Well, went to see the consultant again today for 28 week bloods and general checkup. Feel like i’ve taken a massive step backwards in my quest for a VBAC.
Last time I went to see the (a) consultant, i came away feeling really positive. Because of the nature of Lilly’s birth (continuous monitoring leading meaning I had to stay lying on the bed, leading to failure to progress, fetal distress and emergency c-section), I explained to him that my main fears were not being able to remain mobile and the same thing happening again. He had thoroughly read my notes and told me that, although I would need continous monitoring, this need not start until about 5-6cm dilated, and that the hospital was hoping to have wireless monitors by June, which would allow me to remain mobile whilst being monitored.
But, oh no, when I went today that all went up in a puff of smoke.
This doctor practically laughed when I asked if they had the wireless monitors yet, and made me feel like i’d just invented something fit for Tomorrow’s World. Upshot is, no, the wireless monitors won’t be in place.
He said I’d need continous monitoring and that I’d have to stay on the bed for this. I asked whether there would be any way I could maintain a bit of mobility – even sitting on a birthing ball right next to the monitor? – he said no, not possible.
All in all total conflict to what last consultant told me three months ago.
Out of interest, i thought I’d ask him how long they’d “let” me go overdue, to see what he’d say. I know the hospital policy is supposed to be 14 days. Last consultant told me 15-20 days to give me the maximum chance of a VBAC (which i did think sounded quite long!). This one was pretty non-committal but hinted at only 10 days.
He doesn’t want me back at the hospital til 39 weeks – which, as it is on a Tuesday actually works out as two days before my due date, so pretty much full term.
I came away from it all feeling like i wanted to cry, to be honest.
Surely the quickest way to a repeat performance of failure to progress is to lie on my back waiting for things to not happen? If I’m made to stay on the bed I can’t help but feel an emergency section is once again more than likely.
What’s especially frustrating is that you get a totally different opinion depending on who you see. There is no basic hospital policy about labouring naturally after a previous c-section. So, what’s the point in seeing a consultant? In reality, it comes down to who is on shift the day you’re in labour.
It’s left me feeling pretty deflated. I feel like I’m going to have to fight a battle to get something approaching the birth I want, but I’m going to have to fight it whilst I’m in labour, rather than having the bones of a plan agreed in advance. I know birth rarely conforms to a plan (ha! Nobody knows that more than me!) and I know that a healthy mum and baby are the most important thing at the end of it all, but I don’t want to be left feeling that I’ve had another section that could have been avoided if only things had been handled differently.
I also asked him about my failed epidural top up last time, which lead to my section having to be carried out under general anaesthetic. At the VERY LEAST, this time I’d like to be actually concious when my baby comes into the world, thanks very much.
Basically, my questions were whether there was a reason for the epidural failure last time – could it happen again? How could it be avoided? If I manage to labour without an epidural (which I’m hoping to do, at least until the later stages), and then a section becomes neccessary in a hurry, what anaesthetic will they use? Can I have anything put in place (canula or whatever it’s called) just in case, so that if an epidural or spinal block is needed in a hurry, that would help? He rambled on a bit but basically said no, there’s nothing I can do to help, every emergency is different.
Now I need to try and take stock and build myself back up to positivity again. Not sure what my plan of action is really. At the least it is to hope for a helpful and sympathetic consultant on the day. And also to do some more research to try and arm myself with a few facts for the fight ahead.
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