Advanced search

Pregnant? See how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

Due date 2 days away...irrational fear of a stretch and sweep?

(16 Posts)
Abcynthia Fri 26-Oct-12 14:56:32

Hi guys,
I guess I really want to see others opinions and talk about my previous experience as it makes me feel sick every time I think about it.

I am due in 2 days with my 2nd child. I am already freaking out that I am going to go over and be induced. My first child was induced and it was a horrible experience for me...I would hate to go through it again.

My main issue with it was the examinations/insertion of the pessary and then subsequent tablets. On the first examination they discovered my cervix was very closed and sitting far back so as well as inserting the pessary they attempted to manually pull my cervix forward. This really caused me a lot of pain. They attempted this the second time as well and by the time they came to do it a third time it was still in a similar position so they really were very forceful on me because it was going to be the final time. In fact it was so forceful I nearly shot off the bed with a scream even though my partner and mother were holding me. I was in floods of tears, yet the midwife just stood up took her gloves off, said "That's done now" and left the room. Her attitude made me feel like I was just being silly.

My whole giving birth was a bit all over the place with my little girl stopping breathing, wrapping the cord round her neck, having to have an episosomy and forceps birth and I went from nothing to having a baby in 45 minutes (talk about shock!). Anyway all of that I can is just when I go back to thinking of the induction and the rough way I was dealt with that I really feel sick inside.

The last midwife appointment I had was on Wednesday the 24th and she has written in my next appointment for November the 4th and to have a stretch and sweep that day. Since she has mentioned it I have cried numerous times about it and I keep feeling ill every time I think the baby won't have come by then. It is all down to my memories of the examination experiences during my induction.

I am keeping my fingers crossed as with my first baby I never had any signs whereas this time I have had BH for the last 4 weeks and pretty sure I had my show a couple of days ago. I just wish I didn't get so wound up about this.

Thank you for reading smile

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 14:58:37

She's no business writing down procedures that you will have that you haven't consented to.

I didn't consent.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 14:59:17

'I am already freaking out that I am going to go over and be induced.'

Why would you be induced if you go over?

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 15:04:04

Hi OP.

Poor you. That sounds horrible what happened to you.

The reasons I would not consent to a sweep are mainly to do with wanting the baby to be in the absolute optimal position possible for when labour kicks off, to ensure that things like the cord are out of the way, that the baby comes smoothly without getting stuck or delayed and to ensure that the waters stay in tact for as long as possible as it is much easier for the baby to improve position than if dry.

Abcynthia Fri 26-Oct-12 15:11:37

"Why would you be induced if you go over?"

Starlight - this is one of my biggest problems in life...not just surrounding giving birth...I don't speak up and get too scared of fighting.

I have been thinking about when I go in for the appointment refusing the stretch and sweep, but even the stress of having to do that has got me all up tight, which I am sure isn't the optimal feelings to be having for going into labour in the near future.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 15:29:07


The thing is, you DON'T have to fight. THEY have to fight. You just keep your legs crossed.

I had this same issue actually, and I must admit it took the mw back a bit, but once I was quite clear about things she became incredibly supportive.

Because labour can be stalled by being stressed, the absolutely worst thing anyone can do, is start talking to you about induction when that kind of talk keeps you up at night with stress. Your baby won't think it is safe to come out yet so will hang on in there even longer until your hormones tell the baby you are relaxed and the whatever the danger was that was stressing you has passed.

So perhaps deal with it now. Call or write to the midwife saying that you will attend your appointment on 4th November, but you will not be consenting to a sweep, not do you wish it to be mentioned, as you believe this will interfere with your mental preparation for birth. You wish for no talk about induction until you are 14 days past your due date and at that point you will consider a scan to check that all is well before you make any decisions about any interventions.

YouHaveBeenOutbid Fri 26-Oct-12 16:44:29

Great advice starlight! OP no one can make you do anything. You don't have to have a sweep and you don't have to be induced. Obviously there may come a point when it would be inadvisable to keep refusing induction but they can give you guidance on that. A friend of mine went to nearly 43 weeks refusing induction but having monitoring to be sure the baby wasn't in distress.

alannabanana Fri 26-Oct-12 17:07:04

are you seeing midwife on 4th nov or consultant? if its the midwife i would be completely open and honest and admit your apprehension because of last time. if she's human at all she will go gentle on you. a male consultant sadly i dont think would be nearly as understanding but you could give it a go, give him a chance to practice his bedside manner with a nervous patient. you can say no to a sweep of course, but you may find they give u good news afterwards - 4 weeks of braxton hicks and a may find your cervix is low and starting to dilate! and the only way to determine that is from examination.
i do feel for you though, its like the least fun thing ever having a painful sweep.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 17:13:24

'you can say no to a sweep of course, but you may find they give u good news afterwards - 4 weeks of braxton hicks and a may find your cervix is low and starting to dilate! and the only way to determine that is from examination.'

I don't understand the point of this. So what if her cervix is low and starting to dilate? So what if it isn't?

alannabanana Fri 26-Oct-12 17:42:12

the problem before was that her cervix was high and closed so they got 'forceful' with it, but if the opposite is true this time then there's obviously less need for force. plus i would find it a good morale boost to think labour could kick off naturally anytime - this poor woman wants to avoid induction which i can quite understand having had 2.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 17:47:07

I suppose that depends on whether there was any need to 'force' it in the first time.

IMO there wasn't.

Number of CM dilated is no indication of how soon things will kick off, so it really is a pointless research excercise, not to mention stressful for the OP and possibly painful.

Abcynthia Fri 26-Oct-12 17:48:13

It is a midwife Alanna, but I am afraid them telling me anything like that wouldn't affect how I feel. After that final, rough tablet insertion during my first induction when the midwife returned they told me the way things were looking they thought it would be at least 24 hours before I was properly in labour and having my baby...

The midwife shift changed at this point and a different midwife came in who showed me a way to relax as I had got myself into such a state.

45 minutes later my waters broke while I was being sick...and then 45 minutes later I had my baby! The way I see it you cannot predict nature. Also because of this I strongly believe in relaxing and staying calm about everything - that is why I mentioned about being stressed.

Thank you for the advice Starlight and youhavebeenoutbid.

Abcynthia Fri 26-Oct-12 17:49:54

Should have added it is written in my notes from my first birth I went from 4-5cm to 9cm in the space of 10 minutes.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 17:51:29

In that case, have you considered a homebirth?

You could be in the pool when they arrive and unless they are able to give you a good medical reason to, simply refuse to get out.

pookamoo Fri 26-Oct-12 17:52:18

Really sad to read your posts, OP.

You can say you don't want a stretch and sweep and you would prefer to wait and see what happens. They can't do it without your consent - you don't have to have any examinations you don't want.

Can you take someone (DP, your mum, a friend) with you to help you be brave and say no thanks at your appointment?

Good luck with the birth, when it happens.

Have a look at for some positive stories.
Hugs to you (even if it is not MN to do so!) smile

alannabanana Fri 26-Oct-12 18:21:29

defo second bringing someone with you, moral support is essential i think when your not feeling too strong. a homebirth is worth considering too - you are right that being relaxed (well as much as u can be!) is the best way to be, which is why i will be investigating hypnobirthing for my next due in feb!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: