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A positive forceps birth 

It has been a while since we have published any birth stories on our socials or website. And this makes me sad because we love birth stories! And we hear a lot of them. But we totally get that once your baby is here it can be hard to find time to write your birth story down. We are so thrilled that Kirsty has shared the birth of Agnes with us. Thank you Kirsty!

After doing lots of reading during my pregnancy and speaking to friends who had had babies, I decided that I really didn't want to be induced. I was worried that induction would lead to a cascade of interventions, and I wanted to avoid a forceps delivery if at all possible. After speaking with my midwife and then a consultant, we agreed that I would book in an elective caesarean for 41 weeks, but have a series of sweeps starting at 39 weeks. I didn't want a caesarean, but wanted to be induced even less. The idea was that the sweeps would work, and I would have an as natural as possible birth prior to c-section day. I also had in the back of my mind that I could always change my mind on the day, not go ahead with the caesarean, and wait. 

On the morning of my first sweep I woke up feeling great. I went to the gym, was going for my sweep and then I had a nail appointment and then was going to finish packing my hospital bag and sorting the nursery. I'd heard mixed reviews of sweeps but I didn't find it uncomfortable at all. Afterwards I started to bleed a lot and the bleeding wouldn't stop. My midwife phoned my husband to come and pick me up and take me to triage but after a few minutes it was clear that I had to get there urgently, so was taken by ambulance. 

When I got to hospital I was examined and the baby was monitored. The doctors were happy that the bleed wasn't anything dangerous for me or the baby which was obviously a relief. However, they did want to induce me. I explained why I didn't want this and after some discussions they agreed that we could wait to see what happened over the next few hours.

I had to stay in hospital for the next two days being monitored. I was having contractions and although induction kept being offered, the doctors and midwives were happy for me to wait for things to happen naturally. When my contractions started getting stronger and closer together I was examined and then transferred to the labour ward. When I was there things really slowed down! I was walking around, bouncing on the ball, changing positions - everything to get things going again! I had to have a fetal scalp electrode fitted to help with monitoring but that meant I was able to move more freely around the room. 

Things didn't progress so I eventually agreed to have my waters broken. When they went to do this it turned out they'd already gone (possibly a few days ago when I assumed I'd just wet myself...!) and because the waters had gone they couldn't tell if there was meconium. This meant they had to presume there was, and get things moving more quickly by putting me on the hormone drop. I knew that this could be extremely painful so refused to go on the drip without an epidural. I was really disappointed that I was going to be induced and that I was going to have an epidural but accepted this was how it had to happen. 

Getting an epidural terrified me, but the anaesthetist was so calming and explained everything. I was so grateful for the epidural when the hormone drip worked incredibly quickly and before I knew it, it was almost time to push. Monitoring showed that the baby's heartbeat was dropping so my husband was told to pull the emergency cord. Lots of people rushed into the room and I was told that the baby had to come out quickly which meant an episiotomy and forceps. Because the baby was well on her way and in a good position, this could all be done in the room rather than going to theatre which was good. The midwife, doctor and anaesthetist were all absolutely amazing and I felt totally safe and calm. I remember watching the doctor scrubbing up, seeing the forceps, and being surprised at how accepting I was of how things were turning out and being totally overwhelmed by the idea that I was about to meet my daughter! 

Agnes Christine Boynton was born at 1210 on the 22nd December coming in at 2.5kg. When she came towards me crying her little head off, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing and what had just happened. It was the most incredible moment.

Whilst my birth ended up being everything I didn't want it to be, I feel very positive about it. I felt safe, and listened to at all stages. I had a good recovery and most importantly, Agnes was delivered safely. It was an amazing experience. 


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