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Birth of Immy by Ally

The Pure Peach  Birth Preparation   Birth of Immy by Ally

Birth of Immy by Ally

As a massive control freak, birth was an exciting but anxious time for me as there are so many things you can’t control! I decided to research and prepare as much as possible by doing hypnobirthing and looking into evidence based birth information. On my research travels I came across the positive birth movement which formed a large part of my birth preparation.

My pregnancy was very uneventful and straightforward until I got to the end and my baby wasn’t engaging in the pelvis. The midwives and everyone else said it was fine and that some babies don’t engage until labour but everything I had read said that it was unusual for first babies to not engage and stay there. This coupled with large head percentiles on scans made me think about alternatives to the birth I had envisioned.
I had thought a calming water birth with just TENS to start and gas and air would be perfect for us and just took it for granted that the birth would be as straightforward as the pregnancy.
Mentally I needed to prepare myself for something that wasn’t my ideal. Going to the positive birth movement showed me that ideal/perfect births aren’t the only ones that can be positive and made sure I was able to stay positive about the many things I wasn’t able to control in the final weeks of my pregnancy.
37 weeks came and went as did 38, 39 and 40 with no more than a few strong Braxton hicks to show for it… At 41+3 my midwife said the baby still wasn’t engaged and I had a feeling in the back of my mind that this baby wasn’t coming quietly.
I was booked in for postdates induction on Monday 11th September (42 weeks gestation) at 9am and went into hospital fully armed with knowledge and power. Ready to leave if I decided to not go ahead with the induction, ready with questions and ready to meet my baby.
After being told by a doctor what “would be happening” and annoying said doctor immensely by asking about statistics and figures I had a discussion with my husband and midwife, Danielle and decided to go ahead with my induction but prepared to fight for my water birth if it managed to kick off my labour before getting to the stage of the artificial hormone drip.
Pessary went in… not much happened as far as I could tell… 2nd pessary that afternoon was when I started to notice contractions starting. My hypnobirthing kept me calm and my 2nd birthing partner, my mum, showed up just before they really started.
By the time I had reached the end of the 2nd pessary they checked and I was ready to have my waters broken and I went ahead here. Knowing that I had now hit their threshold of 3 interventions and would now have to fight for a water birth. But the excitement of meeting my baby was shadowing any other feeling – I had waited so long for this!
Once my waters had gone (this phrase makes it sound like it was instant… it was CONTINUOUS! Like a waterfall!) The contractions really started to ramp up and I got my hubby to set my TENS machine up but it meant I got very little sleep that night and neither did my mum or husband. At 4am I was finally moved onto delivery and hooked up to the drip after discussion with my new midwife about pros and cons. We talked about the end places of many inductions and what was medically necessary (continuous monitoring) and how I would be birthing (I refused to be on the bed despite monitoring which she was happy with so long as the machine could get readings) I had read positive induction birth stories and the hypnobirthing teacher had an induction without any more pain relief than gas and air. I decided I would start at the bottom and work my way up.
Within a couple of hours of moving onto delivery I started to wonder about my midwife… her heart was in the right place and she was lovely but, oh my goodness, she never shut up! I was ready to deploy my hubby to get them to change her but first I wanted to see if I could do it with her – she wasn’t offensive just liked to talk (and I know I am one for that too!)

Hypnobirthing breathing, noise cancelling headphones and some Michael Buble tracks did the trick for me. My hubby and mum can’t say the same though!
Chattiness aside she was an awesome midwife. My birth plan was largely irrelevant by this point but she read me so well. She could see I wanted to do it with minimal drugs and even sourced some bluetac to stick up my affirmations in the dreary delivery room.
I managed to get to and slightly beyond 4 cms dilated on the hormone drip on just my TENS machine and I was feeling so proud of myself! My sister in law had the hormone drip and had helpfully told me previously that I would need an epidural if I ended up on it and to just get one straight off. But I wanted to labour and know what it felt like and I did!
The intensity changed sometime after that and the TENS machine was actually making it worse not better. I turned it off and asked my midwife what was next.
I said she was good at reading me and she really was! Having never had a conversation about pain relief and having not read my birth plan she said, most inductions like yours end with an epidural, but if you want to avoid one your best chance is to avoid using the gas and air until you are 6cm dilated so that you have less time using it.
OK, I can do this. I thought. Not far to go. Headphones back on and visualising everything opening and my baby moving down. That lasted about half an hour… It became very intense very quickly after that and I needed more to continue to be as relaxed as possible and not let the pain get to me. The midwife, my hubby and mum all encourage me to keep going and hold off on the gas and air a little longer but it was too much.
Well, it didn’t agree with me at all. I just couldn’t get the timing right; I would start too early and finish breathing before it finished or too late. Not to mention it made me feel drunk in between and scuppered my preparation for the next contraction. What’s next? An epidural was suggested by the midwife with an apologetic look.
Having done research I knew there were other options. I asked more specifically about pethedine but after discussion an epidural was decided upon. A mobile one. Ok so I can’t stand but I can move positions, this sounds good!
Omg! The difference was night and day! What had started to become my nightmare of a birth was instantly calmed and I was able to have a nap! The first hour burst of sleep I had had since being admitted well over 24 hours ago! With the pain under control the midwife was able to increase the drip quicker to get my baby to arrive sooner and in not too much time I had got to just over 7cms!
 At this point Drs started coming in every now and again and questioning the heart trace on the monitor for baby. Little one wasn’t happy about the hormone and the Dr explained that they would reduce it and give them a rest before putting it back up to get labour moving again and that there was nothing to worry about. I was happy that they were acting on this before it turned into an emergency and just watched the monitor myself and bed breathing techniques to stay calm about it and think positively about the outcome.
On Tuesday early evening, after the doctors had spent most of the afternoon changing the drop dosage they took it off completely to regulate my little ones heart rate (I knew they weren’t coming quietly!) And after the doctor examined me it was found that dilation had gone backwards and my baby had disengaged from the pelvis! Typical!
Options were presented to me. I could continue with the drip for 2 more hours but they would want to take blood from babies head to check everything was ok first… my first question was can you even get to the head? You’ve just told me baby is disengaged. And what about the drip dosage? I wasn’t dilating enough before you took me off it… will you up the dose? There didn’t seem to be many benefits to staying on the drip from where I was sitting…
Alternatives? A caesarean section. There’s a space in theatre for you now.
Now this sounds scary reading it and over tried rewording it to change that but I can’t because the words sound scary but the doctor never once made it seem that way! He presented me with options with medical conditions that would have to be followed with each one and explained why clearly. Answered all my questions about risks and benefits. I felt in control of my body and what was happening to it.
OK, I agreed to the c-section and began to reel off my own conditions of what I wanted to happen. Delayed clamping, skin to skin immediately, hubby to tell me the sex etc. All agreed I then asked how long it would take. An hour. I have been labouring for nearly 2 days and I get to meet my baby in an hour! I was so excited!
I was wheeled down and my hubby came in with me. It wasn’t scary at all and I just focused on my hubby and breathing to make sure I stayed calm but I was way to excited to be worried about what they were doing. I felt like they were wobbling my belly and I asked hubby if they had opened me up yet so he glanced round and looked and said yeah. He looked a bit green.
When they lifted baby out and my hubby said it’s a girl! I was in shock. I had convinced myself I was having a boy. They let him cut the cord got her into a nappy and weighed her and bought her straight to me and moved my gown and pads so I could have her skin to skin. It was the best feeling ever!
 
Afterwards my hubby told me that once they measured her the doctor told him that her presentation coupled with the size of her head (off the charts and still is 6 months later!) meant that she would have been very unlikely to have come finally and if she did it would have been with other interventions like forceps. I knew I’d made the right call.
No matter how much you prepare and research your baby will come the way they want and not the way you want. All you can do is ride it out, be positive and play it by ear. But never let anyone tell you what to do before you’ve got all the information to make an informed decision. Your body, your rules!