I’m writing this blog post because I have been asked a lot about it before so I wanted to tell my story properly and get it out. I would like to clarify that I am great lover of the NHS and everything it does for us however in my time of need they let me down.
I was 18 when I fell pregnant with Delilah, not practical or a great time but still a blessing, I had no idea what I needed to do or what the process was so I did the only logical thing I could think of.. I booked a doctors appointment. I sat down very timidly as I forced back the tears. I was still in college, living at home and barely even paid my phone bill on time let alone take care of a baby. I hadn’t actually decided what I was going to do but before I had a chance to even think about it BAM the fill in GP slapped leaflets to the local abortion clinic down on the table before I could even think or work out what the process was. She told me to book in with the midwife at 8 weeks but I didn’t because I was too frightened so I just left it until I had an appointment with my regular doctor to follow up a recent PCOS issue where he questioned whether I might be pregnant, a routine question, and said that yes I might be. I was 14 weeks and I left it because I was to afraid of being bullied again by the people who were supposed to be ensuring my health was a priority.
It didn’t stop there. I went to the NHS maternity classes where unfortunately Pat couldn’t come with me because he was working so I was in a room filled with middle aged, middle classed married couples who all wanted the same thing. I felt like the black sheep. I relayed this back to my midwife who told me also how this had happened with two other younger mums to be and they just got up midway through.
I went to view the maternity unit and again Pat was working to save up all the money we could for the baby. I was singled out yet again because I was on my own there was subtle digs about how “women could do it on their own”, “don’t worry we’ve had young mums here before”. Why was it necessary? Did they say to older mums to be “ohh we’ve had geriatric mothers before!”.
Throughout my pregnancy I being only 5ft 2 and 18 was smaller than the average child baring mother. Time after time I was constantly reminded about “how inappropriate it was for my body to be carrying a baby at my young age”. At the end I was being closely monitored with scans every week and midwife appointments every single day. It was emotionally draining.
I made it 39 weeks and was more than ready to give birth.
I was 6 cm in active labour in a birthing pool breathing through contractions when a midwife came in and read my notes. She commented on my age which was the same as her daughters but said “well I wouldn’t allow my daughter to be pregnant”. I was at my most vulnerable with a baby being squeezed out of my birth canal and this b*tch had the audacity to have a dig at me?!
Once I returned home I was so grateful to be in my own environment and I wanted to celebrate my beautiful baby. All I got was grief.
“Its normally the teen mums that get their make up back on and get out again”
“You can’t go back to normal you need to grow up and become a mum”
“It’s usually the young parents who feel depressed”
“Your friends are at different stages of life”
“No more going out and partying”
“You can’t afford to shop at Next you’re a young mum!”
“Young mums always give up on breastfeeding”
Again and again I was bullied my health visitor. I stopped answering the door to her and blocked her number. Enough was enough.
When I had Indiana I was scared to go to appointments, I missed appointments, I withdrew from any sort of help that was offered. Luckily I had a really good midwife named Steph and she was amazing. I was blessed to have her but my GPs were less than helpful with my aftercare. I had given birth twice in 15 months and my body knew about it! I went months without periods and when I did I bled for weeks. I bled so much that it went through a tampon, 2 maternity towels and a mattress. Unable to move I was blue lighted to hospital and treated. I was taken seriously and I was desperate for help. 6 times I went to my GP and begged for help. Again and again and again I was turned down. The NHS have let me down time and time again.
We aren’t planning on having a baby anytime soon at least not until we get the wedding out the way. We have said that one more baby would be the perfect addition to our family for sure! What we do know is that when the time is right we will plan it properly and go privately this time round. I’m sure I will get stick for saying that but it’s the truth.
I got my two healthy babies yes and I am more than grateful for that.