Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Thursday, 26 May 2011


Today in the Daily Mail 'Femail Magazine' suppliment there was a discussion surrounding the push to lower the caesarean section rate in this country, yet asking why lots of female doctors and obstetricians elect for c-sections in their own pregnancies.  The article compared the dangers of surgical and natural births, complications and injuries to women that occur during labour that lead to an emergency section and why women in the medical profession often opt for a c-section over natural delivery. Remembering all post surgery complications that can occur - the infection risk and long recovery time among other risks;  it is interesting to  additionally note that statistics show that a woman is much more likely to die during a vaginal birth and associated complications than a section birth.

It was food for thought considering these are the questions we need to be asking ourselves and our consultant as we begin to plan Bow's delivery.

I am not at all scared to give birth again in regards to me. I've done it once, I'd give it a good go again. Yes it hurt (one of the biggest understatements of my life!) but it was also very empowering. But I am scared about the effect of an induced delivery on Bow. However I am not willing to take the risk of going far beyond 37 weeks as the placenta goes past its peak and starts to deteriorate with each passing day - for my sanity and Bow's safety; he or she needs to be delivered as close to 37 weeks as we can as we reach "term".

My questions surround the length of time induction may take. Remember it took 5 days of treatment and then artificial rupture of membranes to actually get me to labour with Anabelle, if she'd been alive they would never have allowed it to go on that long and I'd have been taken to section much sooner. If Bow's induction does not progress quickly would a section become an emergency situation and our baby in distress?  The last thing I want is an emergency birth with Bow, or for them to be in any way distressed.

If the likelihood is induction probably leading to a section I think I would much rather just plan for an elective section so Bow arrives into this world in a calm manner. Although a big part of me really wants to experience labour again the only concern that matters is Bow arriving screaming into this world rather than silently and I will endure anything to make that happen. The method of arrival isn't the most important thing.

These are things I need to discuss with my consultant. I need to ask the question regarding their induction turning into caersarean rate. I may only be 16 weeks pregnant, but I'm already reaching a place where I need to know. After all, unbeknown to me while pregnant with Anabelle, at 16 weeks I'd reached our half way point.

The article was a very interesting read. But then there was this statement:

"The UK is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. And of the 1,917 babies delivered each day in this county, just 11 will be stillborn." so said Bridget O'Donnell.

My biggest problem with the statement of all? The word "just".  My second biggest problem? It does not include the neonatal deaths, the further 6 babies who die in the minutes, hours and days after their birth also.

I assume Bridget O'Donnell has been lucky enough not have been "just" one of the 17.

This statement is another example of the false sense of security we are lulled into in this country. This statement is great if your experience of pregnancy is being one of the 1900 who make it. Of course until you're the minority you give little thought to those who are. But it is an insult to count the other 17 babies who don't go home with their devastated parents as "just" - it implies a huge insignificance to their loss simply because the other 1900 made it.

These figures are not acceptable, they are not good innings. According to the recent Lancet Report our rate of stillbirth and neonatal death places us 33rd in the developed world of places 'safest' to have a baby. So are we really that safe at all?  True, being the 33rd country is better than being the 133rd country BUT 33rd is appalling for a developed country with an apparently outstanding healthcare system.

33rd is nowhere near the top 10, it is nowhere near 1st.  33rd is significant room for improvement.  33rd is an absolute need for improvement. I'm going to find out who is 1st - that is what the UK needs to aspire too, or better infact, because even one baby's death a day should be considered far too many.

Every single one of those 17 babies who die each day in this country matter. Remind yourselves again that 17 babies each day is 6500 over a single year; the equivalent to 16 jumbo jets crashing each and every year with NO survivors. Here is an additional thought - our stillbirth rate is ten times the number of cot deaths in the UK. Thought about in that context? That's an awful lot of deaths; reducing stillbirth and neonatal death rates need to be a priority just as cot death figures were in years gone by.

Attitudes need to be changed. How wonderful for all the 1900 families who's children were born on the 21st June 2010 that got to take them home. But we, the other 17, who's babies were born on the 21st June 2010 and didn't come home? We are not "just" anything. Our babies matter as much as the 1900 others who share their birthday.

Every baby's existence, born screaming or silently counts.


Ally said...

Here Here!

Anonymous said...

I read this article but missed the `just' comment, I'm glad I did as I can do without another few days being so incandescent with rage that I am practically foaming at the mouth (although I am getting there now...). `Just' 11, only 1 in 200 pregnancies, this stupid woman seems to think we're getting off lightly in this country, lucky her that she's in a position to be able to think this, perhaps she's like to come to my local Sands meeting where I have met `just' 6 woman who've had a stillbirth, 2 (inc me) who've had a neonatal death and 1 who has had several late mc's. Aren't we a small price to pay for all the live healthy babies that are delivered everyday? JMC

Marie said...

I didn't see the article, but I agree -'just'?!

By the way I was scheduled for an elective at 34w with my littlest, after losing Joe. My mental state deteriorated quite rapidly if I'm honest leading up to Joe's gestation and every minute beyond. In the end M had his own plan and arrived at 33+4, the VBAC I had never planned for. Go figure...

Maria said...

Your post got me thinking.

You are totally right! we aren't just babyloss mums. We are'nt just greiving our babies. We're well and truely missing them rotten!

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