10.6 pound (4.8kg) birth story

(36 Posts)
Barbamamama Mon 24-Feb-14 20:44:33

My LO is 10 months and I have just registered to see someone at my hospital to go over my birth story as, although I have honestly never been happier and have a happy healthy baby who I adore, I do feel that the birth is hanging over me like a black cloud.
I hope this post isn't too self indulgent as it will be therapeutic for me to write it all down, but I would also like to hear people's responses and stories (esp from other people with big babies) to gauge how 'bad' my birth was.

So… as soon as my midwife began measuring my bump I was always 1cm over, this was always closely followed by "but this is not an accurate way of measuring the baby and you are very tall (5'11") so it's probably nothing to worry about…

I had a scan at around 7 months due to a low lying placenta (which had moved out of the way by then so all was looking good) However, the approximate weight of the baby at this stage was 6 pounds (2.7 kilo). Although my initial glucose test results were fine, it was recommended that I have the full GTT test at the hospital anyway as I was measuring over and they thought I may have gestational diabetes. These results were also fine and I was told, again, there is no accurate way of measuring the baby's size and I am big so there is probably nothing to worry about… but I was warned of the risk of shoulder distosia in big baby's and it was recommended that I come back 1 week before my due date to be measured up again.

SO, I went back to the hospital to be seen on the Monday (I was due on the Friday) and they measured my bump with a tape measure, I think I was 2cm over at this stage. They did not offer me another scan as they said scans can be 15% inaccurate either way when gauging the baby's weight so there was no point in having a scan. They recommended that I have a sweep and was induced on my due date. I had the sweep and made the appointment and went away feeling very confused, I had repeatedly been told that all the measurements they were doing were inaccurate and that I was big etc. so it was all probably fine and I did not want to go through the ordeal of being induced for nothing.. So I went back for a 2nd opinion on the Wednesday and saw a Dr who was higher up and asked for some straight answers and advice, he said that he strongly recommended that I was induced on my due date so the baby did not get any bigger and gave me another sweep in the hope that a natural labour would happen before my appointment on the Friday morning… it did not!

So Friday morning came and cut a loooong story as short as possible. I had 4 pessaries over the next 4 days, all of which did nothing at all, baby was NOT budging. By Sunday evening I was still in the 'waiting ward' where you are induced and had been told that if I was still only at 1cm they would pop my waters, I had been warned that this can be very painful so was feeling pretty fed up and terrified.
To make matters worse, the ward for new mothers was full so the entire ward other than me was suddenly filled with new mothers with their baby's and husbands and extended families of visitors, it was PACKED and I was hiding behind my curtains in tears at the thought of having my waters popped surrounded by a room full of celebrating strangers. My husband called a midwife over and she was really apologetic and reassuring and said right we are moving you upstairs NOW. This was great news, I was moved into my own room upstairs and was assured there would be a bay by morning (it was 6pm now).

The midwife that took over at this stage was the most positive and amazing woman I have ever met and I still think of her all the time. She completely talked me round and geared me up and I felt fantastic and determined. They broke my waters, contractions started and she told me her shift was finishing but as long as my contractions started on their own now I would not be put on the drip that forces unnatural contractions and would be free to move around etc etc.

This is where the black cloud comes in… my lovely midwife finished her shift and contractions were becoming stronger, I was thrilled I would not be put on the drip!! Then… my new midwife started her shift. This is where my memory becomes distorted and I honestly cannot tell if this woman was terrible or if it was my perception of her in the situation I was in. She walked in and said, right so we're putting gyou on the drip now, I protested and said I had been told that if contractions had begun on their own this would not be necessary, she looked me up and down and said I didn't "look like I was in enough pain" and proceeded to put me on the drip. I was so gutted, partly because she made a complete hash of it and blood spurted out of my hand, it was really painful and messy and bruised. I was now wired up to 2 machines and unable to pace around the room or change position. I was stuck on my back on the hospital bed and have never felt worse in my life. The drip made the contractions incredibly painful and I kept asking her to examine me but she kept saying i did not look like I was in enough pain and that I wasn't even nearly there yet. This made me furious. I didn't want to scream and shout my way through the pain, I didn't want to make noise I just wanted to breathe my way through it and try and separate myself from the situation mentally. I ended up feeling like I had to scream and yell the place down just to get them to look at me.

Then… then she went downstairs to sleep for an hour. I am not kidding. SHe got a lower member of staff to sit with me and cover her but she went off for a fucking sleep. The girl she left me with did not seem to have the authority to examine me or proceed with anything so we just had to wait for her to come back. By this stage I had had pethadin and was hoofing down the gas and air like there was no tomorrow. As soon as she came back in they whispered to each other in the corner and she said, ok I think I had better examine you sooner actually and I was 8cm. All I wanted to do was push and the pain was incredible tense like a burning sensation rushing through my whole body. She told me I would not be able to push for at least another 4 hours so I said I needed an epidural.

The woman that gave me my epidural did not normally give them to women in labour, she had been called in from another dept as all of the labour anethiests were busy. This woman was TERRIFIED she was shouting, shaking and kept saying she wasn't going to be able to do it and it was so so scary. The midwife actually apologised when she left the room as she had made it so dramatic. After this everything calmed down, my husband was able to sleep for four hours while we waited until I was able to push and I just chatted to the midwife.

6am finally came, she examined me and I was 9cm so I was finally able to start pushing. The epidural had been so strong that I had no idea when I was contracting or not so the midwife had to tell me when to push. I had been told I had 2 hours to push the baby out myself with out further intervention so I WENT for it! An hour and a half passed and despite being told I was pushing really hard and well, the baby did not seem to be moving down. At this point the room filled with people and I was given papers to sign, my husband was given scrubs and I was told that I would be taken to theatre for further examination, they would try and use either forceps or ventuse.

Once they had numbed me from the neck down and examined me I was told "there is no way on earth this baby will fit out the front door! it's absolutely huge!" and so they went for cesarian. I felt fine by this point, I was exhausted and off my head on drugs but felt relieved that I was finally going to meet my baby. All I thought was I'm falling asleep, how can I be falling asleep when I'm about to meet my child?
At this point the doctor leaned over the cloth and spoke directly to me for the first time. He said "the baby has moved to far down and we are having difficulty pulling him out (through c section) This is now becoming complicated".

All I could hear after that was a huge cerfuffal and tugging and pulling and "Oh my god he's like a WRESTLER!!" The lightheartedness of this comment made me really relieved as I felt it could not be serious if they were joking. As they pulled him out they were joking and making bets on his weight, which was 10 pound 6 oz (4.8 kg).

I felt so euphoric at this point but I just kept falling asleep and when they put the baby on me I had to ask my husband to hold it as I could not move my body and was slipping in and out of consciousness and was terrified I would drop it. We were all moved into the recovery room at this point and I just remember them shaking me and calling my name and the sound of an alarm going off followed by "it's fine, you're just so tired you're forgetting to breathe". I was so scared that I did not fall asleep until the following evening. BUT it was the happiest few days of my life just cuddling and gazing at my little boy.

Ok I could go on and talk about how I was sent home the following day but I will stop there as this is a ridiculously long post… if anyone is still reading I would really appreciate any thoughts on this. Thanks.

MrCabDriver Mon 24-Feb-14 20:53:45

My mum went through something very similar but in the 1980's! she was in labour for 27 hours, he was just too big for her, they tried forceps everything before finally doing a c section but like yourself it was too late and he was very far down.
I'm not sure of all the details but it was very dangerous I believe they both could have died. My mum said his head was totally squashed and bruised everywhere from when they were trying to pull him out.

Anyway I'm probably really not helping (or should tell my mum to join mums net and explain!) but wanted to acknowledge your post....!

I had to have growth scans every 2-3 weeks because they said my baby was too small and not growing at the right rate .... she was born naturally on her due date weighing over 8lb hmm

Barbamamama Mon 24-Feb-14 20:59:01

Hi, thanks for your response ( and for reading my story!) I guess they really cant tell the weight until the baby is born as there simply isnt the right technology. And they cant just give everyone c sections just in case...

I feel bad complaining about my experience as I have a healthy baby and I am healthy so I am very fortunate. And if it wasnt for modern medicine I would not be here today.

I want to try for another baby now but am concerned about what will happen next time round...

Pickofthepops Mon 24-Feb-14 21:05:39

Crickey, have read and think you are amazingly brave. Sounds like the whole ante-natal process failed you.

Had an average 8lb 4oz baby. After arriving at hosp and being told waters hadn't gone they spent two hours trying to send me home in a cab. When I couldn't move from floor near scan dept a sonographer told dh I was looking about to give birth. Was 9cm dilated on examination and ds born a couple of hours later.

Nothing compared to your horrendous time obviously. Just wanted to commiserate on the dismissive nature as you being told you weren't in enough pain struck a chord.

Wishing you well.

Pickofthepops Mon 24-Feb-14 21:07:06

Just seen about your worry having dc2. I feel that as second timers we're so much stronger in knowledge.

Pickofthepops Mon 24-Feb-14 21:08:59

Oops posted too soon. I for one would be most insistent when I know what my body is doing now. And re size.. They will just have to veer well on side of caution won't they. And if a c section is best for you both then they will have to have that ready and waiting as an option. Good luck brave lady smile

CelticPromise Mon 24-Feb-14 21:09:16

Bless you Barba that sounds tough, no wonder you want to get it out of your system. Does your hospital offera debrief service? Might be worth talking it through, and feedback def makes a difference in my local hospital.

Congratulations on your bonny boy smile

Teatimecakes Mon 24-Feb-14 21:09:34

Sounds like you had a traumatic time. Congratulations on your beautiful baby smile it's always going to be on your mind "what if I hadn't had the drip/induction etc" but I I know from experience that overthinking it all doesn't help. My own ds was a very traumatic c section. No matter how much you love your gorgeous new bundle, and how grateful you are for their safe arrival, for me, the sting of the birth trauma didn't fade completely. For months I wanted to punch every person that flippantly said "oh but you got your baby safely and that's the main thing that he's ok". Usually, these comments were from people who'd had easy births and had no idea what lying in that theatre is like. Well of course you are thrilled with the baby! I was thrilled and deeply in love with my beautiful boy. But that never stopped the tears and flash backs of the birth trauma. In time the memory of it will fade and the joy your little one brings you will begin to replace the feelings of sadness. It's not self indulgent to get it out and write it down. I did exacltly the same on mn and got some lovely supportive responses. It's part of the process of coming to terms with what you experienced. Good luck op - it will get easier in time xx

MrCabDriver Mon 24-Feb-14 21:09:50

And for the record I totally think you should go and speak to them.

It sounds far from perfect and you should have been taken seriously.

Barbamamama Mon 24-Feb-14 21:12:18

@pickofthepops
thanks for sharing :-) Yes I think that's the most frustrated I had been in my life. Like they know how much pain you are in!!
Surely everyone has different thresholds / ways of expressing pain?!

But I also understand that they cannot examine you much after your waters have broken due to risk of infection....

I am really hoping I will be in a better position next time round as I am told that babies get bigger each time too!!!

I presume they will offer me an arranged C section but really dont know... xx

heather1 Mon 24-Feb-14 21:17:39

Yes you should complain I think. After I had Ds 1 I needed stitches. Due to a busy night on the ward I had to wait 6hours to be stitched and was left naked in the room no food, no tea.
The stitches were worse than the labour.
I wrote a letter about my experience but in retrospect I wish I had spoken to someone about it instead.
Good Luck. You should like a very brave and strong person.

Barbamamama Mon 24-Feb-14 21:41:05

@heather1 that's awful, so sorry that happened to you.

I have registered to see a midwife at our local hospital to go through my notes and discuss everything that happened in detail. I've been putting it off but think it will give me a lot of closure.

@teatimecakes I know exactly what you mean, I've had to stop myself with the 'what ifs' so many times! Thanks for your support.

Uptheanty Mon 24-Feb-14 21:59:07

Hi op,

Congratulations on your baby thanks

My first baby weighed 6.3 at birth, but she was 4 weeks early.

My second weighed 11pounds shock

I knew something wasn't quite right, i was enormous throughout my pregnancy. In retrospect there was lots of whispers & discussions at my checks, but I put my faith in the proffessionals & figured that if they were concerned they'd let me know.

Towards the end of my pregnancy the dr's went to great lengths to ignore and sidestep my questions.

I asked my Dr straight out- tell me, Im measuring large, im very big, in your opinion could this be a large baby?

He replied,

" how long is a piece of string"? <<shrug>>hmm

Of course at the time i was trying to keep it together & probably a little scared and afraid so i wasn't as assertive as i usually would be, so i buried my head in the sand.

They let me go 2 weeks overdue despite constant protests.

It was quite a traumatic birth really, although i'm relieved to say my dd was born healthy & intact.

My midwifes weren't terribly kind tbh, quite uncaring really.

After the birth the Dr said,

"We knew it would be big, but we wanted to see how you done first".

With a big grin- like he knew what he was doing. But really he didn't, he took a gamble at mine & my babys expense & didn't give me information i'd asked for to make my own decision.

I left the hospital 5 hours later, i remember holding on to the wall for support, the midwife looked up & continued on with her paperwork--couldnt even be arsed to get me a wheelchair or assist us to the car.

It was a sad experience for me in that i didn't feel cared for or valued but it didn't ruin the joy i had at being a mum again.

I hope you too can enjoy your baby & move forward.

Barbamamama Mon 24-Feb-14 22:14:20

hi @uptheanty that all sounds too familiar! Everytime I spoke to a MW or Dr I felt like they were covering themselves and not giving me a straight answer. I think it's terrible they let you go 2 weeks over, that sounds so dangerous. Do you think it was because your 1st child was a more average weight?
I could hardly walk when I was sent home and one (quite lovely in retrospect) midwife asked me - oh hi! how did it go! I literally wanted to kill her! I was doubled over hobbling out! I just gave her daggers and said NOT WELL!
Did you see anyone at the hospital afterwards to discuss your experience?

Uptheanty Mon 24-Feb-14 22:37:38

They actually gave me steroids with my second baby as they were worried she might come early like my first pregnancy. Thank goodness I didn't take them.

I didn't have gestational diabetes & I was a size 12 before & after my pregnancies.

I didn't approach the hospital or seek support afterwards. This is more about me than anything else.
Quite frankly, I have no trust in them and I wanted to focus on moving forward.

It may have been a different matter if myself or my dd were left with health problems as a result.

StarFruitBat Mon 24-Feb-14 22:54:27

My Dd was 10.8lb at 9 days overdue. She's now 12 so it might be that things have changed but I didn't get measured at all, and had no idea she was going to be big.

I am 5'5 and was a size 10 before (not after though!!) so there was no indication from my size that she would be big. I just thought I'd had a lot of cake! At my check-up at 40 weeks the mw said "she's a nice size". I thought nice was about 6lb!

My waters broke at 7 days over, and then nothing happened so I went in on day 8 to be induced, but they didn't have any rooms free so I had to wait around for over 18 hrs. Then they took me up to induce on a drip. I had planned a home birth, or at least an in-and-out birth, so no epidural, but I had a doctor examine me and he basically said "this one's going to hurt". she was spine to spine as well which obviously didn't help.

So I had the epidural and she got stuck and they got her out with forceps but it wasn't too bad. My biggest gripe was that they then wanted to take her to SCBU because they were concerned about her blood sugars because of her size. They took her off the breast to test her blood. I just instinctively knew this wasn't the best thing for her and I've since looked into it and read that separating from the mother and shoving formula down them is far worse than letting them feed naturally.

I think given her size and her position I got off very lightly - far better than your experience and some of them upthread. I hope you get the information you need.

Martorana Mon 24-Feb-14 23:01:13

Can I just say that size doesn't necessarily mean a difficult birth- I would hate people expecting big babies to panic. My ds was 10lb6, and my labour was less than 3 hours start to finish- no pain relief and only a few stitches. I was lucky, I know- but big is not automatically a bad thing! The longest and most difficult labour I have heard about was my SIl's- and dn was just under 7lbs. So- please don't worry too much about size....

Barbamamama Mon 24-Feb-14 23:10:44

@matorana
God yes! I would hate to think that I have panicked anyone, I was just telling my story. Everyone's experiences are completely different, hence why these things cannot be predicted.

Barbamamama Mon 24-Feb-14 23:13:00

@starfruitbat
WOW! That's incredible, a friend of mines baby was spine to spine and she had a terrible time, sounds like you did amazingly well!

Martorana Mon 24-Feb-14 23:18:35

Sorry, barbarmarmarma- I should have said that your experience sounds awful- it does make me angry when I hear about people being treated the way you were. Please carry on- you need to work through what happened to you.

My first was 10lb 5, induced at 42 weeks with 4th degree tear, 5 hour labour, retained placenta, second was 9lb and came naturally at 41 weeks, 3 hour labour, 2nd degree tear. It did take me a while to physically recover from my first labour, but I still think of it as a positive experience. None of the midwives or medical staff were unhelpful or unkind so maybe that is the difference? I was advised to have c-section for no. 2, but said I wanted to try myself and was supported with that.

DamsonJam Mon 24-Feb-14 23:46:00

I think going over your birth story with someone is completely the right thing to do. I had a similarish experience (induction at 42 weeks, followed by a v long difficult labour and pushing stage, complications and a c-section to a 4.8 kg baby). I do understand the feeling of despite being very happy with a wonderful baby, having the black cloud of a traumatic birth hanging over you (and not feeling you can really discuss it for fear of seeming somehow ungrateful for what you have, or a wimp for feeling that you found something that loads of women manage so completely traumatic).

From my own experience, I feel I have got over it and put it behind me (I had my first child 6 and a half years ago and have had two more since). It took until after the birth of my second child before I talked over it with a midwife, and it really did help. It was very emotional but also helpful. I don't think it's self -indulgent to write it all down or want to talk about something so traumatic.

The passage of time will help too.

Also, bizarrely having two more children has helped me too - I'm not sure why or how exactly, but having "got through it" again, and also having the midwives in my subsequent pregnancies tell me that I had had a really difficult time with my first and taking my concerns seriously made me feel that perhaps I wasn't just a drama queen and I had had a bad time and was entitled to feel traumatised by it (if that makes any sense).

It is still very raw - your baby is only 10 months old. You will get past this, and opening up about it is completely the right thing to do.

Barbamamama Tue 25-Feb-14 07:45:05

@damsonjam thanks for your post, your situation sounds very similar to what happened to me. I really want more children too and am thinking an arranged c section would be sensible next time round... But then I don't want to never experience a natural birth if it is still possible.
It is frustrating feeling like you are not capable of doing something that is natural and that other people can do with no problems.
Did you have c sections with your other kids? Where they also large babies?
Thanks again.

MrsCDNinUK Tue 25-Feb-14 10:06:08

Sorry to read about your experience. Ultrasound can be really inaccurate for estimating baby size late in pregnancy. With DC1 I had GD, on insulin (I haven't had GD in subsequent pregnancies) and had an u/s at 38 weeks and 39 weeks. I wasn't measuring big at all and didn't have a hard time controlling my blood sugar. Both scans indicated that DC would be well in excess of 10lbs. My OB was shocked as I wasn't measuring big and hadn't gained much weight. With the risk of shoulder dystocia with GD a c/s was recommended. DS was born at 39+4 via c/s and weighed 8lbs 1oz. Over 2lbs lighter than expected. Ended up being an unnecessary c/s, which is fine. I had a very positive experience but was surprised they could be that far out in size estimates.

DamsonJam Tue 25-Feb-14 10:45:32

Personally I think there is too much emphasis on "childbirth is natural" and we should just get on with it. Yes, for the human race as a whole it is natural, but the simple fact is that without medical intervention, a proportion of women and babies would be severely damaged or die in childbirth. I apologise if I sound scaremongering there and I acknowledge that the majority of births do not need intervention, but for those that do, the need and the trauma is very real.

Re. your question about further babies, the best thing is probably to talk to midwife/ consultant and get as much information as you can about the chances of it happening again and make an informed decision on vbac/ c-section after that that you are happy with. It is your decision and as long as you make it based on the best information available to you (which includes how you feel about it not just clinical risk factors) then that's the important thing.

Personally, for a variety of reasons, I opted for a vbac, and managed it (with ventouse) both times - subsequent babies were smaller - 9lb 1oz and 9lb 13oz so don't believe the myth that your first is always your smallest. Worth noting that I was much more careful about what I ate in my subsequent pregnancies - I was tested for gestational diabetes and never had it but was careful to keep sugar/ refined carb consumption at a sensible level anyway.

Neither vbac birth was without it's complications though. Ironically it was because my second birth was classified as "traumatic" by the hospital (it involved a massive PPH among other things) that the hospital contacted me to offer me a birth reflections service. (I had found the first birth much worse and asked to discuss both.) But despite both subsequent births being traumatic in their own way, I felt I understood what had happened and also felt more prepared for them, and it was almost as though each experience made me stronger. (Though for my third child when I was brought into theatre for ventuose and prepped for a c-section in case the ventuose didn't work, I did break down in tears at the thought that I could have had a planned c-section a day earlier, and briefly wish that was what I'd done).

Re. the point about experiencing "natural childbirth" - for me personally this is over-rated - it's pretty horrendous in my personal experience. My reasons had more do do with recovery while dealing with toddler and pre-school child (I'd had some infection complications after my c-section and a slow recovery) , and my personal clinical risk factors.

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