And I am going to do something I very, very rarely (never) do, and that is have a rant.
See, when I first got pregnant 10 years ago, I had no idea what to expect and what to do in terms of the whole bureaucracy of birth.
Heck, I didn't even have a GP. But I was in the State Capital, and therefore should have access to all options I could poke a stick at - shouldn't I?
Well, according to the doctor I went to see, not really. Mainly because we had "left it so late" (procrastination has a way of catching up with you) and partly because "she didn't believe in a few options" and so wouldn't discuss them with us - so she gave us two options.
- Public - therefore a team of midwives, the obstetrician on call if we needed one and a few days at the local Mater hospital;
- or Private, therefore one obstetrician the whole way through including birth at whatever local Private hospital the obstetrician was attached to.
Being the crunchy granola hippie I was, I really wanted the third option - home birth - but that was the option she didn't believe in, and all the calls to anyone who might have half an idea of what I was supposed to do that I made were not returned.
I also had a passing fancy to a fourth option - but I would have had to book in the day I ovulated to contemplate a Birthing Centre at the time.
As we had "left it so late" we were limited to our choice of obstetrician as well - but in the long run that was fine, as K was an amazing straight-talking lady who, had I known her manner I would have picked her anyway with a choice.
This time around, I wanted to have all my options available - only to be met with a rude shock (and no, I didn't leave it so late to tell the doctor this time).
My choice of obstetrician, were I to go private was 1. He is a lovely man with very reasonable prices - unfortunately there are about 3 times as many prices as there were last time around!!
My choice of hospital, whether I go private or not, is 1. The local Private Hospital no longer does Maternity. And the local Birthing Centre would be back in the State Capital.
If I were to even contemplate homebirth, the nearest midwife who offers such a service is over 200km away.
Still - I am very lucky - my cousins and SIL all have to travel at least 300km just to get to a hospital that will do maternity at all, without the consideration of obstetrician appointments and the headache of who is going to look after other children were there to be any issues. (I am doubly lucky because my Mum said yes to coming to look after 'Salina should the baby arrive before the school holidays - and she is only 200km away).
Wonder why induction rates are on the rise? I would say more to do with having to juggle childcare than women wanting to timetable their lives.
Anyhow, due to one very steep obstetrician bill coinciding with a few unpaid invoices from my business AND the fact that we made a considered decision that so long as the dugout team is supportive, it doesn't really matter who catches the baby - we will be in the same facility as the private obstetrician AND I am the most hale bloddy pregnant woman around, we are going the public option this time around - but I still have private cover up my sleeve should it be required.
However - it appears that even if I were to be so close to the centre of power as to have all birth options open to me, the bureaucrats in Canberra are moving so that no woman will have the choice to Homebirth come next year even if there were a qualified midwife.
The way it works is this - the government have finally allowed medical indemnity insurance to midwives - which should be met with a resounding cheer, should it not?
We-ell, it seems that they have tied this new legislation to a codicil that they are allowed to do so as long as they don't practice homebirthing - all join with me and say "what the"?
Oh yes, and if you are stupid enough to homebirth without a valid "but the ambulance didn't collect/I forgot to go to hospital/oh, is this a baby" excuse and you DO homebirth - you can be fined.
Now, I am pretty bemused that I will never get to have the full on home birth experience - but I have plenty of good excuses.
Not letting anyone in Australia have a Homebirth because of politics sort of pisses me off.
And you all know, very little does that for me.
Here is a YouTube of the one politician that has spoken out on it in parliament:
And yes, for all you furriners, that is the conservative side of politics telling the radicals to give more choice and get with the program - who'd a thunk?
In some things, I don't want Australia to lead the way...