Seren at a few minutes old with wrinkled, dry skin that babies often get when overdue
As the date when baby number 2 is “due” to make an appearance gets ever closer (2 and a half weeks!) I’ve been having many flashbacks to Seren’s birth as my mind prepares. I started drafting her birth story in September 2012 and think it’s probably time I got round to finishing it! On the whole, I had a very positive experience although it was long, as is this story, so I’ve split it into 3 parts.
By way of introduction, Seren was 11 days late. She had been measuring 4 days ahead at her scans and as myself, MrS and all our siblings were early I was kind of expecting her to show her face a little ahead of schedule. That said, we moved into our new house 6 weeks before she was due and this commenced a whirl of painting, buying furniture and other house stuff, overseeing contractors and trying to “get ready”. It was a very busy time physically and emotionally and perhaps not the best way to prepare for labour! I woke up at 37 weeks pregnant with period like stomach cramps and cried at the thought that this was the start of labour. I was not ready!
By the time her due date came around, I had ticked off my To Do list and was ready. But her due date came and went and at first I appreciated the extra days to really just relax. I pulled out some cross stitching (maybe I’ll finish it this time around!) and discovered Pinterest. I was able to attend my parents-in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary celebrations which I hadn’t been able to commit to. But as days turned into a week and over and I was fielding more and more messages from friends and family asking whether there was any news (why do people do that?!) I got more and more fed up and uncommunicative.
I had 3 sweeps during my overdue days, these were hugely uncomfortable and at each one it was declared that my cervix was still very hard and closed and not near labour. MrS came with me to my 2nd sweep as I had been so upset after the 1st one, the only midwife appointment he has been to so far! After the 3rd sweep when I was 40+8, I went home, closed the curtains and proceeded to sulk big time. I had another sweep booked for 40+11 with an induction booked for 40+12. I was more than a little scared about the prospect of induction having heard stories of long, painful and very medicalised inductions with intervention and they sounded a million miles away from the birth I’d planned. I’ve since heard much happier induction stories and I hope I can remain more positive if induction looms this time.
I spent time investigating (i.e. reading online parenting forums and also the NICE guidelines!) the possibilities of resisting induction and learning about the Bishop Score which I hadn’t heard of before (it’s a way of scoring the cervix to predict whether induction is necessary). I came up with a plan to see what the outcome was of the next sweep, then possibly ask them to delay the induction until the following Monday (I would be 40+15) to allow more time for things to kick off naturally. You are perfectly entitled to request this although hospitals will often want to you to come in so they can monitor the baby on and off through the extended period. The induction timeline guidelines exist as there is research to suggest that the placenta begins to stop doing its job properly after a certain time so there may well be a risk to the baby. Thinking about it more rationally now, and having heard more positive induction stories, I don’t think I would want to delay an induction this time around.
I didn’t make that 4th sweep however, Seren had other ideas!