As most of you (hello Caroline!) were already aware, I’m pregnant. I’m also 40 – I’ll be 41 before due date, but only by a couple of months or so. Well, OK, three. Apparently this is just *too old*. Accordingly, although my midwife at the booking visit had marked me down for midwife led care I’ve since had a letter from the hospital giving me a consultant appt, at which point apparently the consultant “will plan the birth”.
Hm. Not liking the language here at all. Have also heard that this means not even the midwife led unit, but the full on medicalised ward for giving birth.
Setting aside the question of how precisely they expect to achieve this if I just decide that I’m staying home (which actually I *hadn’t* decided in this instance, but was reserving the right to decide later) I find this whole thing really rather wearing. So today I set out to do some research to find out what risks I’m running by being pregnant at such an advance age.
I can’t find anything. I find repeated references to higher risks of complications, but can’t actually find anything out about these complications. Although I did discover a couple more strikes against me – I’ve had three miscarriages in a row, and this is pregnancy no 7, which presumably mean I should have a medical team following me around from about 36 weeks just in case. I certainly can’t find out what the real risks or options are – and asking on twitter got me a whole load of RTs and some very outraged conversations but absolutely no links to any research at all.
If anyone *has* any links to anything that would explain all of this, I’d really appreciate it. I think I’ll go mail on radical midwives again – I’m sure there will be someone on there who can explain this to me. I’ve also applied to join the Redtent group on FB on recommendation of a twitter friend.
I’m ready and prepared to arm myself for battle. It’s nothing new. I was very well behaved in my first pregnancy, and it resulted in being unable to convince hospital midwives that I was actually in labour, and them giving me sleeping tablets that I think were directly responsible for Big requiring resusc at birth.
Second time around I became very knowledgeable about haemodilution and iron in pregnancy when my homebirth was threatened towards end of pregnancy as they said I was anaemic. I wasn’t. Homebirth was lovely, and a great improvement on the hospital experience.
Third time I was under consultant care due to the intervening three miscarriages. Right up until a registrar started talking about booking me in for induction in the hospital and I explained I was having a homebirth. Poor boy, he was terrified. Couldn’t run to his consultant fast enough. Give her her due, she couldn’t see any problems, and homebirth it was.
This time I was optimistic for a pregnancy and birth without NHS related battles, especially as the midwife I’ve been seeing is the one who delivered Smallest. She booked me in, took full medical history and couldn’t see any reason to advise against homebirth – we were waiting to decide nearer the time. I’m sure she’s on my side – I just wish there weren’t sides at all.