no that won’t be the title i’m struggling to come up with one actually, any suggestions? anyway for those of you that don’t know i am writing a book about being fat and being pregnant. i’m writing it because as a fat pregnant woman the first time around i got all sorts of rubbish care from my health care providers, a horrible first birth, birth trauma, post natal depression and a general feeling of failure.
since then, having my second child, felix, i did a lot of research into being fat and pregnant and found that a lot of what i went through was absolutely rubbish, commonplace and that women, shock horror, have rights in pregnancy! rights!! rights to not be made to feel horrible because of their bmi. rights to be assertive, rights to refuse examinations, the right to birth at home if they want to regardless of risk!
the truth is, whilst there is a risk of certain issues with a high bmi, these risks can get layered on when you add more intervention. my aim with this book is for women, that have felt guilty or ashamed due to having a higher bmi when pregnant, to take back control. i want to help women make informed decisions about their pregnancy and post natal care. i want women to feel empowered and amazing about birth, and pregnancy. i mean i can’t do much about the physical stuff but maybe i can help give back a little bit of confidence.
so what do i want to do?
write a book about being pregnant with a high bmi providing a list of resources for additional support, additional information and collate birth stories for women to read so they can see how diverse birth is when you are a bigger woman.
how am i going to do it?
i am aiming to self publish my book by the end of march 2020. at the moment i am thinking and hoping it will be available by pdf download from my website, kindle/ebook and, hopefully, a physical copy too.
what do i need?
research – i’ve put together a quick survey to get some responses from women that had a high bmi during pregnancy. if this is you, please feel free to fill out the survey here. you can remain completely anon, you can opt in or out of being contacted after and it just asks about how you felt about having a high bmi and the type of birth you had.
here is the survey – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6327DSX
birth stories – i am including two of my own but i would love to collate around 10 or so other birth stories from other women/parents to show how diverse birth can be for bigger women/parents. preferably a couple of paragraphs with the following details
i’d like to know the name you wish to use or if you would like to remain anon, how/when/where (home, hospital) you gave birth, how you were treated, if there were any bmi related conditions that may/may not have lead to complications, if you had a birth plan and how you felt about birth after. most importantly i would really appreciate you answering the following question at the end of your birth story. did you struggle with birth trauma or post natal anxiety/depression after birth and do you feel that the way the birth happened/was handled affected your mental health in the post natal period?
help with proof reading/editing – if you’d be happy to give a few chapters a quick look over, pointing out any mistakes (spelling or grammar – don’t worry there will be capital letters unlike this blog post….) you don’t need to have an interest in the topic really just a passion for good writing and an enjoyment of reading non fiction. i can’t pay you, i’m poor, but i’ll be happy to send some chocolate your way.
reviews – i’d really appreciate some reviews of the book once it’s in it’s final stages and about to be published. i’ll send a pdf copy to you in exchange for a review. if you have somewhere to publish a review during the book launch that would be amazing but mostly i’m just looking for a few testimonials and feedback and a place to post reviews during the book launch. if you do have a blog, and you can and are interested in reviewing then i’d really appreciate it – i’ll do some shout outs and links back etc as a thank you, and probably send chocolate too.
people to buy it…i mean most of this is going to be down to little old me and trying to market my book to the right people. i’ll probably do an online book launch event, go live when the book goes live, update everyone constantly about the progress and of course give out a free copy to everyone that contributed a birth story as a thank you, and include you in the publishing acknowledgements if you are happy to be named. anyway if you do see me talking about this book and you know someone that it might help or someone experiencing a tough time during pregnancy then please do share the blog post, the book, a review, an image, buy them a copy i literally don’t know.
basically i’ve wanted to be an author all my life. i know that’s a cliche, i know every author probably says that. but with self publishing made so much easier everyone can do it these days and i want to be one of those everyones because i feel what i have to say is vital, important and could genuinely help so many people that felt as shitty as i did during my first pregnancy.
i was lucky during my second because i had hindsight, a loving supportive partner, an amazing doula and a really good community midwife team and obsetrician that let me try. more women need to know about aims, about rights, about being fat and pregnant and how just because you have a higher bmi does not reflect on you, is not guarenteed to lead to complications and in no way does it reflect on your ability to mother.
anyway, i’m very passionate about getting this book out there in the open and hopefully helping as many people as i possibly can. i’m not expecting it to make me millions and make me rich because it’s a pretty niche book but i hope that the more we talk about how bmi is not a reflection on health, how it shouldn’t be used to shame pregnant mothers, then maybe, just maybe, we might be able to see more positive birth stories. maybe we will increase research in bigger pregnant people, maybe we will get people talking and stop fat shaming in pregnancy.
also, please do my survey