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Has anyone managed to convince doctors that due date is wrong, to stave off induction?

(29 Posts)
confusedgirlfromtheShire Wed 03-Sep-14 10:22:59

On my last birth four years ago, my due date given by the scans tallied with the date I conceived perfectly, but my cervix was rubbish and totally not ready even at 40+ 12 when they induced me. Long cascade of intervention followed and for lots of physical and mental health reasons I don't want to go there again.

This time, I am allegedly due tomorrow as per dates from 13 and 20 week scans. Counting back the weeks this means they think I conceived on about day 10 of my cycle, several days before I actually had sex and about five days before I ovulated. I recorded all of this at the time thinking it might be useful! So I think my due date is more like 7th-9th Sept. Got checked yesterday and my cervix is not doing anything. At all. Doubt it will be ready by 40+12 either (40+ 7 by my dates) which is when they have said they will induce me (different hospital this time). I am assuming nothing I do will help to bring on labour, although I have started pumping colostrum on midwife's advice.....

I don't want to put the baby at risk of course - can I ask them to do a scan of the baby and placenta to check all is ok, and then try to convince them to hold off for a few extra days by setting out the facts - has this ever worked for anyone? I don't want to be bloodyminded without being sure baby is still ok in there. Problem is, I really wanted to go into the MLU and after 42 weeks by scan date they will not allow it, so I will be up in the CLU. If they agreed to change my due date I might be ok. If not, my plan is to allow just one pessary and if that does nothing to refuse all further intervention and get a C-section on physical and mental health grounds. Do you think they would agree to this?

Would be great to hear any views/experiences.

ShowMeShowMeTheWine Wed 03-Sep-14 12:12:09

As far as I know, you don't have to be induced if you don't want to. You can refuse medical treatment. I'm not sure they would let you in the mlu if you went way over dates then went into labour but you don't have to have intervention.

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Wed 03-Sep-14 16:10:16

I had this. They will not change your dates I am afraid.

I was planning a home birth and my mw was supportive about one officially 'against advice' as I had been complaining since the scan. But the mlu wouldn't have had me. She was supportive of my decision to delay induction too.

Thankfully he came at +13 (they like to induce at 14 round here).

confusedgirlfromtheShire Thu 04-Sep-14 07:44:40

Gaaah, it's so hard to know how to play it. Thanks for your replies. Hopefully some miracle will happen and all of this will be academic!

NormHonal Thu 04-Sep-14 07:47:54

No, but luckily I only went a week overdue and was dilating when I went for my appointment with the midwife.

The hospital then quietly changed the date on the birth-related paperwork. It turned out that the date I had told them was spot-on. hmm

SASASI Thu 04-Sep-14 09:28:16

You can refuse induction & either let nature take it's course or have a c-section - my consultant agreed to this although in end I had an elective section for anxiety reasons. Induction terrifies me & I was adamant I wouldn't go through it.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 04-Sep-14 09:37:06

Sorry to sound very thick about this (my own DCs were all born before 40 weeks) but, why do they insist on inducing an overdue baby?

Is there a risk to the baby by letting the pregnancy continue? Surely labour will start sooner or later for everyone?

Going back to the OP, I knew that the hospital's dates for DS1 were wrong by around 7-10 days. I mentioned it & was told that their dating scan was more accurate than my memory! It didn't really matter in the end as he needed to be induced at 37 weeks, but they certainly were sticking to their own due date.

Boysclothes Thu 04-Sep-14 09:37:35

Hiya, couple of things here...

1) it's important to remember that dating scans are forward looking, not retrospective. So at your first scan the due date is calculated on how big that baby is at the time and therefore it will be x number more weeks in utero. It's not looking back and saying she must have conceived at this time therefore baby will be born in x weeks time. So they won't change your dates on this basis. To do so is bad practice and leaves them open to negligence charges should anything go wrong.

So you won't get anywhere with this.

2) if your plan is to have a short attempt at induction and then opt for CS, I urge you to get this cleared with a consultant in advance. This would be an elective section and they are often hard to cleared on the day, so to speak. To avoid a flock of flustered docs round your bedside debating what to do, just get an appt with the consultant now and get this plan written in your notes.

3) Your other option is to decline an induction now and await events. You won't be able to go to the MLU but you can decline monitoring etc in labour and still have an active labour on the CLU, or a home birth should you be so inclined. If this is your plan, see a supervisor of midwives ASAP to write a birth plan or again there will be hordes of confused people hassling you in labour.

Good luck!

confusedgirlfromtheShire Thu 04-Sep-14 10:09:03

Thanks so much for this advice, especially Boysclothes. I did not realise that about the scan dates.

Plan is to see what happens at second appointment with midwife on Tuesday (40+ 5). If cervix is doing well and she can sweep, hopefully that gives things a head start. If not, I will ring the hospital that day (have the consultant midwife's private number) and we will thrash out a plan - no, definitely not going to wait until induction day!

confusedgirlfromtheShire Thu 04-Sep-14 10:14:49

Santas - I believe the reason they induce is to do with the effectiveness of the placenta after 41-42 weeks. As it starts to calcify and degrade they like to get the baby out before it stops transferring nutrients effectively (disclaimer - am not a medical person!) However, my last placenta was fabulous still at 42 weeks when they delivered - so proud - and some countries don't even think about induction until 43 weeks. But I don't think both those arguments would stack up in the face of NHS policy....I know I can refuse induction, but I am scared to just "leave it".... what if the worst happened??

Hobby2014 Thu 04-Sep-14 10:21:10

No help re the dates, etc, however I went in for induction and had the pessary for 30 hours and nothing happened, so I refused everything else and had a c-section. It wasn't difficult to get my way in the end, they did go through risks and say it's a major surgery etc and I just kept saying no I still want it etc and that was that. They tried to fit me in that day but couldn't so fitted me in the next day. I didn't really give a reason as to why either, just that the pessary wasn't working and the internals really, really hurt. That was enough for them, within about half an hour I was signing the paperwork.
It wasn't my intention, I totally assumed that the induction would kick off ASAP but didn't, and the induction was awful and couldn't take anymore.

confusedgirlfromtheShire Thu 04-Sep-14 12:16:18

Hobby2014 thank you. I think that is what I will do and I'm glad you got what you wanted in the circumstances. Your story is very similar to what happened to me with my DS - took 31 hours to get my unripe cervix to 4cm and the pain, because my body really wasn't at all ready, was excruciating. I then went another 11 hours before he was delivered with every intervention under the sun. They then kept me in for three days on a busy post natal ward to monitor the baby (who was fine!) because the process had taken so long. Denying someone with chronic fatigue syndrome any physical rest or sleep for over 60 hours is not to be recommended....PTSD and PND resulted and I'm damned if I'm gonna let that happen again.

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Thu 04-Sep-14 13:30:00

It's also worth saying that medical professionals tend to respond better to the idea that you are 'delaying' induction (if that is what you decide to do) and not refusing it. You can delay and delay and delay if that is what you decide, but it's less confrontational and therefore probably more conducive to a discussion than 'refusing'.

I told my MW that I wasn't being induced at +14 as I knew I could not possibly be more than +9 at that point. Therefore the placenta rationale for inducing at +14 did not apply. I did explain that sometime within those 5 days I would agree though.

ZebraZeebra Thu 04-Sep-14 15:14:43

OP like you I have a massive fear of induction. I had a very similar experience - bullied into an induction at 42 weeks and it took DAYS for my baby to come out. He just was not ready and showed no signs of being overdue or that the placenta had deteriorated.

I'm only 14 weeks but have hired a doula and mentioned my concerns about being induced as I think I "overcook" my babies. They gave me the same speech again, about placenta deterioration but I have read many times on here about there being no evidence to say it does and it's the same at 42 weeks as 38.

Anyway. I emailed me doula with my concerns and she replied saying there is new research to show the placenta produces new growth cells, and doesn't deteriorate. She's going to talk me through it when we meet next but I thought it was worth mentioning. I would try and get as much info on going over due and the health of the placenta as possible, from a number of balanced sources.

The NHS comes entirely from a place of managing your birth you get you off their books and it not go wrong. That doesn't always necessarily mean what's right for you in terms of a positive birth experience.

northernmummeh Thu 04-Sep-14 15:19:39

Just refuse point blank to be induced of that's what you want. I got to +17 where I went into labour naturally and although I think the dates they gave me were fairly accurate my only arguments were 'I don't want unnecessary intervention, you can't make me, and while it's still happy in there so be it'. Yes my card was marked and I had every guilt trip given to me but they can't force you to do anything you don't want to easily

notquiteruralbliss Thu 04-Sep-14 20:37:17

I made it to 44 and half weeks with my first. And had a pretty low key birth with independent midwives and a consultant obstetrician as backup. There wasn't really any discussion of induction as the placenta was fine and I wasn't in a rush.

confusedgirlfromtheShire Fri 05-Sep-14 07:51:08

How were they able to tell your baby's placenta was ok ruralbliss? If I knew for sure it was ok then that would help with decision making.

Jims Fri 05-Sep-14 08:16:21

I refused induction at +14 by scan dates with ds1 as i have v long cycles. I agreed to be induced (by having my waters broken) 6 days later and he turned up naturally in less than 5 hours. I had another scan to check water levels and the placenta plus monitoring every day. I could change my mind at any point so it's not a once only opportunity to say yes or no.

My lovely midwife knew i had long cycles and wanted a homebirth for ds2 so used a 35 day cycle calculator which put my EDD down as a week later than normal. She didn't change it even when the scan fitted the earlier dates. Ds2 turned up +1 by my dates.

squizita Fri 05-Sep-14 14:49:12

Zebra I thought doulas do not have medical training and aren't meant to give medical advice?
It may be that some lucky placenta do re grow (for many of us, this simply does not happen and monitoring is needed from 37 weeks ... my concern would be knowing which type of person you are). Nevertheless I would also be concerned about a doula (as opposed to an independent midwife) suddenly coming up with medical information which happens to match precisely what you want to hear.

But then again I am equally questioning of all care givers and don't get people who automatically trust either the mainstream hcp or independent sources more. I trust both, but with second opinions and cautious checking.

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Fri 05-Sep-14 16:01:21

They aren't meant to give medical advice Squizita. However, to play devil's advocate, it may have been presented as "I saw this that you might want to ask the consultant her views on." Which is no more than a friend or MN might do.

ZebraZeebra Fri 05-Sep-14 17:47:11

Yes exactly as penguin describes it. She is very proactive in researching pretty much everything. And she presented it as - have a read, see what you think, discuss it with your HCPs in order to help me find as much a balanced and informed ability to make a decision as possible.

DIYandEatCake Fri 05-Sep-14 22:47:01

You never know. I was convinced id be facing the same dilemma (my dates were about 5 days out from the scan dates, and I'd had no twinges or dropping or any signs to speak of). But ds was actually born on the date the hospital gave me. Fingers crossed all works out well for you.

confusedgirlfromtheShire Sat 06-Sep-14 11:15:18

Thanks all. I'll let you know what happens as may be useful to others....

littlejohnnydory Sat 06-Sep-14 13:07:46

I declined induction with my second baby who was born at home at 40 + 16. I was monitired by the antenatal day unit, daily in the end (every 2 days at first) and scanned to check the function of the placenta. You can request "expectant monitoring" in place of induction.

ZebraZeebra Sat 06-Sep-14 16:10:11

yes, best of luck - hopefully it doesn't even come to that.

I had monitoring from 41+3 because I gave the merest hint of not necessarily having an induction. They insisted I needed emergency monitoring the next day - at 41+4? - said my waters had gone from a scan at 8am when I was very dehydrated, refused to give me a second opinion/do a second scan, even though an internal examination showed no signs of my waters having gone i.e. no residual back water, insisted I MUST agree to an induction that very morning. And so started a very traumatic and completely unnecessary induction with an escalating path of intervention - and 30 hours in, my waters broke.

The experience has left me very mistrustful of HCPs and this time around, if I am overdue, I will be insisting on second - even third opinions - on any medical reasons for starting an induction.

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