By REBECCA SPARROW
If I did a stocktake of the posts I’ve written for Mamamia over the past three years, I suspect there would be a dominant theme to them: outrage.
I’m good at being outraged. At being pissed off. At putting pen to paper (or chewed fingernail to filthy keyboard) when I spot an injustice or something that just, you know, shits me.
Politicians behaving like twats! Sexist ads! Doctors shaming older mothers! Former Home and Away stars getting precious and boasting about their French bulldogs!
Fuelled by angry thoughts, five cups of tea and, yeah okay, several Oreos I’m banging out a call to arms faster than you can say, “Girlfriend needs some Xanax and a good lie down”.
Of course what rarely crosses my mind is to write posts when I stumble across something amazing. Something that makes me catch my breath it’s so damn delightful. Or something that exceeds my expectations in ways I never saw coming.
Which is why I’m writing this post today. Consider it a love letter. To midwives.
Last year, some of you will remember that I had a less than fantastic experience having my son Fin. I felt bullied by some of the midwives … especially when I was berated at the maternity ward’s front desk (in front of other new mums and staff) for not ‘trying hard enough to breastfeed’. Forget the fact that I was breastfeeding.
I apparently just wasn’t doing it well enough.Or often enough. Or long enough. Or blah blah blah blah YOU’RE A SHIT MOTHER blah blah blah (which is what I eventually started to hear). Ahhh, good times.
The whole experience left me feeling a little, er, bitter towards the whole midwife profession which is a ridiculous over-reaction, I know. Particularly considering two of my friends are (amazing) midwives. And my own mum is a nurse.
But when you have a baby – be it in a hospital or birthing centre – I truly believe the midwives play an integral role in the whole experience.
When you’re a nervous, scared, fragile soon-to-be-mother or new mother … doubting your abilities, stressing about what lays ahead or your decision-making or your body’s ability to do what is required, well the very last thing you need is a woman by your side making you feel incompetent or worse, like a bad mother. It’s not rocket-science.
So last month when I went to hospital to have my son Quincy, to say I was apprehensive is an understatement. It wasn’t the caesarean I was worried about. No siree. I was in a cold sweat about the midwives. This is despite the fact I was giving birth this time in a different hospital in a DIFFERENT state.