The last few months have been personally challenging – and a big part of that challenge was coming to the conclusion that I had gone as far as I could go with respect to holding my care providers, and the hospital to account for what happened to me. That – one of the tools that I saw as perhaps being the most effective in terms of preventing the same thing from happening to someone else (litigation), simply was not going to be available for me to use at this time. I had invested a lot of emotional and intellectual energy into pursuing it and it is heartbreaking. I still believe that litigating was and is the right thing to do, but that it just isn’t possible right now, not because it is without merit but because what is needed to succeed at this time just isn’t available and there was no amount of wishing or wanting or brainstorming that could take care of the barriers that stood in the way. Those barriers were both structural and systemic and personal.
It is particularly difficult because I know, now – nearly four years after I had my daughter, that women in Canada are still struggling to access the care they need, when they need it. They are still struggling to find doctors who listen to what they need, who provide informed consent and who respect their right to make a medical decision for themselves after considering the risks and benefits of their options.
It happened in Alliston the other week – and is happening again as I type in Ottawa to another mother, a mother who just wants to be heard. A mother who just wants her right to informed consent and the right to make medical decisions for herself respected.
And it will continue to happen until there is profound change and a shift in focus away from the things that do not really matter and towards the things that do.
Which is why, while I have had to discontinue the case – I refuse to discontinue with the cause. Because there will come a time, when the barriers will be mitigated and surmountable but only if those barriers continue to be dismantled.
It’s why this blog will continue. It’s why the maternity legal action fund needs to be supported. It’s why the Cesarean by Choice Awareness Network will continue to grow and remain a place for women who would choose cesarean and those who support them to connect with each other and advocate for change. It’s why Moms Forward will be established. It's why I'll continue to tweet (@AwaitingJuno) and continue to raise awareness and advocated for change.
Because some day being a Cesarean by Choice mom will be better - with a strong community, with better access to compassionate and competent care providers, and meaningful recourse and support. I have not given up – but have accepted that there are things I can do, and things I cannot do, and that not now does not mean not ever.
I apologize for letting down those who had hoped that the litigation would proceed, and would like to thank all my readers for their continued support.