Chapter 14: Jennifer and Michael (Alison and Greg)
~ How much longer can this go on? ~
Excerpt: Jennifer did not sleep that night (second night of labour), only able to nap between contractions. The contractions were very painful now, a minute to a minute-and-a-half long, and too difficult to talk through. Tuesday morning her contractions picked up as she became more active, like walking up and down the stairs. Her midwife explained to her that the general rule for physicians is to induce labour if the baby is not born within twenty-four hours after the amniotic membranes have ruptured (my water broke on the Monday evening), but studies had shown that there was only a slight risk of infection, even if the baby arrived three (or four) days after.
(Riiiiiight...I should have listened to my mother. Baby arrived via c-section on Thursday evening after induction and an heroic attempt at a vaginal delivery. Medical report after the c-section indicated that baby's head was transverse - top of the head lying horizontally across the cervix - and stuck. A surgical "T" type incision was required to remove the baby from the birth canal. Usually, only a horizontal (top of the T )incision of the uterus is required.)
Postscript - In the end, Jennifer was disappointed with her labour and delivery experience, not so much with the surgery, but by the prenatal care late in her pregnancy. She blamed her midwife for not having realized that her baby was in a transverse position, making a vaginal delivery impossible. She felt let down by her midwife and wanted to use an obstetrician for a second child. This reaction was not surprising after enduring labour for so many days, only to find that the baby could not have been delivered on her own anyway. I don't know if this could have been avoided, if anyone could have known, or expected that the baby was not in a good position. If the baby's position could have been determined before or during labour, then both the obstetrician and the midwife missed it. Yes, the baby's head was down, buy she was lying horizontally across Jennifer's cervix.
There is no denying that Jennifer had had an unusually rough delivery, but the odds are slight that her next child would be in the same position in her uterus during labour. The actual problem seems to be that the midwife, who was in charge until she handed off the delivery to the obstetrician, waited too long before checking out why Jennifer's labour had not progressed.
(After reading the surgeon's report and a description of the T cut involved, I determined that my risk of a uterine rupture during a subsequent attempted vaginal delivery was too great and I opted to have a scheduled c-section with an obstetrician for my son's birth. I also felt that I'd endured enough of labour to last me the rest of my life and wanted to avoid experiencing it again, if possible)
I am so pleased with Karin's retelling of my pregnancy and birth experience in her book. I had forgotten so many things about it! Some minor details are slightly inaccurate but she did a wonderful job!
Gillian is highly amused by the name changes, including her own to Taylor!
Read the whole story, and many others like it, in Karin Banerd's amazing book:
Inspiring Births with a Midwife by Karin Banerd