It went quite well. A lot better than it did in my dream last night, in which I went for my appointment, ended up running away from the consultant in tears and begging for a midwife lead delivery!
The doctor I saw (didn’t catch his name, think he is a registrar) seemed really nice. I hope he’s there on the day, he seemed quite jovial and reasonable.
He started off by saying he had reviewed my notes, and said there was no reason why I couldn’t go for a VBAC this time. He said he thought it sounded like with Lilly’s birth, she maybe had her head turned slightly to one side, so was not pressing as hard as she could have been on my cervix, which explains the failure to progress more quickly. He said there was no reason why this should happen a second time. I must admit, this is the first time i’ve heard this explanation, so i’ve no idea how he’s come to it, or whether its right, but I suppose it explains things. Perhaps this would also have given the impression of a distressed baby? I’m not sure, i’ll have to research that one…
I asked about fetal monitoring – this is really my main concern, as I think it was at the heart of lots of the things which went wrong last time. I asked whether I could have intermittent monitoring to allow me to be more mobile during labour. He said that, because of the risk of uterine scar rupture I will have to have continuous monitoring. However, he said that the hopsital are hoping to get wireless monitors, possibly by June, which would just stick onto my tummy and allow me to move around and stay active… that would be brilliant! I told him I really, really don’t want a monitor on the baby’s head unless it’s neccessary – last time the registrar tried FOUR times to put a monitor on her head, only to discover each time that the probe thingie didn’t work…. grrrrrrrrrrr. He was noncommittal about this, but i’d like to see them come near me on the day with that suggestion! Anyway, he then conceeded that perhaps I could be allowed to get to 5-6cm with intermittent monitoring before being hooked up (although hopefully wirelessly) for continuous monitoring in the later stages. That seems like a fair compromise, I’m going to hang on to that one for future reference I think!
I also asked about induction. Lilly was 10 days overdue and we seem to have history of overdue babies in our family, so it’s something I’m bracing myself for again. He said they would prefer me to go into labour naturally (me too!) and said they’d let me go “15 to 20 days” overdue… I was a bit shocked to hear that, as I thought they’d say 14 days then book in for an elective section. I can’t really believe that’s right, but anyway, it was good that there was no talk of elective sections at this stage.
He then tried to listen to the baby’s heartbeat – made a bit of a pig’s ear of it and couldn’t find it for ages. I wasn’t worried though, as I could feel the baby moving, and i’ve felt lots of movements over the past few days so I know he or she is in there, alive and kicking! He said he’d do an ultrasound instead – brilliant news, chance to see bubba again - but they had to send for it from the labour ward, and in the time it took to get it, he had found the heartbeat anyway. But never mind, the heartbeat sounded nice and strong, and he said all was fine.
The final thing I said to him is that I didn’t want lots of interventions this time, as last time they had been painful and contributed to an overall pretty horrible experience. He said: “We want to give you a much nicer time this time”, which has given me a bit of reassurance – just hope he’s right.
So, all went quite well. At least, until I got in the car to drive home and the stupid thing died on me in the middle lane of a busy three-lane carriageway. No hazard lights, no nothing. Got out and called the police, roadside assitance, father in law etc etc to rescue me, then tried really hard not to cry (not easy with all these hormones). It was amazing to see the amount of people (all men) who felt the need to shout obscenities at me from the comfort of their cars. Helpful comments including: “Put your hazards on, stupid b***” (yes, if I could do that, don’t you think I would?!) and, brilliantly “You’re a s*** driver” – I’m not actually trying to drive at the moment, mate, i’m standing on the side of the road freezing to death! And, for the record, I did not break down on purpose!!
Anyway, a nice policeman came and rescued me (as soon as he arrived i burst into tears!) and rolled the car out of the road. Then, a little while later father in law came and rescued me, got the car going again and we drove home.
But oh! How it restores your faith in human kind……. season of goodwill anyone?!?!?