Tracey Quinn talks about her experience at the Birth Reflections service.
I recently availed of the Birth Reflections service in the Coombe Women And Infants University Hospital.
I wanted to talk about my experience and scream it from the rooftops because it really had such a profound effect on me.
This service is available to all women who have given birth at the hospital and it is something that I am truly grateful to have availed of. It offers women an opportunity to meet with a midwife at the hospital and go through their previous birthing experience in a huge level of detail.
It is co-ordinated by Birth Reflections Midwife Ann Fergus and she is an absolute pleasure to deal with from start to finish.
I first heard about Birth Reflections through a friend who had done it before. I really hope that this post will do the very same thing and highlight the service to other women who may not be aware of it.
This is essentially a listening service. It is an opportunity to ask questions about your pregnancy and birth experience in a safe and secure environment. Many women find this to be a very healing experience because it helps them join up the dots and make sense of how and why things happened as they did.
On a personal level, it completely changed my perception of my first birth experience. When I looked at the birthing notes I couldn’t quite believe just how many things I was mistaken about.
The sequence of events and the timings for example. It had a Domino effect and when one question was asked it, in turn, answered a host of other ones I had.
My reasons for availing of this service were predominantly centred around the level of fear I had about my next birth. At eight months pregnant, I was hugely fearful about the kind of labour I was going to have.
I wanted to avoid certain interventions and experiences that threaded my first birth but I didn’t know how to make that happen.
Talking about my first birth in great detail and having an open forum to ask questions about it really helped me to make peace with everything. In making peace with my first birth I was able to change my perspective on my upcoming second birth.
Knowing why things happened as they did and having it all explained to me in a clear way was massively healing. It helped me put that experience to bed and gave me a huge amount of faith in the fact that this second experience could be very different.
Another huge epiphany was understanding the difference that these particular interventions had made to my labour and to my baby. While I still hoped to avoid them in my next birth I was able to accept that all would be fine if the reality ended up being similar again. I understood it on a greater level.
The Birth Reflections appointment lasts about an hour and partners are encouraged to attend. My husband and I left feeling uplifted, inspired and really confident about the next birth.
Birth can be a really scary time for your partner and I had no idea just how much my husband would benefit from this service too. He had just as many questions as me and he left feeling really positive about the answers he received. As my birthing partner, he felt that he would be able to offer a greater level of support in my second birth as a direct result of this brilliant service.
To make an appointment for Birth Reflections simply email Fergus at [email protected]