Body Positivity

Some housekeeping before we start

I’m writing this post about body positivity because a few people have asked me what it is and I thought I would share the ‘journey’ I have been on. I’m not an expert and there’s lots of academics/people on instagram who do this for a full time job. I’ll include links to people you should follow at the end.

Body positivity means being positive about all people, including those who are fat or disabled or have any number of medical conditions. Please please please do not comment after this with ‘health advice’. Nobody asked you. Just scroll past.
To begin, some background

Like most living women, I have grown up absolutely hating my body. Too fat, too hairy, too pale, too many spots… the list is endless. In high school I was bullied for a while and ate to make myself feel better. When I put on weight, people noticed so I stopped eating. People noticed that too.
I used to fantasise about getting a knife and hacking the fat off my stomach. I would cry and cry because of how fat I thought I was and how unhappy this made me. I spent huge amount of money on food that tasted like shit because it was ‘low fat’, on diet clubs that didn’t work, on gym memberships that I didn’t use. It was even worse after I had my children. How quickly you could lose your baby weight was a badge of honour at every mum group I went to.

I’m going to stop here because you get the jist. Also, most people reading this will have almost identical stories. I don’t need to preach to the choir.
A few months ago, my sister Charlie recommended a podcast called ‘the Guilty Feminist’. At the time it was hosted by two comedians, Deborah Francis-white and Sofie Hagen.
I listened and was addicted. Sofie fascinated me. She is fat but she didn’t care. In fact, she loved it. She talked about how society makes money off making you feel like shit when you are perfect and how the most feminist thing you can do is love yourself. She recommended some books and instagram accounts and I fell down a rabbit hole of people who were not even slightly ashamed of who they were.

The crunch moment came just before I went on a family holiday to Jamaica. I had to have an emergency hypnotherapy appointment because my anxiety was so out of control. The reason? I was scared to get into a swimming costume in front of people.

I spent £70 and an hour crying because I was so terrified of putting on swimwear. And this seemed perfectly logical to me.
Whilst on holiday I listened to the podcast more, read an amazing book (dietland, link at bottom) and decided that this had to stop. I didn’t want my children to talk about themselves how I talked about myself.
I began a ‘Body Positivity Journey’
This is what I did ~~
– Unfollowed all accounts on social media platforms that made me feel shit about myself. All those ‘body goals’ shit that just wasn’t achievable.
– Followed as many body positive people as I could find. People of all shapes and colours and genders.
– Looked at myself in the mirror everyday and told myself that I was beautiful. Even if I didn’t believe it
– Stopped denying and punishing myself. If I wanted chocolate, I ate it and didn’t starve myself afterward.
– Stopped looking at people and thinking ‘that doesn’t suit her’. What the hell does it have to do with me?!
– Learnt about my body. I get bloated just before my period. This is not a crisis. This is nature.
– Stopped using diet language (being naughty etc), stopped reading women’s magazines that glorified dieting and if people started talking about their own diets in a way that upset me I would either zone out or ask them to stop

I didn’t expect it to work but slowly and surely I have learnt that my body is awesome. This is my life. I’m living it. Right now. If I want to do/wear/be something I should do it now. Not ‘when I lose weight’. The amount of friends I know who put things off until they’re ‘thin’ is huge. Things they really want to do. If they don’t achieve the weight loss they are just so unhappy. These amazing, beautiful, intelligent friends who are the best people I know – unhappy because they had a takeaway.

FUCK. THAT.

Now when shopping, if I try something on and it doesn’t fit or looks rubbish I blame the clothing. The item doesn’t suit me. That does not mean I need fixing.

I’m going to say it louder for the people at the back.

THE CLOTHING IS WRONG. NOT YOU. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CHANGE FOR A PAIR OF JEANS, A TOP OR EVEN A WEDDING DRESS. BEING BIGGER THAN A KARDASHIAN DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BAD PERSON

Stop not wearing that dress you love because your stomach looks squishy in it. Who will die if people see your squish? No one. It’s no one else’s damn business.
Stop wearing uncomfortable clothing (Spanx I’m looking at you). Life is too damn short.
Only spend money on things you love right now. Not for a hypothetical time when you will have changed.
Don’t forget, big companies make a lot of money off you being unhappy with yourself. You don’t have to buy into it.

Stop eating when you’re full.  If you’re still hungry when eating out then order more food.  Don’t be embarrassed.  One of my biggest achievements was ordering more food without making the shit joke that we feel we have to do ‘diet starts tomorrow!’ Etc

I want to be clear,
If you want to go to the gym or eat clean or wear a ton of makeup or shave your legs then that is great. If you want to lose weight in a safe way then absolutely go ahead. If that makes you feel good then do it.
But if it doesn’t. If it makes you feel miserable then stop. Just stop. You are so beautiful and worthy of time, space and love. Just as you are. Right now. And so am I.

 

I’m going to Dubai for my 30th in January and I intend on buying a ridiculous amount of amazing bikinis.  Zero shits given.
Some reading:
Dietland by Sarai Walker

Follow on instagram:
@sofiehagen
@bodyposipanda
@mynameisjessamyn
@allisonkimmey
@dothehotpants
@sassy_latte

 

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Prenatal Anxiety and Why Its Crap

Before you read this I want to make clear why I’m writing. It has the potential to come across as self indulgent ‘woe is me’ bullshit and that it not my intention. The people close to me already know about my mental health problems. There is no benefit to me for sharing this with the wider world. Also a trigger warning – some hypothetical discussion of death and mental health up ahead. There’s some swearing too.

 

I am in a minority in my friends and peers in that I have children. I grew up in the generation in which apart from openly admitting you like Westlife, teenage pregnancy was the worst thing ever. This seems to have had the effect that the majority of my friends are yet to have children. Therefore, this post is a warning. I want people to know that this exists and that they are not alone. I felt so alone for so long. So instead of taking a semi naked selfie with an excellent filter, this is my effort in raising awareness. If you have read Scarlett’s birth story, you will already know some of this but stick with me.

 

 

Pre-Natal Anxiety and Depression.

I knew postnatal depression existed. I had heard about it from the small number of friends who had suffered from it and read a lot about it on social media. I had no idea this could happen BEFORE you had the baby. That it is an actual mental health condition. (Side note – I am in no way minimising those who have postnatal depression, its just I’ve never had it and so can’t tell my personal story).

 

With both of my children it started when I was about 16 weeks pregnant. I have always been an anxious person (although it took having this crisis to make me realise this). I like to catastrophise. I used to do it when I was bored mostly. Daydream about what would happen if something terrible happened to me or someone I love. As I type this, I realise how fucked up that sounds. I would often do it repeatedly. The same scenario over and over with maybe some slight changes. It would be worse if something happened that I was genuinely anxious about. For instance, some minor mistake at work would end with me losing my job or being arrested. I think most people do this on some level.

 

When I was pregnant, it stepped up a notch. I would have terrible dreams and wake up hysterical. Or just lie in the dark imagining something awful.

An example is how I was flicking through Facebook whilst Dan was getting ready for bed one night and someone had shared a new article about the dangers of button batteries. I didn’t even read the article. But hours later I was still awake.

Our dogs have light up collars that use those batteries. I wasn’t watching Scarlett when I went to the toilet earlier. Maybe she found the collars and swallowed one. No, she definitely did. She’s dead upstairs. How am I going to tell Dan? Oh god, my daughter is dead and it’s all my fault. I’ll go to prison. They’ll take the new baby off me. Can you breastfeed in prison? She’s dead. I’ve killed her. I’m such a terrible mother. She’s dead.

Eventually my hysterical crying woke Dan up who went and checked on Scarlett to reassure me. I cried so hard it made me sick. I didn’t sleep for hours. In the daylight I was rational, but I was so tired that the anxiety stayed.

 

And so it continued. I would convince myself that Dan was late home because he had died in a car accident. I would imagine the police coming to the door, arranging the funeral, how I would tell his parents, what I would do with the children, with the house. And again, have a huge panic attack.

 

My catasrophising had never been this bad when I wasn’t pregnant. I had CBT when I was pregnant with Scarlett which helped a little and it went the day she was born. I was so convinced it wouldn’t happen again when I was pregnant with Henley that when it reared its head, I was completely floored.

This time I had an additional guilt. When pregnant with Scarlett I could sleep all day if I had been awake all night crying. I didn’t have this luxury when pregnant with Henley. After trying to plough through, it became glaringly obvious that being sleep deprived was a huge trigger and so my mum started having her more often. Whilst it helped with the sleep, it did not help with the guilt.

I’m fobbing Scarlett off again. What kind of mother can’t even look after her own child? I’m a terrible mother. She’ll hate me. They’re going to take her away. They’ll take the baby away. I’ve ruined her life.

Enter another massive panic attack.

 

 

Because I had never heard of prenatal anxiety and depression I was convinced that it was only happening to me. That I was going mad. I’m a very open person and initially told people if they asked why I hadn’t been in touch or been off work sick or why I had to come off nights etc. Most people were understanding but sometimes you got the comments:

‘Oh everyone goes through worrying when pregnant. Its not even that big a deal.’

‘You’ve always been a bit dramatic’

Or my personal favourite

‘Some people cant have children. You should be grateful that you’re even pregnant’

(Side note- none of the people I know who struggle to have children have EVER said this to me. Its always people who have children which is interesting).

 

These responses made it so much worse. I felt totally ashamed about what was happening to me. I’ve since realised that the people who say these things fall into two categories:

  • total wankers
  • people who want to reassure you but don’t know what to say

Luckily, most people are number 2.

 

I eventually managed to control my brain when a good friend recommended seeing a hypnotherapist. He was, and still is, amazing and helped me calm myself when I felt like things were spinning out of control. I now meditate most days and really feel a difference when I don’t.

 

Most importantly he helped me realise that whilst many people ‘always think of the worst case scenario’ , it is not normal for it to cause a panic attack. It is not normal to cry until you vomit. It is not normal to be so sad about your thoughts that you cannot get out of bed. It is not normal to seriously consider ending a pregnancy because your anxiety frightens you so much.

As previously mentioned, the panic attacks and severe anxiety disappeared the day my children were born and for that I am so grateful. It ruined both of my pregnancies, 9 months is a long time to be so frightened.

I got through with support of my family, friends and midwife. The hypnotherapy was a god send.

 

 

And so back to why I started this post. If this ever happens to you, know that you are not a bad person and you are not going mad. Tell people how you feel. If anyone uses the bad responses above, move away from that person. They are not the person who will help you. Maybe you can explain further when you are well but now is not the time. Smile nicely, end the conversation and go and find someone who will give you a hug, a cup of tea and a biscuit. Preferably a chocolate one.

You are allowed to complain. This is not a nice thing that is happening to you. This does not make you ungrateful or that your behaviour is a slap in the face to people who cannot have children. When we do not voice what is happening to us then we become isolated and sad. When I complain that my legs ache, it does not mean that I am not happy that I have legs or that I do not appreciate the struggle of people who do not have legs. You are allowed to express your emotions in that point in time. In fact, it is essential you do. Tell your GP or midwife. They want to help you.

 

Because I felt ashamed, during both pregnancies I was piss poor at maintaining my friendships. I didn’t want people to know I was so sad and to think less of me. I’ve lost a few friends because of it. I’m sad about that but I suppose that’s life. The majority have understood and for that I am grateful.

 

Hugs, kisses and belly rubs all round

 

Debz x

Henley’s Birth Story

We decided that another baby would be a good idea when Scarlett was quite young, and again like Scarlett, I fell pregnant very quickly.

If you’ve read Scarlett’s birthday story then you will know that my mental health was pretty poor during my pregnancy. Well, it was again with Henley but I’m going to do a whole other post about that. I’m going to focus here on his birth. Full disclosure, there’s vagina talk ahead.

 

 

I’d been having Braxton hicks/on and off contractions since I was about 34 weeks. I was fully convinced he would come early and I was so so ready for it. It was bloody hot and there is only so many magnums a person can eat before ITS TIME TO GET THE DAMN BABY OUT.

So obviously because of this, he didn’t come early. Despite nights of hours of contractions, ‘shows’ etc he stayed put. My due date came and went to the sound of my continual moaning of how hot is was and was-it-really-necessary-for-Dan-to-exist-as-he –was-currently-existing-but-if-he-is-going-to-bugger-off-please-get-me-an-icecream.  Everyone was annoyed. I was annoyed at STILL being pregnant. Scarlett was annoyed that mummy kept fobbing her off on anyone who would take her. Dan was annoyed I was eating all the icecream and taking up most of the bed.

 

The night before Henley was born, Scarlett decided that from 1am to 4am sleeping was for mugs.  Since I became pregnant, Dan had been doing all of Scarlett’s night feeds and so was stuck up there for 3 hours with a toddler who faked being murdered every time he tried to leave the room. It was during this time that my contractions started, irregular to begin with but then stronger and more regular. I lay in the dark silently panicking and trying to remember how to deliver a baby on your own. I think it was something to do with towels and hot water.

Eventually Scarlett settled and Dan came back downstairs to bed with a glorious 90 minutes before he had to be up for work. I debated whether to tell him I might be in labour but we had played this false-start game before and so I kept schtum for the time being. It was when his alarm went off that I started to panic and confessed what had been happening. After a lot of debate whether the contractions were ‘real’ or not we decided that he would ring his boss and go into work later in the day and I would head into the shower.

During my weeks of false labour I had tried a few times to see if I could self diagnose my cervix dilating. Just in case you’re wondering, unless you are trained, no you can’t. But due to the worry that this was yet another false start I thought I would give it one last try. I felt a head. It was fairly high up but it was most certainly a head.

 

As you can imagine, things happened quickly after this. My mum was already round as she was having Scarlett that day anyway, my midwives were called and arrived within 10 minutes and the dogs and cat were unceremoniously locked in the garden. The pool was inflated by the midwives whilst I knelt on the sofa breathing and swearing and Dan ran around trying to find my Hypnobirthing music. Naturally the tap adaptor for the hose pipe didn’t work so the pool had to be filled from the tap and pans on the stove which had the knock on effect of heating the room to the temperature to the worlds most un-sexy sauna.

If you’ve read Scarlett’s birth story, you will know how much I rave about Hypnobirthing. How calm and control I felt. With Henley this went to shit. 20 odd hours of labour gets you into a rhythm. This was too painful, too quickly. I panicked and cried and prayed and swore as often and loudly as I could manage. When the pool was eventually full I asked one of the midwives to examine me and she told me I was 7.5cm (she later told me I was more dilated than that but she knew I would panic. She was perfectly correct in that assumption). I kneeled in the pool, breathing best I could until my contractions started to slow. The midwives suggested that I wasn’t in a great position and should try standing up to help things along.

To quote the midwife ‘it was like negotiating with terrorists’.

I begged them to let me stay kneeling, cried because they were shouting at me (they were not shouting at me), cried because they were being mean to me (they were not being mean to me) and when Dan told me gently to calm down I replied with the equally gentle ‘you fucking calm down’.

After some convincing, I stood up and things progressed much more quickly. I felt him starting to crown and with the help of some gas and air his head was born fairly rapidly.  I can honestly say that the feeling of his head FINALLY out was the best moment of my life. A complete ‘thank god its nearly over’ moment.

 

I sat back down in the pool, felt his shoulders wiggle (weird) and then caught him as he was born into the water. Catching him myself and bringing him to the surface was incredible. The second midwife caught it on our camera for us and there are lots of photos of me ugly crying whilst looking at him. (Example below)

uglycry

My beautiful Henley James was born weighing 8lb exactly at 11:51 am, the whole things lasting 6ish hours from the first regular contraction. Scarlett met him less than 5 minutes after he was born after sleeping until half 9 and then watching Pingu with my mum.

henley2

After he was born the placenta was delivered and I started bleeding heavily. I had the injection to stop the bleeding and after a discussion I made the decision not to transfer to hospital for IV fluids. I also declined stitches for my second degree tear (a needle down there after pushing out a baby? ERM NO). After we got sorted, my midwife took me upstairs to bed where I stayed for the rest of the day cuddling him and asking Scarlett not to jump on his head.

henley

 

 

Big thank yous have to go to my amazing One to One midwives – Rebecca and Rachel. They were the same midwives who delivered Scarlett and were just as amazing this time round.  Thank you to my mum for only having 3 nervous breakdowns whilst she had to listen to me shouting and swearing downstairs – I’m sure it should have been more. Thank you to the cleaners who came and did a full clean (luckily not the kitchen) whilst listening to my animal sounds.  The made bed was the best thing EVER.

Final thank you to Dan. Thank you for letting me bite you (twice) and for taking it so well when I repeatedly told you to fuck off.

A Pregnancy and Birth Story

This is not really a birth story, its an entire pregnancy story. I think its important to share what happened in my pregnancy to truly understand how amazing it is my birth turned out the way it did.

First of all, some background information. The story you are about to read is uses ‘alternative’ methods by current birthing standards. When I initially read about these I thought that they were only used by hippies or people who hated medicine and tried to live on light. You may think that too. Well I’m not one of those people. I work as a cancer nurse and put of my job is administering one of the most revolutionary and expensive drugs there is – chemotherapy. I truly believe in the power of medicine and organised healthcare, when used correctly. I’ve also seen the consequences when it used inappropriately.

My pregnancy got off to a fairly bad start when I was admitted to hospital at 6 weeks with a suspected ectopic pregnancy. I was kept nil by mouth overnight in case I needed surgery and I was alone because my husband wasn’t allowed to stay. The scan was carried out the next day. It was an invasive, trans vaginal scan as I was so early in my pregnancy and again I was alone as the staff hadn’t given me a time for my husband to join me. The result was mixed – it was not an ectopic pregnancy but they were expecting a heartbeat, which was absent. I was told that I was to come back in 2 weeks for another scan but it was possible I would miscarry between. For 2 weeks I was completely terrified this was the end of my pregnancy and cried everyday. Luckily, the second scan gave good news, that there was a heartbeat and the pregnancy could continue as normal.

Whilst we were elated with the news, this was the beginning of the stress in my pregnancy. At 14 weeks I went on a hen party to Malaga. I got run down whilst I was away came home with bad tonsillitis and sleep deprivation. When I was still feeling ill I visited a friend who had experienced a terrible birth and had subsequently had trouble breastfeeding and switched to formula.

At first I didn’t think her birth story had affected me, but that night at 3am I found myself googling ‘breastfeeding support’ and ‘forceps’. In the days that followed I became gradually more anxious. I wasn’t sleeping and was having terrible dreams where my breast milk became blood and poisoned the baby. Or that I was being chased by someone who was trying to attack my bump. This led to me waking up and having panic attacks in the middle of the night, screaming at my husband that the baby was going to die or that someone would take her away. It all came to a climax when I had a panic attack at work and was sent home by my manager. I went to my GP the same day and broke down. I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. It couldn’t be worth it.

I was referred to the mental health crisis team and mental health midwives. I was given counselling and support and whilst it helped, that is not what transformed my pregnancy and birth.

I had heard of Hypnobirthing before I was pregnant and thought it sounded good. I understood it involved meditation and since meditation had been suggested by my counsellor and had worked, we booked onto a course. My husband was fairly sceptical but agreed to go along to see what it was about. The course was run by the amazing Tracey Sutton (Pure Hypnobirthing) and completely changed my perspective. After the first session I actually felt excited to give birth. By the end of the course I was convinced I could do it. My husband felt that he knew what to do to help and support me before and during the birth. Knowing that my body and baby knew how to be born was a total revelation. This was not something to be afraid of, it was something to embrace.

After the first session, Tracey told us about a service called One to One midwives. I had been to my community midwives several times at this point and always seen someone different. This meant I had to repeatedly explain my anxiety issues and it was becoming exhausting. One to one midwives promised a named midwife that came to my home and who would be present at the birth of our baby.

I self referred to One to one midwives and a week later Becky came to our house. We instantly liked her and knew this would work. We discussed at length all my anxieties and fears and Becky completely put Dan and I at ease.

Initially we were signed up for a hospital birth. However, at every scan the sonographer found a reason for us to be scanned again

‘The baby’s leg isn’t bending, come back and check that it can bend”.

“The baby has a slightly large stomach, come back and get that checked”.

“Baby is breech, come back and get scanned to make sure everything is ok”.

My anxiety came back with a vengeance. There must be something wrong for us to get scanned so many times. They’ll force me to have a c-section etc. I became phobic about going back to hospital because I was dreading what they would say.   Then, a solution appeared. Have a home birth. We discussed it with Becky who reassured us that home births are very safe for low risk mothers and that One to One would scan me if we felt it was required. I instantly felt like I had some control again and my anxiety subsided.

The rest of my pregnancy was a comparative breeze. One to One are on call 24/7 so Becky was always a text away if my anxiety got the better of me. If she wasn’t available her buddy Rachael was. Kat, the midwife assistant, came to the house to do a private antenatal class with me and I began pregnancy yoga with Anna who taught me further breathing techniques. Anna reiterated that pregnancy wasn’t a state of illness and that a good birth was totally possible if I remained calm. I was completely at ease, Dan wasn’t getting hysterical phone calls at work anymore – we were all happy!

pregnant

The Birth

 

I started having mild irregular contractions and strong Braxton hicks at 37 weeks. I was convinced miss Butler would be making an early appearance and made sure everything was ready. No such luck.

The day after my due date (Monday) my contractions started. Dan stayed off work and we let everyone know things had started. They were regular and strong but never came close enough together to call the midwife. Around 6pm they stopped. We were gutted, still no baby.

The next day (Tuesday) my mum sat with me whilst Dan went to work, still nothing. However, just after my mum left at 6:30pm, the contractions began again. When Dan got home we started timing again and they were regular. Determined not to have another false start we went on a mammoth walk, stopping every few minutes for the contraction to subside. I had put on a tens machine which was taking the edge off and Dan talked me through the Hypnobirthing and yoga breathing to keep me calm. Eventually the contractions became close together and I started having the urge to push. We filled the birthing pool in our front room, dimmed the lights, put on the Hypnobirthing tracks and called Becky. It was time.

Becky arrived and checked the baby’s heartbeat. All was well and the signs were there that our daughter would be born within the hour. However, after an hour of pushing my contractions became further apart and shorter. I asked Becky to examine me (which is not routine with One to One) to see if we were progressing. Our baby’s head was extremely low, hence my urge to push, but I was only 5cms dilated. Not only that, she had turned back to back.

It was 5am, I’d been having regular contractions for 11 hours and I was tired. Its fair to say that at this point I totally Lost. My. Shit. When Becky and Dan eventually calmed me down, Becky gave us a plan. I was to go back to bed with the tens machine on in a position that would help the baby to turn. I was to stay there until I couldn’t possibly tolerate it any longer then we would call Becky back.

We managed to go back to bed for 3 hours, both Dan and I sleeping between contractions. At 8am I need to get out of bed, as the contractions intensified. Becky had gone to get some sleep so Rachael her buddy came out. We had met her before so were completely comfortable with her being with us. I got back into the pool and continued riding through the contractions with my yoga and Hypnobirthing breathing, Dan by my side the entire time keeping me calm. The contractions had become increasingly sharp so I asked for gas and air. In what felt like a very cruel twist of fate, the gas and air was with Becky and she was stuck in traffic. At this point I started to panic and became very tense. Again, Dan and Rachael talked me down and I was able to survive until Becky arrived. I wouldn’t have been more happy if God walked through the door. The gas and air helped enormously and we continued our journey.

I’m not sure of times at this point, I was too focused on the contractions, but eventually I started to push again. Again my contractions became short and ineffective. I was running out of energy and getting tired. I had started lying down in the pool between contractions out of sheer exhaustion and Becky suggested I squat to make the contractions more effective. When it became clear I was too tired, it was suggested that I sit on the toilet (as an effort free way of squatting) until I was over the worst and then get back into the pool.

I managed to waddle to the bathroom and sit on the loo. Whilst Rachael refilled the pool, Becky did acupressure on my legs to get my contractions going again and Dan forced jelly babies and toast into me to get my energy back. The contractions started again with a vengeance and we made good progress. However, when it was suggested I get back into the pool I refused. We were making progress and I just wanted the baby out. I would have given birth on the street at this point. After 30 minutes of pushing, our daughter’s head was born. Becky told me to stand up (I actually said I couldn’t but was informed if I didn’t the baby would have been born into the toilet) and with one push our beautiful daughter came into the world.

Scarlett Betty Butler was born at 1:24pm on Wednesday 19th November weighing 7lb 1oz.

scarlett

After she was born I sat back onto the toilet and she was passed to me for skin to skin. She had been born with the cord around her neck and foot and was a bit surprised to have come out so fast. Becky told me to blow on her face to wake her up and I promptly fainted! Becky and Rachael were amazing, managing to cut the cord, pass Scarlett to Dan and bring me round within seconds. After I’d come round and been sorted out, Becky and Rachael got me onto the sofa to help with Scarlett’s first feed. They brought Dan and I a much needed brew and tidied up. My post birth bleed had hit the water in the toilet so the bathroom looked like a scene from Dexter. By the time they were finished it was spotless and they left to get some kip.

I will never be able to express how grateful I am to One to One midwives and to Becky, Rachael and Kat for my care. Even when I had trouble breastfeeding and wanted to give it up, Kat was always a text away to give support and 12 weeks later breastfeeding is going great. If it wasn’t for my amazing midwifes and the techniques I learnt at pregnancy yoga and Hypnobirthing, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have had a C-section. I would have become panicked and anxious, my labour would have continued to stall, Scarlett would have become distressed due to the entanglement with the cord and I would have had a totally different birth experience.

familylightsThat’s the story of our journey, well done if you managed to read that far!  One to One are currently battling to be commissioned in Greater Manchester.  All women deserve the choice of how to give birth.  Please sign this petition to ensure this happens.  https://www.change.org/p/greater-manchester-clinical-commissioning-groups-commission-one-to-one-midwives-across-greater-manchester?utm_medium=email&utm_source=signature_receipt&utm_campaign=new_signature&tk=nqDkl1wUyJWTLhbSonMnie16NiPTpzz18wwRQKnruFs