My (real) Birth Story – Part 1
WARNING! If you don’t want to hear the nitty gritty about what childbirth can really involve, then I suggest you don’t bother reading this blog post! It’s the truth of what happened to me (warts an’ all!) and how it made me feel.
No longer breech
At my consultant’s appointment at 36 weeks, the scan showed baby to be in an optimal birthing position after presenting breech two weeks before. I was keen on a vaginal delivery following my caesarian section last time. For this reason the consultant had suggested I started having sweeps at 38 weeks. This would give me the best chance of having a successful vaginal birth. He arranged me a follow-up appointment back with himself at 40+1 if she hadn’t made an appearance by then!
So at my 38week midwife appointment I was expecting my first sweep. Actually I wasn’t entirely sure what the exact procedure was or what it entailed. None the less I tidied myself up down below the best I could (seeing as I couldn’t see diddly squat!) However, during my appointment my midwife explained the usual protocol for a sweep – which is to have two or three successive sweeps, two days apart. She said they often get more uncomfortable each one you have and really the outcome is better the further through the pregnancy you are. Usually they are carried out on mothers who are 40+weeks. Now I didn’t actually fit with any of these things. She was most concerned that I didn’t have any follow-up appointments. So I was rebooked for the following week at a different surgery to receive my first sweep.
That appointment arrived. The midwife was lovely, extremely professional, and accompanied by a lovely student midwife who was potentially more nervous than me. I’m sure many of you will know a sweep is given a score on the “Bishops Score” of how ready you are to go into natural labour. My score was just a 4 (out of a possible 13). Indicating that it was doubtful that anything spontaneous was likely to happen. But I was rebooked for two days later where another midwife would come out to my home for sweep number two. Again this one resulted in another score of 4. I was beginning to feel a little disheartened. This midwife suggested I didn’t bother with sweep number 3. That I just wait for my consultant appointment a few days later!
Two days after that I had a phone call from my own community midwife. She wanted me to go and see her for another sweep that day (Tuesday!). So off I went. However, as part of my usual checks she did a measurement and decided baby had static growth for two weeks since the last measurement was taken! So she sent me straight off to hospital there and then and told me to take my husband and hospital bag with me! Eeeek!
Rushed off to Hospital
I saw the registrar on duty that evening, who decided as I was by this stage full term, 42years old and having had a previous caesarian section, he wanted the baby out! ASAP! He suggested either another c-section or an induction. However, the hospital had no beds available for either of these things until the Thursday. So instead I was monitored and given a sweep each day until a bed became available for me to have an induction.
I was formally admitted on the Thursday at 12pm midday. As is normal procedure an internal examination was carried out prior to the pessary being inserted to soften my cervix for delivery. However, at this stage the midwife in charge decided I was in a favourable position to have my waters broken without the extra 24hours wait for the pessary to work! Even though I didn’t score any higher on the Bishop’s Score! So it was now a case of waiting for a bed on the delivery suite to become available for my hormone drip to start off the induction process.
Finally a bed!
Well that was only a 9 and a half hour wait! So at 9:30pm they trundled me off to the delivery suite (a foreign place to me!) where dulcet moans, groans and toe curling screeches could be heard! What was I letting myself in for?!!!
It was at this stage that it started to become apparent that perhaps the hospitals expectations of me having a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian section) were not as high as the hopes I had or that had previously been suggested.
To be continued in My (real) Birth Story Part 2!