Baby Pham gives us a scare

by - April 01, 2024

Baby Pham made a dramatic entrance into the world. We went to our usual fortnightly midwife check-in appointment two days before his due date. I described how he wasn't kicking as much as he used to. The midwife said it was a myth that babies kick less at the end of pregnancy due to them being bigger with less space and called the hospital to let them know I was coming in for a CTG to check baby's heart rate as a precaution. 

Boyfriend Pham and I went home, ate lunch, packed a short stay bag and my hospital bag just in case, though we were pretty sure the CTG would show Baby was fine so weren't worried. 

We get to the obstetrics review centre and I get strapped to the machine. Baby Pham's heart rate is going wild. After a while, the doctors come in and say we have to induce because the CTG shows baby is not doing well. 

Boyfriend and I are left to process this information. We come to terms with inducing labour that day and then the senior doctor came in and said we needed an emergency c-section because his heart rate being elevated for over an hour indicated he was in distress. I burst into tears. Everything escalated so quickly in the space of 45 minutes. 

I'm worried about baby and I'm shocked that my precautionary visit now means medical interventions and I won't have the vaginal birth I'd wanted for my bub. Boyfriend and I were again left to come to terms with our birth plan changing while the medical staff got ready to prep both of us for surgery. 

I was stripped for surgery and shaved then rolled to the waiting area for surgery. A planned c-section mum and dad were in the next bay and I felt awful that I couldn't stop crying and probably stressing them out. Boyfriend was put in scrubs and our bags stored elsewhere. 

In the prep room attached to the operating theatre, we met with the anaesthetist team who talked us through the spinal block. They explained to Boyfriend that he would stay in the prep room while they did the spinal block but he'd be able to see it from across the room. I'm assuming some partners freak the fudge out seeing the spinal block go in.  

Then as the nurse was about to wheel me into the theatre, the senior doctor said she wanted to wait a few minutes to give baby time to demonstrate whether he was ok or needed out. The second CTG they attached to me in the prep room showed he was calm and cool as a cucumber. A picture perfect, steady heart rate. I couldn't believe it.   

I am so grateful to that doctor for deciding to call off the surgery since baby was no longer in distress. Everyone was there and ready to operate - costing hospital time and money, but she kept her word and didn't push ahead when the emergency c-section wasn't needed. Especially since I had a strong preference for vaginal birth. 

New plan. I went back to the obstetrics centre and had a third CTG which again showed baby was ok. That said the original issue of his reduced movements in my womb was still the main reason we were in hospital. So another doctor recommended we induce that night and we agreed. However, the birthing suite team were too busy and they couldn't get to me so instead Boyfriend Pham was sent home to rest, and I stayed a night in the maternity ward with a bunch of new mums while I waited to join their club in the morning. 

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