When I was planning this pregnancy I had quite a large number of women suggest that I should blog my journey. And I had big ideas about blogging my journey to freebirth after 2 traumatic, unsupported journeys. But then I became pregnant with baby number 3 and the blog just hasn’t happened.
Want to know why? (Of course you do…that’s why you’re reading this!)
Because, when you take away the drama that the system likes to add to birth, pregnancy and birth are really just everyday life with a bump.
My great plan was to blog all about how I was fighting the system as a way to inspire other women to add a little fire to their pregnancies and go out and fight the system as well.
But I haven’t really done any system fighting. In all honesty…pregnant with baby number 3 at 35 years of age while running a business, I’m too freaking tired to fight anyone over anything (except the last piece of chocolate…I will fight to death over that!).
I know – what a terrible birth activist I am. Shouldn’t I be setting an example for other women? Shouldn’t I be going in and doing the hard yards to convince the obstetric machine that VBA2C is perfectly reasonable? So that the obstetric machine will treat other women better in future?
Nope. Not my job at the moment. My job, right now, is to look after my baby and my pregnancy.
But I have learnt a lot that I would love to share with you. Oh my God, have I learnt a lot!
Permissive language is no longer necessary.
In my last pregnancy I spent a lot of time “negotiating”, “compromising” and trying to convince care providers to give me permission to birth how I wanted. NO MORE! Even though I had a good understanding of the legalities surrounding informed consent, I felt that my tactics would convince my care providers that I was reasonable (You can read all about my battle with Reasonable Woman Syndrome HERE) and that being seen as reasonable was important. It is so freeing this pregnancy to realise that their opinion of me is irrelevant. I hold all the cards when it comes to permission. I decide. Always.
And if it’s always my decision, then I don’t really need to go through all the stress of trying to convince the obstetric machine to give me permission. Once you cut out all those conversations seeking permission for things that you don’t actually need permission for…life is a lot simpler.
All those appointments? Your choice.
I’m pretty sure that 90% of my blogging would have been in response to appointments. Given that I haven’t really attended any that takes away a lot of blog material.
Seriously, you should try it! You’d be surprised at how many posts I read in my groups each week that are simply a big rant about a routine appointment. Don’t like the appointment schedule? Create your own! Don’t want to go and sit around for 3 hours in hospital only to find yourself getting bullied about your choices or having a 3 minute appointment that you get no benefit from? Don’t freaking go!
Sounds so simple hey.
On the topic of appointments: If you do choose to go, always have a goal.
We talk about always having a birth plan – because if you don’t have a plan you can bet your bottom dollar that the hospital will and you will just get directed to theirs. Same for appointments.
Take responsibility for your antenatal care and your health by ensuring that you have an antenatal care plan. Before every appointment ask yourself: Why am I here? What do I want? Is this the best place to get what I need?
Want to just be told what to do by your care provider? Want to offload the responsibility for your care so that you don’t have to step up and make decisions (which you are always responsible for anyway…even when you try to offload that responsibility)?
We all know that that’s not me!
Once you know what you want from your antenatal care you can more effectively use your time and energy to ensure that you get what you need. While other women are celebrating the fact that they had a lovely appointment where their midwife agreed with them…I’m celebrating the fact that I don’t need a midwife to validate my decisions. And using that time to have coffee and cake and watch Netflix!
This pregnancy I started off with a plan to have continuity of care from a known midwife through our local midwifery group program. When I was knocked back from that I could never have realised what a blessing in disguise it would be. It forced me to sit down and ask the question: What sort of care do I want?
Turns out I don’t want anyone leading my care except me.
Which has made for a beautiful and lower stress pregnancy.
But, women taking responsibility for themselves and their pregnancies, without a fight, without drama, without arguing their case doesn’t seem to be very blog worthy.
It took me so long to realise that this is what I missed in my previous pregnancies. The responsibility. And the preparation for my responsibilities as a mother.
I am the best carer for myself and my baby.
If you have any questions about my journey or would like me to further explore any specific concepts coming from my journey please let me know.