Jess hoped to ex­pe­ri­ence a nat­u­ral de­liv­ery – but her baby had other plans!

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Contents -

Jess hoped for a nat­u­ral de­liv­ery – but her baby had other plans…


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!

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