Tag Archives: GBS

Fin(n)

Baby number five was to be my last. We were both agreed on this. Five was plenty to be getting on with,  it was time to look to the future and to life beyond pregnancy and babyhood. I signed up for a postgraduate course to update my skills and I hoped to get back into work soon.

Life decided otherwise.

In October 2016 I discovered that I was pregnant again. It was a huge shock. I didn’t know how I felt about it. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I couldn’t even bring myself to tell the husband. I ended up booking a private scan in secret and on my own just to make sure that it was a viable pregnancy in the right place. It was a few weeks after that before I felt ready to finally break the news to the husband. It’s a miracle I was able to hide it that long considering I was so sick I could barely lift my head most days.

It was 24 weeks in before we told our immediate families and our extended families  and many friends didn’t find out until 30 plus weeks. We never announced on Facebook so some people didn’t find out until last week when our beautiful, perfect third son made his way into the world.

I didn’t think I would ever be posting on this blog again but I want to share his birth story.

I went into this pregnancy as a grand-multipara and from the off they were going to treat my GBS status as positive (a swab would later on confirm that I was indeed GBS positive again). All of this meant I was destined for the labour ward again. I was okay with this. I expected it. I didn’t even raise the prospect with them of home birth or going to the midwife led unit. It didn’t seem like there was much point, so I settled myself with the thought of the labour ward. I was worried about a repeat of T’s birth, as being back to back I had found the whole process extremely long and very difficult. I had a lot of bad feelings about myself and how poorly I had handled it.

I spent a good portion of the third trimester making sure I sat up straight on the sofa or using my birthing ball to do everything I could to get baby into the right position. This was also the first pregnancy where I got to the end and I wasn’t desperately impatient to go into labour. Part of this might have been because my due date (same due date that I had with little A in fact) was just a few days after the kids would finish school for the summer, or that Big A suddenly developed another condition on top of her type 1 diabetes (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, if you’re interested). In the end I was the most pregnant I had ever been, 39+6.

I woke up that morning and around 10 o’clock the contractions started. They were uncomfortable but quite irregular, around 10 minutes apart. Sometimes they would get closer together but then they would space out again. Around one o’clock I decided that I would call fetal assessment and get them to check me out because of my GBS status. I went up and they checked me over. I was only 2cm and they placed the belt too high so it wasn’t picking up the contractions I was having. In the end the midwife said I was best going home for a bit and seeing how things went. My MIL was having her annual 4th of July barbecue (a day early). We decided to swing by that for a while and stock up on some protein.

The contractions continued, going to 3 minutes apart when I was standing up but spacing out again if I sat down. At five o’clock we decided to go back to the hospital again. At this point I was 3cm and they decided to admit me and give me my first dose of antibiotic. After this we were moved to the antenatal ward and told to wait there and give them a shout of we thought things were ramping out.

And things continued on as they had been until about 10.30 when suddenly a contraction hit me that made me jump off the bed and burst into tears. They suddenly started coming one on top of the other with barely a gap in between. The husband went to find a midwife as I held onto the bed trying to catch my breath between these furious contractions. A midwife appeared and examined me again and said I was now 6cm so they were going to take me round.

This was the shocking moment. She said they’d had some changes in their guidelines and even though I was a para 5 and GBS positive I could go to the midwife led unit AND they were filling the birthing pool for me. As they wheeled me round she said oh someone who knows you is in the MLU.

They wheeled us into the room and the midwife on duty was none other than a friend of mine! J is a fantastic midwife, she was heavily involved with the maternity liaison committee that I used to volunteer with. It really couldn’t have been more perfect. All the things that I had always wanted but I hadn’t dared to hope for this time and it was just coming together.

They quickly finished filling the pool and around 11 o’clock I got in. It felt marvelous. I could move about so easily (yes, SPD had got me yet again!) and the water was so soothing. I used gas and air and held onto the husband and just went with what my body was doing.

At 12 minutes to midnight our baby boy was born. He came out still inside his sack as my waters didn’t break until after his head was born. There was a little bit of meconium  in the waters but they weren’t concerned. I lifted him up out of the water myself and cuddled him to me. It was just magical.

It only took six attempts, but I got there in the end.

finn2

In which we discover you can’t buy a douche in this town….

Yesterday was a pretty busy day. I was running about picking the kids up from school (they all helpfully have different finishing times), doing an emergency “mum! my reservoir of insulin is running low I need more!” run, picking the husband up from work, taking my sister in law to hospital etc. I was exhausted when I finally got back to the house, only to discover there was a midwife sitting waiting for me. It turns out that they had the wrong due date written down for me (they thought it was the 5th) and they hadn’t got the results of the GBS swab so didn’t know if we were go for a home birth or not (and based on the wrong date they had they’d need to have everything in place by tomorrow).

So… we discussed options a little. I told her about the result of the swab and that I had been waiting to see my GP before I went back to them. I wanted to see if she (my GP) would agree in principle to prescribing the antibiotics if I was to labour to home, apparently this will only work if she’ll willing to administer them as well as the midwives aren’t allowed to. Well that’s not going to happen, my GP is lovely and accommodating, but she’s also award winning and exceptionally busy. Who knows what time of the day or night my labour could start? I’m not even willing to put her in the awkward position of having to say no to me and it’s just unfair. The next option we discussed was retaking the swab, since technically I was swabbed early at 34 weeks instead of 36. Well they seem open to that and they’d like me to come in on Friday morning for a repeat swab.

This has opened a window of opportunity for me (I didn’t discuss this bit with the midwife). I could theoretically try a chlorhexidine (hibiscrub/hibicleanse) rinse before the swab. This could result in a negative result freeing me up for a home birth that I so desperately want.

Update – so I went this morning to see the midwife and get the repeat swab done. In the end I did decide to try the hibiscrub regime, so last night and this morning I douched with 4 fl oz a mixture of 2 tbsps of 4% hibiscrub to 20fl oz of cooled boiled water. I will find out the result of the swab on Monday or Tuesday. I have really agonised about this decision, it’s probably not something I would have went for if I’d had GBS present in my urine or if the initial swab had shown anything more than scanty growth. I guess to be on the safe side I should probably douche again with the hibiscrub when labour begins, though that opens up a whole other can of worms about disrupting the normal flora of the vaginal canal and potentially depriving the baby of a once in a lifetime opportunity to be seeded with a good micobiome and opening us both up to yeast infections. I intend to go buy a good probiotic later. I’m sure there are people out there who will disagree with my decision but I am taking this very seriously and will happily go for antibiotics if there are any developments to suggest that I need them.

On a side note it was impossible to find either a douche, a large bulb syringe or even an enema kit that would do the job in this town. I had multiple embarrassing experiences yesterday going into pharmacies and asking for them. Then I thought…. well maybe I’ll try a turkey baster. I couldn’t even find one of those! What I ended up getting was this

silicone easy squeezeIt’s a silicone easy squeeze icing pen, you know… for decorating cakes, not for squirting chlorhexidine up your lady parts… but needs must and all that. It did the job (after a trip in the microwave steriliser). Let me reassure you right now that this piece of equipment will never go near a cake.

 

 

The Good and The Bad

I have started to write this post a number of times and then deleted what I’ve written or just plain clicked off the tab in frustration.

Firstly, I suppose I should report that the ECV was successful. It wasn’t terribly painful and it didn’t take too long. I went home feeling quite positive, if a little spaced-out from the muscle relaxant. The husband and I were chatting about ways to start encouraging the baby out (before it decides to flip around again) when the phone rang. It was my GP with the very bad news that the swab they had taken in the hospital last week had come back positive for group b strep.

Goodbye home birth.

Goodbye birth in the midwife led unit.

Goodbye water birth.

Goodbye staying at home for as long as possible.

Goodbye six hour discharge.

Goodbye to the possibility of getting a membrane sweep to help moves things along.

Goodbye any modicum of control I had over this process.

I am absolutely gutted. I can just see this birth turning into everything that I don’t want it to be. I’m tired from days and days of erratic pains. I’m frustrated, I’m fed up and I just want it over and done with. I had a midwife appointment today and I asked if she would do a sweep and she said no. I keep thinking the longer this goes on the longer I have to get worked and annoyed about it. The one hospital birth I had was awful, I don’t want to go there again. Plus I feel like I’m getting a whole heap of guilt piled on top of me because my mother has been present at all my previous births but the hospital has a 1 birth companion policy so I have to choose between her and my husband. I love my husband but I’m not sure how great he’s going to be at supporting me through this on his own, but I can’t deny him being there at the birth of his child.

I had a feeling from the start that I just wasn’t going to get a home birth but I didn’t anticipate it turning out this way.