I had a relatively straightforward pregnancy, i did have a lot of sickness which lingered and some pelvic pain but generally everything was as it should have been at all my midwife appointments. I felt pretty confident about birthing my baby, and had done hypnobirthing practice, i wanted a water birth and to go into spontaneous labour.
As time went on, i finished work at 37 weeks, did all the house things and was like "right baby, im ready!" and then waited. I did all the oxytocin boosting activities, drank the raspberry leaf tea, ate the dates, bounced on a ball.... nothing. At 39 weeks i accepted the offer of a sweep from my lovely midwife, however my cervix was closed and she could not reach the membranes. At 40 weeks, i again attended for a sweep and still wasnt dilated, and the sweep couldnt be performed. My bump was measuring a little small, so i was sent for an extra scan the day before my due date, but baby was fine and was measuring "on the large side". My midewife asked me, given no change between the appointments in my cervix l, if i would like to book an induction for 41 weeks - she knew i didnt like the idea of an induction, but we agreed it was better to have it booked for an assessment and chat about the options if things hadnt started on their own. She said if it were her she would opt for induction at that stage, but didnt pressure me to want the same. This whole process was complicated by it getting closer and closer to Christmas.
Our hope was i could be induced via the balloon method and still be allowed my water birth. My biggest fear was an emergency C section, the thought of a long labour, the stress and worry of a midnight trip to theatre just made me so afraid and was totally the opposite of what i wanted. It made me feel out of control and for me would be traumatic. I was worried about the potential for post natal depression, and trouble bonding with my baby, so i really wanted to avoid anything birth wise that could send me spiralling.
I went to the induction appointment at exactly 41 weeks, but i didnt feel ready to go down the induction route. I agreed to another examination and my cervix remained closed, and on discussion with the midwife and consultant was offered-
1 induction via hormones, this would entirely rule out any chance of water birth due to the need for monitoring- the midwife said this was likely to be drawn out and may take several days to get to the point of my waters being able to be broken, and may not lead to a successful vaginal birth depending on how things progressed. She didnt seem hopeful about induction leading to the calm birth that id wanted.
2 continue to wait and attend daily for monitoring, this was discouraged due to being post dates and even though babies movement, growth, blood flow etc were all fine
3 opt for an elective c section
I spoke with my husband and we decided to wait another 3 days and see, if nothing had changed then we would go for an elective section to give a safe and controlled delivery, rather than induction l, which i felt given my cervix, would only lead to an emergency section, i didnt feel my body was ready to work through labour if it wasnt doing anything on its own!
3 days later i went back in and all was still the same. We requested to be booked for an elective section, which was done for the next day.
We went in at 6am and had lots of checks from different departments. I felt like i had to justify my decision but nobody questioned me, it was very much "we are happy if you're happy" which was great.
Alfred was born just in time for Christmas. Going to theatre was daunting but the staff were wonderful. They checked all my other birth preferences and made it happen - music, lights, skin to skin, colostrum and breast feeding support. I had my calm, safe birth and got my wonderful boy, without being afraid, which was exactly the core of what id wanted at the start.
Birth is wonderful whatever way it happens, even if its not what you thought you'd want or what you'd really prepared for. Meeting your baby is the best thing in the world, and as long as you get there safe and happy it doesn't matter if its out of the sunroof or not!
p.s. have you checked out Midwife Pips Courses
The Author: Midwife Pip
Pip is a Mum, Podcaster and practicing Midwife in the UK, currently working as a Delivery Suite Sister she has a wealth of experience supporting parents-to-be through all aspects of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum. Pip has trained and worked in some of the leading maternity units, has completed a master's programme and is passionate about all aspects of women's health and wellness.
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