This week's theme is over on the Netmums' One Born Every Minute linky is Rulebreakers. I have always been a little unconventional in my life, and my path has taken some twists and turns along the way. Although generally I follow the rules, sometimes they are there to be broken, especially when the wellbeing of my family is concerned.
When I had my first born son, I became a single teen mum. I split up with my boyfriend before I realised I was pregnant, and despite a brief attempt at getting back together, I was on my own again at six months pregnant. At the time, this was still considered quite shocking and frowned upon. When I went to the Family Planning Clinic to have my pregnancy confirmed (as home tests were shockingly complicated and unreliable back then) the nurse I saw immediately tried to book me in for an abortion. I found the courage to object, despite feeling vulnerable and alone, and she wrote on my file in big letters "refuses to consider termination!" I was glad to start my journey into mothering as someone who was prepared to break the rules for the welfare of her future children!
My birth with Joseph was complicated. With hindsight I wish I could have been more assertive with certain aspects of the delivery. But as his life was seriously in jeopardy I went along with whatever was required even if that meant a failed epidural, a scalp monitor, an almost caesarean and a forceps delivery. With my son at risk, this was not a time to question authority, even it some of the decisions made were not in my best interests. But all ended well.
Three years later I was single and pregnant again. I was engaged to someone who I believed I had a future with, but into the pregnancy, our relationship was so toxic it threatened to ruin the lives of myself, my son and my unborn child. I preferred the prospect of going it alone than staying in a damaging relationship. I moved out at six months pregnant into my own flat. I flouted the rule of mum, dad and 2.4 kids in favour of life as a single parent and it was the best decision I ever made!
As I've got older, I've become wiser, more assertive and a more forceful champion of what is best for me and my family. Being happily married to a marvellous man for fifteen years has also given me strength. So when I found myself pregnant at 40 I was able to do things my way. I refused all the blood tests and the genetic screening that I was offered. This was my little miracle...regardless of the likelihood of him having any of the conditions they would screen for. I didn't need those tests.
The medical profession immediately classified me as high risk and consequently told me I needed a consultant delivery. I was told that my fifth delivery would be at high risk of causing a post-partum haemorrhage and that I could need a blood transfusion. They made it sound like an absolute given, putting the fear of God into me! But I did not want to give birth in a room geared up for medical emergencies. I wanted things as natural as possible. My pregnancy was absolutely normal with no causes for concern throughout the nine months. I went into labour naturally. But still I had quite a fight on my hands being allowed to labour in the midwife led unit of the hospital. They said if anything went wrong I wasn't in the best place, gave me graphic ideas of what could happen and they strongly recommended that I reconsidered. I didn't.
I went on to have a drug free labour and natural delivery with no stitches, giving my baby boy the best start in life. We didn't need monitoring, a 'just in case' cannula or any of the other interventions that come with being 'high risk'. I fought against their rules. I was a rule breaker...I was so glad I had the courage of my convictions to go for the birth I wanted!!