Dear Rex – His (Dramatic?) Birth Story – Part 2

Newborn baby wrapped in a brightly coloured blanket

If you’ve landed here and not read Part One, head here to read that bit first.

After the second growth scan on the 20th July, it felt like the left hand really didn’t know what the right hand was doing. I’d been told to have the scan but when I got to the hospital, the ultrasound consultant had written on my notes that I didn’t need the scan. After discussing it with the sonographer, she did the scan anyway. With Chris not being allowed to attend, the last time he’d “seen” baby was the 20 week scan and last time he’d heard baby’s heartbeat was back at my 12 week scan. I decided I’d chance it and ask if I could have a scan picture. The sonographer said that by that point (36 weeks) baby is so big that it’s hard to get enough definition on the picture. She managed to get Rex at a certain angle and it was enough that we could identify the “landmarks” to know which way around he was and things like that.

Following my scan, the sonographer asked when I was seeing the doctor. To
which I explained that I wasn’t expecting to see the doctor, I’d just been sent
for the scan. She told me that I needed to see the doctor and so she was going to send me up to the Day Unit to wait there for the doctor. The Midwife on the Day Unit made sure I was okay and tried to get hold of the doctor. It turned out that the Doctor I’d seen after my ride in an ambulance was on duty that day so she was already aware of my case etc. The Doctor wanted me to chat to the consultant about birth options and so the midwife attempted to get me an appointment later in the week. In the end, the consultant took a glance over my notes, decided induction was possible and that it would be on my due date. Rex’s estimated weight was putting him around the same weight as Jaxon (Jaxon was 9lb 14.5oz when he was born). Clearly, I make big babies!

Due Date/Friday

The whole week had led up to Friday and what was going to happen. The action plan for who was having Jaxon when things were happening properly had been changed like three times and I was still not sure what was going on. But basically, unless Rex had shown up earlier, I was going into hospital to be induced. We knew that Rex was probably going to be big like his brother and we wanted to try and get him out safely without me having to have another C-Section. I guess a benefit of working from home due to Covid-19 was that even when Chris’s paternity leave had finished, he’d still be at home and able to assist with day to day stuff unlike with Jaxon where he had to go back to work quite quickly (thankfully Mum was on standby to assist then).

Back in March, I had discussed with the Birth Choices Midwife about having a VBAC delivery but once again I was flexible. Getting Rex out safely was the priority, if that meant I had to go for an emergency C-Section along the way then we would take it as it came.

Just before 6 pm on the Friday evening, Chris and Jaxon dropped me off at
the hospital. The info I’d received was a little muddled so I took my stuff
with me in case I was staying the night. On the phone, with the consultant, I’d been told one time and in my letter, I’d been told another. We went with the earlier one, figuring that I could always go for a wander or find somewhere to knit or read until they were ready for me. While I was in the hospital, the boys went for a walk around the river near the hospital just in case I would be coming home until the induction medication kicked in. Apparently, Chris had planned to just sit in the car but Jaxon decided they were going for a walk and Chris was happy to oblige as we’d all spent most of the day at home.

I arrived on the Delivery Ward and was told by the Senior Midwife that I was early and inductions aren’t normally started until 7 or 8 pm, so I told Chris to take Jaxon home. If they weren’t going to start me off until 8 pm it wasn’t fair to make Jaxon wait in the car for two hours! I was sent by the midwife to sit in the family room, while she figured out whether I could stay or not. At about 10-15 minutes later, Becky the Senior Midwife came to see me. Because of the previous C-Section when Jaxon was born, there’s a high chance I would have to stay in. Because of how the induction medication works, in a small number of cases, it can cause the contractions to be so strong that the previous C-Section scar can rupture. Therefore, I was going to be monitored just in case I was one of those unlucky few. The plan was that I would get given the gel stuff (prostaglandins) which are support to start the contractions and dilation etc. Then I’d go up to the maternity ward overnight, then I’d be brought back to delivery once things were progressing. If needed, they’d look at breaking my waters in the morning once the day shift took over. Also because of the previous C-Section, I was only going to be able to have one lot of gels, if it didn’t take we’d be on Plan B instead. At my last Midwife appointment, my Bishop’s Score had been at 4 so Becky was hopeful that the induction would almost be a final push of sorts rather than starting from scratch (Apparently a
6 or higher is waters breaking/baby is coming, so I was close just not close

I wasn’t kept waiting for long and was moved to a side room instead. A lovely midwife called Mhairi came to see me and she was getting me all assessed to see what order things were going to happen. Around 10 to 8, after being monitored for over an hour, I was given the gel. According to the CTG (Fetal monitoring), I had already been having contractions but they were quite far apart and I thought it was Rex wriggling rather than a contraction.

Digital screen displaying different groups of numbers. Including blood pressure and fetal movements

By 9 pm, I’d been taken off the monitor and was pottering around the room
and swaying through my contractions. I was keeping Mum and Chris posted via WhatApp but could have done with someone in person to chat to. I’d taken most of the rules in my stride and had understood the why but at this point, they were getting to me. Chris could go to the pub, he could go and play a team sport but couldn’t be in the hospital with me when I needed a cheerleader. I had made sure I had some TV and films on my iPad to watch so I started watching The American President. I’ve seen it hundreds of times so if I had to stop it or missed bits it would be okay.

Around 10 pm, I had a conversation with Chris, he wanted to go to bed as he
was quite tired but didn’t want to miss anything important. I told him to go to bed but leave his phone on loud so that I could call if I needed him. I then
had a similar conversation with Mum and Dad. They were on standby to go to our house and take over on Jaxon-duty when the time came. (At this point I’m not 100% how this fitted in with the rules, but to make sure Mum and Dad could be there as soon as we needed them they’d spent near enough 20+ weeks shielding/isolating at home to make sure they were ready and able to help. They are amazing!).

Also in the conversation with Mum, we discussed what would happen next. The information I’d been given was what would happen if nothing happened and I was still there in the morning. I think I missed anything about what happens when something DOES happens. Mum and I have a chat and I decide that at 10:30 I’ll go to the Nurses Station and find out what happening next. I’m told by the Midwife that I’ll be left until 2am (6 hours since the gel) and then we’d go from there. The contractions carry on but they are manageable if I keep moving. I tell Mum and Dad to go get some sleep. After all, 3-4 hours of sleep has got to be better than none (especially as the rest of the night would have been in our bed not their bed).

I watch out the window and potter around my cubicle for the next hour or so. I get into bed and figure I’ll give it a go and getting some sleep. I think I
dozed but I’m awake again before I know it. I wake up and wriggle to try and get comfortable and I have this feeling like I’ve wet myself. I’d read (or it might have been on a Mama Doctor Jones video) that to test between it being a bladder accident and your waters breaking, you have to lie down and then get back up again and see what happens, well as I was already lying down I figured I’d get just out of the bed. Well, nope I hadn’t wet myself and it wasn’t my waters. I was bleeding and I need a Midwife. Having not reached this point with Jaxon, I was really quite worried (but calm if that’s possible) – what if this was where it was about to go really wrong and Chris wasn’t here to be with me?

I’m asked to get back onto the bed so I can be assessed and it’s decided I’m
going to delivery. It’s heading towards Midnight at this point and I’m hoping
that Mum, Dad and Chris are getting at least some rest along with me worrying about what the blood is about – is it something wrong or is it straight forward and part of the process?

Through most of my contractions I’d been walking or swaying, and now I had to sit in a wheelchair to go up to the Delivery Suite, when I did have a
contraction, it was so uncomfortable that I practically jumped across the room. I get taken in the lift to the Delivery Suite and I’m handed over to a
different Midwife called Nicola who’s now going to look after me through the rest of my delivery.

And that’s Part Two…Part Three is coming tomorrow.