Vaginal triplet birth
Expecting identical triplets, Wendy Varley prepared herself for a caesarean that didn't happen after all
Apart from severe sickness until 20 weeks, I had a remarkably healthy triplet pregnancy. I'd heard horror stories about needing full-time bed rest, early admission to hospital, dangerously premature deliveries and potential health problems.
It's show time
At 34 weeks I was still at home, mobile (though I looked like I was incubating an elephant) and feeling fine. I'd been told to come to hospital as soon as I felt any twinges. In the early hours of Saturday 6th December, I had a show when I went to the loo and mild contractions set in soon afterwards.
I didn't panic, but woke my husband Ian at around 6am. We drove to Guys Hospital in London, where I was examined and found to be 4cm dilated. I had three monitors strapped to my tummy to pick up the three heartbeats, and was expecting to be prepped for a section. I felt acutely nervous and told Ian I didn't think I was ready, but, as he rightly said, we never would feel ready for triplets.
On the move again
I was just settling in, when the registrar told me that the babies would need special care in incubators. As the special care baby unit at Guy's didn't have three free incubators, I would have to be transferred to a different hospital to give birth. Scary information when you're in labour. He put me on a drip to stop the contractions and buy time, and I could hear him calling a succession of different hospitals.
It was a long wait before the Royal London accepted us, and I was whisked across London with the siren going. I felt terrified at the idea of going straight into theatre in a completely strange hospital. But by the time I arrived the contractions had stopped and I had time to adjust.
As soon as I'd settled on the ward, the consultant came to see me and asked if I wanted to have the babies normally. 'What? Can I?' I asked, incredulous. I was assured that I could try for a vaginal birth if I liked. I jumped at the chance, but said I'd want an epidural, so that if I did end up with an emergency section I'd be able to stay awake.