Thames Valley Midwives, 2012 - I was planning a home waterbirth with my first. At 41 weeks my midwives told me I needed to do a nonstress test. I went in to hospital at lunch time planning to have lunch after I was done. My baby had been active on the drive but decided to take a nap during the ultrasound.
Because she wasn't moving, they got very concerned and decided I needed to be induced right away. She was totally fine I now firmly believe that just wanted an excuse to induce. I am so thankful I had a great doula and very supportive husband, without them I would have been pushed into an epidural and C-section.
My husband overheard the midwifes talking about if I didn't get moving, I was having a section. At that time I have only been in induced labour for a couple hours and was nowhere near any cut-off times. I was denied food and castigated for sneaking food from my husband's lunch box. I asked for juice or broth and it took 2 hours to come.
The whole experience was unempowering and made me feel like a child rather than a woman doing an amazingly strong and powerful thing.
After the birth when I was sleeping, a nurse came in and without waking me or introducing herself, proceeded to check my pad. This was very upsetting. Later when I tried to talk to my midwife and told her I don't think the induction was necessary, she said it was for meconium which was totally untrue.
I came away from the birth with pretty serious postpartum depression and when I voiced concerns about how I was feeling I was brushed off. I had 2 more children with the same midwifery practice since there where no other options. With my last I said enough, I'm making the change for myself that I need. I birthed my last at home surrounded by my family and into my own hands without anyone there who I didn't invite. It was the most empowering and strengthening experience and for the first time I didn't have postpartum depression after I birthed my child.
I hope some day we have enough midwifes available and a free market so we can have good health care providers based on our choice to support them rather than just having to put up with whomever is available.
From my 4 births I have learned that the care or lack can be a huge determining factor in how my whole motherhood journey progresses. I wonder how different a mother and person I would be if I had had a beautiful and empowering first birth rather than being broken down and having to take the next 3 births to heal and regain confidence in my body.
I talked to my midwife briefly but only made a formal complaint on the evaluation form after the birth of my 3rd baby. I never heard back from that letter.
I want people to know I'm sure to the midwives and everyone else this just looked like a run-of-the-mill birth. It wasn't long or complicated and both I and my baby were physical healthy, but it's what's on the inside that matters.
I hope women reading this can learn from all these experiences and find the courage to say no to disrespectful care providers.