It’s the middle of a dark, November night, and I’m about to have my first baby. But instead of the joyful experience I’d hoped for, I am being rushed into the operating theatre to have an emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic. I have a dangerous complication and my son’s life is at risk. Four hours earlier, I’d been sent home by a midwife who told me I couldn’t stay in hospital and have an epidural because labour wasn’t properly “established”.
It’s a week later and I’m back home with my son who, thankfully, made it. But I’m struggling. If someone asks me how I am, in a kindly voice, my voice cracks. I’m spending a lot of time sitting on the bed in a milk-stained dressing gown. In a few days, my partner will go back to work.
Several thousand years of civilisation combine to firstly work out how not to kill mother and baby here and secondly produce the excess resources above subsistence to enable mother and baby not to end up dead on the midden.
Worldwide, mothers are overworked, underpaid, often lonely and made to feel guilty about everything from epidurals to bottle feeding. Fixing this is the unfinished work of feminism
Fuck off, Honey. And take your complaints about the patriarchy with you.