My little boy Jacob is the youngest of five, and recently he turned three! This occasion got me reminiscing about his less than straight forward pregnancy, and how things could have gone very wrong……..
You would think after four children, pregnancy number five would have been relatively straight forward. Well that’s what I was expecting too, but by 25 weeks I was already feeling that things were different to my previous pregnancies. The first thing I noticed, was that I felt really heavy and I was much more breathless than I would have expected at this stage. I booked in at the midwife to speak to her about my concerns, and I was pleased that she did listen and wasn’t quick to dismiss me. After doing all the usual checks, she decided to speak to the hospital on my behalf and see what they would recommend regarding the breathlessness. The consultant got back to her and they recommended a scan, just to have an extra check and to put my mind at ease. I was booked in at 28 weeks and it was from here things started to change……
Is that a baby or a watermelon?
When I attended my scan at 28 weeks, everything was healthy and fine, the only difference that they noticed was the baby was measuring rather large for the gestation. The main problem was his stomach was much larger than expected and he was already weighing nearly 5lbs! Now, from what I’ve always been told , a good rule of thumb is, a baby gains half a pound a week in the last weeks of pregnancy, so was I really facing the reality of an 11lb baby?! My previous babies had never been small; all between 9lb 9oz and the smallest at 8lb 5, but 11lb was something else! If it had just been his weight alone I don’t think the consultant would have been too concerned, but as it was his stomach mostly enlarged they agreed to scan me every two weeks, something which I was grateful for!
Bigger and bigger he grows, when will he stop nobody knows!
The scans were mainly to measure the size of Jacob’s stomach and they wanted to see that the size was levelling out over the next few weeks. Luckily, there was no further issues and as he grew, his stomach became the right size. However, grow he did! By 30 weeks he was approx just over 6lbs, by 32 weeks he was around 7.5lbs and by 35 weeks he was over 8lbs! He was getting bigger and bigger each scan and now there was also a new problem……
When they scanned him at 35 weeks they also found that he wasn’t head down but he was lying transverse. This meant he was lying across my womb sideways, blocking his own escape route with his back. At this stage babies are normally still turning, but because he was so big, the consultant was worried he may not have enough space to turn. The consultant proved right and at 37 weeks Jake still hadn’t moved and still measuring huge! The consultant decided to admit me, as a baby being transverse can lead to all sorts of problems. The main problem was obviously there was now no exist for the baby to come out, if I’d gone into spontaneous labour the umbilical cord could slip out first, cutting off the baby’s oxygen. If I had been at home and this had happened, there would be no time to save the baby.
The final drama!
Once I was admitted to hospital, the consultant came up with a plan. He decided that due to the baby’s size, if within the next few days the baby turned head down, they would then induce me in order to let me have a natural birth. If the baby didn’t turn then a c-section was booked for a few days later. I was pleased that the end was in sight, even if it meant Jake would be born almost 3 weeks early, I wanted the safest option for us both.
In the early hours one morning I felt the familiar twinges of labour starting, and I hoped that this would be it. They scanned me in my room in between contractions and found he was head down! He had turned on his own! However, although the contractions seemed to be strong, they were short lived and soon stopped. I was hoping that because of this they would stick to the consultant’s plan and induce me, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. At the time he was head down, the staff said they were too busy induce me, and then by the time they could, Jacob had turned sideways again. Nothing was going to be straight forward!
The final drama came, when a different consultant suggested a new plan. He wanted me to allow them to attempt to turn the baby and then send me home to wait for natural labour! After all the concerns that my own consultant had expressed I really couldn’t understand the logic of this! If Jacob could turn on his own then surely he could turn back again once they had moved him? Also, to wait for labour to begin naturally with him being the size he was, also really scared me. My previous pregnancies had also gone over the due date, if I were to wait for spontaneous labour then in theory I could have another 2-3 weeks to wait!
I expressed my concern over the baby’s size , to which the new consultant replied;
“I have felt your tummy, and your baby, and to me he doesn’t feel that big, scans aren’t always accurate.”
At this point I felt really fed up. I decided to ask if the c-section was still an option and everyone agreed it was. So, that afternoon I was taken for a c-section and Jacob was finally born!
If you’d like to know his final weight, he was born at 37 weeks and 3 days and weighed a WHOOPING 10lbs 13oz!!
Overall, I was really happy with my maternity care, the staff were really good and so caring. I was disappointed that I could have taken the second consultant’s advice, but all that matters is that Jacob was born safely and healthy, and we both had a happy ending.
Let me know if you have an interesting birth story!