Just when I got up the gumption to start a blog, the hazy days of January came along and in front of the computer was the last place I wanted to be. What a stop-start beginning it has been.
But for the last couple of days, as I’ve been out playing with my kids and enjoying the sunshine, I have been trying not to think about this story. I first heard about it on the radio news during the week and the voice of the doctor who was interviewed has been echoing in my head: “Ten years ago, there would have been someone even in a small country hospital who would have been able to open up her tummy and clamp off the tube to stop the blood. Now that maternity services have been centralised in bigger hospitals, we have lost all that experience.” (I paraphrased.)
It’s hard enough to believe that a woman can still die from an ectopic pregnancy in Australia, let alone that she could have been in a hospital at the time. Why is it that some country hospitals have closed their maternity wards? I assume that means that local women have to travel far away to have their babies or access other reproductive health services. So far away that sometimes they don’t make it. It’s spine-chilling.
Sometimes it feels as though we are just going backwards.
Veronica Campbell was the same as age as me. Her little boy was exactly the same age as my youngest, 23 months. Her story will stay with me for a long time.