I often think back to the day my son Zander was born, but they are not all happy memories. It could have ended up in a completely different experience one that could have had a fatal outcome due to what I now think was on the verge of medical negligence. Although I know how long consultants work and how tired they must get, there should be no room for error especially when in a consultant led childbirth suite, and looking after mother and baby’s wellbeing while in labour is their job.
The hours leading up to the birth of my son were completely different from my other children’s births are they were natural spontaneous deliveries, this pregnancy had been trying with gestational diabetes and hydramnios which was causing issues and the threat of preterm labour was very real as were the risks that go with it. Luckily my little man didn’t want to go anywhere and due to his predicted weight at 36 weeks being 8lb 10oz the consultant decided to book me in for induction 2 weeks before my due date as baby was predicted to be at least 10lb by then.
The first day of the induction didn’t progress very well but the second day, the day he was finally born progressed quite quickly. Starting the morning at 6am with my waters being broken and being moved onto the delivery suite then as soon as I was there I was plugged into a hormone drip and fluid drip. The midwife upped the hormone every so often as I still wasn’t progressing until I was on the highest dose. Then things started happening.
Having heard lots of induction experiences from people I was expecting things to progress super fast once the drip was doing its job. How wrong was I? I am not sure what time it was maybe 4-5pm but the consultant was called the first time, I think the baby was having heart decelerations, he said it was fine and to monitor it, sort a catheter and let me get on with it.
I asked for an epidural as my back was in agony, the baby’s outline was actually showing through my back every time I contracted causing more decelerations. I then felt the urge to push but I was not dilated far enough at that point, 6cm is all. They told me to push anyway?! Obviously it didn’t work and just caused more decelerations to baby’s heart.
The consultant was called several times during this and kept looking at paper that the heart rate was constantly measuring and said its ok nothing to worry about. I was starting to panic, the midwives were not looking very relaxed at all, I think they were as worried as my husband was at this point.
Just after 8pm that night the lovely doctor who broke my waters some 14 hours previously came back on her shift, looked at me and baby’s heart rate trace and said, why is she still here, I am not losing her or the baby, c-section NOW!
That was it I was taken to theatre and c-section done. My son thankfully was absolutely fine although he was wedged in an awkward position. My husband cried as he was so worried for us both but we were both now safe and well.
Thankfully this lovely doctor did what she did and quickly, if she hadn’t come on shift when she did and I was left with the other consultant much longer who knows what would have happened. I dread to think.
I look at Zander now and think back to that time when we could have lost our miracle baby, it was traumatic but more so for my husband that had to just sit and watch as he couldn’t protect us and really felt he was going to lose us both. He felt completely and utterly helpless.
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