Tuesday, 11 March 2014
This pregnancy has been a little unusual in that I decided to avoid all contact with doctors and gynaecologists. You might wonder why and I do to. I think the explanation is that in France when I was pregnant with Henry I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of appointments and tests that I had to go through despite having a normal low risk pregnancy. Every month I had to go for a blood test, have an ultrasound exam at the gynaecologist’s office and have an internal examination. On top of those appointments came the regular scans at 12, 20 and 30 weeks. My gynaecologist was extremely concerned with the fact that I was not naturally immune to toxoplasmosis (most French women are and most English women aren't) and so scheduled extra blood tests just to be sure. French gynaecologists are also quite concerned weight gain and my monthly appointments would generally start with a check to ensure that I had not put on a gram more than I "should have".
All in all I guess I rebelled against what I felt was a bit too much surveillance and decided instead to do it my way. I had a scan at 12 weeks just to check how many babies there were but other than that I was wonderfully liberated from the medical establishment.
Births in France more often than not involve an epidural and water births are in no way the norm. I found somewhere to have a water birth in Paris but found that I should have registered the moment I found out I was pregnant in order to get a place. This all therefore led to me deciding to return to England to give birth in a Midwifery Led Unit like I did with Henry. MLU's, as they are known, are like home births in a semi medicalised setting. You get a midwife and access to a water birth but no possibility of having pain relief other than gas and air (something else which doesn't exist in France).
In order to be allowed into the MLU I have had to prove that this pregnancy is low risk which has meant a number of tests and appointments in the last few weeks but thankfully all is well and we have been accepted!
Henry's labour was 3 hours in total so I'm wondering if this time will be as quick or perhaps even quicker? Either way though, being back in England with my family around is lovely.
What about Sweden I hear you wondering?? Well I would have also loved to have gone to Sweden to give birth but water births were banned after a baby drowned during birth several years ago :(
So now we are waiting and enjoying life together each day in the English Countryside and wondering when we will get to meet our new addition.......our now overdue addition.......