Tag Archives: homebirth

37 Weeks and getting the PMA back.

I’ve been feeling kind of like an asshole. You see in every pregnancy I’ve had to fight for the birth that i wanted. I’m not naturally a bolshy person, not by any means at all. I’m more the type to silently fume about something or to get upset or to feel like I’m just causing a fuss, but I had such a poor experience with my first birth which I truly believe contributed to the severe postnatal depression that I suffered after. It’s taken a long, long time to heal those wounds (and the scars are still there) and I’m admittedly scared of it happening again. So i start off from a frightened and defensive position.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised, nay shocked, to see the apparent sea-change in attitudes that has come about in maternity services in the last few years. I got the GBS result and I assumed, based on previous experiences, that I was going to be told I HAD to go to labour ward and that I would HAVE to have my labour augmented and HAVE to undergo continuous monitoring as standard. I expected to encounter unhelpful, patronising, scornful and paternalistic attitudes because I have before (it’s very important to note that it hadn’t been my experience with every HCP I encountered in pregnancy, but it did make up a fair proportion and naturally sticks out in my mind as the most upsetting experiences). I was very shocked when the community midwife called me and suggested that I meet again with my consultant to discuss my options. That threw me, i have options??? So I agreed and went long to meet with the consultant.

Wow. Mind blown.

She went through the stats on group b strep, on how low the incidence is, on how low the actual risk is, though it is important to note that for the tiny, tiny proportion of infants who do become infected with it, it’s a very serious disease. She said she actually regretted ordering the swab in the first place, as since little A hadn’t suffered from an actual GBS infection there was no indication to swab me, but she had and we had got back the result that we don’t and unfortunately she couldn’t pretend like she wasn’t aware of that piece of information. My choices were, i could go to the labour ward (with GBS status alone is not an indication for continuous monitoring!) written in very large letters across my notes and the thorough endorsement of Dr X to invoke her name in turning down any intervention that I wasn’t comfortable with, or I could have my home birth but the midwives hands are tied by Trust policy so I wouldn’t be able to receive antibiotics.

I thought long and hard about it. The only reason I received antibiotics within the four hour time frame with little A was because my waters broke before contractions started. If it had been based solely on the amount of time I was actually in labour (1hr and 50 mins) I wouldn’t have gotten them. Squishy’s labour was even shorter at 50 minutes. What are the chances that I’d even get them on time? I may well be barely through the door of the place before I’m delivering (and it’s a looooooong walk from the carpark to the maternity ward). So we decided to go ahead and book the home birth, at least that way my options stayed open with regards to changing my mind and going to hospital if I felt at the time that was the right thing to do.

I called the midwives on Friday morning to inform them of our decision and I think they freaked out a little, as suddenly I was offered the use of the midwifery led unit (with birth pools!!!!) that I had been categorically told was a NO the day before. The MLU is a very, very happy compromise for me, it’s none of the medicalisation of the labour ward but I’d get the antibiotics. I was pleased to accept, i just want it in writing because I’m paranoid of arriving at the hospital and them claiming not to have heard of me and admitting me to the MLU is against protocol etc etc etc. That makes me feel like kind of a suspicious asshole but i’ve been burnt before, and then I feel bad about all my ranting and wailing about how awful they all are because they have been so supportive, respectful and accommodating when all I was expecting was a massive argument and a struggle against a power trip.

I suppose we shall see how it all pans out, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

In other news I appear to be gestating Godzilla. I had a scan on Thursday and Dr X is estimating baby’s weight at 8lbs 3oz already. OMG that’s bigger than Squishy (my biggest by far) was at practically term. I think I may have to take the gorgeous little newborn sized onesies out of my bag and repack it with something in the 0-3 month range. Baby Loki does feel long (well he is a frost giant), as I am frequently simultaneously headbutted in the cervix and kicked in the ribs. I’m terrified of what size he will be, and I know it’s all my fault for eating far too many buns.

I am so ready to give birth now. I went to Ikea with my sister yesterday to get the last few bits and pieces that we need. I sort of hoped long drive plus long walk might equal some baby action but all it left me with were a lot of Braxton Hicks and crippling new levels of SPD pain. My poor sister also suffers horrendously from endometriosis, so by the time we were in the Ikea warehouse we were both hobbling and groaning like some kind person should really come along and put us both out of our misery. On the plus side though I got a baby bath for a bargainous ¬£6. I also got a new cot mattress for when we get around to re-rigging the co-sleeper. I’m just waiting on the new car seat I ordered to arrive and the replacement axle for our iCandy pram and we should be good to go more or less, though I’d quite happily go right now while I’m definitely in the less camp because oh my god the last weeks of pregnancy are beyond tedious and uncomfortable. I just want to have a working pelvis back. Chronic pain is zero fun. i know that i am incredibly lucky that i will escape this chronic pain within a few weeks, i’m just impatient for it to happen.

Generally though i’m feeling much more positive, if not very impatient.

And we’re back!

Baby is breech again.

Okay I know it’s not a big deal, there’s still a lot of room in there and there’s still plenty of time for many many turnings. I just felt a bit smug when it was head down a few weeks ago, like my clever baby is getting ahead of the curve.

So how do I know baby is head up again?

Well I had a 4D scan on Saturday.

So now I know that baby is head up and that it weighs an estimated 2lbs 11oz which is exactly average for this gestation.

I had a 4D scan when I was pregnant with the boy, but much earlier, at 21 weeks. It was great but he looked pretty skeletal. A 28 week scan was much better for the baby to look like an actual baby. I have to say, I think the baby looks like the boy, most people who have seen the scan pictures agree with me. They both have the same mouth (their daddy’s), they both have chubby cheeks (also like their daddy when he was a baby), the only real difference is the nose. So far the kids have all tended to have a nose similar to mine (I have a fairly small nose), this baby appears to maybe take after the husband’s side of the family.

I finally saw my midwife again. I had a 28 week appointment with her yesterday. It was pretty standard, she took some blood samples to check my iron levels and double check my anti-d status (I don’t get that one, I’ve been A+ all my life, is it suddenly going to change mid-pregnancy???), she measured my fundal height (29 weeks) and BP, and had a listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Thank Buddha she didn’t weigh me. I weighed myself on Sunday and was not happy with the result. I have gained 37lbs. I have a whole trimester to go and I have gained 2lbs more than the absolute upper limit of what I’m supposed to for the whole pregnancy. I have signed up for ¬†myfitnesspal.com now and have started calorie counting. Following Weight Watchers clearly is not working for me (or should I say, NOT following Weight Watchers), it’s just I feel like I’ll scream if I have to look at a points calculator again for a while. My fitness pal has an app so at least I can easily track on the go, plus it’s free so that’s always a bonus. Anyhew here’s a picture of the 28 week bump (don’t mind the fat arms, gah!)

I guess lastly the only thing I have to report is the progress on the home birth front. I was told yesterday I need to go see the consultant at the hospital at 34 weeks so they can rubber stamp me. Sighsville. I’ve been to these appointments before, they literally just look through your notes and say “fine.” I guess I just couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of organising a babysitter (very hard to do when everyone around you works full-time) and getting myself to the hospital and sitting around in a waiting room for something that could be achieved over the phone. Unless of course they recommend against it for some reason…. but hopefully that won’t happen.

I also asked what the situation was re home water births and it appears that 4 years on, the Western Health and Social Services Trust STILL hasn’t managed to train any/many community midwives in it. I was assured when having the boy that they were all being trained, in fact passing them as competent was really just a rubber stamping exercising…. though I’ve got to fair to the midwife I spoke to yesterday, she had a very good attitude and suggested that on the day it was possible that one of my community midwives could swap with one of the midwives from the MLU at the hospital who are well versed in water birth. I won’t hold my breath for that to happen but it was nice to think it’s a possibility.

So that’s all for 28 weeks, but before I go…. here’s a 4D sneak peak of the Poppler.

It’s Official

I got my official confirmation from the doctor yesterday that yes I am in fact up the stick, up the duff, baking a bun in the oven, with child and sprogged up, though I believe they just record it as “pregnant.”

It was sort of a relief to get that result. Last time the dip test they did came back as only “faintly positive.” I remember in my pregnancy with my youngest, also coming off the back of a miscarriage, I was so scared that the doctor’s test would be negative that I stopped at a pharmacy on the way to my appointment and picked up a test. I dipped that into the sample pot and waited for those two lines to appear before handing it over the nurse, and then to be doubly sure I bought a digital test on the way home. No such craziness this time, but it was still a relief to have it all official like and now I have my appointment made to book in with midwives.

I’m dreading that a little. I’m not sure how popular I am at the community midwives’ office. I kicked up a bit of a fuss to have homebirths with my last two. Now I have to say there was no reason at all why I wasn’t a good candidate for homebirth on either occasion. I was in good health and had uncomplicated pregnancies and I live within five minutes of the hospital if there was ever a need to transfer. Some of my local midwives just weren’t very happy with the notion of homebirths in general. I experienced all kinds of bullying and obstruction and scare tactics during my antenatal care. I was in fact the only person in my city to have a planned home birth in 2008, yet I was told at the time that five other women were booked in for homebirths at the same time as me and that it was dealt with on a first come first served ¬†basis. I remember at one appointment the senior midwife going through my birth plan, tutting and outright laughing in places, muttering “where do they come with this stuff?” as she came across things like my request to tear naturally rather than receive an episiotomy. I left the appointment in tears, feeling about an inch tall. There are a few things I have learnt since then and one of them is that there is absolutely no point in getting upset about this stuff, or arguing with them at the stage when everything is hypothetical, now I know to just smile, nod and do whatever the heck I’m going to do anyway. Hopefully they have learnt by now that there’s no point in bullying me either.

Credit where it is due though, the midwives that turned up on the day to deliver my son and daughter were absolutely wonderful, supportive, consummate professionals and I could not have faulted their care.

I’m getting ahead of myself here anyway.

I have my appointment for the 2nd week of December and then I don’t think they see me again for a long, long time. In subsequent pregnancies you are pretty much left to your own devices for the vast majority of it so even if I do run into some baggages again I won’t have to spend too much time with them.

In other news the vivid dreams are continuing but the quality is improving, last night it was Simon Pegg. I’m so glad my husband doesn’t read this blog.

And finally….

I am 5 weeks pregnant today and apparently this is what the baby looks like now, obviously minus all the arrows and words.