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  1. #1
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    Default What was your labour experience like with constant foetal monitoring?

    Hi ladies, I'm due in April and am attempting a VBAC. I'm just wondering what your experiences were with constant monitoring. My hospital doesn't do wireless monitoring, they do the one around your belly or the little clip thing in the babies scalp, not sure if I get to choose or whether they decide which is best for me. Just wondering if anyone cares to share their experience with being constantly monitored, did you feel restricted, how far could you move from the bed? Did you have to actually give birth up on the bed or could you still do it in whatever position you felt most comfortable? Did they make you come in early into your labour to start monitoring or could you stay home as long as you wanted / were comfortable? And anything else you'd be willing to share :-) thanks in advance!

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    The CTG straps were annoying because I'm overweight so we kept losing the trace, I requested heaps of toilet breaks so I could get up and move around.

    Once my waters were broken I had the internal clip on bubs head and that gave me a bit more freedom, I used the fitball next to the bed and also leaned over the bed head while in my knees. Being able to be upright(unlike my csection labor) made all the difference.

    This time around as I've now had two births where baby was fine I'll be requesting intermittent monitoring with the Doppler or 15-30 mins every 1.5-2 hrs on the CTG. I'll stay on if bub shows signs of distress.

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    It was definitely restrictive. I had to come in as soon as my waters broke but after an initial check didn't have to be strapped in with the CTG until labour kicked off.

    I didn't get my VBAC as my incision started to rupture.

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    I'm currently in the throes of a monitored labour (literally! I'm 6cms and enjoying my epidural!) and the wireless ones aren't working today, BUT they had no problems with me showering and being in any position I wanted - standing, squatting (honestly, BEST thing to do to get bubs into position!), sitting on the ball, leaning over the bed, whatever. I couldn't actually walk around, but I had my choice of position, and so long as I wasn't off the monitors for more than 10-15 minutes per hour, they were good.

    Hope this helps!!!!

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    Terribly restrictive. Dd was making my belly an odd shape so a midwife had to be right beside me constantly, always holding the monitor in the right place to keep track of dd's heartbeat. I had planned and visualised an active labour and realised very quickly that was just not possible, and sank down a bit into pits of despair.
    I don't remember a lot of detail because I slept (I feel passed out is more accurate) between each contraction by the time I got to the hospital (active labouring for 6 hours already) but I know I sort of gave up and pushed through each contraction on my back- drug free. Don't know why I did that.
    In the end, dd was stuck and didn't descend so I was taken into theatre- I still vividly remember the last terrible contraction I had while they were trying to give me a spinal- fear had taken hold and so the contractions were as bad as they probably could be, I was on my side, screaming and yet unable to move. The drug was like beautiful ice (frozen water, not meth) trickling through my veins, and I could feel each part of my body relax... just could not believe what I had been dealing with when it didn't have to be that way.

    Anyway, I digress. My point was- prepare yourself mentally for a birth where you could be in a fixed position and unable to move much, and then if it turns out you can move a bit that's a bonus. If your mind is in the right place you can do it easily, but I stupidly lost control and made things a whole lot harder than it needed to be.

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    I had constant monitoring with a mixture of wireless, fixed and foetal scalp monitoring.
    They're usually happy for you to have a 10-15 minute break off monitoring as long as everything is going well.
    When you're on the constant monitoring, you can still stand up beside the machine, sit on a fit ball etc. you'll just have to be close to the power source.
    I found the foetal clip a bit better as I was so sick of them coming over every few minutes to move the monitor or hold it as it kept picking up my heart rate instead of bubs.

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    I chose to stay at home as long as possible to avoid it.
    It was public , so they do make you labour at home until you have a few hours of 5 min contractions or waters break.
    Turns out I stayed at home to the very end. (Arrived fully dilated)

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    I too am in the same situation. I'm also going public but they have told me to arrive straight away as soon as I have a contraction. I'm ok with this, since I labor very quickly. My first labor was all at home (without knowing) and arrived 9cm dilated. I was put on a bed and too uncomfortable to move. It didn't cross my mind that I could birth any other way. Dd2 was my c-sect. Hoping for a better outcome this time.

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    Thanks for sharing your stories ladies!

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    The cords from the machine to patient are roughly just over a metre (well, ours are anyway) so as long as you stay close to the machine you should be ok to do whatever.

    They will start with the monitor around your belly unless there is concern that they may not get a good trace abdominally in which case they'll opt for the clip. We usually put clips on babies where mum is overweight/obese and the quality of the trace is questionable or if there are points of concern in the trace - decelerations in the heart rate that could potentially be maternal heart rate. One of the first signs to bail in a VBAC is an unhappy baby and that's because if your uterus is starting to rupture and blood is getting in to baby, baby won't like it very much!

    Check with your hospital policy in regards to when they want you to come in. Our policy states that you should come in early so you can be connected to the CTG for monitoring once your contractions are regular. I personally would try to stay at home a bit longer to avoid being put on a timeline.

    Check also what your hospitals policy is in regards to using syntocinon on a scar. Some of our doctors will use it, some won't. The general consensus is that ideally you need to go into labour yourself for the best chance at a VBAC. If you end up requiring an induction it may come down to using a balloon catheter to dilate your cervix and then breaking your waters, leaving the rest up to you. This would mean trying to stay active as much as possible. Using the ball, standing up and leaning over the bed/table etc. if you want an epidural you'll likely need to be in well established labour before they'll let you have one as an early epidural increases the risk of a repeat CS particularly if they aren't using syntocinon.

    If you do decide to hang at home a bit longer than your first contraction, pay attention to your abdomen and your pain. If your tummy starts becoming firm and tender without a contraction, head straight in to hospital. Those are other early signs that your scar could potentially rupture. It's not common, but you don't want to be in that 5% or whatever it is who ruptures their uterus!

    Good luck! I've seen some really beautiful VBACs including one on all fours in the shower on our ward (didn't make it to birth suite...) 1-2 truly awful worst case scenario ones and then plenty in between where a repeat section has been performed, but without the drama of a rupturing uterus or a severely compromised baby.

  11. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to M'LadyEm For This Useful Post:

    brodiesmummy2011  (20-01-2017),JR03  (21-01-2017),MrsMummaButterfly  (20-01-2017),nicole83  (21-01-2017)


 

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