It was quite early on in my pregnancy when I decided that I would ideally like to have a homebirth.
I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to hospitals and the idea of being able to go through what would likely be the biggest, scariest and most painful moments of my life in the safe cocoon of my own home really appealed to me.
Homebirths however are not that popular these days and as people heard of my choice concerned advice and ‘you’re so brave to want that’ proclamations rained down on me. The biggest hurdle that I had to overcome was the husbands resistance to the idea. ‘Babies are born in hospitals, not homes. That’s just how it is’ he said when I first broached the subject with him.
I spent a lot of time scouring the internet for as much information and statistics as I could find regarding home birth versus hospital births. I openly admit to being a control freak and I felt I needed to arm myself with facts and figures to calm my own nerves and to win the husband around.
I found out what kind of care I would receive outside of hospital, what pain relief would be available to me, what would happen in an emergency and endless figures about scary things like mortality rates, hospital transfer rates and complication facts.
The husband warmed to the idea, fears put to rest by the promise of fantastic midwife care, and one night in late January 2011 I went into labour. Around twelve hours later, surrounded by three midwives and right in the middle of our front room, Beans arrived into the world and took her very first breath. A miracle.
I consider myself so lucky to have had the amazing birth experience that I did. Beans was born exactly where I wanted her to be and we were all safe, well and impeccably cared for throughout.
But what if I had never had that choice? What if I had to give birth at home, but I was alone with no health care professional there to help? I have sat behind the screen of my computer trying to imagine giving birth without the support and guidance of a midwife. The only word that I can come up with is terrifying. Absolutely, utterly terrifying.
What about the aftercare? The invaluable help with breastfeeding, weaning and what to do if your baby becomes ill – without that I would be absolutely lost.
Some people don’t have that choice.
Nirob’s mother Shipra lives in the village of Bosikali. Shipra has given birth to four children. In each instance, she gave birth at home without a doctor or trained midwife, and she did not receive any antenatal medical attention. Her first three children all died within hours or days of their birth (1 day, 6 hours, and 3 days respectively).
From April 23rd 2012 Save The Children are running the Build It For Babies campaign to raise money to help mums and babies in Bangladesh. A place where every hour of every day, 11 newborn babies die in Bangladesh. That’s about one every six minutes. That’s up to 960 newborn babies in the time that will pass between now and the start of the campaign. That is why we all need to do something.
Get involved, read more about the campaign here. Donate £1 by sending XVRL71 £1 in a text to 70070 – it takes less than 30 seconds and is so worth it. Help to spread the word by writing your own post and get involved in #blogitforbabies. You can even meet the legendary Mammasaurus for fun/humiliation/frolics all in the name of charity on her epic tour of the country.
As bloggers our capacity for promoting change is huge, it would be amazing if we could all really get behind Save The Childrens campaign.