My first pregnancy
My first pregnancy was such an exciting time. Having always suffered with ‘women’s problems’, later diagnosed as ‘suspected endometriosis’ we weren’t even sure if we would be able to have children. I had even been given the devastating advice, in my mid 20s, by more than one consultant that my best option was to have a hysterectomy. Therefore I was beyond thrilled to find myself pregnant only a month after we were married. A true blessing.
I immediately launched into researching how to have a healthy pregnancy, and the best possible birth. I knew I wanted things to be as natural as possible and set about booking ‘Daisy Birthing Classes’ and learning all about ‘Hynobirthing’ and ‘Spinning Babies’.
There was one problem though….
When I had my 20 week scan, my little monkey was lying transverse. Not really a problem at this stage, but I got myself onto the ‘Spinning Babies’ website and followed all of the advice to get my baby into the best position. To my delight, 5 weeks later at my next midwife appointment I was told that baby was now head down. This was still the case at 28 weeks.
Later in the pregnancy I begun to question the baby’s position again as I thought I could feel hiccups at the top of my bump and kicks further down. I raised my concern at my subsequent midwife appointments, only to be reassured that all was well and that sometimes baby’s movements can be difficult for a mum to decipher.
My doubts continued to grow and by the time I had my 36 week check I actually believed I could feel my baby’s face! I mentioned this at my appointment, and to be honest I got the feeling that this was the most absurd thing the midwife had ever heard. She again confirmed that baby was head down and that I should get home and get bouncing on that ball. I went home and duly got bouncing.
Only a few weeks before my due date I had dinner with some friends who already had children and they recounted their horror stories about pushing and perineal tears and stitches. None of this put me off though. I was prepared, I was confident, I had begun my affirmations. I told my dumbstruck friends, with confidence, that I would be having a water birth and would simply breathe my baby out.
I had begun the pregnancy fearful of birth, but now I was ready. Armed with knowledge and an understanding of the physiology of natural birth, I was actually excited about the big day. I couldn’t wait to do this. It was what I was made for!
However, that niggling doubt about baby’s position would not leave my mind. It got bigger and bigger and I began to have extreme anxiety about it.
I begged my husband to pay the £90 for a private scan, even if only to prove that I was as batty as the midwife had made me feel. So at 37 weeks and 4 days we had the private scan. We saw our baby, sitting just like a little Buddha, head up and facing out to the world, exactly as I had thought.
I had been so sure of my baby’s position, but as a first time mum I listened to what I had been told; that my feelings were unreliable, untrue and even absurd.
I was not crazy, but now I was angry. I knew in that moment that I should have trusted my instincts. How could anyone know my body and what I felt better than me?
What followed is still a bit of a blur, even over 2 years later.
Read all about it in Part 2.