Edited to add: here is a copy of my legal bill. The second one is yet to come in but I imagine it will be around 10k.
Readers of this blog will not be unaware that in 2009 my third child was stillborn at home. In October last year the NSW coroner’s office decided an inquiry needed to be held. We received the brief a few weeks ago and today I received my bill for the upcoming legal services I’ll be accessing for preparation and 3-4 days of the inquiry. As you might imagine, this is considerable. In fact it’s AU$60,000. Yes, really.
My lawyer has been sterling and has worked for me thus far pro bono. His support and commitment has made a brutal process somewhat more approachable and manageable. I could not be more grateful to him. I now need to hire a barrister because this is not just my family’s problem, this is about the right of every single Australian woman to choose her place of birth.
I hope that you, dear readers, will consider a donation to help my family out in this instance. It is because of the work I do in birth that I have been targetted in this way and while I will never stop doing this work, I have paid high prices professionally and personally and now in a very real and literal sense, for speaking the truth about birth in Australia.
You can paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel moved to donate. I will be eternally grateful and each one of you will know that you did something concrete towards helping me and the families with whom I’ve worked. Thank you.
There are lots of things about coronial processes which are invisible outside of those involved. I’m not asking for pity but I think it important to share that as part of preparing for court I am required to watch the video of birthing and commencing resus on my stillborn babe over and over, in the company of my lawyers. I find it hard to imagine many women whose babes are born in hospitals being asked to participate in this and for that I am thankful because no woman should. While I never get to parent my younger daughter, I can do this for her and for the child and woman she would have been had she not been unable to stay with me. So sending me loving thoughts on Monday would be a help to me as I slog through another day preparing. Thank you, everyone. I feel so blessed by love and support around me and really, who could ask for more? ♥
Addendum: with all due respect to the Sunday Telegraph, I did not say witch hunt. I never say witch hunt. I find it an historically problematic and loaded term and I refrain from using it in relation to the current international obstetric campaign against women and midwives.