Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Introducing Nicholas Xavier

Nicholas Xavier was born on Saturday, weighing 9lbs6. We have only just come out of hospital because, unfortunately, Nicholas became unwell shortly after birth and had to be transferred to the Special Care Baby Unit. The moment he stopped breathing is not one I am ever likely to forget, but thank God he is now fully recovered and it is such a joy to be home with him at last.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Reassuring story as I approach 40 weeks

A came across this story about maternal mortality in the UK, which made me quake (momentarily) in my boots. Apparently, Britain is 23rd in the world for maternal deaths, compared with Malta which is 8th. One of the points made in the article is that Britain is still a very safe place to give birth and that one of the factors that may be pushing up the figures is older women giving birth, which is causing an increase in heart attacks during labour.

One of the points that isn't made in the article which I think needs to be considered is how complacent we have become as a population about maternal health. When I was in labour the first time, I was bullied into going home by a midwife going on about how much more comfortable I would be in 'the comfort of my own home'. I duly started bleeding in the comfort of my own home and it took over forty minutes for me to get back to the safety of the hospital where they could do something about it. I was more fortunate than a woman I know who was told the same thing and gave birth on her sitting room floor. Having said that, before I point fingers at medical professionals, I learnt my own lesson when I contracted an infection after birth and stopped my doctor from calling an ambulance. A doctor friend pointed out afterwards that if a GP asks for your consent to call an ambulance, the correct answer is yes.

"I didn't want to make a fuss," I said.
"Women die from post-partum infections."
Yes, I know, and I give talks on the subject...