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My first birth story- home birth to c-section.

(trigger warning- do not read if you want a positive birth story).

The pregnancy itself was not ideal. It wasn’t quite as bad as it gets, but it was it wasn’t good. I felt sick for most of it; I passed out a few times. You know, I just I was absolutely huge I was so uncomfortable. I was excited about meeting him, but pregnancy is not my favourite. During my pregnancy, I did a little bit of hypnobirthing, but it was more about what happens to the baby and the breathing aspect of it rather than birth rights and procedures, etc.

I will briefly break down my experience into what happened at which week in the lead-up to my C-section to make it a little easier to digest. With some real fact checks using evidence to understand where the problems lie.

The plan!

I did not write down my plan but, I wanted to have my baby at home with the potential water birth, I had the risk assessment from the midwives and even hired a birth pool. I had not considered the logistics of home, but I just thought it was an easy DIY situation.

Around 36 weeks.

I had a midwife appointment, and they did a measurement, and my bump had got smaller. however, I was getting close to my due date, so chances are the baby had dropped, but they wanted to put me in for a growth scan, so I went in for the scan, and they went straight to the consultant to say that I was going this massive baby. When speaking to the consultant/doctor, he laughed at my plan for my home birth and told me it would lead to a C-section. Naturally, I was devastated, and my confidence was wrecked.

Fact check fairy:

  1. Growth scans are used to identify small babies, NOT big babies; they can also out by 2lbs either way.

  2. Bumps can get a little “smaller” when the head engages.

  3. Big babies can be born vaginally.

  4. Bedside manner and language is important.

Around 38 weeks.

I had another appointment with a consultant who took me through my options and offered a stretch and sweep. I was not told of the risks.

Fact check fairy:

  1. Stretch and sweeps (membrane sweep) Can hurt, and you can bleed.

  2. Anything foreign going into your body can increase the risk of infection.

Around 39 weeks

Had another appointment with the midwife who was about to perform another stretch and sweep. I notified her that I might be leaking some amniotic fluid, but she didn’t believe me and checked and did find liquid in my birth canal. She told me to get checked out by the hospital (Kettering General Hospital). I was told it was amniotic fluid and that I had to come back after 24 hours if I hadn’t gone into labour as per hospital policy.

Fact check fairy:

  1. It is usually against policy for stretches and sweeps to happen if you have leaked amniotic fluid due to the risk of infection.

  2. Water breaking is not always a big gush of water.

  3. Hospital policy is not law.

This is when I went into hospital. I was ignored for the first 3 or 4 hours, then a pessary was inserted. Twinges were happening, but too much. Then I was told that because this wasn’t working, we would go straight to the synthetic oxytocin. Here gets a bit tough. I ended up with a midwife I did not gel with, in a room that didn’t allow me to move around and told me I was not allowed to eat.

Fact check fairy:

  1. It is against your human rights to be denied food during labour.

  2. Trusts have varying times for inductions when waters break.

  3. You can request a change in midwives or health care professional.

  4. You have the right to be able to move.

  5. You have the right to decline any or all care.

I ended up with all of the drugs despite not initially wanting them. I had continuous monitoring. Induction labour is totally different from spontaneous labour (from my experience). I ended up in a very static position on my back, and the monitor ended up picking up a decreased fetal heart rate, and the decision was to have a c-section.

Bertie was born with suspected sepsis, and I also had an infection, and we both had to stay in hospital for another five days. Breastfeeding actually went surprisingly well. However, this is something that I needed more help with than initially planned once I left the hospital.

While I can talk about it now with some ease, it has taken me some time to heal from the birth trauma. I can still have some issues with the way I was treated and many, many other women and birthers are treated. Especially those that don’t fit into the white middle/upper-class bracket. People of colour or identifying as a gender they were not assigned to at birth face these problems and more.

My VBAC story is to be continued……

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