things were moving fast, I had not eaten so got a banana from the kitchen and every time I bit it I had a contraction, so I never got through it. I put on music I liked, set the room up with blankets and got ready to have a baby. Because of my previous experience I thought it may take a while. I walked around the living room, rolled around the floor, sometimes howled, sometimes not. I had gas and air that ran out pretty quickly, and they had to call for more; this was the only intervention, whilst I was in labour, a call for more gas and air.
As I heard my mom leaving with the little man, I shouted her in so I could feed him; my biggest concern during my labour was my 11 month old baby boy. I sat him on my knee and fed him through a few contractions and then off he went.
I put on a reiki healing soundtrack, and began to relax. The midwives would just ask if they could have a little look and would ask if I felt ready to push; other than that, they chatted with each other and my partner as I breathed and moved. Oh, how nice it is to move in labour. Of course it still hurts; I am not going to lie to you that it doesn’t hurt, because it does, but very differently to being strapped to a bed and held still so monitors don’t slide around.
I felt ready to push. I laid down and my partner sat behind me, midwives got into position and I pushed, my waters broke with a giant splash and my poor midwife got drenched. I got handed a little girl, nearly a veiled birth, only a second away (thank you gods, I am sure if I worked with you and crouched, I may have got my wish). Again there was a show of meconium in the water, so an ambulance was called to take us to the hospital to check baby’s lungs.
When the ambulance people arrived they were a little disrespectful, just leaning on the windowsill gossiping about the mutual people they knew, as my beautiful baby girl received her first feed. I felt like telling them to bugger off, but again sometimes politeness from one allows rudeness of another. One man did sit on the stairs waiting though, which was nice of him. I nipped upstairs to get washed up and dressed to go to the hospital. I was asked to lie on the stretcher, which I had said ‘do I have to’ to which he replied ‘yes’. I have noted that the way you bring about a discussion, is whether or not you get your own way. I asked him for permission to walk and he did not grant it. If I had asserted I was walking to the ambulance I am sure I would have.
In the ambulance my midwife called me ‘a proper mother earth’ and said she had never witnessed a woman nursing whilst in labour before and that she could not believe I had, and would always remember this. I ‘behaving super cool’ told her that I had to be responsible, and that was all there was to it. However, she hadn’t seen the tear roll down my cheek as I fed my little boy, holding him for comfort as much as he held to me for comfort; I wanted him to stay and everyone else to leave.
I did not appreciate being taken to the hospital; we had to sit in a cold room for almost three hours just for a nurse to listen to her chest. My midwife informed me as we waited that if I had gone to hospital, my waters would have been broken for me, that they would have seen the meconium and my labour would have been monitored like the previous ones. Thanks to our gods again that my waters remained. We again declined the vitamin K, this time with no assault on our wellbeing, and we went home.
The next day I had to take her back for a general overview, and to again decline a hearing test and sign papers to say I had refused. I walked to the hospital and back with my daughter in a baby sling; the midwives were concerned that I had walked. I told them I felt fine. Again I cannot stress enough that a really good diet whilst pregnant is important, and especially more so if feeding a baby whilst pregnant. Eat as well as you can and maintain exercise at a level you are comfortable with.
We sat at home loving our new baby and waiting for our other baby to return home. When he did, he cried at seeing another baby on his booby, but I reminded him I had two boobies, and he latched on looking over at his tiny sister. He was huge in comparison, and they fed together happily ever after, and hourly… for a couple of years.
The only niggly bit I have about my daughter’s birth is not walking proudly to the ambulance and not telling the ambulance staff to shush and wait outside if they wanted to gossip amidst a miracle. In comparison to the botchering and bullying, these little niggles are nothing.
My third birth healed me and gave me the complete powerful feeling of being a woman that I had previously lacked. It gave me a new sense of strength, self and pride. It also gave me the present of how nice a birth should be, how holding your new-born should feel, how delivering a miracle surrounds you with something that words cannot describe.
Little do we know of the guilt and shame we carry when not feeling the pride that we should.
1 ) EFM (Electronic fetal heart monitoring):
Causes; ‘Increased chance of a caesarean surgery (C-section), Increased chance of a vacuum extraction or forceps delivery, Labour may slow down, Maternal mobility may be reduced, Incorrect readings, Increased chance that the mother will need additional pain medication’. (Birth Injury Guide). The EFM restricts movements and often gives out false positive results; research has confirmed that most practitioners read the graphs badly and because of this other interventions are then used.
2) Fetal Scalp Electrode:
“FSE was used in 37,492 (22%) of deliveries and was associated with increased risk of subdural and cerebral hemorrhage, injury to scalp due to birth trauma, cephalohematoma, jaundice, asphyxia, and sepsis (TABLE). In a secondary analysis, FSE + VAVD was associated with a substantially higher risk of composite trauma including scalp injury, subdural and cerebral hemorrhage, subgaleal hematoma and cephalohematoma” (American Journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 2015)
The FSE definitely causes harm, some practitioners often clamp the wrong area, and babies are born with the clamp attached to their face or buttocks. We can only imagine what horror a baby feels at something coming into its world and harming it.
>According to WHO the leading cause of the death of women during labour is haemorrhage.
3) Pethidine and Epidurals:
‘Not only are these drugs unnecessary for a safe, comfortable, and positive birth experience, but they can hinder it…many of the drugs used during labor are used “off label” meaning the FDA has not approved them for use during childbirth…can affect the maturation, specialization, placement, and efficiency of the infant’s brain cells. Babies exposed to labor drugs in utero are also more likely to have low Apgar scores… Babies whose mothers had drugs during labor or delivery take longer to attempt to breastfeed and are more likely to cry when handled for up to seven weeks post-birth…women who receive an epidural report being less satisfied with their birth experience ‘ (Psychology today, 2013).
Painkillers in labour also slow down labour and slow down babies heart beat (NHS) and requires constant monitoring of mum and baby.
Pasco Rakic (Yale university) and his team have shown that ultrasound can be harmful to brain formation, and that brain cells gather in areas of the brain in which they are not meant to. There is also proof of learning difficulties according to several different studies (Midwifery today).
5) Flu jab
Unnecessary and harmful. (Health impact news).
6) Newborn Hearing Screening
‘For every 1 child with mild hearing loss identified at birth, 2 will not be identified until speech/language delays are evident.’ (Developed for the Minnesota Department of Education, 2011).
We have to question if newborn screen can be left until later, when concerns are apparent.
The biggest concern is a false positive result which results in babies wearing hearing aids that; ‘”If a very compliant parent puts the hearing aids on their baby every day, it can cause permanent damage within a week,” Hayes says.’ (CNN, 2011).
My first son has Aspergers syndrome, he had a seizure not long after a vaccination at four months old. I think this video is really useful when deciding to vaccinate or not; ‘371–Immunity, Infectious Disease, and Vaccination: Why do vaccines pose serious physical, mental, and behavioral dangers in humans?
I cannot stress enough that understanding the information available to you, is the best weapon you can have in this world. Today we are lucky to be able to communicate in the way we do, to instantly share information in the way we do. Use this privilege to protect yourself, and the generation who have to continue our fight when we have gone.