Evan and Laura started trying for a baby as soon as they got married, but were heartbroken when their first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. It would take them two years, and ovulation induction to fall pregnant again in late 2020.
But the challenges didn’t stop there. Laura’s pregnancy was plagued with difficulties, and her labour would be anything but smooth sailing.
A worrying appointment
Laura, from South Australia, suffered from debilitating chronic migraines from 13 weeks and had an early diagnosis of gestational diabetes (GD). And then towards the end of her pregnancy, things took another worrying turn.
“Induction was on the table early due to the GD diagnosis and scans around 34 weeks showed Sophie’s growth had slowed so I was watched more carefully,” Laura told Mum’s Grapevine. “I went into the Women and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide to be induced on Monday the 9th of August. The doctor I had seen at my 36-week appointment had requested a gel induction.
“I was a little nervous as all of my family live in Victoria so no one could come to the hospital with me except my husband. We also live five hours away, so being away from home from 36 weeks was trying.”
‘They called a code blue’
From 6 pm on Monday to 1 pm on Tuesday, Laura had three lots of gel administered but only made it to 1cm dilated. The call was made to try a balloon to help her dilate further.
“The exam and balloon placement was incredibly painful after all of the gels. The balloon stayed in for 17 hours until 6 am Wednesday morning. When it was removed, I was 3cms dilated so my waters were broken and I was put on an oxytocin drip. Contractions were far different from the cramping and discomfort I’d experienced during my induction. During this time, because I had planned to have an epidural, it was decided that I’d have that placed before labour got too intense.”
After starting on the oxytocin drip, Laura’s baby started showing signs of distress. The doctors lessened the drip, however, they weren’t sure if the distress was from the hormones or from the epidural.
“We made the decision that an emergency caesarean was the best course of action. After that, it seemed to be a flurry to prep me, have my husband pack the contents of my room, and get me into theatre. It was quite overwhelming but I was confident that the doctors knew best!
“As they were doing the final preparations, my anaesthetist wanted to top up my epidural once more. When she turned around, she tripped and fell over. A code blue had to be called so they had extra assistance to help her. Luckily she wasn’t hurt too badly, she appeared to be more in shock.
“After she was whisked away and a new anaesthetist was found, the birth went rather smoothly. Sophie was born at 11:37 am. She had her cord wrapped around her neck, which was why she was in distress. Although it was a rush and chaotic, bub came into the world safely and the doctors and nurses were wonderful!”
Read next …
From dramatic to tranquil and everything in between, these next births show just how different birth experiences can be:
• Birth Story: Mum gives birth in her car, ‘My poor Jeep’
• Birth Story: ‘I was told I wasn’t in labour, then gave birth in an ambulance’
• Birth Story: ‘I gave birth in isolation as a Covid close contact’