When you’re pregnant, you sometimes get the overwhelming feeling that you are drowning in information about babies. Books are dispatched to you for helpful advice, GPs are giving you leaflet after leaflet and everybody you know suddenly becomes a baby expert. Not that you don’t appreciate it, you’re quite happy to have the low down on how to change a nappy in five seconds. But you sometimes wish you could just file away all that information and not have it whirling around in your head making you feel dizzy. You would think that after the birth of your baby people would calm down and let you decide what’s best for your new-born. Wrong, wrong, wrong! As I have learned the hard way, there is always someone criticising you and telling you what’s right and what’s not. When it comes to babies, it’s a very confusing world.
The problem I have with midwives and health visitors is they contradict each other. When we were in hospital after Cabbit’s birth we must have seen about a dozen different midwives. Each one with their own opinion about what was best for him. I understand that everyone is different and has different views on how things should be done but shouldn’t the midwives all have a universal standard that is the same? One midwife said Cabbit wouldn’t clam down because he was too hot so she stripped him of his clothes (I was bedbound and would have loved to have jumped up and punched her in the face for ripping my son’s clothes off!) leaving him in his nappy to try to feed. Of course this just made him more stressed, would anyone like having their clothes torn off and forced to eat? Another midwife said he was too cold and wrapped him up in double blankets which only made him throw up. Again I felt so helpless not being able to push these inconsiderate drones out of the way and tend to my baby. I could only voice my opinion as his mother which they always, always ignored. I hated how cold and sterile some of these midwives were, no smiles, no friendly chit-chat to make you feel at ease after you have just suffered major abdominal surgery. Nothing. They were like dementors, coming in to suck you dry of any happiness you felt and leaving a cold vile chill in the air. I understand that at the end of the day they are human and can’t be happy, happy all the time but I kid you not, they made me feel bad for being in hospital (not that I needed help there as I, like many HATE hospitals). They acted as though I was a burden to them. What annoyed me more though was we were being told different things by different midwives and that nothing we did as parents was right. Each one would come in and say “Oh no you can’t do that” and completely contradict their colleagues. No matter how much we stressed to them that THEY were the ones that suggested we do things like they had said, they just gave us a long dead stare and ignored us. I wish I had made a complaint now but after 2 days I just wanted to get out of there, I didn’t care that I left wearing my pyjamas and Dr Martens. I wanted to be home and do things OUR way.
The visits from the midwives continued once we got home, but thank our lucky chocolate stars that the ones we got were a Godsend. We had a lovely lady who was down to earth and respected our decisions. She told us that we are his parents and that what we decided for Cabbit is always the best choice. It’s a shame we won’t see her anymore as they discharged us the other day but it gave me some hope that there are a few helpful midwives out there that do only want what’s best for you and your child. They don’t see it as a job but as life, a chance to help families starting out get the best care they need. Some of them actually do listen to you!
Once the midwife visits at home finish they turn you over to the health visitors and boy are they fun…*sarcasm alert* When our health visitor turned up the first thing she said to me was “Your baby is hungry, feed it!” I try not to judge people too quick before I get to know them but instantly I felt a burning hatred for this stranger telling me that our just-fed Cabbit needed more food. Not five seconds has she been in our lives and she’s already telling us that we are bad parents. Of course force feeding Cabbit only resulted in him crying and throwing up. The health visitor then went on to criticise everything we did and said that what we were told by the midwives was wrong. Everything we were doing was wrong in her eyes. She sat there for over an hour going on and on about how we should listen to her and that she knew best. I had to bite my lip from screaming at her to get out and take her egocentric advice with her. When she told us that this would be the only visit from them (and more specifically, from her) I wanted to dance. I really didn’t want this woman back in our house let alone anywhere near our son. He has a good judge of character already (like many people he’s related to) and just eviled her throughout the whole thing. Good boy! Why is it that these people think they know better because they took a course on it? It’s human nature to have a baby; people have been doing it for centuries before midwives even existed and they seemed to cope fine. Do I really need someone waving their degree in my face telling me I’m a bad mum? Where’s the support they are supposed to offer, the comfort that what you doing is fine as long as baby is happy and healthy, and GENTLE encouragement in corrective directions IF NECESSARY.
I’m not saying all midwives and health visitors are bad, just a whole big bunch of them that I have met throughout this experience have seemed to do nothing but criticise and sit on their high horse. How I would love to get a snake to spook them so they come crashing back down to reality. I suppose I should get used to being criticised now that I am a mother. But will I care what other people think? Like hell I will *sticks tongue out*
Time for a good cup of tea after that rant I think! (and a Hob-Nob)