Early Sweeps and Inductions

Early Sweeps and Inductions

My oldest friend S (as in I’ve known her since I was three) is due to give birth any day. Well I say that, she was due last week and is in that horrible “Will I or won’t I need an induction?” stage. The poor thing is exhausted, anxious and growing bigger by the day. The waiting game is in her words “just horrendous”.

In my case, I was so anxious when I got to around the 37 week mark that I was in and out of the hospital pretty much every other day. What was that weird pain? Was my baby’s heart beating? Was my blood pressure OK? Did I have a urine infection? I was a nervous wreck and every midwife’s worst nightmare.

When I was 39 weeks I took yet another visit to the hospital and met a rather dashing Spanish consultant who said “You are nervous no? You just want to have the baby? OK, I’ll do a sweep and it will make you have the baby in the next two days”.

I was really excited. The next two days? That would suit me perfectly. I just wanted to be done with the whole pregnancy thing and hold my baby safely in my arms.

Anyway, the sweep that followed can only be described as hardcore and almost violent. It was breathtakingly painful and forceful and left me feeling faint and sick. The consultant really went to town and to be honest, it didn’t feel right at all.

I left feeling stunned.

Lo and behold, two days later I went into labour with instant and excruciating contractions every three minutes. Thinking that Poppy was coming out there and then, I rushed to hospital only to be in labour for 19 hours and finally have an emergency caesarean where it turned out that Poppy was sideways. When the consultant had done the sweep two days before she had been in the perfect birthing position (he did a scan before the sweep) so what the hell had happened?

My gut feeling is that I never should have had that sweep. Poppy wasn’t ready to come out and by forcing her to do so, it probably caused her change of position and my very complicated labour.

I totally get that going beyond your due date must be the most horrible and frustrating thing in the world and being induced isn’t fun but in retrospect, I should have waited until Poppy was ready. Yes I might have still had a complicated labour, but my instinct tells me that having that early sweep was the wrong thing to do.



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