Aoife’s “due date” according to the hospital scan was 23rd November so by the time we got to 42 weeks we suspected that maybe the dates of the first scan done at Mount Carmel giving us the estimated due date of 2nd December might be more accurate. Coincidently both dates matched my own “possible dates”, which didn’t help! As I had been planning a homebirth from the beginning I was anxious to avoid induction, especially after successfully having her turned from breech by ECV (external cephalic version) at 38 weeks (or rather 36 weeks retrospectively). Continue reading
I had an emergency C-section in 2010 for our first daughter’s birth due to “failure to progress” and felt very strongly that I wanted a VBAC for our next child. I figured I would go past my estimated due date (EDD) again, so may have to negotiate with the hospital to avoid interventions. I was actually very very lucky with the consultant I saw at my last two hospital appointments, despite him calling me “the most stubborn woman in Ireland”. Continue reading
“I had a very emotional pregnancy and was quite anxious coming up to my baby’s birth. I had transferred my care to Dublin, rather than our local unit. It was the winter of very wintery weather, and the snow added to the worries and stresses as I was booked into a unit over an hour away. On the morning of Dec 20th, my labour started and we quickly knew we would not make Dublin. I was quite upset over this. We made our way in the snow and ice to the hospital. I was admitted at 9cm dilated and in transition. I was finding it quite tough due to an injury in the coccyx and the midwife I had was not sympathetic to this nor my needs. She wanted me on the bed, with CTG on continuously, and to push despite not having an urge. My contractions started to space out and I had a thick anterior lip on the cervix that wasn’t coming away. The midwife wanted to use oxytocin. I felt like everything was spiraling out of control and no one was listening to me – I wanted to stand, get off the bed, no CTG. (there was no reason for CTG, just midwife more comfortable with it as I was a transfer). I become more and more upset and the contractions got more and more spaced…… following a tense conversation (refusing oxytocin and my partner & I getting quite upset).
A new midwife took over named Emer. She was immediately a relief. She was calm and understanding and supportive. She recognised how anxious I was being there. She listened to my preferences. I was still 9cm dilated and with every contraction had a gush of waters. I had no urge to push. Emer told me I had a thick anterior lip on the cervix and that had to come away before I could have my baby. I remained standing by the bed. Emer brought in a birth ball, massage tools for my back, and a cd player so I could listen to music. She occasionally would take the baby’s heartrate intermittently as I stood and swayed. She would assure me all was well and let me get on with it. She was a quiet and calm force in the background, never imposing. Just what I needed.
After about a 1/2 hr of standing, my contractions started picking back up again. The waters kept gushing. At this stage I was in transition about 2 hrs! Suddenly, I had a few strong contractions, felt another little gush and felt the baby slip down. Emer asked me if I wanted to stay standing for the birth – I did. She got down on her knees and her gentle voice reminded me to open my legs for my baby. I started bearing down and after a few pushes my baby girl was born as I stood by the bed. I had no tears or need for stitches.
My entire labour was 3hrs – I was 2hrs in the hospital. When I think that oxytocin was prescribed…. Emer, was amazing. Her support was so vital. She believed in me, gave me time, and supported my choices. I would have had a very different experience had she not been my midwife and I am so thankful for her.”
I was born, raised, and lived the first twenty-nine-and-a-half years of my life in Dublin. But, as it tends to do, life took me elsewhere and three years later I found myself living in the very southmost tip of Texas, about to have a baby with my also-Dubliner husband. Before I was pregnant I always assumed I’d have an epidural when I had my babies, just as – as far as I knew – everyone did these days. Continue reading