High risk or unknown quantity?

ISSN 0256-5004 (Print)

AIMS Journal, 2011, Vol 23 No 4

By Sarah Holdway

When I was 19 I found out I was pregnant – I have Perthes disease, which is uncommon in females.

Perthes' disease occurs in a part of the hip joint called the femoral head. This is the rounded top of the femur (thigh bone) which sits inside the acetabulum (the hip socket). Something happens to the small blood vessels which supply the femoral head with blood so parts of the femoral head lose their blood supply. As a result, the bone cells in the affected area die, the bone softens, and the bone can fracture or become distorted. The severity of the condition can vary. [Explanation from the Perthes Association]

I have always lived with pain and discomfort and there had always been some concern if I were to fall pregnant. At the time (the pregnancy was unplanned) I was taking pain medications and there was a lot of concern about the damage I may have done. I saw the midwife who brusquely told me that my pelvis would not hold the baby for more than seven months and then they'd section me.

I was horrified. It was the last thing I wanted. I argued my case; for a start I was single, how would I manage to be bed bound? I didn’t want one! I had plenty of discussions about being selfish and putting my baby at risk and was often told I’d be held accountable if my baby died. I was so frightened no one would support me and I was referred to as awkward and stupid. In a routine physio appointment I burst into tears. The physio sat with me, she was the only person who heard what I was saying. We put together a plan of positions to keep my pelvis nice and open. The pregnancy was a little uncomfortable toward the end.

I came up with a birth plan that kept my options open. I’d go into labour and wait and see how baby was doing. I’d be ‘allowed’ to labour for 12 hours then I’d be taken for a section. If baby didn't arrive by 40 weeks I’d be booked for a caesarean.

I agreed to all this – it felt like I was being done a favour! Luckily my daughter made her entrance three weeks before the EDD – on the sofa. I didn’t have time to do much apart from call for an ambulance, they were marvellous.

She emerged with no problem at all – I was on my back, almost sitting, and she just slid out in three pushes.

I have had two other babies after her with no problem. I wonder how much my care team even knew about the issues they were suggesting surgery to ‘fix’.

Latest Content

Journal

« »

The CQC 2019 survey of women’s expe…

To read or download this Journal in a magazine format on ISSUU, please click here AIMS Journal, 2020, Vol 32, No 2 By Nadia Higson The Care Quality Commission (CQC) mater…

Read more

Incentives for Continuity of Carer…

To read or download this Journal in a magazine format on ISSUU, please click here AIMS Journal, 2020, Vol 32, No 2 By the AIMS Campaigns Team Trust Boards will now have a…

Read more

What has the AIMS Campaigns team be…

To read or download this Journal in a magazine format on ISSUU, please click here AIMS Journal, 2020, Vol 32, No 2 We reviewed the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) 2019 su…

Read more

Events

« »

AIMS 60th Anniversary Event - Confe…

POSTPONED FROM JUNE 2020 Making a difference past and future The purpose of the day is to celebrate what Birth Activists in general and AIMS in particular have achieved,…

Read more

ARM National Conference 2020: "How…

Chair: Professor Soo Downe, University of Central Lancashire Dr Gloria Esegbona, OBGYN and Winston Churchill Fellow 2015 Kings College Learning Institute Dr Gloria Esegbo…

Read more

NICE Annual Conference 2020

Registration for the NICE Annual Conference 2020 will open on 22 January 2020. For more details and to register your interest, please visit http://www.niceconference.org.…

Read more

Latest Campaigns

« »

AIMS' evidence to the Health and So…

AIMS' evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee On April 22, the UK Parliament's Health and Social Care Select Committee opened an inquiry ​into the plannin…

Read more

AIMS Comments on RCM Clinical Brief…

AIMS welcomes the recent publication of the RCM Clinical Briefing Sheet: ‘freebirth’ or ‘unassisted childbirth’ during the COVID-19 pandemic ( www.rcm.org.uk/media/3904/f…

Read more

Template Campaigning Letters about…

AIMS has had many enquiries about how to find out about, and seek to influence, local service changes during this period. Here we have included several examples of issues…

Read more