Helped but not booked – potential high risk women need choices too

Xanthe pearl
I had two consultations with Chris from Yorkshire Storks – I made the initial appointment because the hospital had classified the birth of my second child “high risk” due to a previous c-section, a bicornate uterus and a diagnosis of gestational diabetes (although I was managing my sugars very well through my diet alone). I felt as though I was being processed by the hospital and not treated as an individual and I didn’t feel like I had a balanced view of the level of risk involved.

At the first appointment with Yorkshire Storks Chris helped me to understand what the risks were, to figure out what kind of birth I wanted and how to maximise my chances of getting the birth I wanted.
At my second consultation Chris came with me to my consultant appointment at the hospital to help me to negotiate with them about getting the kind of birth I wanted as some of my decisions went against their advice. I felt that the decisions I had made based on Chris’s advice and some further research gave me the best chance of having the water-assisted VBAC I wanted. Chris also helped me to put my decisions into writing so that my choices were in my records.

On 1st December 2013 Xanthe Pearl Dodgson was born in a birthing pool in York hospital, a successful VBAC. I had minimal involvement from some very supportive midwives each of whom had read my letter about what I wanted before seeing me and did their best to help me to have the birth I wanted. It was an amazing positive experience and exactly the birth I wanted but I’m not sure I’d have got there if Chris hadn’t helped me understand my risks and choices and stand up for what I wanted.