When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, I did a fair amount of reading about pregnancy and birth. I knew there were many choices available to me, from where to birth my baby to pain relief options. I chose to give birth in hospital for the reason many first time mums do; I wasn't sure what labour would feel like, how I'd cope with it and it seemed like the safe place to be.
Throughout my pregnancy I'd happily gone along with all the routine tests. My birth plan consisted of a few simple requests like my husband is to cut the cord. As far as pain relief went I was happy to go with the flow and see what I felt like at the time.
Pretty much everything I'd read and been told suggested the average first labour is 12 hours so I'd prepared myself for that. When I did actually go into labour (2 hours after my waters broke) the contractions were full on. Unfortunately the midwives kept telling me I'd have 12 hours of it, refused pain relief until they realised I wasn't going to stop shouting until I got it. Then they gave it with no internal exam. I was treated throughout at as over-reacting first timer. Well you can imagine everyone's surprise when I gave birth 2 hours 20 mins after labour starting. Unfortunately it meant Erin was very sleepy from the pethidine I'd been given at the wrong time of labour. Because of the attitude of the midwife I refused to have my tear stitched as I didn't trust her.
I ended up with a baby too sleepy to breastfeed, weeks of pain with my tear and my back (I managed to knock my coccyx out of place giving birth) and months of postnatal depression.
As you can imagine I didn't want to repeat this with my second pregnancy. When I found out I was pregnant I started going along to Choices In Childbirth meetings to find out more about birth and also for some support while I planned a homebirth.
It was at one of these meetings that I was given a back issue of The Mother, in which I read a story about Lotus Birth; where the umbilical cord is not cut and the placenta is left attached until the cord falls off of it's own accord.
I decided as soon as I read the article that I wanted to lotus birth. Whilst I liked the spritual side of it, my main reason was wanting control over the birth.
We then had a couple of problems with the NHS. They weren't happy I refused to see a consultant because "postnatal depression" is on one of their tick-boxes for 'refer to consultant'. I refused the booking-in blood tests because they had most of the information from my last pregnancy; the midwife couldn't seem to understand why I wouldn't just have it done "like everyone else".
So I decided to use my maternity allowance and pay for an independent midwife. By this time I'd grown attached to the idea of a lotus birth and the spiritual side of it had really began to sink in, so we decided to continue with it.