Reasons to have a homebirth.
Reason Number 38: Baby will not be separated from mother.
From my post on 2/02/2017 you will remember my initial list of reasons women choose to birth at home totaled 40.
Today let us look at reason number 38.
This is not a randomly chosen item from my list of 40 reasons to have a homebirth post.
One would hopefully assume it is common sense in this day and age to keep a healthy mother and baby unit intact after birth. But no, in 2017 common hospital routines, seemingly harmless tasks, result in babies being separated. Even if for just “a few minutes” I find this offensive and unacceptable.
Just last month ago our family was blessed with the arrival of Mason, the first born of my son Chris and his beautiful partner Jorja. It was a lovely summers day in the North East of Victoria.
Jorja chose hospital birth for her own valid and well researched reasons. I fully support her decision and trust her instincts to do what is right for her body and her baby. I am quietly proud she made choices even when she suspects I may not approve of them because she does not need my approval, just my unconditional support.
When birth was eminent, as I wrote in my post More New Love, I had been hovering anxiously downstairs in the cafeteria. Anxious not because Jorja was birthing but because she was birthing in hospital and I vehemently wanted to protect her from unnecessary intervention.
Chris rang me to see where I was and I disclosed that I was downstairs in the cafe. He said “Do you want to come up and meet your grandson” Tears of joy filled my eyes. “Really? ” “Are you sure? Is Jorja okay?”
I raced up the stairs and met Jorja’s mum coming down looking tired but elated, grinning from ear to ear. We had a big cuddle.
After the birth
Jorja and Chris were reveling in the minutes after birth, celebrating their achievement and getting to know Mason. I was privileged to be allowed in to meet Mason with the first hours after his birth. Jorja was being cared for by my former colleagues and they were doing a mighty fine, loving, professional job of it.
Imagine my horror/anger/disappointment when Mason was just one hour old the midwife providing her care announced she was taking Mason off to the nursery. She asked Chris “if he would like” to follow and watch the proceedings, as she weighed, tagged, jabbed and checked him over.
Chris dutifully rose as bidden, as would most men I guess and my inner demons rose. How I contained myself to a calm reasonable voice without hurling something is a testament to me impeccable social graces.
Inside I screamed
“YOU ARE NOT &%@!ING TAKING MY BABY GRANDSON AWAY FORM HIS MOTHER!! And there is NO WAY you are taking him to that nursery full of strangers, noise, light and manhandling him NO FARKING BLOODY WAY. Who the hell in 2017 separates babies’ from their mothers? Healthy well babies, mind you. This woman had clearly lost her mind.
On the outside, I plastered my sweet innocent smile on and asked calmly “Would it be possible to bring the portable scales in here to weigh Mason, so Jorja can watch?”
Remember, I used to work here, in this very labour ward, in this very women centered care Community Midwife Program. I knew my request was not only possible but bloody well preferable. What had happened the to CMP I knew? I was ready to fight this one.
By the way, Jorja and Chris did not ask me to advocate. I had vowed all along not to interfere, to follow their leads and requests. So I broke my promise. My bad! Sorry Jorja.
The midwife tried hard not to roll her eyes, but was unable to hide her tired sigh of “bother it”. She that hinted the portable scales had not been working last week. I asked gently if she could perhaps check.
I know she was tired. I know that because she told us. Guess what? Jorja and Chris were tired too and baby Mason deserved to stay with his mother where he damn well belonged.
I know it would have been easier for the midwife to take him to the nursery to perform her list of tasks. Guess what? I don’t care. She is not employed to take the easy way out; she is employed to provide the best possible evidence based personalised care available.
The whole point of my rant is this.
When a woman births at home she WILL NOT be separated from her baby unnecessarily. Her antsy mother in law will not have to but in and advocate for the baby to stay with its mother.
Related Post: 40 Reasons to have a homebirth