So frightened I'm becoming ill

(45 Posts)
dessirie Thu 31-Oct-13 17:30:54

I went to my 31 week midwife appointment - she is lovely but the appt wasn't! She told me straight away to prepare myself for induction, because a new policy has recently been brought out where anyone 40 or over has to be induced by 37 weeks. I turned 40 26 days ago! We have just done induction at ante-natal classes and it fills me with terror. I have a phobia of internals and tense right up (which of course makes it hurt more), and what they do to you sounds awful. Fingers up there swirling around to separate membranes, and when both the ante-natal tutor and midwife say it's "uncomfortable" you know that means it blimmin hurts! Medical people always use that word when something's going to really hurt. Then the instrument they insert to break your waters sounds horrific. Then finally the drip. Since I found out this afternoon I cannot stop crying. I now have a terrible headache and feel really sick. And I have been told and read in plenty of places that labour started artificially is much more painful that natural labour. I have just ordered a birthing ball and hypnobirthing cd - both of which will probably be a waste of money because if I am in terrible pain I will need an epidural (which I wanted to try and avoid because of assisted delivery and internal tears). So basically this news has completely ruined any plans I had for labour and all I can see now is fear, stress and pain ahead. I am sure baby won't arrive on his own before 37 weeks because they aren't supposed to be that early. I know it is to avoid the higher risk of having a still born child (being older) but I am only JUST 40 and fit and healthy with a very active baby boy on board. I hate the thought that I can't even object, she said they will give me an appt at the hospital at 36 weeks to book the induction - no discussion. I am beside myself with worry. And I am betting they won't give me any pain relief before they do an internal. To top it all I also found out I have a high protein level in my urine (she's worried it's my kidneys) and my iron level has dramatically dropped - which is why I have felt constantly exhausted and weak. I'm on iron supplements. So today has been a truly terrible day. Sorry if I sound like a real wimp, I was going to try to be brave and keep things as natural as possible - but how can I now! I feel like crying as I'm typing this.

mineofuselessinformation Thu 31-Oct-13 17:34:26

No-one can do something to you that you don't want them to. Remember that!

flipflump Thu 31-Oct-13 17:36:05

Please don't worry or get upset, it's not all bad. Look at it as a minor hurdle you must go through to meet your precious baby. I was induced and although it's not what I would have hoped for my labour was still a very positive experience. Don't worry about internals etc, they're not that uncomfortable, squeezing a baby out is a tad nippier. Focus on holding your baby in your arms and you'll get through anything!

schmee Thu 31-Oct-13 17:37:15

This doesn't sound right at all. They do planned c sections now at 39 plus weeks, trying to keep as near to possible to the due date. What justification is there for delivering you at 37 weeks?

heidihole Thu 31-Oct-13 17:38:05

You don't have to be induced. They may be presenting it as a "given" but it's NOT they can only encourage it/offer it.

The final choice is yours so just say no

Ruralninja Thu 31-Oct-13 17:41:18

They may wish to persuade you in the strongest terms, but ultimately it is very much your decision. You need to listen to what they are telling you though, as changes of policy are going to be evidence-based. In particular, if you have protein in your urine then age 40 or age 25, then you do have some decisions to make. Can you do some reading and research so you feel more in charge of the information before discussing it, and your valid concerns, with the healthcare professionals? Also, I suggest you write a list of what is of high importance to you, e.g. pain relief before internals and make lots of copies to put in your notes and to refer to if you find yourself panicking during discussions. Remember, your plan is to have a healthy baby, how you get there is always, always going to be subject to changes and alterations along the way - try not to reject all changes as a failure and you might be surprised what can be achieved if try to you work with the new information.

birdybear Thu 31-Oct-13 17:42:57

you can say no to anything! you don't have to have internals, just say no . say no to an induction if you don't want one. they cannot do anything to your body without your consent! if you don't want pain though, i would suggest an epidural! you are a bit backwards about that! no pain, then epidural. want natural labour, expect plenty of pain!

RedToothBrush Thu 31-Oct-13 17:43:37

If she is lovely, why is she telling you lies? Why is she deliberately misleading you? Why is she being completely unprofessional?

She told me straight away to prepare myself for induction, because a new policy has recently been brought out where anyone 40 or over has to be induced by 37 weeks.

Find out what your rights are and what the facts are. You do NOT have to do anything. They can have a policy where they recommend if you are over 40 you are induced, but you do NOT have to follow that advice.

You have a fundmental RIGHT to make an informed decision. If your midwife has not properly informed you about the pros and cons of induction AND LET YOU MAKE THE DECISION YOURSELF which may be to refuse an induction, then that is NOT consent as you have made the decision under her undue pressure to have to have an induction. Legally this is completely unacceptable. She has to inform you of your options and what the risks are, not tell you what to do.

Given what you have said, I actually think you should be making a complaint, rather than worrying yourself silly, because your midwife has a) not properly informed you meaning that you aren't in a position to legally consent b) you are in a right state and don't think you can discuss this with anyone because of the way she has approached this.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 31-Oct-13 17:44:06

Your midwife is talking UTTER SHIT and you should complain about her in the strongest terms and request a new MW.

Of course you don't have to have a forced induction at 37 weeks. It may be at this time that there is new information or developments that mean the Obs may suggest it but it is not mandatory.

It makes me so angry on your behalf. angry

gamerchick Thu 31-Oct-13 17:46:27

They can't force you to do anything you know... It really is your choice.

I had an induction but didn't need an epidural and quite enjoyed the labour.. stop reading if it's making you feel panicky.

I got loads of grief from the hospital about the anti d injections.. I stood my ground and got my way.

Nobody can force you into an induction early if you don't want it.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 31-Oct-13 17:47:10

Also ask them for the data that has led to this new policy - what are the risks (serious, and otherwise) among over 40 mums of going full term in actual & % terms? I know that we older mums have a slightly higher risk of placenta problems but that would suggest additional scans in the final weeks - not mandatory induction - which brings its own risks.

oscarwilde Thu 31-Oct-13 17:48:04

Induced at 37 weeks? Wtf? Are you in the UK?
Are you positive it wasn't that they'll make an appointment for induction (at 40+10) at your 37 wk apt. ?

LadyMedea Thu 31-Oct-13 17:52:29

Unless you have another risk factor I'm pretty sure your MW is just plain wrong.

I'm trying to find the right guidelines but I'm pretty sure it's standard to offer induction to over 40s at 40 weeks due to the increased of stillbirth for women of that age group. I can't imagine they would want to do it before 39 weeks as although babies are considered term at 37 weeks outcomes continue improving up to 39 weeks. And remember they only offer you induction. It's a choice for you to make.

Looks like there was a recent RCOG study indicating offering induction during the 39th week www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21277369.

My 41 year old friend had her planned c section at 39 weeks just recently.

Phineyj Thu 31-Oct-13 18:01:22

I found this booklet really useful to consider all the pros and cons. I decided I definitely didn't want one and stuck to my ground. I am an older mum too (40 2 months before DD arrived). I ended up with an EMCS as the final stage of labour failed to progress, but I was happy that my wishes were respected throughout.

www.aims.org.uk/pubs3.htm#induction

One thing to consider (when you feel calmer) is that different countries have different guidelines - and one reason is that different countries have different medical cultures and (frankly) face different cost pressures. If they do not have your informed consent, they cannot do anything you don't agree to - make sure your partner is well-informed too.

Also, try to take someone with you to appointments - it's hard to ask the right questions when you are being poked and prodded and hearing scary things.

I hope you feel better soon.

Just refuse it. No one can force medical intervention on you if you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal.

I had a normal delivery aged 40.

They aren't going to induce you at 37 weeks for the simple reason that it doesn't work especially well trying to evict babies before they are ready.

I think you need to speak to the Supervisor of Midwives at your hospital (the person responsible for professional standards among all the MWs in an area) and ask them to clarify.

CoconutRing Thu 31-Oct-13 18:09:13

RedToothBrush has it spot on. Excellent advice.

sounds like utter crap.

you can refuse an induction you know. difficult, yes. i put one off for a few days. unless they have a good medical reason (other than age) i would tell them no.

you can also refuse a sweep. i refused, although i was given one anyway hmm

i've had 2 inductions and 1 normal.

you do have more say in this than you think. they have to have your permission.

Whereabouts are you op? I was 40 about 6 weeks ago but haven't been told anything about a mandatory induction at 37 weeks.
You could ask for a scan to check baby, fluid levels, blood flow to & from placenta and for them to assess your risk from that.
Have a cry, have a sit down and an early night. Ask to speak to head of midwives tomorrow and see what is said then.
flowers

chocolatemartini Thu 31-Oct-13 18:13:05

If it were me in your situation I would absolutely point blank refuse induction until I was over 42 weeks. These blanket policies may have good research behind them but they aren't right for everyone. I refused IV antibiotics and induction and my instincts were right, I didn't need either. Induction is not without risks to both mother and baby, I should think in this case the balance of risk is statistically pretty closely balanced and if you were to get hold of the data you could easily argue the case for waiting. But better to just remember that you don't need to argue anything, it is your right to labour how and when your body decides it's right.

chocolatemartini Thu 31-Oct-13 18:22:56

Oh for what it's worth, although you may just put me down as a mad lentil weaver if I tell you this, I refused the flu jab and the whooping cough jab, the vit K for the baby, IV antibiotics, sweeps, induction, ALL internals, including at the 6 week check, no one stuck their hand up me at any point during pregnancy or labour or afterwards (my lovely mw 'offered' but I told her to fuck off), and none of the things that I was given dire warnings about happened. I had a beautiful calm home birth in a pool, with no drugs, very little pain and a big healthy vibrant baby. I get angry when women who trust medical protocols are frightened into interventions and feel they don't have a choice.

Addictedtomaltesers Thu 31-Oct-13 18:25:34

That just sounds ludicrous. No wonder you're feeling frightened sad

I echo what others have said regarding choice but I also wanted to offer some reassurance in case induction ends up being in the best interests of you and your baby.

1. I am 36 weeks with dc4 and every single time I've had low iron in the later trimesters so don't worry about that. Iron tablets will sort that out and depending on what doseage you're on, IME it takes about 2-3 weeks to feel a lot better and less tired.

2. I've also been induced twice and had my waters broken 2 times as well. As long as I'm normal compared to others I can 100% say that the water breaking part is painless.

If your labour can start before you need the drip then you should also be able to have a relatively natural labour so all is not lost.

Best wishes, what a shame for you. Feel sad on your behalf as well.

chocolatemartini Thu 31-Oct-13 18:26:30

AND, if anyone gives you an internal without your permission, that is assault. Wishing you all the best for the birth.

Snuppeline Thu 31-Oct-13 18:31:13

Agree with what the other posters have said - your body, your choice. But to add to what others have said, I wanted to avoid induction with my two labours. First time I was overdue and booked in for induction, I used acupuncture. I went into labour 48 hours after first of four treatments. This last labour (11 weeks ago) I started acupuncture in week 37 bordering 38 and gave birth in week 39, after three treatments. I'm not very 'woo' but it worked for me. First labour I had one very strong contraction during treatment and went into labour a few hours after that (early morning). So that's why I used acupuncture again with what I consider successful result second time too.

If presented with options you are unsure of ask the health professional about pros and cons, whether there are any alternatives and what would happen if you did nothing at all. Good luck!

FannyFifer Thu 31-Oct-13 18:39:43

Are you sure you picked her up correctly, sounds like you may have heard the word induction and panicked.
No one can force you to be induced.

Protein in your urine can be a symptom of Pre-eclampsia though, how was your blood pressure and what was advice regarding that?

For what it's worth. I was induced on both pregnancies due to pre-eclampsia, first at 36 weeks, second at 40. It was totally fine, waters were broken then I went into labour, no problems.

PatoBanton Thu 31-Oct-13 18:41:02

Wow, this is so utterly ridiculous.
I just had a baby at 39 and there was no mention at all of induction due to my age, it's ridiculous, there is NO WAY they can force this to happen, so please stop freaking out and try to get hold of someone else to ask.

Bloody bonkers. They were far more concerned about keeping the baby IN till 39 or 40 weeks - 37 was the absolute minimum gestation for induction, planned or otherwise. (obvs unless something seriously wrong)

Mumraathenoisylion Thu 31-Oct-13 18:46:30

That's crazy. I know why you're scared. I feel exactly the same about internals, I am phobic and there is no other word for it.

I have had two inductions, the first of which I threatened to kick the woman doing it and got so tensed up that it affected me for a long time....but....my second induction I asked for gas and air and just sucked on that when they were inducing me which made me calm and forget an awful lot of it. If you do have to be induced, which you can definitely refuse then has and air is the way to get through it.

Zippitydoodahday Thu 31-Oct-13 18:46:46

What a bitch. I think this is bullshit. Just say no!

Agree with all pp that you can't be forced to do anything. Speak to the head of midwives and do some more reading so you are better informed to make your case smile
BUT stick with the hypnobirthing! That is going to help no matter what kind of delivery you have (and remember that in the end, you can't necessarily determine what that will be)
I had DS at 31+5 (spontaneous labour) and although it ended up being a heavily monitored birth (because it was prem) and I ended up choosing an epidural, and eventually had a forceps delivery, hypnobirthing techniques made it all much easier to cope with. You know what, it wasn't all that bad! Ok I can't speak for the induction part... But that sounds like a bit of a red herring from your midwife anyway.
Hope you manage to get some clearer answers thanks

sleepyhead Thu 31-Oct-13 19:03:02

I requested induction at term (40 wks) with ds2 because I was aware of the increased risk of stillbirth and on balance felt I'd be happier with him delivered (I was 40). As I'd had a few episodes of borderline high bp and several migraines the consultant agreed, but he'd have been happier for me to go longer if I'd wanted.

My health board are currently reviewing the evidence for earlier induction for mothers aged 40+, but afaik there's nothing that solid. There's a trial going on looking at delivery at 38wks (I think) but I've never seen anything about 37wks. That seems very early.

As it happens, ds2 came all by himself at 39.5 - the day before I was due into hospital.

Good luck! You CAN say no. You can certainly ask for the rationale behind this policy and the risk to your baby of waiting to term, term + 10 or 14, or whatever date you're most comfortable with.

sleepyhead Thu 31-Oct-13 19:05:53

That should say happy for me to go longer, not happier.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 31-Oct-13 21:14:51

Im 40 & the hospital im booked into hasvs policy of inducing mothers of 40 & above on their due date.

I will see how I feel in January. I might have had enough & want the baby out. I don't know if I will have time to attend the maternity unit weekly from 37 weeks. Weeklymonitoring is offered to all mothers of 40 & above.

I've already delivered 5 babies so I know what to expect but I've never been induced & really don't want to be unless absolutely necessary.

Go & talk to another midwife. Don't let this spoil the last weeks of your pregnancy.

Take care...

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 01-Nov-13 12:32:09

ShelleyWelly - from memory that is the Whittington isn't it? Sorry to be stalkerish but I remember seeing you on a Whittington thread.

Useful info if so - I am seeing consultant next week.

Scarlettsstars Sun 03-Nov-13 18:45:59

As others have said, your midwife is talking total bullcrap. Policies vary widely and ultimately any decision is yours. Complain and ask to be assigned a midwife who will show you some respect. Furious on your behalf !

BalloonSlayer Sun 03-Nov-13 18:56:34

I wonder if you understood what she was saying properly.

I think what she may have said is that they induce you at 42 weeks, or maybe at 40 weeks, and this appointment is booked at 37 weeks.

I think you need to find out exactly what she did say. Is there anyone else you know locally having a baby you can ask? Can you phone and talk to another midwife?

Or could it be because of the protein in the urine?

I would be astounded if the hospital really had a policy of inducing at 37 weeks. A labour will take a lot longer if the mother's body is not at all ready . . . and it will thus cost the NHS a lot more.

Sorry to doubt you, but I remember when I was pg and especially postnatal I would come away thinking they'd said something awful but I realise now that I only took in half of what they were saying.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 03-Nov-13 21:28:48

Yes Tondelayo.
Im seeing the midwife this week as in 28 weeks so I will ask a few more questions.

Hope the Op is feeling calmer & better sbout the situation...

domesticslattern Sun 03-Nov-13 21:34:49

Are you completely sure that the MW didn't say that at 37 weeks they would book your induction? (Ie that it would go in the diary, not that it would actually take place). That is what they said to me. Something about ensuring staffing by booking it in, even if not needed.

domesticslattern Sun 03-Nov-13 21:35:32

And I was confused by it too!

Figgygal Sun 03-Nov-13 21:38:19

I know you are worried and scared but honestly induction isnt necessarily the worst thing in the world.

I was induced at 40+2 I actually enjoyed the fact that I was in hospital being monitored not at home wandering if I was in labour or not. The pessary worked first time, my waters went without me even noticing so didn't need them to burst them for me, I was up on my feet until 8cms despite the monitoring and ok I had a drip but once it's in there you just forget about it, u get on with it.

I have heard horror stories about induction and I guess if you hear my story it sounds like heavy intervention but i don't regret any of it. Hope this some reassurance.

TrumptonVandal Sun 03-Nov-13 22:09:37

I'd put money on the mw saying you'll have an apt at 37 weeks about induction, NOT that you'll be induced at 37 weeks. It's easy to get confused. OP hope you're ok.

dessirie Tue 05-Nov-13 16:22:10

Thank you so much for all your reassurances. I do feel better for knowing they can't just go ahead. In answer to some questions, yes, she definately said induction at 37 weeks. I looked up the exact reasoning and research that has lead to this new policy and the idea seems to have come from an American study. They have percentages of still born babies with older mothers and seem to think there is a link. But after reading numerous studies/reports the percentages and statistics differ and there is no exact answer. One report says there is not inconclusive evidence and more research needs to be done. I contacted AIMS and told them everything. They also said I need to give concious consent before they can go ahead, she also said I will probably have a fight on my hands though because there is pressure on hospital staff to follow procedure which in turn leads to pressurising of patients. She said I am within my rights to request a scan at 37 weeks to check the placenta function if they are worried, and then again at 38 and 39 weeks. But this too may be a little hard to acheive due to budget cuts etc. She attached a report she said I would find helpful which basically stated there is no exact high risk associated with maternal age and still births. Why do they come up with these theories and push them on others? My Mum said that years ago pregnant women were pushed to eat liver for iron, now it's a big no, no. And I heard that the vitamin K injection given to babies was scrapped at one time due to a study linking it with Leukemia, but the study was later discredited and the injection was given again. They scare the life out of people then decide they were wrong! Even though it isn't a definate, them pushing this new policy has caused me endless worry and I keep panicking about my placenta dying early now. I know it doesn't happen all of a sudden, it takes a while but who needs these worries and fears?! I have dreams about it. And am constantly wondering whether I should listen to them and risk distress to me and the baby, and have a forced labour in case my baby is still born, or ignore them and let things happen naturally? Which would make me a bad mother? Which is most dangerous? My head is in turmoil. I am also worried that if I refuse, my care will then suffer, because they don't like it when you disagree with them! It has ruined the last part of my pregnancy.

dessirie Tue 05-Nov-13 16:31:34

I meant to say "there is not CONCLUSIVE evidence and more research needs to be done!" In answer to another question, the protein level in my urine was high, but my blood pressure normal and no swelling anywhere. She absolutely said 37 weeks no doubt. She said my appt will be 36 weeks to book the procedure for the following week. The American study gave percentages/risks from 37 weeks. They say 1 in 894 babies are still born to older mothers at 37 weeks and the number gets slightly higher at 38/39 and 40 weeks. But that's just one report with one set of statistics. They all differ, but most mention from 37 weeks.

Khara Tue 05-Nov-13 16:49:27

I have a 41 year old friend who has been told because of her age she will be induced at 38 weeks. It does seem to be a policy thing although I've never heard of it before.
Of course you don't have to agree to it...

grimbletart Wed 06-Nov-13 17:05:09

A 42 year old friend has just had her baby. She was 40 weeks + 4. No suggestion of induction before 40 weeks.

Jobelly Sat 09-Nov-13 22:52:04

I was told as I was over 40 I would be given an appt at 36 weeks to be booked in for induction at 39 weeks. Went right through the rest of the pregnancy with the date of 6nov in my head only to be changed at my 36 week appt as they wanted to leave me a few days closer to 40 weeks to give me more of a chance to go naturally.
Now due to go in on 11th (Monday), I was actually gutted to be put back even though it was only a few days, but it looks like I will have to be induced as despite having 3 weeks of contractions and back ache and sleepless nights I haven't yet gone.

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