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Life Saving Monitors For Babies

Feb 29, 2008
Having been through the experience of giving birth three times I had hardened myself to the fact that I couldn't be fazed by any blood and guts.

That was until I had the opportunity to be at the business end of childbirth and see it in all its gut wrenching glory. Don't get me wrong, I would not have missed the birth of my grandson for anything in the world. However, I certainly was not prepared for the fear I felt on behalf of my daughter for the health of her son.

Nowhere else in the world will you see a bunch of women battle with all their strength for anything so fiercely. And they say that women are the weaker sex! I watched my daughter muster every ounce of physical and emotional strength she had ever had to find. I watched the midwives shed sweat and tears in my grandson's perilous entry into the world. All that and I still managed to hang on to my breakfast.

Two weeks overdue my daughter arrived at the hospital in the early stages of labour and had all the run of the mill tests to check her and her son's health. She was strapped up to machines and having blood taken at various intervals. The heart monitor rate was telling us all was ok and we settled in for a bit of a wait.

She didn't cope with the pain very well. At this point, for the benefit of male readers, I will tell you that when you can squeeze a melon through your nether regions, then you may have an opinion on the pain of child birth, until that point assume it is your worst level of pain imaginable and then magnify it by one hundred.

Ten hours in and the young woman who insisted no medicinal intervention is begging for drugs. After three pethidine jabs we were able to relax into the funny phase. For those who haven't been there, this is the time when you find humour in everything. Strapped to monitors, she starts to laugh at the shape of the bottle of hand wash fixed to the wall on the other side of the room and can focus on nothing else.

The more she laughs at the bottle, the more I laugh at her. The door bursts open and in flies a midwife with panic on her face. The heart monitor rates given off by my daughter have gone through the roof and they think she is ill. Relieved, they give her a light hearted telling off for frightening them.

Another twelve hours go by and she is still seriously struggling, with some way to go only now things have taken a somewhat sinister turn. Tests have been done on her and the baby and the heart monitor rate has gone from the expected 150 beats per minute to an unhealthy196 beats per minute.
If labour is prolonged and the baby becomes distressed, then he's heart rate will drop. They do not know why his heartbeat is rising so rapidly but the heart monitor rates just keep climbing. Despite being packed to the rafters with mothers in the full throes of labour, they put my daughter to the top of the list for a caesarean section. This baby has to come out quickly and she is not dilating.

The surgeons are held up with another operation and my daughters fear is increasing in line with the heart monitor rate telling us of her baby's progress. As I dress in the scrubs they have given me, the seriousness of the situation hits home for us all.

Ready for the operation, the midwife carries out some last minute checks before taking her to the operating theatre. They find she has suddenly dilated and it is too late for the operation. She will have to push. With no other way out, they turn off the sound from the machines so as not to frighten her with the heart monitor rates and she uses all her concentration to focus on the job in hand.

In a very short space of time, my grandson is delivered and within minutes his heart monitor rates tell us all is back as it should be. A paediatrician is on hand to give him a thorough check and these tests are done again the following day before he is sent home being declared fit and well.

Back in the days before heart rate monitors, many babies died this way but thank heavens for modern science and medicine.
About the Author
Health expert Catherine Harvey looks at the wat a heart monitor rate can help determine the health of your baby. To find out more please visit http://www.improveyourbody.co.uk/
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