This time last week, I was supposed to be at my first ever blogging conference. In response to Mammasaurus‘s tweet out a few weeks before about Creating Connections Save The Children Blogger And Vlogger Conference, I calculated that I’d be 38 weeks pregnant on the date of the conference. Two more weeks to go, no problem. I thought nothing of it – my two previous children were born close their due dates – and signed up. I mean, c’mon, what are the odds. Right?
Well, I thought wrong.
Last Friday, I experienced what felt like early contractions. Equally, they could have been Braxton-Hicks. Even after two pregnancies, I can’t tell the difference between early contractions and strong Braxton-Hicks. Never mind. I’m sure I’ll be left in no doubt when labour actually kicks in.
Saturday morning at 6am, I had a show. Uh-oh, baby’s here. “But I have a conference to go to!” I thought to myself. Not only was it my first one ever, but I was so looking forward to meeting bloggers I’ve come to know well in the virtual world.
The contractions got stronger and more frequent while I had my morning cup of tea. The half-packed emergency bag was sorted out, last minute phone calls were made to friends for help with looking after our other two kids, and finally at 10am I was ready to go to the hospital.
All Saturday the contractions came and went. Two in every 10 minutes but the intensity was uneven. It was a busy day at the labour ward and they were short of staff. The midwife got round to checking me about 2 hours after I arrived. There were a few emergencies that day and my midwife was busy with one all afternoon. By the time she came back, it was past dinner time. I was going to the Birthing Centre – which was my preference – and not the labour ward. The Birthing Centre only took in low risk pregnancies as there’s minimal involvement from the midwives and the only pain relief available was gas and air.
When I saw the Birthing Centre room, it blew me away. It was like a 5-star hotel by hospital standards. Wooden flooring, dimmer lights, a toilet/shower, a huge birthing pool, a bouncy ball, a double bed, a TV. Very comfortable indeed. Best thing about it is I didn’t need to walk from one ward to another after giving birth. We could stay as a family in the room, rest, have a nap, breakfast and bond with baby.
While I was giving birth in luxury, my fellow bloggers were hearing about the lack of basic healthcare in the poorest and remotest parts of Bangladesh – Save the Children is trying to raise £1 million to build life-saving clinics for these areas. Chloewitters mentioned in her post,
A woman who was carried in an upturned basket for six hours to get medical care for her newborn baby. This is a routine journey for women in remote areas of Bangladesh. Can you imagine making that journey shortly after giving birth?
All I had to endure was a 10-minute very slow walk from the labour ward to the postnatal ward. And this time round, I didn’t even have to do that because I was in the Birthing Centre. What am I complaining about, pampered princess living in the West?
Childbirth, one of life’s most natural processes. But also one that can be life threatening when complications arise.
The new clinics planned by Save The Children will reach:
- 21,500 women of child-bearing age with family planning services
- 3,000 pregnant women with antenatal care
- 2,190 newborn babies with postnatal care, breastfeeding support for their mothers and antibiotics when they become ill
- 2,218 infants aged up to one year, by helping their mothers to breastfeed and wean them safely and reducing the chance of life-threatening diseases such as diarrhoea and the risk of malnutrition
- 43,600 people in the area with information on how to stay healthy and where to get help if they do become ill.
- Go along to an event. They are free to attend. Check out the schedule and see where Mammasaurus will be. Come along and take some photos, shoot some video – anything!
- Donate 5 minutes of social sharing time. If you want to show support to the campaign but don’t feel that you can write a post, for whatever reason, please consider sharing socially with others a post, page or information about this campaign. For bloggers re-tweets are grand but it would be really awesome if people shared a post or details about this site on their personal Facebook pages, G+ etc, helping ripple the message out of the Blogosphere.
- Write about it. If you blog and you feel that you would like to write a post about the Build it for Babies / Blog it for Babies please do. It’s a good chance to maybe look back at your own experience of childbirth and compare how different it would have been if you hand’t had access to healthcare, but if you don’t feel like you can write about the campaign that’s fine, there’s no pressure at all. We’ll be setting up a page on this site to link up all the posts written to make them easy to find.