Saturday, 2 June 2012

Pizza and Pink Champagne

Last week I had the privilege of being invited to the Islington branch of the Women's Institute.  It was nothing like I was expecting.  I admit it, I was thinking there would be floral pinnies and cupcake bunting.  Instead I found pizza and red wine.  Well, there's nothing wrong with that.  One happy Doula in the house.  

Actually, it wasn't a particular calm and peaceful journey to visit the Islington WI.  I set off with an idea of where it was in my head.  My Smart phone wasn't being smart, so there was no satnav and my printer was broken, so I was relying on my memory.  Being geographically challenged, it wasn't ever going to be easy.  I arrived at Angel and knew it was a short walk.  I checked with a black cab driver who sent me miles off of course.  I was finally rescued by another black cab who muttered about the 'new ones that don't seem to know The Knowledge'. Whilst walking around Islington like a lost child, my beautiful new shoes took umbrage with being a part of my outfit and both, yes both, broke.  Not a happy Doula.  Lots of breathing exercises were done.  I won't mention the cursing of unknowledgeable black cab drivers.  I have always believed two things.  When lost in London you can't go wrong if you ask a policeman or a black cab driver.  I won't get into the depth of how crushed I was to discover that is no longer true.  Actually, what bothered me almost as much as being late, for by now I was very late, was the fact that my beautiful shoes would have to be returned as unfit for purpose.

Finally, I arrived and the WI were mid debate.  They were debating whether or not the UK needed more midwives.  Well that was a no brainer for me, but I was there to join the debate and, as it turns out, I arrived at just the right moment.  Two of the gorgeous ladies talked about the bad experiences of their friends.  Neither of them had any children as yet but the level of misinformation and myth caused me to catch my breath and the lovely Sheena Byrom stroked my arm and whispered gently, which allowed my blood pressure to go back down.  At this point, I should mention that Sheena was the main invitee and that she asked me to go along.  The N1 WI were lovely and extended their invitation to me.  

The gorgeous Sheena Byrom

Oh yes, my rising blood pressure.  I was so frustrated at the level of myth and misinformation.  It wasn't the ladies that caused that, but it hasn't been helped the media and the way birth is now handled.  These have only increased the fear of birth.  I couldn't help myself.  My hand shot up and I was allowed a moment to speak.  In brief, and you know I don't do brief, my answer was as follows:

  • We need more midwives so that women can talk through their birth hopes and fears from the beginning of their pregnancy
  • We need more midwives so that women can have dedicated and known carers throughout their pregnancy and birth
  • We need more midwives so that a woman's birthing place is filled with trust and not fear
  • We need more midwives so that midwives can give the time, care and attention that they want to give
  • Doulas now do a lot of what midwives originally signed up for - we are 'with woman'

After the debate there was a vote which went in favour of the UK having more midwives.  I was glad to see that this was reflected the next day when the National Federation of Women's Institutes voted in favour by 96%.  This means that the glorious WI will be backing the campaign for more midwives.

Sheena and I headed back to her nephew's home where his lovely wife was waiting.  Paul, gorgeous husband of Sheena, did a sterling job of keeping my champagne glass refilled with delicious pink champagne.  So the evening may have started with me in a bit of a tizz, but ended with some lovely fizz (did you see what I did there? :D)

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