Rebecca, David and baby Jack
Rebecca and David chose to have an independent midwife because they wanted to guarantee that a midwife would be able to attend their homebirth. Baby Jack is their first baby and arrived in hospital.
Rebecca had a lovely straightforward pregnancy and felt passionately that she would like a homebirth, however, it would seem that baby Jack had other plans
Rebecca's pregnancy continued beyond 41 weeks and then beyond 42 weeks. At each stage Rebecca discussed all of the evidence regarding the risks and benefits of continuing the pregnancy versus the risks and benefits of inducing labour, with Sarah. Rebecca strongly felt that in her personal circumstances (which included a family history of pregnancy beyond 42 weeks) that she wanted to allow labour to start spontaneously, rather than being induced. Rebecca opted for conservative management which involved frequent antenatal checks and careful monitoring of her baby's movements.
At 41 weeks and 5 days Rebecca's membranes released. Everyone felt very excited, expecting that the labour would soon begin. After 24 hours there were a few signs that labour might begin soon (mild cramps). Sarah discussed all of the options with Rebecca, including inducing the labour after 24 hours - 72 hours or continuing to allow the pregnancy to continue without intervention until labour begins spontaneously. Rebecca felt that she didn't want to go into hospital for any monitoring or induction but was happy to try aromatherapy, acupressure and other natural methods for encouraging labour to begin. Sarah visited every day to help monitor that Rebecca and the baby were remaining well. Rebecca remained very positive and confident in her choice to allow her body to lead the way into labour. This informed choice was supported and respected by Sarah. Baby Jack continued to move well, the water (liquor) remained clear and Rebecca developed no signs of infection at any stage.
Four days after Rebecca's membranes released Rebecca decided to accept a membrane sweep to see if it would help to start labour and this was repeated at Rebecca's request 2 days later. Following the second membrane sweep Rebecca noticed an increase in uterine tightening's and felt encouraged that her body finally felt ready to go into labour.
At 42 weeks and 6 days, 9 days after Rebecca's membranes released and after a very emotional week, Rebecca went into spontaneous labour. She called Sarah to join her at around 00:30 and when Sarah arrived Rebecca was in the pool and breathing through her surges beautifully. The surges increased in frequency and intensity and Rebecca started to use the Entonox, feeling that it helped ease the discomfort.
Everything seemed to be progressing as expected, but as the night continued the surges started to slow down and space out. Sarah suspected that Rebecca might not yet be in established labour and suggested a vaginal examination to complete the clinical picture and allow Rebecca to make decisions about the management of her labour. Rebecca agreed that this would be helpful and the examination confirmed that Rebecca was in the early stages of labour. Rebecca chose to get out of the pool to try and encourage the surges to establish once again.
An hour later the surges were becoming more intense again, but Rebecca felt physically and emotionally drained. Sarah reassured Rebecca that she is in complete control and that she can choose to stay at home, as clinically both she and baby remained completely well, or that she can go into hospital for more pain relief if she would like it. After much thought Rebecca made the difficult decision to go into hospital for additional pain relief, of course Sarah and her partner David went with her. When Rebecca arrived at hospital a vaginal examination confirmed that she was in the early stages of labour and the hospital staff offered to accelerate the labour once Rebecca was made comfortable with an epidural. Rebecca did not want her labour to be artificially accelerated so instead opted to have a caesarean section.
David accompanied Rebecca into theatre and baby Jack was safely delivered to his delighted parents. Sarah joined Rebecca in the recovery area and helped to get breastfeeding off to a great start.
Message from Rebecca .......