Friday, 27 March 2009

Awesome to Awful and Back Again...

I don't care what anyone says - prayer works! Sometimes God answers in a way you weren't expecting - and it's actually better than you were expecting! - and sometimes He answers immediately. A couple of days ago I experienced the latter:

I recieved an email which, for no real reason, rubbed me up the wrong way. Time of the month? My cold coming on? Possibly. Anyway; I was feeling anger, an emotion I don't do well at all, welling up inside of me throughout the morning. My anxiety started to kick in, too. Not a good way to go to work. So I took myself into the hall, away from William's noise, and prayed. I asked God to help calm the anger and help me get some perspective. I also asked Him to help me with 'the Veritasse situation' and before I'd even finished praying I felt happier, calmer and had total perspective on the whole situation! God is truly awesome!!!

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For the past three years I have been persuing a complaint against the NHS regarding complications surrounding the pregnancy and subsequent birth of my son. I'm not going to started mud-slinging on this blog as there was also plenty of good support, but I will give you the background and basic outline: I have a condition called vulval vestibulitis (click for more info.) It means that I can't use tampons or have normal penetrative sex, so you can imagine my fear of giving birth naturally! Imagine a huge sore blister on the inside of your bottom lip. Now imagine pushing a melon out of your mouth past it. Exactly!

I didn't recieve the correct information or support throughout my pregnancy (as has been admitted by the trust) and women with VV are apparently not eligible for a caesarean section, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO.)

My consultant midwife was ineffective which made my anxiety worse. I have a witness to my initial consultation - my husband - but the trust are backing her completely and are refusing to admit she was in any way culpable. It's basically my word against theirs and my notes 'apparently' show her to be in the right. Interesting...

My depression re-occurred and was re-named Post-Natal Depression (as it recurred as a direct result of the birth trauma) and I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, for which I was treated for a year.

I'm now getting back on my feet, but I begrudge the mental health problems I and my husband and new-born baby had to be subjected to. For two years before I had William I was in recovery and felt strong enough, emotionally and mentally, to cope with a baby. Complications meant I was unable to breastfeed (which I'd intented to) as I was in so much pain for the first few days after the birth and even unable to pick William up for changes or feeds.

Anyway, now I'm in the tricky position of deciding whether to keep going with this. I'm not going to sue - I've missed the three-year deadline, anyway - and it's not money I want, it's justice and the hope that another woman won't go through what I went through. They have made some policy changes as a direct result of this, which is brilliant, but they're still goverened by what I think are ridiculous WHO guidelines beyond their control.

So there's only one way for me to go really, straight to the WHO and appeal for a change in policy. The idea that women who find sex nigh on if not actually impossible don't automatically qualify for a caesarean is frankly ridiculous!

Sorry for going on a bit...I actually held back quite a lot! Anger and blame doesn't solve anything. What's needed (as ever) is a change in the system. Just like with the mental health services in this country, it's usually the system that's at fault.

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But back to awesomeness (is that a word?)... It's worth mentioning that because of the VV diagnosis, 11 years ago, I was given to understand that having a baby by natural means would be out of the question. We prayed and prayed and I got more depressed, then God sent us a beautiful boy - when we were ready for a baby. He probably had William earmarked for us all along, but waited for us to be in a better position to deal with a new baby. Any earlier and we'd have had less money, deeper mental illhealth and been less able to cope. Awesome!!!

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