Today, I want to share a tale that involves induced labour, a stubborn baby, and a consultant armed with statistics that could make even the bravest mums-to-be break into a cold sweat.
So, I’m waltzing into the consultant’s office at 39 weeks, feeling like a superhero. My body has successfully hosted a tiny human for nine months, and I’m ready for the grand finale. I had grand plans for a natural birth, avoiding stitches and a potential prolapsed bladder – call me selfish, but I had dreams of a post-birth trampoline session!
But wait, the plot thickens. The male consultant, armed with a graph scarier than a horror movie, drops the bomb. Apparently, I’m at an age where statistics suggest late stillbirth is more common. Suddenly, I’m not just ‘high-risk,’ I’m high-risk with a capital H.
Now, I’m no mathematician, but those statistics hit hard. Between 39 and 40 weeks, the graph showed a risk increase for us ‘older’ mums. Panic mode activated. Why wasn’t this info shared earlier? Why now? I left the hospital dazed and confused, sobbing at the bus station like I’d just watched the world’s saddest movie.
After some courage-gathering and a call to the hospital, I sought a second opinion from a lovely consultant. She even hinted at complaining about my treatment, but with visions of encountering Dr. Doom during labour, I played it safe.
Unfortunately, that scary graph haunted my dreams. I spent my last week at the maternity unit, getting reassurances like I was ordering fast food. My due date arrives, and suddenly, induction is on the menu – because age, you know? However, someone told me that going over your due date was just a sign of good old tight muscles. At 40, I like to think of it that way.
As the contractions kicked in, I surrendered. Pitocin, epidural – I was living the dream, until the last 10 minutes turned into a medical drama. What happened? No clue. Suddenly, I’m a star in a birthing blockbuster with a rushed forceps delivery. And here I thought I’d make it to the credits without drama.
Post-birth, relief and joy mix with a hint of guilt. Did I let my baby down? Did being labelled ‘high-risk’ influence the whirlwind of interventions? Internal stitches became my new accessory, and my insides felt like they were on holiday without me.
In the aftermath, I pondered the ‘pot luck’ of birth, as my better half wisely put it. The Birth Trauma Association offered support, but my trauma wasn’t forceps or induction – it was the age-based assumptions that haunted my journey.
So, to all the mums feeling the post-birth blues, remember, it’s not about the stitches or the age; it’s about the wild ride that is childbirth.
Until next time, keep rocking the mum life, no matter what age the calendar says you are!