Seven weeks on I’m feeling ready to share Charlottes birth story. I planned on doing this if everything went well because after being given an induction date at 36 weeks every Tom, Dick and Harry decided to tell me how horrendous inductions are. I heard nothing but negative and really rather scary stories about other people’s experiences. After consulting Dr Google I found people CAN have a positive birth experience whilst being inducted, I hoped for the same and made the decision to share my story to perhaps be of comfort to others. If this blog post makes even one mummy to be feel less anxious about what lies ahead it will have been worth writing.
We were given the 6th December as my date to be brought in to start the induction process. I was told I would receive a phone call at some point in the day and to be ready to head in at any point. I waited and waited, we brought Ruby to McDonalds and took a walk around The Range to try and distract ourselves. As soon as we went out I missed a call from an unknown number (sods law) so I assumed I had missed my slot. No one at the hospital knew anything about ringing me but assured me I would get a call that day, so I guess it was a missed PPI claim opportunity.
6pm came around and we decided to bring Ruby to my mums house to get her settled for the night. I sobbed leaving her, for some reason I had got it into my head that I was going to die during child birth and this was the last time I’d ever see my daughter. Crazy I know but anxiety is an awful, irrational thing. I finally got a call at 8pm and was told to be at the hospital for 11pm. I was informed my husband wouldn’t be allowed to stay with me; for someone who was anxious and convinced I was going to die this was the straw that broke the camels back. I sobbed and said I understood but I was terrified, the midwife was lovely and said she would let him stay until I got settled but after that he would have to leave. A few minutes later the midwife called back and said she thought it was best if I came in at 6am, that way Neill could stay with me (and she wouldn’t have to deal with a basket case).
We arrived at the hospital and were shown to a private induction bay, which was small but comfortable room. We had a sink, a television, a bed and a chair. I was put on the monitor for an hour to check baby’s heart rate was stable before the process was started. When the midwife was satisfied with baby’s heart rate she examined me, I was 3cm dilated. She was confident at this point that we would be meeting our baby that very same day, Neill and I were over the moon as Ruby’s labour was 18.5 hours! I was then given a six hour pessary and was free to wander around the hospital. We walked and walked until my gammy hips could take no more but nothing seemed to be happening!
At 12pm Neill decided to go to the canteen for lunch, I was too nervous to eat anything but sat with him. Half way through his dry fish and soggy chips I felt a twinge, he shovelled the ‘meal’ into him and we waddled back to the induction suite. I got back to my room, sat on the birthing ball and couldn’t decide if the pains were the real thing or not. When the midwife came to check on me at around 12:30 she told me I was definitely having contractions and brought me some gas and air.
It wasn’t long before I was brought to the delivery suite, I was managing the pain with gas and air at this stage but things were definitely starting to get more painful. Shortly after arrival, I was examined again and at this point I was 4cm. This disappointed me as I arrived at hospital in my last labour breathing through contractions and was 4cm, I felt I should have been at least 5-6! Within an hour I had been given diamorphine and all was well with the world again, I was having craic with the midwife and even texting my best friend. At 2:45 I had my waters broken, I won’t lie that wasn’t a pleasant experience! They basically put a large hook type object ‘up there’ and scrape around until they manage to get the membranes ruptured. Not cool in anyone’s book.
At around 3:30pm the midwife said I was progressing well but the induction process included an oxytocin drip so she would be starting me on 1ml. She strongly recommended I opted for an epidural as the drip can often make ‘forced’ contractions feel a lot more painful than in regular ‘natural’ labour. I agreed and the anaesthetist was called. Once the drip was finally up (I have terrible veins, back up needed called to insert the cannula) I was in quite a bit of pain so midwife decided not to increase the drip until I got my epidural. Unfortunately the anaesthetist was busy so couldn’t come straight away, I was begging for pain relief at me one point but looking back I was able to deal with the pain relatively well. My midwife went on her break around 4:30, in came a girl I went to school with to examine me (cringe – just what you want, someone you know having to stick their hand up your foof!!) I was only 5-6cm, gutted doesn’t cover how I was feeling. An added joy for said girl was me accidentally kicking her up the face. Bet she wished she had pulled a sickie that day.
Finally at 5pm the anaesthetist arrived and started to explain how he would put in my epidural, he said he would pause when I felt a contraction coming. All he got to say was “Hi I’m (can’t remember his name) I am going to explain exactly what I’m going to do to insert your epidural” – contraction came and he said “you need examined again those sound like pushing noises, I’m going to leave the room”. I roared after him “DON’T LET THAT DRUGS MAN LEAVE ME I NEED DRUGS” (off my face on diamorph!). The midwife told me to stop pushing I couldn’t possibly be ready to push (still the girl I went to school with). She examined me again and I was fully dilated! She then called for help, I didn’t know what was happening so I panicked when four other people entered the room, I assumed something was wrong with the baby. At this stage I was properly pushing; my original midwife arrived back into the room and couldn’t believe her eyes!
A few pushes later, my lovely midwife was standing down the business end and I felt warm liquid, turns out my waters hadn’t all gone and the poor girl was drenched!! She had to leave the room and get changed (still really glad the girl I went to school with was in the room HA). I don’t remember much after that only being shouted at to cough and after two coughs Charlottes head was born. A few pushes later and our gorgeous girl entered the world! I was still very dopey from the diamorphine and didn’t know why she hadn’t been put on my chest straight away, they took her to check her over as she was born so quickly then the scales were broken so they were waiting for a new set to be brought in before placing her on me. I wanted skin to skin immediately after birth so I am annoyed this wasn’t respected but the main thing is she was born healthy and all was well with our perfect girl.
After delivering my placenta I was told I had a second degree tear and required some stitches. Compared to an episiotomy I did think this was much more painful but the healing process for me was a LOT quicker than my previous episiotomy.
For those who think (like I did) all inductions take days and result in forceps or sections, they absolutely do not! My pessary was inserted at 7:30am, contractions started at 12:30pm and Charlotte was born at 5:35. Neill text my best friend after delivery and she couldn’t understand who Charlotte was and what she was doing in the room – she knew the name we had picked for her but never dreamed she could have arrived so shortly after speaking to me! For some reason women seem to enjoy sharing horror stories with pregnant ladies, rest assured you will not have the same labour as anyone else. Every single labour is different, my first labour was awful and completely natural. I didn’t think I would have had such a lovely, positive birth experience whilst being induced.