Ni nas malo tistih, ki smo občutile srečo, vznemirjenje, neizmerno ljubezen in pričakovanje, ko smo izvedele, da bomo dobile otroka, potem pa doživele najglobljo žalost, ko nas je zapustil, še preden bi se lahko spoznala.
Spontani splav je tema, o kateri družba ne želi govoriti, saj preveč boli. Mamice, ki smo to doživele, pa ne želimo, da naši otroci ostanejo pozabljeni (ker ja, to SO naši OTROCI, čeprav jih nismo donosile in čeprav imamo mogoče še kakšnega drugega), ne želimo potlačiti te grozne izkušnje, samo zato, ker je drugim nelagodno ob naši stiski. Svojemu otroku želimo sporočiti, da je ljubljen, čeprav ne bomo nikoli slišali njegovega smeha ali brisali njegovih solz, ostalim pa, da me MORAMO o tem govoriti, moramo trpeti, da bi lahko prebolele in moramo deliti te izkušnje, da se ne počutimo same.
Na naslednji povezavi si lahko preberete članek, v katerem predsednica našega društva govori o njeni izkušnji rojstev in izgube:
V nadaljevanju pa članek v angleščini.
There are not few of us that we felt luck, excitement, immense love and expectation, when we learned that we will have a baby, and then experienced the deepest sadness when that baby had to leave us before we had a chance to meet eachother.
Miscarriage is a topic which the society doesn’t want to talk about, because it hurts too much. But mothers who have experienced this don’t want our children to remain forgotten (because yeah, these ARE our children, even if they weren't born with full-term, and although we might have another), we don’t want to suppress this terrible experience, just because others feel uncomfortable with our distress.
We want to tell our child that he is loved, even though we will never hear his laughter or wipe away his tears; and to others that we MUST talk about it, we have to suffer to get over this, and we need to share this experience that we don't feel alone.
Here you can read the article in which the President of our Association speaks about her experience of birth and loss:
»What is usual, it is not necessarily normal«
She has three deliveries behind her: two boys and a girl that she has not been given to live among us. For all, she choose a place, where she feels best - her home.
Loreto Fernandez came from Galicia Spain to Slovenia because of love. She wanted to create a new, joint life with her boyfriend. She began to think about what kind of deliveries she wants, after bad experiences with gynecologists in Spain. The answer has developed slowly, but so firmly and even astonished Slovenian views and non-acceptance could not break it: this will be deliveries at home.
She has learned a lot about giving birth at home, birth companions, breastfeeding and maternity. She is, therefore, but mainly because of her own experiences of births and miscarriage at home interlocutor that talks about all of this with conviction and tenaciousness, but mostly honestly and without embellishments.
Women dream about our children even as little girls. How did you picture your deliveries before you got pregnant?
I did not imagine much, I only knew that they will be in the water. And not be full of light, full of gleaming white. I remember only that it was related to the heat, warmth.
Then you got pregnant, arrived to Slovenia and decided to give birth at home. What was the reaction of Slovenian surroundings?
I did not speak Slovenian, so all disrespect and rumors never affected me. And also my partner Anže became the barrier that stopped all of that. On the other hand, people in Slovenia think that all this is typical for Spain - Spaniards are open, passionate - but they do not know that our system is even more rigid. And because of that, they were more lenient with me.
At first, I wasn’t totally convinced about giving birth at home. When I was discovered to have precancerous changes in the uterus in my youth, I had a lot of experiences with gynecologists. Because they didn’t know how to act with this illnes, they often just put me before the fact, and I was perceived as someone who knows nothing. People, who is expected to deliver the children.
We were in love, Anže and I, when I came to Slovenia, we began a new joint chapter of our lives. I started researching where to give birth. I was the first in the family who was pregnant, so I did not have examples that could help me. But I was lucky that Anže had a friend who hired a doula. She lived nearby and helped me a lot to find my way. She gave me a lot of information and showed me what I actually want.
Then there was a bad experience: after five months of pregnancy we went to the gynecologist, and we waited a long time, so I asked the doctor after waiting for 2 hours if gynecologist works and why we have to wait so long. Soon I was called in; she laid me down unfriendly and stuck her hand into my vagina. I felt like I was being raped. I remember the horrified expression on Anže’s face. I started to bleed because of this, this could cause miscarriage! I think that was the point when I was convinced that I would give birth at home.
How did deal with all the possible consequences that you take on yourself if you choose to give birth at home? Slovenian health care system is not on your side.
I did not know that it is not on my side. This is half-regulated area in Slovenia - they do not allow midwives to take responsibility, but at the same time it is not prohibited. Therefore, I searched for a midwife outside Slovenia. I was thinking like this - I do not need to cope with this system. They tell you: "If you choose delivery at home, you are responsible for the consequences." Of course, when it is not my responsibility? If something complicates, I can sue you, but it is still my responsibility, regardless of who caused it. I always think like this.
What is usual, it is not necessary normal. So I think I had to take decisions for my life and children. My children are my life. There are women who want to give birth at home, and who then find themselves in a caesarean because of fear of others! For me, it’s more risky to give birth in the hospital. If you're healthy, if all the test results in pregnancy are good if you feel good, why I need a hospital?
When I was deciding to give birth at home, I was very well informed of the risks: when the birth is not going well, and when to go to the hospital. It is recommended that it’s near – no more than half an hour away by car. In my case it is even closer. I had a midwife from Austria with me, who is working as a midwife for more than 20 years in hospitals and at home; it’s also a professor at the university. And even speaks Spanish (laughs). I would like to say that there is no need to only scare people from the consequences, because we are not in a horror movie, but in real life, where not all is just bad.
What was the feeling of giving birth at home, what was important to you?
Both children were born with respect, warmth and love of a home. If you feel good at home, you will hardly find a better place for giving birth as is the home. Even with the physiological point of view, this is the best way: born in the environment of bacteria that we have at home. From this perspective, the hospital is actually a very dangerous environment - newborns with completely undeveloped immune system meet the bacteria that are otherwise not at all in their environment.
It was very important to me that they didn’t take my child away from me. Nobody took him, washed him and dressed him. They measured and weighed him not in hurry but when I decided so. For me this is really not important for bonding the first hours of life. I think it is harder to achieve this in the hospital.
One of the major inhibitors of birth is also a fear that mothers experience when coping with contractions, but also the hospital environment and personnel giving you warnings. How do you think this affects a woman in travail?
I think that's all. This I have deep inside. The birth means climax to me, climax of sexuality of a woman. Any problems with sexuality come into the open at the time of giving birth. I, too, was blocked in the middle, totally opened for 3 hours without any development (thank God I wasn’t in the hospital, because things would have unfolded differently!). How much is important to be aware of our fears, confront them, talk about them, and go to therapy. Because we have to face with all our fears, which are not known, our first delivery takes longer.
You gave birth to two boys at home, but the third pregnancy ended in miscarriage. How did you cope with the news that you are no longer carrying a living being under your heart and decided to take the natural course?
I have prepared for this earlier. In my decision for a natural course of miscarriage has much influenced a virtual association in Spain Labor is ours (El Parto Es Nuestro). I feel like home there. It is an online network of women who connect with each other and share experiences. I have a friend there who has had five miscarriages and has created a forum for women after miscarriage, with an intent to spread knowledge about this and breaking down taboos. Another had four and we're even closer, because she, like me, also comes from Galicia. So I read all her stories of how the family acted in those situations.
I was especially touched by very strong story, when she was pregnant and they told her that the child has a chromosomal defect. Gynecologist wanted to terminate the pregnancy, but the family did not wish to. At the end, the baby was born alive and doctors rushed to him and said, "This thing is alive!" Mommy only screamed to her husband to bring the baptismal water, with which he sprayed him and they said goodbye to him. I cannot imagine more respect when saying goodbye to a child. When I read it, I said that's exactly what I want if it comes to this. I believe in miracles until the last moment. I have always believed in magic, I won't stop now.
So you decided you wanted a completely natural course of miscarriage at home. It is a longer process like in the hospital. How were you experiencing it?
In the natural course at home it is not intended that doctors are present. They just check later if the uterus cleaned. The other process - with drugs or abrasion everything goes faster, while waiting for a natural, you really bleed a lot more. This is hard. But a friend who has been through all three, she told me that natural is best.
Childbirth (Loreto deliberately does not want to use the word abortion, because it does not seem appropriate because it is the same as for the process of artificial termination of pregnancy) was really fast, I was at a meeting of a group Mamice za mamice, which we've recently founded with a friend, and I knew that I had contractions so I left the meeting early. I said I will go to take a shower, so I can see the baby and made a hole in the ground in the garden.
Then I saw something brown. It was a child! I called Anže. The child was so perfect: legs, eyes, cheeks! With ten weeks of life!
It was hard to let him out of my hand. We have prepared a basket, in which we intend to lay him and when Anže brought it, it was only at the third attempt that I succeed to put him down. We ran to the garden and we said goodbye. We called our children and showed the baby girl (I felt that she is a girl) to the older one. "Why is it so small?" He asked. "Because she couldn’t get any bigger. We had to let her go," I replied.
Anže has dug a hole for the tree, where we planted magnolia. This tree smells intoxicating and I thought it was best for my daughter. So we buried her. In the meantime, I had two cramps, so I went back to the house. I had cramps and I was bleeding, so I suddenly lost consciousness. I was connected with the main chair of Galician midwifes and because I know exactly how everything will take place, I knew that there is nothing wrong. As has the scene of blood and me unconscious been too much for Anže, he took me to the doctor, where I stayed one day for observation.
What was the reaction of doctors when you told them what was happening at home and that you decided for such a course of abortion?
I was lucky girl that people in Jesenice hospital really respected my decision. They were friendly, I knew the gynecologist, but I think she was still surprised. She gave me purification tablets before, but I realized I do not want to take if I want a natural course.
I decided to stay in the hospital on observation, I was alone in the room, and even Anže was calmer. I also know that it would be much more intense if I would take those pills. My body was really exhausted. I thought - if my body meets the hormones that regulate all of this, it is very good. Of course, it would be nothing bad, because I would be in the hospital, but for me it would be much more intense than it was.
One part of me was talking - take the pills, other – don’t, but the inner feeling won. I was looking at my body and saw that is slowly stabilizing. I remember the words of a midwife who was taking care of me in my room: "Take the tablets. You do not need to suffer. "
This is a mistake of my society! How not to suffer when a child dies and goes out of me?! With tablets I would not be connected with everything that was happening in my body. In addition, I was confident enough, because I had two deliveries behind me.
Why decide for natural course of spontaneous abortion, if it is prolonged and more painful, it is certainly a concern of every woman when thinking about this difficult experience.
All in society are afraid of the pain and we hide it: a relative dies; we take pills to calm down. Why? The same is true with children. I asked myself why I would erase this. How do I feel in waiting? I realized that the most difficult for me is to go to the hospital, to sleep me, put out a child, then I wake up and my baby is in the trash.
I think I could not live with that, my baby in the trash bin. This is the best option, the healthiest way to treat wounds and soul. Also the father of a child is important here - to allow him to be involved in the process. For family to be together and to heal the wound. If a woman goes to the hospital, the father is completely outside the process. And mother also in a way.
I think that is a very big problem in our society that we are afraid of the pain experience.
Loreto at the magnolia, which grows at the site where they buried 10 weeks old baby.
Photo: Darja Ovsenik, personal archive of Loreto Fernandez