“MY STOP-START LABOUR ENDED IN SURGERY”
Jess hoped to experience a natural delivery – but her baby had other plans!
Jess hoped for a natural delivery – but her baby had other plans…
JESS TEIDEMAN, 32, AND HER PARTNER DAVID, 34, ARE PARENTS TO CALEB, THREE AND A HALF, AND TOBY, NINE MONTHS
David and I had always wanted more than one child, so were happy to find out I was pregnant not long after Caleb’s second birthday. I decided I wanted a vaginal birth this time – Caleb had been breech, delivered by scheduled caesarean.
Fortunately the midwives at our clinic were supportive, explaining the procedures and risks involved. So, plan in hand, we patiently waited for our little one to arrive.
A week after my due date, during a midwife appointment, it was decided I should come in the following day for a Foley’s catheter and a membrane sweep, procedures designed to thin the cervix and bring on labour. However, it didn’t start, so an induction was booked for the next day. I spent an anxious night in hospital.
The next morning I felt too tired to talk, let alone labour! However, my male midwife soon had me feeling at ease, positive and ready for our baby’s arrival.
My waters were broken and half an hour later oxytocin was administered to chemically start labour. Within 30 minutes, my contractions were intense and getting closer together. Since I was being induced and had previously delivered via caesarean, I was high risk for a uterine rupture, so was confined to the bed and connected up to monitors. I couldn’t sit in a bath or shower or use the birthing ball, which I’d planned as pain management. I tried to use the gas and air, but it made me vomit and feel sick so, after six hours of this and dilating to only 7.5cm, I asked for an epidural.
The epidural reduced my pain – but also the contractions. In just 15 minutes, I went from very intense contractions to period pain-like cramps. The level of oxytocin was increased to kickstart the contractions, but this then caused my heart rate to rise and my baby’s to lower. Reducing the oxytocin levelled out our heart rates, although the contractions slowed as a result.
A caesarean was mentioned, but the head of the birthing unit suggested we wait to see if I continued to progress. For two more hours, the oxytocin was adjusted and our heart rates monitored to see if the labour would progress on its own. But bub’s heart rate started dipping, taking longer to return to normal and showed patterns of tachycardia [a fast or irregular heartbeat]. An emergency caesarean was necessary, and suddenly the birthing suite was filled with staff prepping me for surgery. The epidural was adjusted and I was wheeled into theatre where our second little boy, Toby, was born – covered in meconium and slow to respond – almost 11 hours after my waters were broken.
With the help of oxygen he soon reacted, and I was able to hold him on the operating table before he was taken away for monitoring. The incision took well over two hours to close, as my bladder had also been cut during the surgery, which caused me to lose over two litres of blood. I then spent the next week in hospital recovering and waiting for my bladder to heal.
After his complicated arrival, Toby has turned out to be an easygoing baby who adores his big brother. I may be surrounded by boys but I’m still the queen of my castle – and I wouldn’t have it any other way!