21 February 2007

Awful news from a friend, worried

Later yesterday there was terrible, terrible news, the hospital have been causing problems and I am so broken up for my dear sweet friend. If someone as prepared, and as wise, as her can have things go so wrong… It makes me so afraid for all of the unprepared, frightened first time parents. Oh I hate it so much that those meant to take care of us can treat us so badly and can have their efforts so misplaced.

They took her baby, they gave him formula, they made her doubt herself and they threatened to call social services if she discharged herself. I spent hours on the phone to La Leche League, who say that sadly the hospital is immune from prosecution or any kind of comeback even though they are one of the worst hospitals in the country. Both for breastfeeding rates and for infant mortality! Even my Mum said what a bad reputation they have.

Everything in me wants to be by her side and fight for her. But she is without an advocate, and I know that just like me she gets bullied because she stays quiet when someone in authority criticises her. I am so bad for keeping quiet when I should raise hell, and I’m barely learning now after two years that my children suffer when I give in. Oh God what an awful way to learn that, stuck in that awful place and not even allowed her partner by her side.

Yesterday after waiting for news so long and spending such a lot of time trying to find her some help (how I wish I was closer!), I started thinking about something that has come to me fairly often in recent months. I think someday, I would like to be a doula.

Thinking that, and reading up – I was once more realising how unlikely it is to happen given the expense of training…

And then today, on one of the boards, someone said to me that they think I should be a doula and that they wish I had been at their birth! Talk about a confirmation.

It is so hard thinking about it though; I am full of doubt as to whether I am too immature, too inexperienced. And then I think about how I could leave my babies. Then I think about transport and the fear of learning to drive I’ve carried for so long. Then I think about how we’re so unlikely to afford another car, let alone driving lessons for me and the training fees and… The dream gets crushed before I’ve even started colouring in the details.

Still hanging on the end of the phone (and checking the net every minute or two) in the hopes that Naomi is even now on her way home to get some decent support for breastfeeding.

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