I am delighted to share Sophie’s story with you today. Sophie was being asked to opt for an induction at 39 weeks due to the growth of her baby. Sophie completed my Online Birth Preparation Course during her pregnancy and believed in the ” my body, my baby, my birth ” philosophy that we coach. Read how it changed her story into a positive birth story.
“My husband and I found out that we were expecting in May 2019. I have been diagnosed with an under-active thyroid since 2010, and knew that this could potentially cause issues when it came to starting a family but after only a few months of trying we felt really lucky to be expecting our little bundle of joy in February 2020.
Thyroid affects baby’s growth
As expected because of my thyroid condition my pregnancy was placed under consultant review and was monitored closely as there was a risk that should my thyroid levels change this could effect the growth rate of the baby. It often felt like I lived at the hospital with blood tests and consultant appointments every 4 weeks, plus growth scans every four weeks as well.
At my routine 32 week growth scan the consultant expressed concerns that the baby was growing off the growth chart (it seems my thyroid hormones had the opposite effect and now the baby was bigger than expected!) As the weeks went by the growth continued and the baby was on course to be around 9lbs 3oz at 40 weeks.
At this point both my community midwife and hospital consultant had expressed concerns about birthing a “big” baby and have reeled off a list of risks including shoulder dystocia, and the risk of perineum tears. My consultant expressed that she would like to induce my labour at 39 weeks but we would have one final growth scan at 36 weeks before we made a firm plan.
I felt torn, I certainly didn’t feel like I was carrying a “big”baby and is 9lbs 3oz really classed as “big” anyway? The thought of meeting my baby sooner was amazing, but my gut instinct told me that something didn’t really add up here.
Review your options
My husband and I decided to look further into induction and what it actually meant, we also reached out to Linda for some advice and this helped us really understand our options. It was here that we understood more that essentially induction was going to force my body into labour when it wasn’t ready. It was likely that I would be in hospital for up to 5 days, and it was likely to be a lot more painful and much longer than a spontaneous labour – something that I absolutely didn’t want. This was my body, my baby and my birth and I had the power to decide.
Armed with all the knowledge we had gained, we headed to the 36 week growth scan. As expected the baby had continued to grow at the same rate and was sat within the 98th percentile. Our consultant opened up my notes and explained she would like to induce my labour at 39 weeks and wrote the date down and told me to book in with the front desk. “No thank you” I said politely. I asked her to explain to me the risks of waiting for spontaneous labour, and asked what would happen if we did not intervene. Once again she explained Shoulder Dystocia to us, and explained that the baby would continue to grow the longer we left things and as a first time pregnancy it was likely I would not give birth until 41 – 42 weeks meaning the baby would be even bigger than the expected 9lbs and 3oz. I explained that after everything we had read and discussed I wanted to wait for spontaneous labour to happen however, I agreed I would check in with her once I reached 40 weeks so we could continue care if required and should I change my mind at any point I would ring the Antenatal clinic to book an induction date.
I felt so strong in my decision and just hoped my body would do what it needed to!
On the morning of Friday 7th February, at 39 weeks and 6 days my waters leaked (the poor bed!) and I started having mild pains straight away, certainly nothing over the top just a little uncomfortable. I continued with my day and had some lunch and then headed to the Maternity assessment centre at around 1pm where after assessment my cervix was 3cm dilated and it was agreed they would send me down to the delivery ward to have my forewaters broken to see if we could get things moving. My forewaters were broken at 3pm, and after a little walk to the on site coffee shop for a cup of tea my contractions started to come thick and fast! By 6:30pm I was in active labour and decided to hit the gas and air. What a great experience that was! For the next four hours I listened to music, bounced on my birthing ball, danced, and sang to my husband. I am pretty sure the Midwives thought I was crazy but I was loving every second. By 10:30pm I was 8cm dilated and things were progressing well and I continued to move around as much as possible and continued with the gas and air.
The Power of you as a mother
Midnight hit and things started to slow down. I had to dig really deep and focus on when the contractions were coming, my husband reminded me of breathing techniques and everything we had learnt on our online birth preparation course and tried to kept me as calm as he could. After what felt like a marathon (an 11 hour marathon!) Our beautiful baby daughter Florence Elizabeth entered the world at 5:31am weighing a lovely 8lbs and 15oz!
I feel so proud of my body and what it has managed to accomplish. Not only growing, but also birthing a perfect baby. I also feel so proud of my mind for allowing me to make the decision that was right for me and it just goes to show we don’t need to intervene with nature. My body knew exactly what to do and when to do it and honestly, she really isn’t that “big”anyway !!! she is just perfect.