Monday, November 19, 2007

NTC group
We had a meeting with our NTC (national childcare trust) group on saturday – everyone now had their babies and we all went through our experiences of birth. Everyone had bad stories (apart from one who went partially private and one, Hailley who had her baby in 3 hours flat!).

I suppose I should go through George’s birth…

Well, he was 2 weeks late, for a start and so – apparently – he had to be induced. I wonder, with hindsight, whether that was really necessary. Perhaps there’s more fluctuation in the natural gestation period than is accepted by the medical profession. I was late myself, Lisa was late. All her sisters were late. All her sister’s children were late… I think our families just take a little longer to mature – but I didn’t think that strongly enough to go against medical advice… even if medical advice was just ticking boxes based on the average…

Anyway, the first attempt to induce failed. The second and third got things very slowly started. However, because she was being induced, Lisa was tied to a monitoring machine, so she couldn’t move around – which of course slowed things down even more.

Each time the machine was attached, we were told it was to be for 20 minutes and each time we were abandoned for an hour! The contractions got gradually worse. Lisa wanted a water-birth, but because she was being induced we were told she couldn’t have one.

The doctors appeared on their rounds at about 7pm and told us we could wait a couple of hours to see if anything happened, or we could go for a drip to get things going more strongly. They broke Lisa’s waters for her, which because she wasn’t ready to give birth was very painful. We opted for the drip.

Two hours later it hadn’t appeared.

Meanwhile a woman had wandered in, looked at the machines and wandered out again without introducing herself. As the hours wore on and she was the only person to occasionally put her head around the door, it became obvious she was our midwife.

She was in a foul mood because they were short staffed and she was covering triage (which was on a different floor) so she kept disappearing and we had no idea if or when she would return.

Eventually I went out and insisted that we were given a Propper labour room (we were in a shared suite. We were told we had a room, but nobody took us there. I complained again and we were taken to our room. Nobody showed us where the gas and air (Lisa’s only pain relief) were until I complained for a third time and the gas and air was set up for us.

I also found the doctors and asked about the drip. They said they’d proscribed it 2 hours ago and were amazed the midwife hadn’t prepared it for us.

Eventually, the midwife appeared and Lisa was immediately put back on the monitor machine so she couldn’t move about and things did not progress. the drip turned up, but before she connected it, the midwife noticed that George’s heartbeat was slowing every time Lisa had a contraction. This worried her and she called the doctors who did a very painful examination, and decided to check again in a few hours.

The midwife read chat magazine.

Eventually she decided things were not getting any better (and credit to her, she did take some degree of control making sure the doctors actually came in). finally the doctors came back and did the test again (which involved taking blood from George’s head – very painful for Lisa).

Finally at about 5 am after 7 hours of labour, they finally decided it would be best if we went for a cesarean. This was our least favourite option (we were hoping for a water-birth) , but by this time Lisa was reaching the end of her endurance – she’d been unable to move from the bed for 7 hours (everyone says being able to move about during labour is very important) and she was ready to go for an epidural…

However, the cesarean was the better option and we took it.

More tomorrow!

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