Friday, October 3, 2008

Birth day

The time is drawing nigh and I'm actually getting a bit nervous.

With my first pregnancy I decided that I didn't want to be one of those annoying women (like many a patient I've seen) who comes in claiming to be in labour, turns out to have a cervix that's 1cm dilated, gets told the true signs of labour and to come back when she's got those but shows up again the next day and is then only 2cm dilated.

Maybe it's because I did all my obstetrics in the state, where days are long and beds are few, that I always got annoyed by those women. In private, you probably get admitted if you want to, but in the state, your admission ticket is active labour and nothing less.

So I decided, armed with my knowledge, I was going to do everything right. And I did. But things actually went too well. When I showed up at the labour ward, my cervix was 4cm dilated. I got my epidural and then, even though I was a primigravida, within 1 hour I was fully dilated and ready to deliver.

So this time around, knowing that the second time everything goes much faster, I'm nervous because I know I have to get to hospital asap!

I have great respect for midwives. Most babies can actually be delivered at home by a midwife. A trained midwife though, because although most pregnancies are actually uneventful, when things go wrong, they go very wrong and you want someone who knows what to do and when to get you to a doctor. Having said that, there is no way I'd deliver at home. I know too much and I'm way too paranoid. I want to be in a fully equipped hospital with lots of drugs readily available and a fully trained obstetrician. But I have to get there on time to have that.

I always find it amusing in movies and TV when the expectant couple rushes to hospital at the first sign of labour, tearing up the streets, only just making it there in time before the baby pops out, because real labour is nothing like that, but I've really been worried this pregnancy that that might really happen to me.

Today I had a few mild contractions. I was pretty sure they were Braxton-Hicks, but when they started coming approximately every hour, I started thinking it might be early labour. Then I started wondering if I should go to the hospital. Like I said, I've already decided to make haste this time, but then I started thinking: how early is too early, even with a history of a previous short labour? Also, I wasn't convinced they were real contractions. So I decided to wait and see. I thought I might be taking a gamble, but it turned out ok because after a few hours they stopped.

So in the end it was good I didn't rush off to the hospital because I would have looked like a fool.

But now I'm really left with the predicament of how soon I should act.


Bongi said...

exciting times.

Dragonfly said...

Exciting times indeed.
In real life there is (usually) a mad rush to get to the hospital and then at least a 10 hour wait. When I did my OBGYN placement most women were told to ring the ward when they felt contractions or had waters break. This resulted in ladies coming in much more calmly and without so much of the mad panic (except for the occasional women who would deliver in the ambulance from a town 8 hours away, who hadn't called at all when her waters broke 3 days prior). The midwives would then be expecting them (particularly important in the middle of the night when they weren't "due" in the next little while.
I think it worked pretty well.

Karen Little said...

haha... I remember an obstetric consultant who told a similar story - as a pregnant reg, she was terrified of going in too early and being laughed at by the midwives (who knew she was an obstetrician-to-be), so she waited and waited and waited. When she finally did go in, she was already at 9cm, and they laughed at her anyway :)

amanzimtoti said...

Karen that's hilarious.

rlbates said...

Best wishes as your time draws near.