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My birth journeys. Part 2: Fear and anxiety

by lizzi (follow)
Helping plant the seeds of positive birth. www.sproutbirthing.com.au
So just what sort of birth did I want for my baby? Well…one that involved as little time as possible in hospital. My previous bad experience in hospital (the one that left me with a huge fear of hospitals and hospital staff) had involved a lumbar puncture so I definitely didn’t want a needle anywhere near my back. I was also extremely terrified of the idea of having to have surgery – and be awake for it! I really wanted to labour at home, just me, my partner and our baby. I wanted it to be calm and peaceful and I wanted to feel strong and confident. I wanted to feel safe and for my baby to feel safe to come out. I know…none of the choices I made was going to lead to that.

So here I was. 41 weeks, a Tuesday morning, waiting to see an obstetrician to talk about induction. I’ll be honest. I had no idea why an induction was recommended. Not that it was "recommended" as such...That implies that I could have declined it. I "had" to be induced. Yes I had gestational diabetes (GD). But why does that necessitate an induction? I was told by some people that it was because my baby would be huge. Then we had the whole baby too small thing happen. But no-one actually gave me any info. Because that might lead to me asking questions…and maybe declining things…and then the whole fabric of society would fall apart.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

So we finally got called in. Sat down and the OB introduced himself and said “so we’re going to book you in for an induction on Friday. That’s going to increase your chance of a caesarean. Let’s take your blood pressure.” I went from stressed to OMG my head’s going to explode stressed. Who wants to guess what my blood pressure was? Suffice to say it was high. VERY high. So he took it again. And again. And then did a stretch and sweep and told me that I needed to be induced RIGHT NOW. I could seriously feel my blood pressure rising with very word he said.

So we did the unthinkable. We asked questions. We found out that blood and urine testing is recommended before making a decision. The urine test came back fine. So we went for a blood test. Then went for lunch and a walk and a chance to relax. Then we went back. Midwife took my blood pressure and advised that it was perfect. No problems at all. OB advised that bloods were fine. And, oh lucky me, I could just be booked in for induction on Friday as per the plan.

So we sat and waited for the OB to make the booking. I was a bit shell shocked by what was happening. Terrified. Feeling so isolated and unprepared. All my friends had assured me that induction was “no big deal” so I had no empathetic support there. I wondered how on earth I was going to get through the next few days.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Then the OB came back – Sorry we’re all booked up on Friday. And Thursday. So we’re booking you in for tomorrow. Ummmm…WTF?! How about we do Monday? Oh no, we can’t do that. You’d be nearly 42 weeks and, again, the whole fabric of society might collapse. It HAS to be tomorrow night. I couldn’t breathe. How could things have gone so very wrong? How could it have come to this? How could my body have let me down so horribly?

Okay fine. Book it in. I didn’t think I had any fight left in me.

That night some OB that I’d never met called me up. He told me that my “levels” were high and that I needed to go be induced “right now”. Huh?! Now the doctors couldn’t even agree on whether my levels were high or fine? Turns out that I had a little fight left and I told him where to go. That I wasn’t going in and that I wasn’t terribly keen on going in tomorrow either. He suggested I speak to one of my midwives and finally left me alone.

The next day my partner took the day off and we went bushwalking. Turned my phone off. Enjoyed the sun. Went to get some clary sage oil. Relaxed. Enjoyed the final moments of peace that I would have.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

When we got home Dave went to do some grocery shopping and I, stupidly, turned my phone back on. Just in time to receive a call from another OB telling me that I had to go to the hospital “right now”. When I advised that my partner was out she told me to ring him to come home “right now” and go to hospital. I told her that I wasn’t consenting to induction that evening. So she lured me in. Just come to be assessed. Sounds reasonable enough, hey?

Fine. I’ll go in. When my partner gets home. To be assessed.

Further reading about my journey:

My birth journeys. Part 1: Hope and fear

My midwife betrayed me, giving me a beautiful gift

A letter to my midwife

I love my baby the most

To myself, always remember

The vessel

Just one day

Why I'm joining the birthing revolution
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