Welcome to the (Parent) Hood Pt.3. Midwives Vs. Doctors - Things You Shouldn't Say to Someone with a Baby in the NICU
For Part 1, click here.
For Pt.2, click here
They are riddled throughout the path towards parenting, and seem to exist in every moment once you arrive.
Disposable vs cloth,
breast vs bottle,
prams vs wraps,
pink vs blue.
It's amazing how many things we set up in opposition from each other.
How many labels we prescribe.
How many camps we can break the world into.
You should save your sleep
respond to your baby
but co-sleeping is natural
dummys are good
dummys are bad
are you a helicopter parent
or a free-range?
It can become a little overwhelming
finding your feet in it all.
Weighing up culture and research
and what your parents did
and what your friends do
and what marketing suggests
and what sits well in your gut
what a beautiful thing, choice is
to sort through information, access different viewpoints, ask older and wiser,
consider how we will approach this vast, beautiful journey of raising a human
trying to teach them
the world is good and beautiful
and full of love and respect
and we want to minimise
all the inevitable
you will have to do,
in the future.
I was acutely aware of them,
when we sat cross-legged in a yert,
doing a 'Calm birth' course,
far outside of my comfort zone
when we chose the hospital further away, based on its midwife group program
when we were asked repeatedly,
why that hospital?
they don't have obstetricians??
You don't stay overnight?
Do they even believe in medicine?!
Here is where
lead to ugly, hurtful situations.
When you are sitting in Royal North Shore Hospital, and the
eighth, ninth, tenth
doctor, student, medical graduate
being brought up to speed on your son's strange case of respiratory distress
when 'delayed cord clamping'
is mentioned in the birth notes
and asks 'Why?'
and you say
'because we chose it
because the research shows countless health benefits
and there is no proven correlation
And you are looked at
like another parent
who must have chosen that hospital
because it is trendy to be troublesome
and not because you actually did research
and you genuinely trust that the midwife group program
with its huge statistical success
and beautiful women who give everything to see life start well
are onto something.
and the question is asked again,
'Why would you choose that hospital, that approach, that point of view....?'
these are not
things you should say to a parent in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit)
But they show,
We set camps up everywhere.
midwives vs doctors.
nature vs medicine.
And I must say,
I am deeply grateful for our midwife
deeply grateful for the nurses
deeply grateful for the doctors
they all helped bring our boy
through his set of hurdles
and it would be nice
if we could embrace
the value in their diverse approaches
rather than looking at
mother of newborn-struggling-to-breathe
with anything other than
My wife laboured
with water and music and breathing techniques
and we chose delayed cord clamping
and when complications arose
we did not
blame our choices
we did not
choose a camp to side with
we thanked God
for Helen, our heroic midwife
for Nick, the Emergency doctor,
and all the others
with their own set of eyes
that you know
that you are all
on the same team
like this is not the case
You should not ask 'why' questions to a parent in the NICU.
we were grateful
for the gentle voices of midwives
and the clinical orders of doctors
and there is medicine on both sides
and humanity on both sides
and we would not want one
Next: Dads are Parents too.