I have had two very different births and going in for my third in October.
The first labour I knew I wasn't taking baby home as it was an early induction due to my babies illness being incompatible with life. However the preparations I had in the run up to this changed the experience from one of trauma to acceptance. I wish I could say that the support came from within the NHS. It came through my own resources of therapy and cognitive coping skills to help me through the day.
Second labour a planned C section, delivered by a consultant friend, so again I felt very cushioned.
This final pregnancy feels the most overwhelming as I perceive myself to be out on a limb. Rushed appointments, cancelled appointments, told I don't need appointments? I've been seen three times in almost 7 months. I feel under cared for, fearful of the new hospital and totally missed on my 'down days'. As a therapist myself I know this is already impacting my birth and recovery. Hence I am now seeking external support, but what is 'acceptable', 'normal' ? Were I not informed I'd be coasting along into what would no doubt end up a disappointing birth. The pre care needs so much work!