Home Birth Violated, Terrorised Into Not Freebirthing

I am relating our experience here because I want my most precious, only, & aeons-awaited daughter, Sympathy, to know why, unlike her friends, she didn’t have a safe and peaceful home birth, & why the mention of her birth to Mummy, (she already often asks about it), evoke(s/d) looks of terror, & sadness & shrugs. Specifically, I would like her to know that this wasn’t what I chose for her, & how bad the resistance against my choice was.

This is the tip of the iceberg of the human rights abuses inflicted on us by The Pennine Acute Hospital Trust @NorthernCareAllianceNHSGroup, during my pregnancy with Sympathy & the postpartum months after her birth, but are the only experiences I feel able to express now.

I planned a freebirth, but labour was emphatically not progressing and I was concerned that just before labour started, due to me arguing with a relative who was pressurising me to birth in hospital, my baby – who had moved her position – had taken a position obstructive to delivery. So, I got my attendant to ring the hospital to ask if a midwife could come out to check Sympathy’s position. Soon after a midwife came into the room where I was in labour & shouted at me, with very aggressive body language, “What a disgusting bad mother you are, risking your baby’s life having a home birth like this!” I was terrified of the psychological & health affects of this upon my baby, & my labour, & that these might kill us. I defended myself saying how dare she say that.

The midwife then said, ” You’ll have to have a vaginal examination! ” I said, “No, I’ve changed my mind”. She then said, “You’ve got to have one! ” I said, “I’m legally entitled to refuse anything. I’m having a free birth”. She said, “You’re not having a freebirth now because you’ve accepted NHS care now!” I said, “That’s not true. I have the legal right to refuse your input and I dismiss you. Get out of my home”.

The midwife then left the room and, as she made her way to the stairs, I saw her walking into other bedrooms & the bathroom without even asking for permission. I later discovered that she’d reported what she said was my bedroom as concerning because it contained lots of children’s toys. It was actually a multi purpose room which contained a lot of 2nd hand market stock to sell on e-Bay and my national costumes doll collection.

She also reported me as not being prepared for my baby’s birth due to my not having bottle feeding equipment & baby equipment & clothes around, even though as an Attachment Parenting enthusiast – as a freebirthing parent is most likely to be and, as a spiritual person, my preparing was not going to include these things, &, despite the room she criticised containing dozens of books and DVDs on pregnancy care, childbirth, baby & child care &, a laptop, none of which facts which she mentioned in any report.

A few minutes later, paramedics burst into my room – where I was naked, as I had been when the midwife had entered – as she had let these into our home despite not asking me or my female attendant for permission to, and, despite my attendant physically trying to obstruct their entry as they refused to stay outside & she knew how upset them coming in would make me.

I had to physically fight with these men in advanced labour to try to get them to leave the room to try to have a safe space to labour in. But, as soon as I’d done so, I heard my attendant shout, “The police have arrived!”. She told me that the midwife had said, “The police will have to be notified of this!” and rung the police from our kitchen. I then saw the police going through the other rooms, rifling through a chest of drawers in one room, & reading my journal & diary they found there. All this was without a warrant.

Due to all this, I was beyond terrified of being arrested, handcuffed, and dragged into hospital and the affects of that on my unborn baby Sympathy. So, I didn’t feel able to refuse being treated by the 2 midwives who soon arrived, and said they were replacements for the previous one.

The paramedics refused to leave outside our home, and even at 1 point be behind our closed front door, and I hurt knowing from all I’d read that the lights flashing from the ambulance through my flimsy curtains, and all the noise they were creating by talking, etc, would also stall my labour. It did stall my labour, for though I was fully dilated when these midwifes arrived, coached pushing for hours produced no baby, and at last, feeling my home violated & unsafe, I felt I had no choice but to transfer to hospital.

The trust have refused to apologise for the human rights abuses they committed and the risks and harms to our health and lives, despite me officially complaining to them about this and their other abuses and entering into dialogue with them about it. They have refused to even respond to numerous questions I have asked concerning this.

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