My sister just had her first baby, and I'm trying to figure out if her c-section could have been avoided. Up until 8cm, she was walking the halls and doing a really awesome job. The nurse would have her come back to her room every 1-2 hours for 15 minutes on the monitor. Baby was great, and she was great.
When a check revealed that she was 8 cm, she stayed in her room, but still pacing or standing, leaning on the bed. About 2 hours later, she got another check, and she was still 8cm, and her cervix was swollen in the front. We knew that the baby was posterior throughout labor, so I'm assuming that it was malpositioning that caused the swelling. The doctor and nurse wanted her off her feet to try to get the swelling down, so at that point, she sat upright in bed for a while. I guess it was another hour later, she was still 8cm and still swollen. She requested an epidural. After that, she was able to lay down and sleep for a couple of hours (at this point, she had been awake for about 20 hours). She was checked again. Still at 8cm and still swollen. She had been like that for 6 full hours at this point.
Her doctor said, "Do you want a c-section now or later?" She said that she would wait another 2 hours and see if the swelling would go down, but she didn't think that would happen. My sister was devastated and reluctantly agreed to have the c-section right then.
The whole time, the baby was doing great. My sister, not so much. Up until she got the epidural, she was having transition contractions for 3-4 straight hours, and she was just exhausted.
I know it's too late to go back and change it now, but is there anything else we could have done to get that cervical swelling down?
I was in a similar situation with my first, and the epi was the only thing that worked. If it didn't work, I don't think there's anything else they can do.
DCP to 1 busy munchkin! and a CRST too!
One technique I know of: fill the finger of a glove with ice, place on swelling aspect of cervix. I imagine the effect might be sort of ... I've never seen this actually used.
At home amongst the redwoods with my husband and my son, born 7/5/11 Instant CNM, just add !
Thanks for the replies. I talked to my midwife about it today, and she told me that she recently had a very similar situation. They transferred to the hospital after she had been swollen for 6 hours at home, got an epidural, and the mother slept for 8 hours straight. After that, the swelling went down, but that's how long it took.
My sister's doctor would have given her an additional 2 hours, but that's it. Unfortunately, she delivered at a hospital very well known for their high c-section rate (and their complete ban on doulas!).