There are 19 posts in this diary.

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journal pages

Posted by Suzanne Holtom Posted: Fri 11th May, 11:20:41

I made notes after my conversations with Ildiko, they are hurried and sometimes emotional, I wasn't sure how to represent her experiences so I just kept writing.........
Gabriella was born after midnight, Ilkido remembers gushing water from all the amniotic fluid that had built up.............water everywhere.

Ildiko and Baby Gabriella - Induction and special care

Posted by Suzanne Holtom Posted: Thu 10th May, 21:40:03

These are some of the pages of my journal concerning a woman Ildiko who allowed me to follow the late stages of her pregnancy, birth and first few months of her daughter's life in the special care unit. She knew from early on that the baby had a serious abnormality with the oesophagus but after testing the drained amniotic fluid at 35 weeks it was also revealed she had downs syndrome. I first met her in consultation with Sarah when she was being scanned. Shortly after she was induced. I am very grateful to her for allowing me to be part of such a significant and difficult time of her life. I really appreciated her warmth and openness in such testing circumstances.

suzanne and sarah scanning and filming

Posted by Helen Knowles Posted: Thu 26th Apr, 12:05:10

Taken at St. Mary's on Thursday 19th April

Conversation with Suzanne Holtom at St. Mary’s in the last week of her collaboration.

Helen :

“Before you were obviously working from somebody else’s footage so how do you feel that’s gonna really change your work?”

Suzanne :

“Much more involved, I think, that makes the really big difference, that’s been the huge shift in my work I think, probably previously it was much more about painting in a way, about the relationship of the painted image with the photographic image with the filmed image.

So as well as the content it was a debate on this kind of, position of painting in contemporary art and so from this I feel much more embedded in the content of the work, the painting plays a more emotional, personal… ehmm…response to the situation”

“Connecting caesareans to myths”

“Part of it where the stork actually attacked the mother after the birth leaving a wound which was the idea of a… woman confined after birth not being able to get up, not being able to walk around, so this stork, rather than this benevolent creature carrying babies also has this darker side to it so there is lots of stuff around it. But that was one I was particularly interested in relationship to caesarean, where there’s this cut, this wound, this kind of major thing to get over, following the birth of the baby.”

And also because I have got some footage of the baby kind of being lifted over this sheet that’s hung up with things, there is just a relationship loosely as a metaphor, for this kind of, the bringing of the baby which relates to the stork legend quite a bit rather than the baby coming out and being put here.”

Suzanne and Sarah on the delivery suite

Posted by Helen Knowles Posted: Thu 26th Apr, 10:34:49

I met with both Suzanne and Sarah on several occasions during their collaboration together at St. Mary's hospital in Manchester and caught some images of their time together. What stuck in my mind as a big difference between the other kinds of collaborations was the access that Suzanne was allowed. Much of this was borne out of the fact that Suzanne was working in a very large hospital with an obstetrician. The very nature of the institution allowed for a more regular collaboration over five weeks. In contrast to an independent midwife, whose hours are totally unconventional. Suzanne was able to witness several cesarean births and some vaginal births although these were with intervention. This of course would be the kind of case load that Sarah, as an obstetrician would have but the big difference was that the women would allow Suzanne to accompany them in these experiences. For the most part, Suzanne felt that this was because the sense of privacy in birth became obselete in a large hospital,where their births had become quite medicalised. However, it was the emotional relationship which she built up with various women over a very short space of time which was so striking. She has many notes from these converstions with the women which will be posted up here in due course.

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