Monday, 23 May 2011

My birth story or why I didn't care about my birth plan anymore

“Amy is going to be a big baby, so don't be surprised if she makes an early appearance”. That's what everybody from midwife to consultant told me whenever we went for an appointment. Well, they were wrong. My due date came and I didn't have the slightest twinge let alone Braxton Hicks. There was no sign what so ever that this baby was ever going to come out and I was getting more and more impatient. I wasn't uncomfortable, as I was one of the few fortunate ones that didn't suffer from any pregnancy related problems such as heart burn, back ache or sleepless nights, but I was getting more and more stressed because my parents and sister had booked flights to come over from Germany to see Amy whereas Little Miss Stubborn had decided to make herself comfy.

I went for a sweep that did nothing, I walked more than during my whole pregnancy, I had 5 curries in 5 days, I lived on fresh pineapple and I could have killed everyone that thought I desperately needed another useless bit of advice on how to get this baby out. Amy was just too pig-headed to make a move so after another growth scan seven days after my due date the consultant decided due to decreased fluid levels this baby had to come out. I was booked in for induction three days later and just when I got home from the hospital I started to get the first twinges. It wasn't anything major but I was the start to two days of contractions that got so strong and regular that I was almost admitted to hospital hadn't I coped that well with the pain. I was told to get some sleep which seemed just impossible considering the fact that my contractions were coming every four minutes but eventually I nodded off and can you believe it (?) my contractions were gone by the morning, so we had one last breakfast with my family before we went in for induction.

In hospital, Ben and I were taken to the Induction Suite and I was monitored on the CTG before I was given a Prostaglandin pessary that was supposed to get my contractions going again. Well, it didn't. It fell out while I went to the toilet so I was given a second one that also made its way down the drain. The nurses didn't see a point in giving me another one so we decided I would go straight to the Central Delivery Suite to have my waters broken. As my cervix was 2cm dilated the whole process wasn't painful at all, but it all got scary when instead of being pale/yellowish, my waters came out in a dark green.
I knew instantly that this meant that my waters were full of meconium, which inevitably meant that Amy was under distress. I had read some scary stories about situations like this one, so all I wanted was for them to get my baby out as quick as possible – my birth plan didn't matter anymore. Who cares for a birthing pool and nice music when you don't know if your baby is alright? In my head I went through one horror scenario after the other, but the midwife assured me that everything was going to be fine. She put my on a drip to make my contractions get stronger and closely monitored Amy's heart beat. Everything was fine for the next two hours.

My contractions were getting stronger and my midwife adviced me to have an epidural. She explained that it would be a good idea to go for the epidural as induced labour was more painful than natural labour. Originally an epidural was the last thing I wanted - I had even stated that in my birth plan, but as that one had gone out of the window anyway and Ben kept telling me that this wasn't the situation to be too proud for pain relief, I eventually gave in and went for it. Up until this point I hadn't used any pain relief so the idea of feeling less pain was absolutely heavenly, after all I didn't know what I was expecting. I was given the injection and today, exactly 4 weeks after Amy's birth I can say that it was the best decision of my live. I was pain free within minutes and even managed to get some sleep. After about two hours I woke up to the worried face of my midwife.

Amy's heart beat was dropping and suddenly there were 5 midwives and two consultants in the room discussing what was the best thing to do. Some of them wanted to wait and do some tests, others wanted to send me down to the theatre to have an emergency c-section. In the end, they decided to do more tests and switch the drip off as they were sure that that was what was distressing Amy that much. Too make sure they were doing the right thing, they also decided to do a fetal blood sampling test. They regularly inserted a medical instrument into my vagina before they made little cuts into Amy's head to take blood samples that would help them to check the acidity levels of her blood. All of them were higher than they should have been, so the midwife told Ben to change into his scrubs before they took one last sample, which for some strange reason showed us that the acidity in her blood was going back down again. You cannot believe how relieved I was that Amy was fine and that I didn't have to go for a cesarean - thanks to religiously watching One Born Every Minute, that would have been my personal definition of 'Nightmare on Elm Street'. But it got even better: From one minute to the other I had gone from 2cm dilated to 9.5 cm dilated so the consultant decided to perform an episiotomy and deliver Amy with the help of a forceps. Okay, that wasn't part of my glorious birth plan either, but I can assure you, that I did not care at all: After all the trouble leading up to this stage, all I wanted was to meet my beautiful baby girl – after 41 long weeks we finally got to hold our gorgeous daughter Amy Alison at 4.23am.


  1. I've just commented on Waterbirth's blog about birth plans going out of the window. Mine did, too. I don't think many are set in concrete as complications very often arise. None of us know what to expect during labour and birth, even if we have had a baby previously.

    CJ xx

  2. Wow, I'm glad you got around to writing this. You had such a hard time and it's good to be reminded that at the end of the day the only thing you really care about is the safety of your baby! So good that you both came through it ok. She really is precious. x

  3. Am so glad all worked out ok in the end and that is what matters most. I hope you a doing ok

  4. I had my baby daughter 5 weeks ago and also had the perfect birth plan written. I really wanted water birth! But my contractions slowed down in water and I had to get out! Water birth didn't happen.

  5. Helen aka PetitMom12 June 2011 at 14:31

    haha, my midwife said "oh he's engaged already, I bet you'll see him very soon!" and he was 6 days late!
    Amy looks beautiful. I had to have stitches but as you said you simply don't care as long as you see your baby and they are healthy. :)



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