I am now a father! My son Thomas Powers, was born on the 31st August 2008 at 11.15pm. He weighed 9lbs 10.5oz (4380g) and was asleep when he was born. We had a lovely home birth with a birthing pool. He is very well and so is him mum.
He is very cute and is feeding well.
It is a life changing experience like people say, and it does change ones perspective slightly. However, with me it has just focused me more and made me even more determined to achieve my financial goals to provide an excellent life for my wife and son.
What is surprising is the lack of support for fathers in this country (UK). In all of the books I have read during the pregnancy and after, fathers get a token mention if at all. All the references are about how they should support there partners and nothing about what emotional things might be going on with them.
All the baby groups are mum and baby, there is never a father and baby class. The support is just not there.
I also found that there is not much support for home births and to guarantee you have a midwife and a birthing pool you really need to birth at home with an independent midwife. There are not many independent midwifes left as new rules have been passed which make it impossible for independent midwifes working outside the NHS to get insurance.
This is a shocking blow to families that want to have natural non-intervention births at home. Our midwifes work without insurance and take the risk of being sued upon themselves as they believe so passionately about what they are doing. We could not have had the birth we wanted without them.
This has led to the ‘natural birthing movement’ where families birth at home without any support whatsoever. This is a terrible shame as if something does go wrong, they would have no one professional there. So bad has the trust situation got between parents and midwives, that people are willing to risk this rather than subject themselves to the pressure of the NHS to have a hospital birth.
The standard procedure in hospitals is that a birth should take 12 hours. This apparently came from some doctor who worked out you can induce if dilation is not at a rate of 1cm per hour. This is just to get women out the door. Being induced means the baby comes quicker but the body is not ready for the baby. This invariably leads to an increase in the number of caesarean sections that happen, even when the family did not want this to start with.
The natural percentage of births that would need a c-section regardless due to natural complications is around 8%. However, in NHS hospitals today this is between 28 and 45% because of this policy.
When I am richer, I am going to make this problem my first philanthropic endeavour. I want to fund some sort of solution to allow more women to have the birth of their choice at home with professional support. I am not sure what form this will take as a solution, but I will work on it and when I have some spare money, I would put the plan into action.
I’ll let you know how it goes