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Ways to make birth better when high risk and strapped to monitors

(10 Posts)
Doraemon Sun 30-Sep-12 09:43:36

I am expecting DC3 - DS1 and DS2 were both very premature, chances are this one will be early too, which means that despite hankering after homebirths this will be my third labour spent strapped to monitors the whole way through and therefore limited mobility (did manage to lie on side to push DS2 out but was made to be on my back with legs in air for DS1, whole experience awful). Also likely to have lots of staff about (midwives, consultant/registrar, neonatal etc) and at any sign of difficulty they will be sticking drips in my hand and prepping for possible C Section.
I think mentally I'm better prepared for it all this times but does anyone have any suggestions for how to make it all slightly less unpleasant? (how to balance on a bedpan to pee while still attached to monitors would be a good start). There seems to be loads of suggestions around for how to have lovely home waterbirth type labour with whale music and candles but nor much about what to do when strapped to a monitor in a room full of medical equipment and an incubator lurking in the corner..... Visualising my cervix opening up like a flower and all that hypnobirthy stuff is not much help when the rest of my brain is thinking 'b****y cervix why couldn't you stay shut til 37 weeks?????'

HiHowAreYou Sun 30-Sep-12 10:16:37

I'm in a very similar position. Will read with interest because I'm thinking of asking for an elective CS to be honest.

Bryzoan Sun 30-Sep-12 14:41:05

Dd was born at 34 weeks and I was on a monitor and a drip too. I did manage to get off the bed and use active positions though (with some resistance from midwives as the trace was not as good). It is frustrating having it medicalised - perhaps one way around it is to negotiate being active and then returning to the bed for better monitoring periodically? Also is there any reason the whole team needs to be in the room the whole time? Can't they just be on hand in the dept? I also still used hypnobirthing techniques and found them useful. I'm 33+6 today - and like you hoping to hold out longer this time... Good luck.

Oh - also, last time my cord was cut the second dd was out. I have spoken to her paediatrician about this as I would much prefer delayed clamping this time.. He agrees this would be preferrable and beneficial as long as she is not very early and is breathing, and to put this in my plan and send anyone who tries to cut it to talk to him first! Just mentioning in case this is useful to you.

MyLastDuchess Sun 30-Sep-12 15:03:56

Is having a doula an option for you? I am only medium risk but after a nasty experience with no. 1 I am using a doula this time. She is very bossy about things like who should be allowed to talk to me and when, which is just what I need (she is only doing what I want, obv!)

Bryzoan Sun 30-Sep-12 15:52:15

That sounds like a great idea. My husband effectively took that role with dd1 - we had prepared well together and he knew what I wanted - so he was able to fight my corner but also listen to and understand the medical concerns. This effectively meant I could trust him to guide me and zone out away from the others. For example, the birth was very quick and I wanted to slow down at the end rather than push - but dd was distressed and so dh told me to push, which I did. I wasn't up to that sort of decision making so was really pleased he was able to do it for me.

Doraemon Sun 30-Sep-12 19:58:00

Thanks for the replies.
Will definitely be arguing for a bit of leniency with the monitors this time round.
I think in my birth plan 2nd time (and possibly 1st but it was a long time ago) I wanted the cord to be left but it wasn't and by that point I think I was so thrilled to actually get skin to skin with a baby who wasn't about to be whisked off to SCBU that I didn't care. I hadn't thought of discussing it with the consultant though, will add it to the list for my next appointment! Also about limiting the number of people about - we were actually on our own a lot of the time in my first labour (very overstretched maternity unit) but then as soon as I needed to push there seemed to be a whole crowd of people in there.

I had considered doulas (partly because DH has to go away over night when I'm about 32 weeks and I was wondering who on earth would come with me if I went into labour) but I don't think I'd do it partly because of the expense and partly because I have no idea when the baby is likely to come - not sure anyone would agree to be on standby from 28 to potentially 42 weeks!
I think if we get past 34 weeks I will feel ready to be a bit more bolshy....

RandomMess Sun 30-Sep-12 20:01:43

With my 4th and final labour I refused continous monitoring - I was overdue and induced with all of them. I was monitored for the first 45 mins after the pessary and then I got off the bed and sat on a birthing ball - blimey what a huge difference it made managed fine with just gas and air and my tens machine having previously demanded epidurals!

ellesabe Sun 30-Sep-12 20:06:05

I have to be monitored this time due to previous emcs but have been told that the hospital have wireless monitors which can even be used in the pool. It may be worth asking about this.

Doraemon Sun 30-Sep-12 20:14:22

Ooooh wireless monitors...... another thing on the list, thank you!

greensnail Sun 30-Sep-12 20:33:02

I had a wireless monitor for my second birth and it was fab. Even first time around with a normal monitor I was able to stay fairly active either next to the bed or kneeling on the bed. I think it helped that I was confident with repositioning drip stands etc to get into the position I wanted so was able to move things around to suit me.

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