"I can't thank the amazing ladies on this page enough, (Natural Hospital Birthing on Facebook) who have listened to me rant and rave about everything for 9 months. Including my doula Rebecca who was amazing during my labour, thanks Bec and everyone who has been so helpful!! You guys are incredible women.
Got sent in for monitoring Tuesday (40+5) and saw a Doctor who told me my risk of stillbirth was higher than the normal overdue woman, due to having low Papp-A and low amniotic fluid. This combination he said increased my chance of placental failure which therefore increased my chance of stillbirth. He wanted to induce me there and then on Tuesday night, or at least not wait later than Wednesday. This reaction only came when I said I would not be having an induction "assessment" (cervical check) on Thursday and would not be booking a date for induction based on overdue dates (plus oh my god I wasn't even overdue DUHHHHH). That was when he rushed in and said everything about needing to get baby out NOW. I came home and wrote a big post on here about how I was feeling - I knew nothing was wrong and I didn't need induction. Anyway, regardless, I refused.
There were three reasons I didn't believe stillbirth/placenta/fluid to be an issue:
(1) nothing in literature shows low Papp-A to be a problem apart from some loose correlations to placental abruption and subsequent stillbirth in some women, >89% of women have no problems who have low Papp-A and a tiny percentage have any stillbirth or placental issues. No clinical advice at the state level warranted any kind of worry. No research warranted any kind of intervention or induction.
(2) It was the same when researching low amniotic fluid. Nothing in literature shows any real justification (given my own body and clinical situation) for any intervention. There just isn't a strong enough cause there to justify it, for me.
(3) My clinical presentation itself was important to me and gave me my intuition that this was not a time to be inducing (maybe the week after, but not this week). I was healthy, felt great, had a very active baby, did CTG a few times and was always with great results, and was getting tightenings and cramping and some emotional reactions that made me feel labour wasn't too far away. I felt my chance of spontaneous labour within the next week or less was high, and that the risks associated with inducing labour were not low enough to outweigh the risk of waiting.
I woke up at midnight Tuesday night feeling restless, had a shower and watched some comedy on YouTube. Went back to bed and felt a slightly painful cramp about 2:45am.
I LITERALLY CRIED - I KNEW THIS WAS THE START.
I was like "OH MY GOD I AM SUCH A FUCKING SUPER WOMAN I KNEW MY BODY WOULD GO SPONTANEOUS WHEN IT WAS FUCKING READY!!!!!" (I said that in my head so I didn't wake husband or sleeping 5 year old haha).
(Background: traumatic induction and epidural that I hated with my first child, all I wanted in the whole wide world was a spontaneous labour with no epidural).
Basically the cramps just kept coming along, slowly getting more painful, not overly regular or anything. Mum came over to look after my daughter and at some stage my doula was on the way and we left home to go to hospital. I found it really difficult to know when to go in, but I just really felt I wanted to be in there and didn't want to hang around at home, so I'm glad we went in quite early.
Got to hospital and there was the usual assumptions about "what they were going to do" - I was hanging out for my doula to get there so I could just relax and not have to explain all the things I was declining. My amazing husband handed the Birth Choices document to the staff and they quickly got the hint that I had made some decisions for this labour and they shouldn't assume anything about me.
To cut a long story short:
-I declined all vaginal checks, had no idea what dilation I was the whole time (BEST. DECISION. EVER).
-I laboured in the shower, a few other places, then the water birthing bath (was so lucky to have an amazing midwife on shift who was a water birth accredited one, she was INCREDIBLE and she really looked after me). When I questioned whether I should check dilation (I was exhausted and not sure I keep going) she reminded me that I came in with a clear plan and I should stick to it for now. Made such a big difference.
-I had to get out of the bath because bub's heart was dropping a bit and we wanted to get the CTG on just to check everything was ok. I was completely fine with it, I wanted to know baby was ok especially given cord compression could be a problem with low fluid levels etc.
-I had planned to go back in when CTG showed baby was all fine, but I had this urge to get up on the bed on my knees. Just before that happened I was really feeling the pain of the contractions and really needed something to get me through, not necessarily drugs but just some kind of distraction. I asked for gas and it actually made a big difference. It gave me this head space that allowed me to kind of not be worried about the pain. Even though the pain was still there. It was weird. But it got me through.
-I jumped up on the bed randomly, looked at the clock and went "ok everyone it's 11 oclock, time to meet my baby I think".
-Had 1 or 2 contractions then this weird pause where I got a bit anxious. My body then just PUSHED THIS BABY OUT. I had no control over it and it was the most painful and intense thing I have ever, ever, ever known.
-All this fluid came out, some of it was meconium stained amniotic fluid (very very small amount!), and most of it was my urine from the pressure. I was pooing too of course! Who wouldn't!
-The poor midwife was telling me to slow down and not roar so loudly and concentrate or I would tear and I tried really hard to listen to her. I think at this point what she said to me actually made a big difference to my tearing, because out came our baby and she was 4.3kg with a 37cm head :) and I only had a 2nd degree tear.
When she came out I almost sat on her because I had no idea what was going on haha.
AND GUESS WHAT?? PLACENTA WAS PERFECTLY HEALTHY AND WORKING BRILLIANTLY, AS SUSPECTED BY YOURS TRULY!!
All this blood rushed out on top of bubba, and we then tried for a natural third stage. Midwife wasn't worried about the blood. I felt like something wasn't right and I either needed synctocin OR more time to get the placenta out. Midwife was probably getting a bit anxious understandably. But she was letting me take my time to see how it went. I just felt like I needed the injection though, like something wasn't right and I needed help to get it out. So I asked for it and they gave it to me. Placenta eventually came out, with a bunch of blood, and at some stage a doctor was in there scraping my abdomen down and I had a big PPH of 1-1.5L but they weren't sure of the amount. Thankfully I didn't need blood though!
In the end the last bit was quite funny - I was happy as larry because I just got my dream birth and I couldn't believe I had done it. But I had about 8 people in the room working on me in this hemorrage emergency and poor husband holding the baby looking terrified. They were in every orifice and trying to get into every vein and there was people everywhere, and I was sucking on gas thinking to myself "woooooooo!!! how cool was that birth!!!!! did you guys see what I did??!!!" while simultaneously yelling because they were hurting me EVERYWHERE hahahaha! Such a weird ending to the birth. But not a negative experience at all.
-I had my dream birth, it went exactly as I wanted it to go. Spontaneous and no epidural - I could not ask for anything more amazing than that.
-I got everything I wanted out of it: I felt connected to my baby, felt a very deep connection to hubby as I felt we got through it together, felt like I had done something that is near impossible and so on and so forth.
-I felt a huge respect for the hospital staff, and greatly affirmed in my choice to birth in hospital and not at home. It solidified for me WHY hospital is sometimes a great place to birth, and why medical staff are sometimes needed. I needed them to help me with the PPH situation and to stitch me up and look after me. I needed them to be there for me and they were. I felt a great deal of respect for them, which was entirely missing after my first child was born.