I arrived at my 39 week pregnancy check-up at my Doctor’s office filled with excitement, nerves and a little anxiety. I knew my “due date” was right around the corner which meant that I was going to be meeting our newest addition to the Huggett family.
My Doctor asked me how I was feeling, if I was experiencing any pain and a range of other standard pre-labour questions. I felt amazing. I was eating well, getting plenty of sleep and staying active. I felt a great sense of sadness that my pregnancy was coming to an end.
As I laid down to have one of my last scans, my Dr spent a little more time than usual looking around my belly. He told me that my amniotic fluid was appearing to be on the low side and that there was only about 3 or 4 small pockets of fluid left. As a precaution, he ordered that I visit the midwives at my hospital every second day in the lead up to my due date to conduct a CTG (non-stress test) to monitor movement and our little baby’s heartbeat.
Immediately I went into panic mode. Tears started rolling down my face and I started to worry about the health of our baby. Did I not drink enough water? Did I not rest enough? Was my diet not balanced enough? So many questions flooded my mind.
In my Doctor’s experience, he prefers to not let his patients go past their due date if they have signs of low amniotic fluid. After discussing the induction process, he booked me in on Monday 12th January 2015 to have my baby. So many alarm bells started going off. It didn’t feel right. My anxiety levels went through the roof. I’m not too sure why I was so dead against inductions… many of my close friends have been induced and have gone on to have incredible labours. But on the other hand, inductions can lead to more medical interventions such as emergency c-sections. It’s not that I felt pressured to be induced, I just knew that I could go into labour naturally as I did with my first daughter, Millie. I felt so reluctant to leave my Doctor’s office knowing that the next time I could possibly see him was to have a procedure I wasn’t comfortable with.
After paying my account at reception, we walked down to the hospital where I was greeted by a beautiful midwife who instantly made me feel at ease as she set up the CTG.
Eloise’s movements and heart rate were spot on and I left feeling comforted knowing that she was absolutely fine. I went back for another CTG on the Wednesday and again, her movements and heart rate were normal.
When I arrived on the Friday, I had the most wonderful midwife take care of me during my last CTG. Looking back now, I feel like she was sent to me…like a serendipity kind of moment. She took me into one of the maternity suites and put the fetal monitors around my belly. I think she could sense I was anxious… she asked me a couple of questions about why I am having a CTG and we spoke a little about low fluid and what it all meant. I then started to talk about my fears of being induced. It was then she looked straight into my eyes and instilled this incredible amount of confidence in me. I told her that I was scheduled to be induced on Monday 12th January and she replied with “you know you have a choice, don’t you?” And I said “Well, I do… but my doctor has said that he doesn’t like his patients with low fluid to go past their due date.”
After about 10 minutes of amazing conversation with this midwife, I left feeling like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. Reminded me that I am the one person who is fully in tune with my body and I have a CHOICE. I had such a strong gut feeling that being induced wasn’t the path I was meant to take and I felt so empowered that I had finally realised that I am in control of my body. My baby was perfectly healthy – and I needed to trust that she was going to arrive when she was good and ready.
The midwife and I then discussed ways to bring on natural labour – love making, watching a romantic comedy to stimulate those amazing labour hormones and pelvic rotations on a fit ball. It just blew my mind how one person could have such an incredible influence on me.
So I had a plan. I was booked for my induction on the Monday afternoon, however, I was going to call my Doctor on the Monday morning to advise him that I will not be proceeding with the induction. It was now clear to me that scheduling an induction was more of a precaution and “standard practice” for him and his patients experiencing low fluid – and that was ok. I wasn’t disregarding his concern for me and my baby, I just knew that I had a couple of more days up my sleeve to have the opportunity to have a spontaneous labour. I was happy to be monitored until such time I would go into labour naturally… or until the moment that an induction was medically essential. If push came to shove and my doctor said that an immediate induction was my only option, there wouldn’t have been a moment of hesitation in my mind. At no stage was I ever going to put my unborn in danger. I felt strong. I felt comfortable. And I trusted my body.
Stay tuned for Part Two: Hello Eloise!
Love Melanie xo