Short version… birth plan = birth dream = greatest piece of fiction evere written!
Long version… We went to Dublin for our routine antenatal appointment. We were seen second and met a new doctor… I have to admit I found her bed side manner a little rough and within minutes I was being admitted and was told that I was not going home without the baby… BP monitoring overnight and for induction on Friday or Saturday (depending on how the BP did over night)…
BP was fine over night and when the doctors came around on Friday morning they talked induction and I asked for Saturday… and it was all decided. The doctor that I had met the day before organised a scan to check that the baby was OK… 10 minutes later I was in the scan room being told that the estimated weight of the baby was 8lb10oz by abdominal cirumference and 9lb10oz by head circ. Friday was the longest day of my life. It crawled by. M made plans to come up to Dublin for 8 the next morning.
On Saturday morning I woke before 6 and got up for a shower not long after 6. I was so nervous it hurt. I went and cried in the shower. M arrived a little after 8 and we were taken to the labour and delivery suite. The plan for the day was… induction at 9am with Prostin gel placed next to the cervix… lie down for an hour and then move around AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE to get the cervix moving… after 6 hours another internal exam to see if anything happened with the cervix… with overdue first pregnancies the odds are fairly high that another prostin would be needed… so… in the Prostin went and after an hour I walked for Ireland! I wasn’t officially allowed off the floor but to hell with that… I climbed stairs… I walked up and down the corridors finding brass plaques, marble busts and old portraits of former Masters of the hospital. There was another overdue first timer induced at the same time as me… we met her wandering on the corridor. I had to present myself every 15 minutes to have the babys heart rate monitored. After 4 hours I asked for a gym ball and either walked or bounced… the woman across the way was still wandering! After 6 hours the doctor came back and put in another Prostin into the wandering woman… then she came to me… I had made it to 1.5cm and had my waters broken… everyone was stunned and very impressed with the effect the walking had… I was then told that I had 3 hours to start contractions on my own (7.30) or they would hang Syntocin (Pitocin) to start them… the contractions started within 15 minutes!.. the woman across the way was not overly happy with having to wait another 6 hours.
M and I connected up my TENS machine and go to work with the ball… when the contractions came we used the most spectacular visualisation to deal with the discomfort… we talked about what we were going to do with our pretty baby, what it would be dressed in, wrapped in, where we would go with it, who we would show it to… it was so fab and when they came to examine me at 8pm I was 4cm and was ready to be moved to the delivery suite. By 10 I was at 5am… at midnight I was still at 5cm! Because it was an induction and things had been going on for a while the doctor decided to hang up Syntocin and within an hour I was in agony. I opted for an epidural… it didn’t work… they resited it… it didn’t work… I was in AGONY!! I was lying in the bed, screaming that I wanted to push when a contraction came, unable to sit up because the pain was so bad… At 6am they examined me again and I was 8cm… I told them that I couldn’t do another 2 cm… knowing that my sister had a CS made me feel that it was OK to say “I give up”… then in walked Ed! Ed is a consultant anaesthetist… he discussed the benefits and problems of resiting the epi again. I wasn’t able to make decisions at that point… everything hurt so bad. I gave in and told him to do it… 20 minutes later I was sitting up in the bed chatting to anyone who would listen! An hour and a half later I was examined again and I was complete!! They were stunned. I napped for an hour and the nurse decided it was time to get started. I started pushing at 10 and at 11.05 the doctor was called for (I was over an hour and therefore the doctor had to make the decison)… In walked, Aoife, the doctor that had admitted me! They got me up into stirrups and they had me push more… at that point the most important thing in the entire world was that the baby MUST GET OUT NOW!!
I got the baby’s head far enough that a suction cup could be applied to the babys head and the delivery assisted… 3 pushes later I could hear the doctor cutting me!!… 3 pushes after that the head was out and people appeared from EVERYWHERE… legs out and up in the air… PUSH PUSH PUSH… WHOOSH… and there was this baby being plopped onto my chest, people were saying he & him and M was crying and snotting and kissing me and thanking me and telling me how proud he was of me.
Then the problems began… D was fine (Apgars of 9 & 10) but my placenta was stuck in there with superglue and NOTHING was getting it out. D weighed in at 10lb10.5oz (after 6 weighings!) and everyone was stunned that I had gotten him out (with lots of help). The doctor who admitted me insisted that she would be the one to stitch me up but only after the placenta was out… over the next 30 minutes she came in and out of the room to see what the progress and one of the midwives made several attempts to get the placenta out. It was then decided that I would have to go to theater to have an MROP (manual removal of placenta). Again Aoife insisted on doing the procedure herself and off I went to theater! I lost 1 litre of blood and my haemoglobin went down to 6.2 (anything below 11 is anaemic!).
I can’t get over how fantastic the whole staff of the L&D were.
I had written a birth plan where I listed what I would like and what I would like to avoid…
I would like to be in a safe, Yes quiet No environment, where I can feel comfortable and relaxed in order to give birth with as little medical intervention as possible. HAHAHAHA!!
Above everything our main aim is to birth a healthy baby. Got that!!
I would like:
· foetal monitoring only when necessary. Once the Syntocin went up the monitoring was constant
· to use a TENS machine for as long as it is beneficial. Got that!
· to move about as much as possible, adopting different positions to facilitate my labour. Got that until the epidural went in.
· to be able to eat and drink at will during labour. Not a chance… was in too much pain
· for the baby to be placed on my stomach once it is born. Got that!
· for all exams to be done with baby on my stomach/chest if possible. Nope… took too long to get him out!
I would like to avoid, if possible:
· the use an epidural. I had 3!!
· having my waters broken artificially. Had that one too.
· the use of medications to advance my labour or to deliver the placenta. Had that one too.
· the use of forceps or ventuse during the second stage of labour. Had that one too!
· an episiotomy & would appreciate direction by the midwifery staff to facilitate stretching ot my perineum Had that one too.
· a caesarean section I AVOIDED THIS… YAY ME!!
I understand that it may, ultimately, be impossible to avoid active intervention but would like for it to be discussed and the options be explored. The staff were an honour to work with.
Finally, we would be delighted to have a student midwife participate in the labour and birthing of our baby. We had one for a little while.