Sure enough, spudlet has stayed put past his due date. I always suspected this would happen. I was two weeks late, my sister was late and my niece was ten days late.
He is also stubbornly still breech.
On the birth options side of things, much has been happening. Our decision to be as flexible as possible has paid off even though we’ve been bouncing between care providers like a yo-yo. Funnily enough, we’ve ended up with what was originally our worst case scenario – a birth at KEMH AND a private obstetrician. Only now it’s a great option and we’re really pleased!
Here’s how it happened: Armadale hospital referred me to KEMH because they weren’t comfortable letting me try a vaginal breech birth (VBB) there primarily because it’s my first baby. The first obs we spoke to at KEMH was happy for me to try a VBB but wasn’t comfortable with me going more than 10 days past my due date or with induction. He recommended an elective caesarian 10 days past my EDD at the latest. I wasn’t thrilled with that but was pleased to be able to try for a VBB.
The second obstetrician we spoke to at KEMH (on my due date which was Wed 14/5) further advised me that my chances of being allowed to try for a VBB were entirely dependent on which obs were on duty if I came in labouring. He said that not all of them were comfortable with delivering breech so I might still need a caesarian at that point. He also looked into booking an elective caesarian and told me that the only free slot was 8 days past my due date. This is because apparently they do very limited elective sections on Monday and Friday (which were fully booked) and none on the weekend. I was not pleased and began to negotiate at this point. We were stuck at a bit of an impasse when Craig had the brainwave of asking about booking an elective caesarian at Armadale hospital instead. The obs seized on this idea with relief and I liked the idea because at least I’d be closer to home.
After some phoning around and the help of various midwives, I was booked in for a caesarian at Armadale instead. Frustratingly, it was still 8 days past my EDD (apparently the Fri-Mon limited sections thing isn’t just KEMH) but it still felt like a better option. I was however frustrated by the lack of appointments for four days out of seven every week. That’s a sad indictment of public medical care in WA in my opinion.
On Friday, mum and I headed back to KEMH to have a CTG done on spudlet to check that he was doing ok. He was stubborn and just wanted to sleep, so I ended up hooked up to the monitor for two hours. I got to chatting with the lovely midwife who was attending. She admired my knitting and we talked about that a bit, I also told her about the saga of trying to get a VBB. She said she had an idea and vanished.
A little while later, she came back and asked if I have private health insurance. She said there was a possibility of getting an obstetrician to take me as a private patient which would increase my options. I was delighted by this suggestion and told her to go for it! Shortly thereafter, another obs turned up, plonked himself down on the end of my bed and had a chat with me. We discussed my situation, he had a look at my notes and asked some questions and then agreed to take me as a private patient. He was friendly and willing to negotiate over details of labour but also made it clear where his boundaries were which I appreciated.
He said he was also willing to let me wait a bit longer, especially given my family history, and also consider induction (by prostaglandin gel) if I didn’t go into labour by a certain date. He advised me to cancel my other appointments and my elective caesarian (yay) and instead made some new appointments to discuss options further and keep an eye on spudlet’s health via further CTGs.
So this is where things stand at the moment. I never thought I’d be this happy to have a private obstetrician! I’ll still be delivering at KEMH and hopefully have followup care from the community midwifery program. There’s still also a good chance I’ll end up needing to have a caesarian. I feel better about that though if I’ve at least had a chance to go into labour. By this time next week, we should hopefully have a spudlet in the outside world. That still feels surreal.
Physcially I’m doing ok. I get tired very quickly and can’t do as much as I’d like but I still go out somewhere most days. It’s good to have both mum and Craig around to help look after me and provide moral support. We’re looking forward to meeting the spud and bringing him home. The birth is going to be an adventure one way or the other but I’m trying not to focus on it too much beforehand. Here’s hoping it goes (relatively) smoothly from this point onwards!