About: Airedale General Hospital Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT

(as the patient),

I always knew I wanted a home water birth and when I found out I was pregnant I was over the moon but was dreading telling the midwives this was what I wanted to do.

I am now 29 weeks pregnant and have been seeing the same midwife throughout my checkups. Initially I asked her thoughts and feelings about a home water birth for my first child as I don't want to be in a position where I get rushed to hospital just because the midwife doesnt personally agree with or approve of them. She was great and really gave me the reassurance I needed.

My most recent check up was conducted by a different midwife. I asked after my usual midwife and she said she was ill but it could be 1of 4 midwives that would be present for the birth if it was before 4.30pm and that my nice midwife could actually be leaving her post. I was shocked and dissapointed as I thought she would be with me throughout. Quickly adjusting to the news I thought I will have to go through the same process of asking each midwife their thoughts and feelings about home water birth as I dont want to be pushed into doing something i dont want to do just because that is their preference. She then added that if i were to go into labour after 4.30 then 1 of 23 midwifes would be present. This really shocked and unnearved me. One of the attractive things about the home birth is getting to know your local midwife before the big day and making sure you are comfortable with them. This just completely through me. There was nothing said to make reassure saying they are lovely or they will respect and suport your birth. Nothing.

Then when i was having doppler check, i was saying I can feel baby but find it hard to identify body parts in the hope she would help me or give me a pointer. I was completely disregarded with the comment that i dont need to know which bit is which. Well obvioulsy i know i dont NEED to know but once again a bit of support or care would have been nice. This particular midwife did not seem concerned about me but was merely going through the motions. A tick in the box for things rather than care.

This birth is so special to me and i will not let it be ruined by people like this so now i am in the predicament of deciding whether to part with my savings to get an independent midwife to give me and my baby the caring support we need. I am terrified of on the day being dealt a uncaring midwife who is not there to support my wishes and assist me with the birth i hope for merely to tick all the boxes.

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