My Unplanned Hospital Birth

by Katie Davis

Katie planned a home birth for her second baby, but went into hospital for a checkup because she had heavy bleeding, apparently before labour started. This can indicate antepartum haemorrhage due to abrupted placenta or other potentially serious conditions, so should always be checked out. However, when she got to hospital she was in for a surprise...

My birth story is pretty dull really! Four days before my due date I went to bed about 10.00, and noticed I'd had a show. I decided not to tell Steve (my husband) as he'd panic, and not get any sleep, and I know a show can come up to a fortnight before the actual birth! For some reason I was awake about every 20 minutes, and at about 12.30 I went to the loo, and I was bleeding quite heavily.

I phoned the hospital delivery suite, and in my panic forgot to mention that I was booked for a homebirth. They panicked me even more by asking me to come to the hospital as soon as I could. We called my parents who came with sleeping bags to look after our 4 year old, Rhian, and arrived at the hospital at about 1.30 am.

Once at the hospital I was monitored for 20 minutes - I wasn't feeling any contractions - to check the baby - and was told that I was actually having contractions, but they were not regular. The midwife said she'd do a quick internal to see if she could find out why I was bleeding, then she'd phone the team midwives to see what they wanted to do - i.e. I could still have a homebirth.

The midwife did the internal and said that I was already 7 cm dilated, and was easily stretching to 8 or 9 cm, and was amazed that I was not experiencing any discomfort! She phoned my midwife who decided the best course of action was for her to come to the hospital to deliver me!

My team midwife arrived at about 2.30 am, by which time I was hooked up to a TENS machine and went for a walk around the hospital (about 1/4 of a mile!). By the end of this "hike" I was definitely feeling the contractions, and hardly made it back to the delivery suite - I then went for the gas and air!

For some reason I went through the whole first stage sitting on the edge of the bed - leaning forward and grasping the gas with one hand and the bedpost with the other!

By 4.40 am the midwife was asking me how I wanted to deliver - I had in my birth plan that I wanted to be semi sitting, with Steve behind me, but in the end this was not what I fancied! She suggested getting on the bed on my knees and putting my arms around Steve (who is very tall). In the end by the time I'd got on the bed on all fours I couldn't move another inch - and said as much.

With the next contraction I felt the urge to push and the midwife said to go for it - my waters exploded all over the delivery room! There was meconium in the waters so a suction machine was bought in. The next push the baby's head crowned and was suctioned and the third push Kira Charley Davis was born - pink and squealing at 4.49 am, weighing in at 10 lb and 7 oz and 60 cm long.

I was having a managed 3rd Stage, but the placenta (which was particularly big!) had folded itself in half, so took some time to come out.

After a bath and a clean up we were transferred to the maternity ward as the delivery suite was full (a busy time of year March - Kira has the 5 birthday in a week my family!). We were looked after on the ward by the student midwife who had been visiting me antenatally, and we were discharged at about 11.00 am.

It wasn't the homebirth I was hoping for - but it was a very good alternative. We were home in time for lunch, and had only been out of the house for about 10 hours.

Katie Davis

katie.davis@i.am

Kira's dad, Steve, has written his story of her birth too.

NB Katie's midwives were worried in late pregnancy because they thought that she was anaemic - her haemoglogin count was 8.6. By taking iron tablets and vitamin C, she increased this to 10.3 in a fortnight!

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