Like all new mums I was desperate to show my baby his new home. Six days after Ewan was born, we returned home. The landscape shined with brightness from the sun, viewing it as if seen for the first time. The past seven days felt like a year. The house appeared somehow different. I wept in the car. What was the meaning to all this? I stood holding my tiny son in the garden, bewildered and sleep deprived, yet the proudest mum on the planet.
Our son was home. Our new life as a family of three could begin.
Back at home, any frustration or tiredness was totally offset by the wonder of having Ewan with me. We both grew and developed hugely in those early weeks. Ewan grew into a beautiful, healthy little boy. I became a confident mother, slowly beginning to trust and unearth my mothering instincts which had been pushed deep within me through cultural conditioning. Brainwashed by society our instincts lie dormant. My son taught me to believe in them again.
Reflecting, I realised my beliefs were naive. Being fit, healthy, emotionally and physically prepared for labour does not guarantee a natural birth. There are so many more factors at work. First I learnt to accept Ewan’s birth as it was. Then I began searching for anwers, writing as a form of Catharsis as a way of dealing with my grief, loss for the birth that never was.
Why are so many women still restricted to the bed in labour? Why is this still the standard position of labour portrayed in much of the media?
What are the reasons behind the increased rate of birth by caesarean section in the UK? Approximately one in four women give birth by caesarean section today.
Why are couples still separated by strict visiting times in hospitals, when this is the time women are at their most vulnerable? Why are men denied this vital time with their partners and babies?
Why is bedsharing not allowed in most hospitals in the UK? What impact does this enforced separation have on bonding and breastfeeding?
Why is my local midwife led birthing centre closing this summer, when it provides such a valuable service to women? There are other birthing centres in the UK suffering a similar fate.
This blog begins posing and answering these and many other questions. Fundamentally, these questions spark the beginning of a very necessary conversation about the way we treat women and children in our society. This is indicative of how we treat each other, all living being and the planet as a whole. If we can’t look after our most vulnerable in society, how can we look after ourselves?
Links to further reading about pregnancy and birth, which inform this series of posts:
About Caroline Jane Cole
I am a full-time Mum to Ewan James, born in June 2010. When I get chance, I write on natural parenting issues, on topics including sustained breastfeeding, baby-wearing, bed-sharing, home-education and natural living, for parenting magazines and websites. I am an active member of La Leche League GB and a trained breastfeeding peer supporter. See my website; www.stoneageparenting.com.