From a prosperous labor, to 8 hours stuck at 9 cm dilation.
On Nov. 6, Magali’s birth took place at Maasstad Hospital in Rotterdam. Labor began a day earlier and mother Chalana was then 41 weeks 5 days pregnant. Had labor taken 2 days longer, she would have been initiated (which the mom preferred to avoid).
How birth began...
On Monday, Nov. 5, at 7:10 a.m., I received an app from Chalana that she felt something lightly rumbling. The contractions came every 15 minutes. At 12:00 the midwife was at their home and the first report on the status of dilation was 2.5 cm. The contractions (of one minute duration) were now coming every 7-8 minutes. They are expected to go to the hospital between 4 and 5 p.m. The obstetrician would then come to check again. I was a little too impatient anyway and asked for an update at 3:30 in advance on how things were going there. Ranald (partner) said the contractions are coming faster every 4 to 5 minutes. The midwife would come in half an hour and then they would know more. I didn’t want to take that risk, so I took my chances because it was another hour of travel time for me. The longer I would wait, the more I would end up in rush hour traffic. Based on my gut feeling, I left for the hospital.
At the hospital...
Upon arrival at the hospital at 5 p.m., the parents had also just arrived. She was now at 4/5 cm dilation. So well judged, as this is the ideal time for me to attend. The delivery has been successful so far. Chalana sat down in the shower and she was totally in her element with the hot water. By the way, this was something she discovered on the spot on the advice of the midwife. It seemed to work well, as you could clearly see that the warm water made her relax more and pull the contractions better. At 7 p.m. the midwife went to check again. Exposure: 7 cm. Apparently the “relaxation” helped well, because it went by the book. So back into the bathroom. This time she took a bath and seemed to be back in her element. I was watching with admiration. The bath only made it start to get very hot, but Ranald with the cold washcloth was not indispensable. And so they actually sat until 9:15 p.m. And rightly so, because if she could handle contractions well this way, why would she change positions? Still, it was necessary, because the dilation had to be looked at again: 8-9 cm! Midwife indicated that she might need to be more active and possibly walk. I could see that Chalana was getting harder here and at one point she didn’t know how to give an attitude to the contractions either. The skippy ball appeared to provide some relief, after which she hung over the bed each time during a contraction.
The dilation is not progressing any further
An hour later (10:15 p.m.) it appeared that the dilation had not progressed further and the contractions should become more intense, according to the midwife. Chalana’s first reaction: How so! The midwife is giving it another hour and if not, she wants to give labor inducers to give just that final push so that the baby will lie a little lower. Perhaps Chalana’s body was too tired. The baby is otherwise doing great in there, and so is Chalana. At 22:37 she decided to go back to the familiar and sit in the shower. With the hope that it would help as it did before. Fifteen minutes later (23:15) the ctg was connected. Above all, she was not to be scared, because they needed those precautions. Meconium was detected, but her amniotic fluid was rather clear. The baby has apparently had it too and wants to be born. She just wanted to see how the baby was doing first by micro-blood test (MBO) and then give labor inducers. However, the doctor was fixed, so that had to be waited on first for approval. While waiting for the doctor, the contractions seemed to weaken even more. At 11:50 p.m. the gynecologist came. She says during a contraction it is slightly advanced, but outside the contraction there is still an edge. She also put a wire on the head to register the baby because of the meconium.
Contractions are weakening
00:27 Chalana asks for painkillers. The midwife indicates that the labor inducers will give just that final push. At 00:45 she finally gets these inducers as the contractions continue to weaken. 02:00 The doctor came to check on how things were going, but indicated that the contractions should be more regular and strong. She does not dare say whether it is more advanced now – she still feels the edge of the uterus. Contraction stimulation is increased. As long as the edge of the uterus is still there, she cannot push. The gynecologist will consult at 02:45 to see if she can push the edge away during a push contraction. At 03:03 she comes back and they want to do an examination (MBO) on the baby by taking blood from the little one. Based on this, they will know whether they can continue this way or whether they need to make a different decision. 03:30 the test was reasonable. However, the dilation is still at 9 cm and to think that she was already this far since 21:15! It was a real hell for the parents-to-be and as a spectator I really felt sorry for them. I could only hope it was going to be okay, because every hour the uncertainty increased. The doctor wanted to watch for another hour to see if the situation changes and if the baby still pulls through. Otherwise, they have to take other measures, but they would like to give her the chance to deliver vaginally.
Birth is in sight
At 04:10 the doctor checked again. After an internal check, she indicated that something had clearly changed. The edge of the uterus is no longer there, but I don’t hear her saying she has full dilation. They want to do another MBO to see how much reserve the baby has left before pushing. After 15 minutes, she was allowed to give in to the urge to push. 05:15 the gynecologist went to consult whether it will be a vacuum pump. In fact, baby was too high to come with a cut. Also, the labor force seemed to wane that last bit. It’s just that curve combined with the mommy’s exhaustion. It indeed became a vacuum pump and after a long hard journey, this last bit went incredibly fast. At 05:30, Magali was finally born! A healthy baby and relieved proud parents and grandmother.