MADDY AND MARKS HOME BIRTH



I suppose this begins by stating that I have been kicked out of being able to birth through the public channels that I chose.
Here in Australia we have the blessings of midwife orientated birthing clinics and publicly funded home births - a program that offers women with low-risk pregnancies the choice of giving birth in their homes at no cost.

For five months of our journey through pregnancy I have been considered low risk, eligible and moving forward on this program. We had excellent care by our midwife and green lights on all the boxes of what it means to be a happy and healthy pregnant person… until we didn’t and the alarms were sounded and we were kicked out of the system.
To be honest, I am still unsure on how this happened, apparently, we learned after a meeting with the consultant of the Hunter New England homebirth unit. I should’ve never been on the program to begin with. Why? Because i have a history of Disordered Eating and hospitalisation.
Having a history of anorexia, we have been told today is considered “high risk” and we do not meet the guidelines of the Australian College of Midwives to be cleared for a home birth, or to birth in a birthing clinic… EVER {though we have been searching for these policies and they are yet to be found}.

So how did I go, up until my third trimester under the radar and accepted in this program?
Someone essentially lied to us. We have been transparent and honest with my mental and physical health history from day dot. Our situation was known, and assessed in the first trimester and we were told that it was all okay. The head consultant blamed my midwife for not informing us correctly, my midwife blamed the consultant for pulling the rug out from under us so abruptly. Either we slipped through the cracks or someone with authority got scared and severed us from the program.

All this externalising blame, on another professional person, on the policies and also profuse apologies has only really told me one thing… THIS SYSTEM DOSNT WORK.

I was okay, and then all of a sudden very much not okay, and I will be considered not okay for the rest of my life in the birthing and medical world of Australia.
I will NEVER get the chance to have a publicly funded home birth, I will never be seen as a person who is healthy, only as a person with a mentally ill past.
All for the sake of my "safety".
The safety that they are referring to is that, as someone with a history of anorexia, it is likely i will relapse and hurt myself and my child and thus I do not get to make choices around how I want to birth - unless we choose to go private. 
I told the consultant that to have my rights taken away and forced back into the EXACT hospital I was forced into as a teenager does not make me feel safe and secure in myself. To this she responded “yes i understand pregnancy is triggering for you and I apologise that this has made it worse”
which I replied. “No I am not triggered by my pregnancy, only that you have taken my rights away”

I understand that the risk to relapse during pregnancy is actually quite high for persons with a past of ED. One in six women unfortunately fall back into this blackhole during this time. But to have been lured along this pathway of my choice, been told I’m doing great and all is well for over half of my pregnancy, to have not been informed, or educated that my past may effect my future and then have that ripped away from me has felt like being capsized into a cold deep ocean. I feel like I have been cheated and manipulated. My trail of breadcrumbs towards the door of the witch, or in this case the hospital or a really expensive investment in private care that will rock our financial stability as a young family.

So… thats the option we are taking, and why we are here today, to raise funds for a private midwife to facilitate us giving birth in our home.  Onwards and upwards, and I am confident that we will be able to draw in our community to help raise these funds for me to feel safe in the way that I birth. Essentially, I’ve recognised I cannot birth, and feel empowered in a space where somebody else has taken away my choices and rights. I can’t swallow it, accept it, and move on. I cannot lay down and take it and say “yes ma’am, I understand, I’ll do it your way and disregard my own needs because you say it’s best”. I just can’t. I am NOT high risk, I am NOT sick and I do not want to work with a system that believes I am so because of a file from ten years ago.

The investment we are making into bringing this darling into the world, in an empowered and sovereign way is possibly the safest and healthiest thing I can do. For me and for them. The issue here for us attempting to raise and save our own funds independently for this cause is that :
1 - This whole scenario has happened at me with 9-12 weeks to go. To raise these funds as individuals would be difficult and stressful in this time frame.  
2 -  I cannot go out and get a job during my third trimester, lets be real. My home business' profits will be solely going towards this cause though. 
3- Mark also cannot go out and get a full time job, as he was diagnosed with a  life long condition and disability last year, and he cannot stand for long periods of time, he is currently acing university and changing his career.

So we are reaching out to our community for help, please understand, that for me personally asking for financial help is really difficult. But as I have mentioned before I feel like this option is the safest, most healing and empowered stance I can take to transition into motherhood, and for our babe to be birthed in this world naturally, surrounded by loved ones and in our own home. 

For those that have doubts around our choices - please understand that we have done extensive research ourselves, and for my holistic health personally I know that this choice is what I need to feel safe, strong and empowered through this time.
Want some more info on home births?

Here are some clinical studies and articles.

https://www.cmaj.ca/content/181/6-7/377.short

https://sarahbuckley.com/giving-birth-at-home/

https://sarahbuckley.com/healing-birth-healing-the-earth/

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Organizer

Madeline Edith 
Organizer
Merewether, NSW
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