Lara’s story – hospital water birth with gestational diabetes
The story shared is one that proves that even if you are initially told you “cannot have a home or water birth with gestational diabetes”, that may not be the case and we are all individuals. There are many medical professionals that are willing to help and support us based on their personal experience.
This story has been written and shared by Lara herself. Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful birth story with us and good luck trying to convince hubby for baby number 3 xx
Lara’s story, hospital water birth…
“I had gestational diabetes in my first pregnancy, after being diagnosed at 37 weeks. It was only after I mentioned to my midwife I was drinking excessive water that they sent me for a GTT and it came back that I had GD, and I should of been screened early on, due to my dad being a diabetic.
I was distraught, and kept thinking of the harm I had done to my baby through the pregnancy, eating whatever and whenever I fancied. I am convinced the stress sent me into labour as 5 days later, baby Thomas appeared.
My labour was long and difficult, after 24 hours on a bed, he was delivered in theatre by forceps. An epidural and spinal block meant I didn’t feel a thing. However he was perfectly healthy and all was forgiven.
I fell pregnant in March 2015 with baby number 2, and had an early GTT at 16 weeks which diagnosed gestational diabetes. I had already prepared myself and started the research, exercise and healthy eating!
The regime of consultants clinics on a Wednesday started, which I found hard with a toddler and working full time. I felt so bad to Thomas, that he was either being dragged to the midwife or the hospital!
Scans showed baby was a little boy and growing perfectly on track. However by 30 weeks my blood sugars were all over the place, despite me eating like a saint. I started metformin, followed by slow and fast release insulin. I am in quite a stressful job, in which I make some essentially life threatening decisions. I used to find my bloods hitting 14.0mmol/l on a late turn at work!
Despite baby being a healthy size, the consultant planned to induce baby boy at 38+1. I wasn’t thrilled with the decision, but secretly thought that Thomas had come early naturally, so this one would be here by then! How wrong was I!
I didn’t move off my ball from 36 weeks, I walked a mile a day, I did reflexology… But no baby!
So I went in to be induced. I sent hubby to work, for some peace and quiet (I was suffering from diabetes enhanced rage by this point with him!) The consultant and my midwife had prepared me for it taking at least three days, a sliding scale, multiple interventions… I really was expecting the worst.
I had an examination on arrival and first pessary put in. The midwife doing it was from the neighbouring (low risk) birthing centre as they were over staffed and labour ward short staffed. (This is where my luck started). I explained my concerns and also described what my ideal birth would look like. She told me they had a pool I could use, if I went into labour before anyone else arrived, she explained they had monitors that would work under water. She said they would avoid the sliding scale at all costs and I would be home with a baby well within the three days.
So I spent the day bouncing on a ball, reading magazines and walking up and down. Peaceful and relaxing.
Hubby arrived at 4pm, and by 6pm contractions started.
The midwives swapped and my second midwife was again an absolute star. A mature lady with a no nonsense approach! At 11pm I asked for pain relief saying I couldn’t take it any more. When she popped two paracetamol out I thought she was joking!!!!
However for me this approach was what was needed. I went down to the pool at 12am and delivered baby Harry at 3.08am. I had a few puffs of gas and air at the end.
It was the most painful yet exhilarating experience of my life. After not feeling a thing with Thomas, I felt every contraction with Harry and loved every single moment.
Harry was born at 7lb 8oz and perfectly healthy. I had the initial examination and that was it. I felt dignified, relaxed, and healthy!
I spoke to the midwife afterwards and explained that I didn’t think I could have this birth as the consultant had stated it wasn’t possible with high risk births. She said that each doctor and midwife has a different view and the guidelines are not clear and open to interpretation. But her experience meant she was comfortable with the risks and she was monitoring us both and was happy with everything.
I was a lot more confident this time and her confident approach just boosted this further. It was quite literally a perfect birth for me, now I just need to convince hubby we want another one! Every last needle and finger prick was worth it ♥”
For more information on home water birth with gestational diabetes, you can read more here.