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Birth Story: “My son was born 12 days past his due date with a Foley Catheter”

birthstory-stephanieMy son was born 12 days past his due date with a Foley Catheter. With a fairly uneventful and standard pregnancy I finally started to get some serious ‘bearing down’ contractions at 1 am each morning from 38 weeks. The contractions would come on strong and a hopeful feeling would set in and then two hours later… NOTHING. Nothing happened.

So week after week passed with no news… I did everything I could to bring on labour. Reflexology, curries, walking, walking unevenly on the curb, yoga, sex – you name it I was trying it.

10 days after we went to the hospital with our bags packed (for some reason I forgot nappies!). Within a 24 hour period I had three sets of ‘gels’ on my cervix and there was absolutely no progress. My cervix was ‘rock hard’… Unfortunately with this kind of induction I could feel some fairly strong contractions – period pain. So I was given strong pain killers and a sleeping tablet just to get some rest.

The doctors decided they would try a Foley Catheter (or a ‘balloon’) to blow up my cervix, as the doctors put it. That was an experience I’d rather forget. It wasn’t painful but I do remember saying “I’m sick of things going in, instead of coming out!”. I remember asking the midwife, “Does this actually work? What will happen if it doesn’t work?” This was the frustrating part, well… what happens if it doesn’t work? The doctors and midwives were just more hopeful and couldn’t guarantee it at all, and weren’t overly communicative about the next steps. The Foley Catheter procedure was quite uncommon from what I could gather and I really didn’t have a lot of time to research it as I had never heard of it.

Another 12 hours later, we finally managed to break my waters and go for a standard induction with the drip. At 9 am the drip was in, 10 am I ‘politely asked’ for the epidural and my son was finally born at 8:38 pm via vacuum. He was a very healthy 3.8 kgs and 54 cm. Twelve extra days in the womb must have done him some good! We are very much in love with our son.

For those reading this about to go into labor, my advice is to not plan. You really can not predict what is going to happen and what your body wants or doesn’t want to do.


Thanks to mum Stephanie for sharing her wonderful birth story with us.
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One comment so far -

  1. I would like others’ comments on “What could have been done” to make this birth easier. Should there have been earlier medical intervention? Should nature have been left to take its course? Could the mother have practiced relaxation? Though I am glad the new family are now healthy and happy after their “birth experience”, the article on its own is not comforting at all to a pregnant first-timer!

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