Monday, 30 May 2011
As promised....the drama of week 37
In medical terms i am 37 + 3 ( 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant) in the past 7 days i have been back and forth to the hospital every other day for various reasons, tiring but reassuring to know they are keeping such a close eye on the bump.
My baby has been breech (bum down) for several weeks now, along with making it near impossible to give birth naturally, breech babies are at risk of developing "clicky hips" (CDH, meaning a dislocation of the hips) a condition that can be minor and involve nothing more than wearing double nappies for a few weeks or can mean the baby will need to wear a splint to correct the condition...its impossible to tell if my baby has been affected by being breech until he/she arrives, but i add it to my list, now titled "things i cant control but will worry about anyway"
To correct the breech position my consultant offers to perform an ECV (External cephalic version) http://www.sdhct.nhs.uk/patientcare/pil/23660.pdf?last_updated=15%252F02%252F2008 where the baby is manipulated by hand OVER the bump to encourage he/she to do a forward/backwards roll into the head down position, this is an optional procedure, with no guarantees of success, but its the only option other than elective C-section, so i was more than willing to give it a try.
The procedure its self seems very back to basics, first the baby is scanned to see the exact position, then i was given an injection to loosen my womb & pelvis (the effects of the injection i can only liken to a temporary hangover, shaky hands and nausea, nothing i haven't self inflicted hundreds of times) the consultant then dons a plastic pinny and covers my bump with baby oil (the boyfriend is given the job of timing the doctor, prompting him when each minute passes, the manipulation (like a brisk massage) can only be performed for 3 minutes at a time, to avoid the baby getting distressed) i am instructed to lie back and relax (easier than it sounds in these circumstances) the doctor then begins.....
Having explained to the midwife i have been practising Hypnobirthing she and the Boyfriend suggested i use my breathing and visualisation techniques to relax me, i am told its essential not to tense up as this can add to any discomfort, i haven't attempted any of my Hypnobirthing under duress before, but every limb was so tense i gave it a go...the outcome is i now have a head down baby, in the engaged position, ready for a natural birth....I would describe my personal experience of the ECV as amazing, considering i have zero tolerance for pain, i would describe the physical feeling as short term moderate discomfort in a non invasive way...fingers crossed baby doesn't decide to practise its gymnastic skills and flip back!!
Midway through the week it was time for our final NCT class (we have been to the free NHS provided classes which have been wonderfully informative) this week included a tour around the women's wards and delivery suites, much to the boyfriends despair i fell for the oldest joke in the midwifes book.....we were warned not to worry if we heard any screaming or yelping during the tour as coming up to summer time a beautician comes in every Wednesday and does the midwives waxing and this was the explanation for the noise.....i thought this to be perfectly plausible and nodded to confirm my understanding (midwives need pampering too) and only realised it was a joke to disguise any labouring women screaming in pain when boyfriend and NCT teacher stared at me in disbelief....prompting the entire class to have a giggle at my expense, and boyfriend to shake his head in shame.
The room i most wanted to see on the tour of the Hospital was the delivery room, i needed to see exactly where i will be giving birth, i have a strong dislike for bright strip lighting....so walking into one of the brightly lit, stark white (immaculately clean) labour rooms was quite a shock. I hadn't expected cozy couches and fluffy pillows, but i hadn't bet on it being so clinical...i panicked, and couldn't hide my terror, when asked what i thought my immediate response was that it looked just like a torture chamber, the midwife/tour guide was quite taken aback at my response, as were the rest of the group, i wasn't kidding, this was no joke, i immediately felt terrified, tearful and wanted to leave, the midwife made attempts to demonstrate how the room could be made to look more inviting by dimming the lights and then i felt guilty, I was shocked at my own pathetic pansy reaction, and quickly pulled myself together...just in time for us to be shown the human size fishing net and hoist used to fish out and transport women from the birthing pool to the bed......less like Daryl Hannah in Splash, more beached whale....I have warned boyfriend i will NEVER forgive him if i end up in that thing, can you image the indignity??? soaking wet, naked and vulnerable and captured in a net like Free Willy.....don't laugh, oh go on then, just a little bit!