Today is International Day of the Midwife and I am a bit obsessed with Midwives it seems. Have just been going through my blogs, to discover what I have written about you and I discover it’s an awful lot! I wrote this thanking all that helped second time and this about my wonderful comunity midwives first time, and this about my love for the NHS and this about the midwife with her brilliant deadpan humour that helped me hugely. I also wrote real life letters – to the first hospital they received a huge complaint letter about some of the care I received but also a genuine thank you letter for aspects of my care and the second hospital received a heartfelt thankyou letter for helping me bring Omble into the world without trauma.
I am in total awe of Midwives and the impact on a woman’s birthing experience. As many of you know I had an uttterly horrific first birth experience (here) which was made all the worse by poor midwife care (in particular this one who when complained about refused to admit she was in the wrong and so was placed under supervision), but thanks to incredible support from my community midwives and the head of delivery suite (a former midwife) I was able to go on and have an absolutely brilliant experience second time. The head of the delivery suite kept saying “you just need someone to be kind to you this time”, and it’s true I did. I even had to put it in my second birth plan, but I needn’t have worried- the two midwives I had with me helping me bring Omble into the world were brilliant, so calm and reassuring and I totally trusted them that it would be okay this time. I am now even planning a home water birth for number 3 (if there is one?).
I do believe I was just very unlucky first time and I do think midwives do an amazing job under huge amounts of stress and pressure. I know the horrible experience I had first time was partly due to staff shortages- we were left alone a lot and those that were on duty (early hours of Sunday morning) seemed to be agency midwives and rather inexperienced and unfortunately the ones I had were rather uncaring but I will never forget the “Midwife with the Halo” (who I wrote about in my first birth story- she came into me when we had been left alone and in those moments she was with me she calmed me down and made me feel safe and reassured and the pain genuinely reduced, but then she had to leave and it all went wrong again), I do think had I had her with me during my first birth it would have ended very differently and much more positively.
So dear Midwife- I’m writing to let you know you are amazing, wonderful inspirational people who can make such and phenomenal difference to women’s lives and to let you know I have signed the petition*.
Lots of Love
P.S This letter was inspired by @Fiona_Peacock‘s letter to her midwife
*The Royal College of Midwives is asking people to please sign this petition calling for an extra 5,000 midwives to deal with the increasing numbers of babies born each year. I know personally how staff shortages can affect birth outcomes (I do feel had I had Midwives as good as I did second time as I did the first time- some of the stuff with Oddler wouldn’t have happened), so I’m begging you to please sign the petition as if this petition achieves 100,000 then this issue will be debated within the House of Commons. Spread the word, for midwives, for antenatal and postnatal women and of course for the babies.
Posted in Birth, Health, LadyCurd, Things I Love, Womynny Stuff
Tagged Antenatal, Birth, International Day of the Midwife, Midwife, Midwives, PostNatal, Women
Dear Woman of a Certain Age,
Today I have decided to embrace you whole heartedly. I have taken my tongue piercing out and I brought an item of clothing in Marks and Spencers.
I might even use night cream on my face tonight.
“I am 30 (and not getting any younger dear)”, hear me roar*
Lots of love
*before choking on my tears at the loss of my former youthful identity.
Dear Woman in my Avatar,
I chose you because you inspire me. You were on a card I nicked from my mum’s cardbox as a teenager. When I split up from the first boy I thought I actually loved (Who actually turned out to be a gaslighting fuckwit) I wrote in the card a list of reasons to get over him, and it helped. It did take a time because in a way he was emotionally abusive and scars from those relationships can run deep, but he is now an insignificant memory in my life. I did keep your card for many years in my memory box but a couple of years ago I scanned you in and got rid of the original card- I sort of regret that now as I know the back of the card had the history about you and google isn’t helping me so if anyone knows who the woman in my avatar is please tell me!
You seem to be a sparky fearless type- a fly by the seat of your pants kinda girl, I admire that in you (but I hope you aren’t recklessly dangerous *worrying overprotective mummyhead*)
I also love how you clearly challenged the gender stereotypes of your time, it is something we all should try to do after all gender isn’t necessarily binary.
When I first chose you as my avatar a lot of people thought you were riding on a vibrator when so obviously it’s a bomb. But I kinda like that you are subversive like that. I suspect you are a confident sexual woman who takes no prisoners (well unless they want to be taken ;)).
So today you are one of my many Inspirational Woman for International Woman’s day.
Lot’s of love
To my beautiful darling girls,
To my eldest you are 25 months old and growing up, everyday you learn something new and I am completely in awe of how you are developing. To my youngest- you are just 8weeks old and just losing the froggy newborn look and you are adorable! I love that every day we all make each other smile.
As your mum I want to cherish you both, protect you and help you grow up into a strong independent women with a good secure self esteem. I want to teach you that you don’t have to wear makeup or be thin or wear heels to be a “successful” woman. I want you to understand that you can be anyone you want to be and your gender should never ever be a barrier to that but sometimes unfortunately society doesn’t always agree, but that you can and should always fight for equality.
I want to teach you to love your body and all it can do. I don’t ever want you to have issues with your weight or body image but I know unfortunately society can and will impinge on how you feel about yourself but I will do my utmost to help you be aware of the dangers of that and to navigate through those feelings. I hope having a mother who never wears makeup, dresses like a complete scruff and couldn’t give a flying fuck about her pot belly (that proudly grew the both of you!) will help, but I will probably just completely embarrass you for looking like that- I know my own mother (who was similar) did for me when I was growing up!
When you are old enough I will probably talk to you about the difference between a vulva and a vagina, what the clitoris is, the difference in vaginal secretions at different times of the month so you don’t confuse what is a natural state with thrush or bacterial vaginosis etc. I will also probably teach you about the mooncup as a much better alternative to tampons or pads. This is just basic female biology but it scares me how many women I know are not comfortable with their own body parts, or properly aware of how their body works. I think it is so important you learn these things and sadly I know you are unlikely to learn them at school.
I also hope that you will get the messages that female sexuality is as valid as male sexuality- your pleasure is equally as important and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with masturbation etc. But I am also aware that in some of these messages I want to give you – as your mother I can have an opposing effect on the message just because of dynamics in mother/daughter relationships so I will need to think carefully about some of these things! My own mother could be a little too frank at times!
I worry about you both greatly too. You will be growing up in a more sexualised world than I remember growing up in and I don’t know that I am going to be able to protect you from the boy at school groping you at breaktime for a laugh, or the girls laughing at the size of your breasts, or the group who might taunt you for how you look. I worry that you may get pressured into having sex before you are ready, or watch things on the internet that you are not ready to understand. I’m scared that as a teenager you may get pressurised into drinking too much or take drugs and end up doing something you regret under the influence of them. But then I also know that I had some of those experiences as a teenager and it also shaped me into the person I am now and while I regret some of my actions I probably wouldn’t be working in the field I do now in a job I absolutely adore if it wasn’t for them. I guess the main thing is I teach you both to understand and respect your own limits and teach you how and where to get help if you need it for any situation you find yourself in.
I also hope to be there for you as you navigate your love life- relationships are hard as a teenager (and as an adult too! in fact they can be just as hard but also wonderful!)- all that “will they call?, when should I phone them back?- I don’t want to seem to keen etc etc”. I can honestly say I was a complete relationship disaster zone until I met your dad- and we just worked (and I really hope that by the time you are reading this we are still working!) . And if I were to pass on anything I have learned about relationships it would be to be yourself 100% of the time. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not to try and make them love you. It won’t work and it just means they are not the person for you. Likewise don’t try and change someone else into someone you want them to be. The person for you is out there (and there may be more than one person- I’m not sure I believe in the notion of “the one”) and whoever that person is- so long as they are treating my girls right then I will welcome them into our family. I hope I will teach you to stand up and not tolerate to any emotional or physical abuse from a partner- that was one of the most valuable messages your grandfather (who died recently) ever taught me.
I hope you will know that you can always come to me and your dad for help with anything and we will support you with your choices, although I think like most parents we hope you make choices in keeping with our own family values but even if you don’t we will work though it because we love you and ultimately want you to be happy.
Always know that me and your Dad love you so very much and you mean the world to us and we can’t wait to see the women you will become (but please don’t grow up too fast- not least because we can’t afford the clothing and shoes!)
Lots of love
Your loving MummyCurd.
Posted in Equality Rants, Family & Friendship, LordCurd, Oddler, Omble
Tagged Baby, Body Parts, Equality, feminism, gender, International Woman's Day, Toddler, Women