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17th Oct 2019

A failed forceps delivery results in an emergency C-section for a young mum on The Rotunda this week

Trine Jensen-Burke

The Rotunda

It is the longest running maternity hospital in the world.

And so it goes without saying that there is never a dull moment for the midwives, doctors and nurses at Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital.

On tonight’s episode, we meet 21-year-olds Jessica and Sean, who are in the Rotunda to welcome their first baby together.

But after a long and painful labour, and a failed first epidural, midwife Jo realises the baby’s head is facing upwards, a position that could unfortunately make Jessica’s delivery more challenging.

Realising the epidural that was administered to Jessica earlier on isn’t working, and that she is still in a lot of pain, a doctor is called back in to see what can be done.

“In less than five percent of cases, epidurals don’t work the first time around,” explains midwife Jo. “It can happen. And that can be very traumatic and stressful for the lady, because the idea of an epidural is pain relief. And when it doesn’t go to plan then, that can be very distressing.”

A second epidural is then administered to Jessica, and finally, this one seems to work.

However, when she is finally ready to push, Jo soon realise that Jessica’s delivery isn’t progressing as it should, and struggling to keep pushing, Jo instructs Jessica to try several different positions in an attempt to help the baby out.

“That is when I said to Sean I was starting to get scared,” Jessica explains. “What if there was something wrong?”

A doctor arrives to attempt an instrumental delivery, but even this doesn’t seem to work, and by now midwife Jo is worried Jessica and Sean’s baby boy is getting distressed.

“It was pretty dramatic, and things started to happen fast,” explains Jo on prepping Jessica for a an emergency section. “It was a category 1 section, and all hands on deck.”

After 10 hours by her side, dad-to-be Sean has to wait outside the theatre as Jessica is put asleep for her section.

“It was scary, waiting outside the theatre. You don’t know what to be feeling, you are just there, waiting, for anything.”

Finally, a healthy cry pierces the room, and realising his son has been born, Sean can breathe a sigh of relief.

“It was the most amazing feeling.”

Also on the episode

Awaiting the delivery of their newborn are Kristina and Rafael, who met on a New Year’s Eve date in Kristina’s home country of Lithuania. Meanwhile, in Neo-Natal ICU, Aileen and Ruairí  keep an anxious vigil beside the incubator carrying their baby Emily after she was born at just 26 weeks gestation.

The Rotunda goes behind the scenes at the world’s longest-running maternity hospital where over one million Dubliners have been born and some 24 new babies are added to that number every day.

This week’s episode airs on RTÉ2 tonight at 9.30pm