I’ve just started maternity leave. I’ve been planning to update this blog for a while, but work has been consuming so much of my brain and time and baby stuff the rest that it’s been squeezed out.
But today when I was just starting to adjust to the new normal, I got an unpleasant surprise. The official email states:
Dear CMP Client
Due to unforeseen staffing circumstances, the Community Midwifery Program regrets that if you are planning a hospital birth (Domino), or if you are planning a homebirth and are required to transfer into hospital during your labour, your Community Midwife will be unable to remain with you and will hand over your care to the hospital staff. When you are discharged from hospital, your Community Midwife will continue your care at home.
This arrangement will continue until further notice.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further please contact <name and number redacted>
Community Midwifery Program
I also got an email from my midwife who I subsequently phoned about it. I’ve been planning a Domino birth (as suggested by my midwife incidentally) and one of the main reasons I chose the CMP was because of the continuity of care. I’m very keen to be able to birth with someone I know, and this pretty much negates that. Coming a month out from my due date, it’s a big unpleasant shock.
I haven’t had a chance to meet the midwifery teams at the hospital I’m planning to attend (why would I when I have a midwife?) and my experiences with the obstetricians have left me less than impressed. They have been for the most part impersonal, uninterested and poor on the details. The last one didn’t even take my blood pressure and tested my protein levels only when I asked about it.
My biggest fear comes down to the BMI issue. I’ve been eating fairly normally throughout my pregnancy and putting on more weight in my third trimester (most of which is going to the baby who is now ~3kg). Despite being otherwise healthy, I’m getting close to those scary cutoffs and that’s when I weigh myself at home first thing in the morning. The scales at the hospital are less discriminating, especially later in the day and wearing clothes. I’m really afraid that I’m going to be packed off to King Edward hospital for delivery sans midwife and lose any autonomy over my birth because I happen to be a kilo over the cutoff if they insist on weighing me.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with the backup CMP midwife and then another appointment at the hospital. I’m going to discuss my concerns with the midwife (especially in light of my anxiety issues around the BMI issue) and see if there’s anything they can do. I understand that they’ve had staff leave, but I’d like to hope they feel some sense of responsibility for people who are already in the system. At the hospital, I plan to decline to be weighed. I’m mostly going in to find out if spudlet is still breech and to get an anti-D injection so I’m hoping they don’t push the issue.
If we aren’t happy after the conversation with the midwife, I might contact the CMP manager and discuss it with her. I’m half tempted to see if I can switch to a homebirth even though it wouldn’t be my first choice as I’d feel safer with that than at KEMH. It’s distressing to have to consider these sorts of things when I thought it was all sorted. In the meantime, I’ll be eating salad so I can try to fit within the stupid BMI restrictions. I can’t help feeling sad and angry that the system is letting me down like this.