Thought it might be useful to start a thread on diabetic birth stories as I found it hard to find many. If people add their stories to this and the people approaching D-day find it useful then one of the admins might want to make it a pinned post.
So we'll start with mine.
At the 36 week scan my insulin requirements had dropped by 15% and that coupled with recent reduced foetal movements and reduced weight gain (still more than an average person but less than my typical) made them think my placenta might be starting to fail. I had previously been booked in for a c-section at 38 weeks due to predicted size but they decided he probably needed to come earlier. Due to it being preterm I was immediately admitted for steroids and then induction. The steroids would be started on the normal ward with me in control of bloods/insulin with two hourly checking but as soon as bloods rose above 10 I'd have to go up to labour ward to go on a sliding scale and be monitored hourly.
I got admitted at 12noon but the steroid injection wasn't given until 9pm (Friday). The bloods raised overnight and each check was the one we thought I'd be sent up to labour ward but it wasn't until 9am my bloods showed I needed to and by the time the midwives had finished arguing about whether or not there was space and whether my bloods were desperate enough or not I didn't get up there till 11am. The sliding scale worked really well and once the last steroid injection was in my system 12 hours and bloods had stabilised I went back down to normal ward (Sunday).
Baby's heartrate and movements were monitored morning and evening to check all was okay, and I had a show Monday so body sort of knew what was coming. It was decided to start induction first thing Tuesday morning, but again we had to wait until there was space on labour ward in case things happened fast, so the pessary wasn't inserted until 3pm. Mild contractions started at 5pm and got stronger and more frequent. Yoga breathing and leaning against the wall helped. The midwives suggested taking paracetamol and codeine before bed to help me sleep and get some energy so I did. Managed to sleep on and off. At 6am I called hubby and said "don't go into work I think it's happening today" but by 8am when he arrived contractions had completely stopped.
We waited the full 24 hours for the pessary to work and when I was examined (Wednesday afternoon) I was soft enough to go to the next stage. It took four hours for there to be enough space to move up to labour ward to have my waters broken. So at 8pm Wednesday we moved into the room our baby would be born in, and every hour a midwife came in and said "sorry we're too busy to start you off, it'll be soon hopefully".
At 7.45am on Thursday they put me on the sliding scale and broke my waters and contractions gradually restarted. My bloods stayed within the target range very well. I had wanted an active labour and had prepped several yoga positions etc to help. However with a insulin drip and glucose drip in one arm and a syntocin drip and fluids iv in the other arm, plus a baby monitor strapping my belly to a machine I was able to stand but not really move, and the transition from standing to bed was challenging web of wires and tubes.
At 12noon they determined me as being in established labour. I found the lack of movement a right pain in the **** and contractions were getting harder to manage. I was discussing with the midwife when the optimum time to have an epidural would be - I didn't feel ready just yet but was afraid of leaving it too late and them saying I couldn't have it. In the time it took for the anesthetist to come and see me (5 minutes ish according to hubby) the contractions had increased to beyond what I could cope with so we had the epidural immediately. I was then genuinely surprised that I felt nothing. Hubby and I chatted, watched telly, read books, the midwives changed shifts, I even had a nap.
At 10pm they examined me and I was 7cm dilated. At 11pm I was 8cm. At midnight I was 9cm and they warned me I was going slowly so they monitored baby's cortisol which was fine but they said they'd monitor again in an hour and there was the possibility of needing a c-section. An hour later I hadn't dilated anymore and although the cortisol showed baby to be fine and happy they weren't really happy with how long it was taking and suggested the c-section, by which point I was so tired and exhausted and just wanted the baby healthily out we agreed.
The transfer to operating theatre bed knocked my epidural tube out and there was a debate about how long since my last dose and whether I could have another one or if it would have to be general aesthetic during which the pain had returned. We did manage a second epidural and they cut me open, baby son born at 1.37am Friday.
I had requested delayed cord clamping and they waited 2min, paediatricians were there to check over baby and then I got skin to skin after 20min. The midwife was busy ensuring all my drips were doing what they were meant to be and wouldn't let me feed him, she said we should wait until she was available to help. Finally when we were back in the labour ward room and she had completed all her paperwork she let me try our first breastfeed, an hour and a half after birth. He was too sleepy and not keen on latching so we had to give him some of my frozen expressed colostrum.
He had more heel picks than I can remember in his first day, and had two hypos which my expressed colostrum corrected. A third hypo would have put him in SCBU but we managed to avoid that. He had a warmed crib so that his blood sugar didn't have to be wasted in keeping himself warm. By Saturday morning he got the all clear on the blood test front, but he didn't take his first real breastfeed until Monday, relying on expressions fed by syringe.
Things I would have done differently using hindsight:
* my hospital bag was packed to deal with post-birth. I only had disposable knickers - nothing really suitable for wearing the week of waiting pre-birth!
* I wouldn't touch paracetamol for early contractions, I believe these slowed it down due to being forced contractions. See link http://undercovermidwife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/paracetamol-and-labour.html?m=1
* fight for the right to let your baby have access to feeding as soon as they come out, not when it fits around the paperwork.
* not bother to use the warmed crib - skin to skin contact during the day and cosleeping at night would have had a more optimal effect. And would have helped with the breastfeeding.
Those four are advice I would heartily share with every diabetic (well every pregnant woman too). Then there is a fifth that I believe may not be appropriate for everyone
* not to have syntocin. If the pessary and waters breaking don't get it started then go for c-section and have some energy and be in control. See this link http://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/natural-labour-vs-induced-labour/