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Did anyone have no internals?

(15 Posts)
weebairn Mon 17-Mar-14 14:54:48

My first birth - generally good, very lucky in that it was all completely straightforward and at home, but longish at 30 hours. The bit where I lost my confidence was when they did some internals and I wasn't as far along as they thought I was going to be. I was so utterly demoralised and convinced I wasn't progressing. Also shattered. I started panicking. The last few hours of my labour were hell emotionally. Even as I was pushing her out (the pushing stage was actually quite quick, 30 mins) I was sobbing that it was failing and I had to go to hospital.

It did all progress naturally though, if slowly (about 0.5cm every 2 hours).

Also the internals were fucking painful! Which I wasn't expecting. As bad as the contractions.

I wonder if my clock watching was really counterproductive and now I'm pregnant with my 2nd I'm considering refusing internals, getting all clocks out the room, and letting my body do it at whatever (slow) pace it's determined to. Is this sensible? Is there a reason to have them?

rubyslippers Mon 17-Mar-14 14:56:59

I had one internal when I arrived The hospital and then I was taken to the pool and had no more after that

I told them when I needed to push and the staff left me to labour

outtheothersidefinally Mon 17-Mar-14 14:57:50

With my community midwife team they tend not to do internals. I had one when I went in had one when I said I felt like pushing (I was 10cm). HTH

weebairn Mon 17-Mar-14 15:01:02

I think I had four. The first one when they turned up at my house (I was 6cm) and the other three, each of which was when they thought I was fully dilated (actually 8cm, 9cm, then 10cm). For some reason I had got it into my head that the first bit of labour was the slow bit and it would all speed up as I got further in, but this wasn't my experience and it really threw me.

Ridiculously, to this day I feel really inferior around women who had fast labours. (I know this doesn't make any sense.)

KirstyJC Mon 17-Mar-14 15:01:20

I only had 1 with DS2 as there wasn't time for anything more - I had an unexpected homebirth and they wanted to check all was well as I was pushing.

I didn't have any with DS3 as I was pushing as I was wheeled into the labour room and she only just managed to get my trousers off in time!

It's no big deal - just let your body get on with it. If the midwife has a concern s/he will discuss it at the time, and if you absolutely need an internal then they can go ahead with your consent.

I would say no internals and just see what happens. Good luck!

PretzelPrincess Mon 17-Mar-14 16:16:57

I totally agree with you. I had one at the beginning and was 1cm dilated. 6 hours later I had another and was only 2cm dilated and felt deflated.
An hour later I was fully dilated and ready to push but the midwife wouldn't listen to me. She kept telling me I had ages to go and tutted at me. It totally demoralised me and I went for stronger pain relief as I felt I couldn't go on much longer in the way I had been. confused

PenguinsEatSpinach Mon 17-Mar-14 16:30:23

I find internals very painful and my second birth plan said I would seriously limit internals. As it turned out, I had none because DD2 was born BBA (but not because it was super quick, just because it was very erratic).

This time round I will permit them if a clinical reason is explained, not just 'it has been X hours since'. I wouldn't let them because they 'thought I was fully dilated', only if I had an urge to push and they were worried I wasn't. I have also said I will only agree if gas and air is made available and I may say I don't want to know the result.

QuietNinjaTardis Mon 17-Mar-14 16:34:27

I only had one and I wasn't in established labour. I was sent back home when I went back in actual labour I had none at all. To be fair I was only there 45 min and dd was born.

QuietNinjaTardis Mon 17-Mar-14 16:37:04

They also said that they didn't do internals unless the mother requested one or they felt something might've going wrong. They didn't do them for reasons others have said ie you get demoralised if not as far along as you think etc.

WeeClype Mon 17-Mar-14 16:42:05

With my 1st 2, I never got any as my waters had broken so was started off but I think I didn't get one incase of infection.

3rd DC I got to hospital and I was pushing so no checks

4th DC one internal at the start of my labour, I was 6cm.......I made sure I got to the labour ward when I 1st started having pains as I nearly had DC 3 in the lift.

mrsbug Mon 17-Mar-14 16:48:48

Really interested in this as I was the same, I was at two cm for hours then suddenly jumped to fully dilated. In retrospect I'm not sure what the point of them was as they didn't tell me anything about how far into my labour I was and I found them really painful, so I'd probably refuse them next time, unless I am given a good reason why they are medically necessary

leeloo1 Mon 17-Mar-14 19:12:24

I refused them (twice) and would recommend doing so - unless there's a valid medical reason to do them. Skilled midwifes should be able to tell by looking at you how far along you are.

1st time (at Edgware Birth Centre) they were very respectful of my birth plan and never even asked to do one. I was in the Birth Pool (blessed relief) from 8.30am til 5.37pm when DS came (9lb 4) with no tearing or anything. I did use gas and air from about halfway through.

2nd time (at Whittington Hospital's Birth Centre) -f'ing awful! I'd had Braxton Hicks for 2 weeks, but when baby was actually coming by 'heck he was coming! Hugely strong contractions (from nothing 5 mins earlier to) every 2-3 mins from 4.45pm til when we got to hospital at 5.55pm.

Midwife was wholly unsympathetic cow who tried to insist I couldn't use the birth pool unless she let her examine me! Despite the fact I'd checked I didn't have to have them there already with my midwife. hmm It really upset me (and if I'd been a 1st time mum I'd have given in as she tried to say it was needed for baby's safety). Also she insisted on examining me (with doppler) on the side of the bed away from the gas and air and kept tutting when I needed to roll over to breathe it while I was contracting.

Anyway, after a bit of arguing (& DH stuck up for me as he knew I didn't want any) & some growling from me blush she let me in the birth pool. And then DS2 came (8lbs 11) an hour later - luckily shifts had changed and evil-eyed midwife had been swapped for another nicer one.

Conversely I'd been in hospital for a sweep a week earlier when I was 4cm, and had to go back as I was bleeding like a stuck pig. I was on the monitor with contractions every 2 mins and they were preparing me for needing to go to the Birth Centre. They persuaded me to have an internal to check where the blood was coming from, (which I didn't think I could refuse as DS' safety an issue) and said I was still 4cm and shortly after finding out - and being demoralised by the news - all the contractions stopped.

GingerMaman Mon 17-Mar-14 19:24:39

I think I only had one or two towards the end (as instructed in birth plan) but I wish I had more. That way I would have known exactly where I was and when to start pushing. I am convinced I started pushing too early and wasted all my energy.

emsyj Tue 18-Mar-14 21:40:13

I had a home birth with DD2 and didn't have any. My midwife didn't attempt or offer any until the very end, because I had been at the 'pushing' (expulsion sensation) stage for 45 mins (VBAC situation so timing more of an issue than otherwise would be) and she asked if she could check if there was a 'lip' that she could push back. I bellowed said no, so she suggested I change position to be more upright. This worked a treat and DD2 was out within 10 minutes.

When I was pregnant with DD1 I did a hypnobirthing course taught by a very experienced, respected and generally wonderful midwife. I remember her telling us that a competent midwife can get all the information that you would normally get from an internal exam by other means - so if you don't want an internal, don't have one. She herself would do them on request, but otherwise was not really of the view that they should be done as a matter of course.

Decisionsagain Tue 18-Mar-14 22:56:10

Hmm. I didn't have any. Good job because his foot came flying out!!! If they had checked me I would have been carted off to theatre : ))

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