And the home birth’s back on (so far)

I’ve learned two lessons in the past three days: babies and bodies aren’t bothered with your plans, and medical tests can get it wrong the first time.

Being diagnosed with obstetric cholestasis was shock at nearly the end of an otherwise healthy pregnancy – especially since it is such a rare condition. Initially I was disappointed that we wouldn’t have the home birth we’d hoped for. But I came around to the hospital thing. It was exciting packing the bags and writing the birth plan.

We focused on the creature and actually began to look forward to the birth. At least we knew that we were meeting her next week. Oh, also, a scan yesterday gave us a close up which confirmed that she’s a she – so that was pretty cool in itself.

Still desperate not to be induced by pessary, I called my midwife, who took me off the home birth register and agreed to give me a second sweep on Saturday (addicted to the pain, I am). When a big glob of snot fell out this morning, which I realised must be the mucus plug, I got excited that perhaps things were moving along. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It could still be weeks before anything happens.

I rushed about getting little things sorted: essential oils for the labour, shea butter for nappy and nipple cream. And then I rang up the assessment unit to find out what time I should collect the prescription it had been too late the day before for them to give me.

The midwife I spoke to couldn’t find any prescription made out to me. In fact, all she could find were results that showed that everything in my system was normal. Normal? But I’m supposed to be induced on Monday! For obstetric cholestasis! She was surprised. Nothing in these results indicated that I should be induced. She would call me back.

It turns out that the first results from blood taken by my GP had shown bile salts of 25 (normal is 9 and less) but the second results showed a score of 7. This was news to me. I had somehow thought the decision we’d made the night before was based on two sets of results not one. There had been a miscommunication somewhere.

I could come in for further tests and another consultation on Monday. Could I really? Was I going to spend a weekend wondering if I was waiting to be induced? And what if I did go into labour before the third set of results? It was finally agreed that I’d come in today and didn’t mind having to wait.

The third set of results show a score of 4. It’s been declared that I’m in good health and do not have obstetric cholestasis. My induction has been cancelled and there’s no reason why I can’t proceed with the home birth.

And I’m relieved. So very relieved. But we both feel a little bit shaken up by it all. Now we’re really impatient for the creature to come. It’s really weird going from one idea to another and back again in such a short space of time. Just come, baby, and let’s have it done with?

But, uh, let me sort your room and practise folding nappies first!


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  •  Hurray!

    I’m so glad and please please please take this as a sign to do what you are doing and to question, query and check everything

    And fingers and toes crossed that you are all ok

    p.s. having got a baby out ‘naturally’ before an induction deadline if it goes that way please drop me a line

    • Thanks! I found your comment on yesterday’s post helpful in reminding me that we do have to make the choices ourselves. I will definitely be querying everything as we continue. And wondering if we should look at getting an independent midwife next time round! I do feel satisfied though that we made the best decisions we could with the information we had (albeit incomplete info!) and that the doctors and midwives did what they felt they had to do, even if it unnecessarily got us geared up for an induction that won’t happen. There’s been a lot of good in this experience. 

  • Oh Blimey! Have just caught up on all your posts! Hope you do still manage the home birth you wanted! Its great that its an option again!

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