10.13pm Friday 30th July 2021, The Countess of Chester Hospital
Well, after a rather hectic afternoon, I’m here, Nathan is home, both of us getting as much rest as we can before a category 3 C-section tomorrow morning.
Yesterday I went to see my midwife for a sweep which was fairly successful, and later in the day I started to feel some pressure. After not being able to sleep for contractions and kicks from 12-2 last night, I finally managed to fall asleep and woke up this morning to… absolutely nothing. No contractions, no kicks, just a huge belly.
When it got to 1pm and an icy Dr Pepper, usually guaranteed to make Dino very active, had only made the baby twitch a bit, we got in touch with the hospital. They answered in one ring and the labour ward got a midwife to speak to us in less than a minute. They asked us to come in for monitoring, which we did.
We arrived and found our way to the day unit where there were two very calm and lovely midwives, a student midwife and two nurses, all of whom made us feel welcome and reassured. We listened to baby’s heartbeat, all fine, we monitored their movements, which were occasional but not as many as normal. We then went into another room for a scan to check for amniotic fluid and blood pumping through the cord, all of which looked fine.
But then the midwife moved the scanning device up and down my stomach a few times and I saw her eyes widen slightly.
‘So what I didn’t expect’ she said, holding her hand at the top of my belly, ‘is that this is baby’s head’.
Hang on, I thought, that ain’t right!
Yep, in an unexpected twist, Dino is breech! We’ve been mistaking the head for the bum possibly for a couple of months!
At this point, there aren’t really very many options. We could try and turn the baby but there’s just so very little room, and there’s less than 40% chance that it’ll work. We could try for a normal birth, but it’s very unusual and it could be that nobody on the labour ward will have ever delivered a baby like that before. The safest option is a C-section, which I knew the moment she showed me the head on the screen.
What a shock. My first feeling was disappointment. I’ve been doing a hypnobirthing course and loving it. I really wanted to try and do this myself. I have been quite open minded about the birth, holing onto my preferences lightly, but I definitely didn’t expect this. We were told 2 months ago that baby was head down and face down, which was ideal. I know it’s a very easy mistake to make and I don’t blame anybody at all. I just hoped for something different. As the midwife was telling me, I could feel Nathan’s reassuring hand stroking my arm.
We were left alone to talk it through. We read the literature, noted down a few questions and prayed. I knew that the longer we waited to deliver the baby, the more stressed I would become. Instead of twinges and surges being something exciting, they would be something I’d come to dread.
A doctor came in to talk to us and after hearing our story, she went out and looked at the diary. The best thing will be to perform a section tomorrow, for me to stay here overnight, just in case baby starts to make a move, and for Nathan to go home and rest. When we left home this afternoon, we never expected this to happen!
So after a Maccies tea (obviously), and running me a bath, Nathan went home. He’ll be here early in the morning and with any luck, we’ll have our baby quite quickly. It all depends if anybody comes in with more need first though, which is fair enough!
Anyway, I’m having one more scan just to reassure me before I go to sleep and then I’m nil-by-mouth from midnight. I’m feeling excited and delighted that tomorrow is the day! Being a massive Potterhead, I always said the birth day would be 31st July! This birth might not what I imagined, but I’m trusting God with us both. I’m drained from the sudden change of plan, but I don’t doubt that there are real benefits to doing it this way! And more than anything, I am so grateful that I feel safe, supported and looked after. Thank God for our NHS, and thank God for The Countess of Chester Hospital, where my lovely sister and myself were born and where Dino will meet the world in the morning.