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I did something recently that teetered wildly on the divide between brave and stupid.

I got my notes from Alfie’s birth.

Friends warned me that I should only read them with a big box of tissues and a cup of something comforting but that didn’t put me off; it felt like something I needed to do to close the door on the questions I had. As time went on, I wondered whether my morphine stained mind had played tricks on me and I wanted to see things written down in black and white to know whether the decision we had made was based on perception or supportable fact.

Anyway the notes came, and rather than feeling like an old wound being ripped apart I actually felt quite dispassionate, apart from a few “oooh, you sods!!” about some of the comments on us needing to be “managed more actively”. What I also felt was a real sense of vindication by the end, not just of my mind, but of my body as well.

I remember writing at the time about a phenomena called “Pit to Distress” and how I had those words ringing in my ears when the doctors suggested an epidural and another 2 hours of Syntocinon at maximum dose. I didn’t know why I felt like that at the time, nor why I had refused to let them turn the drip up earlier other than a gut instinct that there was too much contraction and not enough rest.

Guess what? My gut instinct was right.

I was bloody right!!!!

The notes show how many contractions I was having and at the point where I stopped them turning up the drip I was already contracting 4-5 in 10 and by the current definition, 5 or more in 10 is uterine hyperstimulation. Of the two people who have already looked over the notes, they have both looked up at the end and said “That would have been a Pit to Distress”.

It is cold comfort in some senses, but to know that despite being drugged to the hilt I called it right and stopped my son being put at risk makes me so happy. I trusted my gut instinct and it was right. I listened to what felt right (or not) with my body and I was right.

Those notes, rather than making me feel like my body failed for not dilating does the exact opposite, it makes me grateful to my body for being so “right” - holding onto my precious boy in a threatening environment, telling me clearly that it wasn’t happy - and that I had just enough clarity of mind to hear those messages.

And this post just keeps chugging along the happy tracks because the other thing I’m really excited to be able to share is that after nearly 6 months of epic fail, we finally managed to meet up with a lovely midwife called Amanda last week. You’ll get to know her name pretty well on this blog because she is going to be my midwife for the upcoming birth.

I did wonder at one point whether we were ever going to arrange a meeting and whether it was really worth all the hassle: The answer in both cases is YES.

Meeting this woman showed all our previous midwife experiences in their true light. For the first time, we were talking to a woman who had not only been there and done that when it came to VBAC but who had come out the other side of it with the ability and inclination to make sure other women had a better option.

For the first time, I feel like we have midwifery cover that will really make a difference to my labour. I don’t feel like we need to pray to the god of midwife rotas, or that poor Mel will have to come armed with nunchucks, because we have found someone who will fight tooth and nail for a good birth and give us the chance we deserve.

Also someone who suggested that if I wasn’t happy being examined that Keith might like to do it instead. I’ll let you know how that one pans out.

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