Because I was almost 42 weeks pregnant, my delivery was scheduled at exactly 42 weeks in the hospital. I was to be admitted to the hospital a day before so the initiation could start. The delivery would be a day later. My body had other plans.
The day of the ECV was hard on my belly and my baby. Apparently, this had been severe enough for my water to break the following night. We immediately called the hospital and we had to come in to check if it was indeed amniotic fluid. This was the case which meant I would leave the hospital with my baby in my arms. Because of the breech position, my delivery had to follow certain protocols (for both my baby’s and my own well being) or they would do a C-section. This meant the dilation should progress about 1cm each hour. In order to achieve this a balloon catheter was used. This felt a bit painful but not too bad. Kind of like having an IUD placed. The filling of the balloon catheter felt more painful. Also because it made my baby uneasy. This is completely logical off course. I wouldn’t like it either if a big ball was pushed against my bum. This balloon catheter had to stay until it would fall out on its own.
The hospital had delivery rooms that gave you a very homey feeling that does not feel like a hospital. It also had a nice TV and a small fridge we could use (in the end we used neither but it was nice it was there). The OBGYN that would do my delivery came to say hi. She also told me that she booked an OR. In case anything does not go as planned, they would have room for me there immediately. I was really happy that she would be with me during my delivery. Of all the gynecologists in the hospital, she was my ‘favorite’. Even though almost nothing came of my birth plan, I am very happy that she did the delivery and it is still something I look back on positively.
While the balloon catheter was doing its job, I was Netflixing and feeling the contraction becoming stronger. Every hour I was checked upon and we were left alone again. My boyfriend even went home to get some things (maxi cozy) and snacks. After about 4 hours the balloon catheter was removed. I was dilated sufficiently but muscles prevented the balloon catheter from falling out on its own. When it was gone, it was immediately clear that the baby was bum down and that the delivery had to take place within 24 hours. There was meconium everywhere. This is normally excreted when the baby feeds for the first time. When a baby does this sooner, it indicates stress. This meant they would accelerate the delivery even further by administering oxytocin. This was slowly increased to make sure my dilation would process sufficiently. Because my baby was starting to have a more difficult time her heart rate was now constantly checked with a CTG. They also could see when I had contractions. Being hooked onto a CTG also meant I could not leave the bed anymore. As the contractions began to be more severe I also did not feel like walking around anymore and was turning more in onto myself.
About once an hour I was checked upon to see if the dilation was indeed progression according to the protocols. As I had been in the hospital for a while now, this meant new nurses would take over the shift. They came to introduce themselves which was nice. They were also a little excited as a breech birth is not something they see often. My contractions became stronger and when the dilation was about 7 to 8 cm I started to feel the need to push. As the dilation was not sufficient yet, I had to breathe the contractions away. As you can read here, pushing contractions can happen earlier when a baby is in breech position. The combination of the strong need to push and the very strong contractions was very difficult for me to handle. Up till now, I could handle the pain but this combination was so severe, I had to ask for painkilling. Luckily, I received this directly (morphine pump) and had to deal with only the need to push. Each time right before a contraction I had to push the button to make the contractions less severe. This made me a little too relaxed and it lowered my heart rate low enough for the alarms to go off. This alarmed reminded me to breathe, that is how relaxed I was.
When the dilation was 8cm the gynecologist came to watch me. She would not leave until my baby was born. Also, the nurses came to prepare everything. The painkillers were removed as it was important that I could feel the contractions so I could push properly. You read everywhere that the last part of the dilation is the most severe. This is indeed how I felt it. The pain is extreme and everything goes through your mind. I mostly felt fear. What I mostly thought (at least I think I did not say it out loud) was: ‘I don’t want this anymore, I want that C-section’ and (What was I thinking doing a breech birth) but mostly ‘Oh my… soon there will be a baby… How am I to do this?’.
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