A wife of noble character who can find?...She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:10, 26 & 28

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Lead-Up to the Birth of Grace

First I'll give you some of the background story.

When I fell pregnant with Grace I didn't immediately rush to the doctors to have it confirmed as I'd already been there, done that and had my own idea of dates. I did eventually go though, and then got told that I should have gone in sooner as the hospitals liked people to book in earlier than they used to and I needed to go for an ultrasound to confirm my dates. I was happy with mid to late November as a date, the doctor estimated the 18th of November, a little more exact but still pretty much the same as my dates. The ultrasound place was horrible. They weren't rude exactly but they weren't friendly, I was in and out with barely a handful of words spoken to me. They said my due date was the 23rd November and gave me a disk to give to my doctor upon leaving. When I went back to my doctor and went to give him the disk he said that I was to keep it as they would send him a report.

After a couple of months I noticed that the doctor was still going on the date of the 18th and asked him about it as I was going on a later date. He said no that this was the date we had always been going by. I didn't question this and also thought that it was great that the baby would come earlier that I was expecting. I love my babies but hate being pregnant because I am always so sick and this time seemed even worse.

So my due date was coming up and I had been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, once I even thought it was the real thing. Every day I would wake up wondering if this would be the day our baby girl would make her appearance. And then I had a tooth-ache and during the night one of my glands started swelling and by the morning was the size of a small ball. I was in agony and immediately went to the dentist. The dentist took out the offending tooth after an x-ray showed that she could do so safely and sent me on to the hospital to get IV antibiotics for the abscess. When I first got to the hospital at 12pm the anesthetic was still working, by the time I got in to be seen (after 4pm) I was in agony. I hadn't eaten or drank anything since breakfast as the signs in the hospital say not to.

So 39 1/2 weeks pregnant with a tooth removed, huge abscess, starving and dehydrated and waiting on horribly uncomfortable chairs for over 4 hours and I finally get to go behind the mystery doors.....only to have to wait again. At least it was only for 1/2 an hour this time. The doctor took one look at me and immediately handed me off to the first doctor who walked past us. The second doctor took a brief history and said that because I was so pregnant that I really should go to Dandenong hospital, where I was booked in to have the baby, to be admitted and have the antibiotics overnight. He then promptly disappeared to find a bed for me. After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably closer to 1/2 an hour or so, I was in so much pain tears were pouring down my face and I begged Tim to get a nurse as it appeared that the doctor wasn't coming back. He managed to get a nurse's attention and she quickly moved me to a bed (no more uncomfortable chair!) and asked me how much pain was I in. I said that on a scale of 1-10 it was a 14, according to Tim the look on her face was that she didn't believe me, she asked some more questions and about my previous births. I guess she was assuming I was a bit of a cry-baby and asked about pain-killers I'd had during my births and when Tim told her that I don't have pain-killers and that I'd rather be giving birth now she straight-away went and sorted out some pain relief for me. Finally I was in less pain and someone gave me some kind of electrolyte icy pole and IV fluids. What surprised me about all this was that a)I didn't go into labour and b)my blood pressure barely changed. While in hospital they did an ultrasound to make sure the baby was okay and she was and the internal ultrasound showed that my body was not ready to give birth.

Fast forward a week and it's past my due date. I went to the doctors for my regular weekly checkup. I did not expect him to ring the hospital and book me in for an induction. With other babies we had talked about it but I'd never made it far enough past my date for it to actually happen. He did some kind of check and gave me a 'Bishop Score' of 3. I had to google that when I got home, but basically it meant that my chances of the induction working would be low. I walked out of there in shock. I knew that I didn't want or need an induction but could not say why. After the shock wore off I researched induction to find out the pro's and con's and quickly came to the conclusion that the con's outweighed the pro's, especially considering that both the baby and I were in good health, I mean I'd been through a tooth removal and an abscess and my blood pressure had barely changed. Because of my age and how many baby's I've already had every body is so quick to assume the worst is going to happen and think they need to intervene. I went and had another ultrasound and the baby was still healthy with plenty of fluid around her but I also remembered that first ultrasound and the different due date. What if the baby wasn't coming because we hadn't even reached the time for her to be born? I know that the medical profession say that a baby is 'term' when we reach 37 weeks but if we force her out when she's not ready what long term effects would that have? So while in the hospital having the ultrasound I asked the nurse if she could get the ultrasound place to fax them a couple of the original report. Sure enough I was only a day or two over not nearly 2 weeks. I went back to the doctor with this report and asked him to ring the hospital to cancel the induction, instead he only postponed it. I didn't make a fuss as I knew I wouldn't make it to that date anyway but I also figured if I did make the date I would find a way not to be induced.

As it was I didn't make it to the second date.

These articles and websites helped me with my decision not to be induced. I hope they might be helpful to others.

I think the last one is my favourite. Next time I'll be going for that early ultrasound to confirm dates as I don't want the stress of the confusion or the pressure to be induced again if I can help it. I am so grateful for Tim who stands by me even if I get a little crazy and insist on not being conventional. I'm also grateful for my friend Clare for all the information she shared with me and who is such an inspiration. And I'm also grateful for all the prayers during my pregnancy and labour.