Saturday 16 March 2013

Fighting for Independent Midwifery

There doesn't seem to be a day go by where i don't think about the hardships we've been through as a  family to get to where we are today and when thinking of this my thoughts always come to one very special lady in particular...

The day after my 30th birthday we had the greatest news i could have ever asked for, Mrs M was excitedly waving a first response test in the air with a huge smile on her face. We were going to have a baby, my first child. I was filled with excitement and couldn't stop smiling. I had wanted children since i was about 16, i always knew i wanted to be a dad but unfortunately unstable relationships and bad life style choices prevented this from happening. This was finally my time though and i was going to embrace it fully. I had no idea what to expect i just knew that what ever happened if it all went smoothly it was going to be everything i ever wanted.

The first few weeks were like being in a bubble, the thoughts of being a dad were taking over everything i did, I started buying toys and clothes and anything that looked fun. But then things changed, Mrs M started to get very sick and was spending more and more time in bed. She had suffered with severe sickness while pregnant with Seth but this was something else. Mrs M has serious anxiety issues with hospitals and the NHS in general (and after what we have been through i now understand why). We had a long talk one day and decided that hiring an IM (Independent Midwife) was the right thing to do. I wanted Mrs M to be as comfortable as she could and having someone at he end of the phone or there in person whenever we needed them made a lot of sense.

We contacted Amanda from and as soon a we met her we knew we wanted her to be with us on this amazing and soon to be emotional journey. I remember her leaving our house and us looking at each other and both saying how lovely she was. Things on the pregnancy front started to deteriorate and Mrs M was spending more and more time in bed. She was being sick 40ish times a day and it became very debilitating for her. I decided to keep a diary from the day i found out Mrs M was pregnant and i kept it up filling 4 books, Sometimes i think i should read through it all but i can't bring myself to go through it again as i think i would find it too upsetting.

Visits to the GP seemed like a waste of time and there was many hospital visits where the outcome was us being fobbed off and sent home. One Friday night Mrs M was so ill she collapsed, i think she had got to the point where she couldn't take anymore and we phoned for an ambulance. Seth was asleep and Mrs M didn't want to wake him so she went alone i was so upset with the way things were going. Not long after she got to the hospital she was being sent home and was made to feel like she was wasting their time. The following morning Amanda contacted a different hospital, came and picked her up and took her in and that's where she stayed for the night. She was dangerously dehydrated and was put on a drip but then again sent home the following day with doctors claiming she was fine. Four days later she was suffering with severe chest pains so we went to the GP who told us that it was probably a 'strained lung' but could be a possible PE but was sent away. When we got home we rang Amanda who told us that if there is a 'possible PE' then the protocol is to be sent to hospital by blue light as they can instantly kill you. So again this was not taken seriously and our INDEPENDENT MIDWIFE acted on what was happening. At the hospital they found 2 Pulmonary embolisms (blood clots) in her lung and the doctor gave Mrs M a 1 in 3 chance of survival. This is where i started to realise why she was so anxious about the NHS, all that fobbing off yet our IM Amanda did everything she could to help us out many times going beyond what her job entailed

Mrs M was prescribed many different drugs that seemed to have no effect and everytime a GP told us there were no other drugs to try Amanda did her research and found something else for us to ask our GP to prescribe. You could tell that both the GP'S and Hospital staff were getting annoyed with Amanda's contribution to our situation but the NHS were not giving us the level of care that they seem to think they are known for. There's a reason why there are private hospitals and Independent midwives, people want to feel looked after and we didn't want to feel like another item on a hospital conveyor belt.

The most significant part of this story is that while Amanda was doing everything she could to help us, researching every aspect of what was happening with Mrs M the GP's, Doctors and hospital staff had only one option for us to get Mrs M back on the road to recovery.... WE WERE OFFERED A TERMINATION over and over again, to the point were we sat together and talked and although we were both so upset we decided it was the right thing to do for Mrs M's health and booked an appointment at the GP to talk about it. We sat in the surgery and all i could think about was how this was going to make Mrs M feel down the line. We had the support of a great and very knowledgeable midwife but pure desperation was pushing us where we didn't want to go. While waiting a woman sat down next to us with a new born and we must have been thinking the same thing because when we sat down in the Dr's office neither of us said a word. We walked out and decided we were going to fight it, we had the support and full attention of an independent midwife, we were going to be fine.

Weeks went by and although Mrs M didn't get any better and there was lot's of time spent in hospital our Independent Midwife was there when ever we needed her at anytime of the day. Knowing that she had a special phone (which she called the Batphone, Seth loved that!) and was always on the end of it made Mrs M and myself relax just that little bit.

On the morning of Opeie's birth 2 Midwives and a trainee midwife came to our aid in the middle of the night and we were completely looked after. Although we all did everything we could for us to have the home water birth we had planned more complications occured and we had to be transfered in to hospital but Amanda never left our side and the other 2 were close by and this was very important to us. Opeie finally arrived, big, healthy and completely unaware of the trouble he had caused (little tinker). As happy as we were as a family this wasn't the end of Mrs M's health issues but our Independent Midwife's after care was truly amazing and was still there for us every time we needed her. Opeie wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the love,attention and dedication she puts in to her work everyday.

If your a regular reader then your probably wondering why the long, personal detailed post
so I'll hand over to Mrs M...

Independent Midwives are going to be made illegal from October 2013, because the government is basically insisting that any Private health professional has full indemnity insurance, although midwives are Insured to do their jobs, an indemnity insurance doesn't exist, making it impossible for them to practice. ( Hands tied basically )

Which means, that from October 2013, women wanting an independent midwife won't be able to choose the care they want. They won't be able to choose the birth they want, as the NHS pigeon holes women into 'High Risk' for anything from being over 30 BMI, to having a previous section, ( which yes, has risks, but I know plenty of women who've had safe water births after a section) and lots of other reasons.

So, if you're a woman or man, wanting to give women a simple human right, the choice where/ when/ how they give birth, please sign the petition below, we need 150,000 signatures to force the government to speak about it in parliament.

I beg you to sign this petition:

Opeie wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Amanda , and I doubt I would be either.

Below is a short video with more details. please take the time to watch and thank you for your support it really means a lot to us as a family.

1 comment:

Lori hunter said...

Wow! Amanda sounds like an Amazing midwife !