I cannot believe I gave birth almost 7 weeks ago. Time really does go SO fast when you have a newborn.

My first birth experience is a positive induction story that I wanted to write about for myself to look back on, but to also show other pregnant ladies out there who may be nervous about being induced.

This is my labour story.

In retrospect, I had a smooth sailing low risk pregnancy with no major complications, so I am thankful for this. However, when I got to around 35 weeks pregnant, I started to feel different, but couldn't put my finger on what felt different. One weekend, I was really sick during the night and honestly felt like it could be the start of something happening. However, I managed to sleep it off by sitting in the nursing chair in the nursery with a spare duvet. I literally could not lay down!

The next day at a routine midwife checkup, my blood pressure was found to be considerably high than deemed 'normal' for me and a trace of protein in my urine had been found. My midwife said as soon as I walked into the room, she could tell something was not quite right to her. My face was pale and puffy, so was showing signs of pre-eclampsia. Even though my pregnancy was low risk, I still had to have a watchful eye over me due to pre-eclampsia history in the family.

I ended up being referred to the MAC (Maternity Assessment Centre) at hospital as an emergency. Ricky left work straight away to come home and pick me up. Once we got to the hospital, I needed to do another urine sample which came back negative for protein. My blood pressure was also checked and it had returned to its normal level, so I was discharged and went home.

At my next routine midwife checkup at 37 weeks, I reported back to her that I hadn't been feeling the baby move around as much. I was so used to him kicking and poking me at certain times of the day, but these movements started to slow down. Again, the midwife found my blood pressure to be high and she found a higher trace of protein in my urine, so I was referred back down the hospital to be checked. After a load more checks, it was then decided that I would go into hospital twice a week for both the baby and I to be checked over. Of course, I agreed.

At the first routine checkup, I was hooked up to a monitor and they found the baby's movements to be fine - he had moved enough times in 10 minutes. A consultant came into see me as the midwife was concerned about the swelling I had in my legs and feet. I also explained to her that I was unsure if my waters had been leaking. She internally examined me and didn't think my waters were leaking. In the process, she also performed a sweep, but my cervix was still closed and hard.

I was sent to the scan department to double check the water levels which actually came back fine. The consultant came back and spoke to me to explain that the best course of action may be to be induced as I was already deemed 'full term', so there would be no point in waiting till baby's due date.  I was obviously very unprepared for this and needed time to think it over.

I had been doing the hypnobirthing course with The Positive Birthing Company since I was around 20 weeks pregnant. If you're familiar with this, then you will know what I mean when I say I used my BRAIN to accept/decline induction.

Benefits - What are the benefits?
Risks - Are there any risks?
Alternative - Is there anything else we can try instead?
Intuition - What is my heart telling me to do?
Nothing - What happens if we do nothing?

The induction was booked for 10 days' time, so I accepted it for the time being and decided to reject it nearer the time if I wanted to.

Two days later, I returned to MAC for my next routine checkup and again I reported back that the baby hadn't been moving as much as deemed normal. Once hooked up to the monitor, baby wasn't moving as much as they would have liked so I had to wait for a consultant to come down and see me. Once she arrived, she explained that due to everything going on, I was now considered high risk and it would be a sensible idea to bring my induction date forward. What I didn't expect was for them to bring it as close as two days' time! After a chat with the head midwife who explained the pros and cons of induction, I decided it was best to accept it.

24th May 2019 - Induction Day

Here is a vlog of the experience too!

I was told to ring the delivery suite at 8am to find out if there was a bed available for me. I really did not want to be waiting around all day for a free bed, as I am pretty sure my anxiety levels would have gone out of the roof! Luckily, a bed was available so we was told to come in for 10am.

After running around getting last minute things ready and a chilled out 20 minute drive to the hospital, we finally arrived. Our room was a nice size, but was really stuffy! There was also a bathroom that was shared with another pregnant lady next door.

We chilled for a while before a midwife came to see us to explain the two different induction methods. It was checked with a consultant and decided for me that the 'shoelace' method would be best for me. This was like a tampon covered in gel that had a very, very long string. It meant that I didn't have to be internally checked for 24hours (unless things got moving themselves) and baby was monitored every 6hours.   This was inserted at 12pm.

We went for a walk around the canteen and got some lunch, as an anaemic looking ham sandwich that I had been giving just wasn't cutting it. I needed carbs, so went for saveloy and chips! We returned back to the room and tried to chill out by watching back to back episodes of Breaking Bad.

By around 6pm, my contractions started and I thought they may just be braxton hicks as I had been getting them for the last few weeks. However, they gradually got stronger and stronger until the point where I really needed some relief as I was getting 3-4 contractions within 10 minutes. The midwife came in and I am pretty sure she didn't believe me, but I asked to be internally checked and I was 2cm dilated! She asked if I would like some cocodamol pain killers to which I accepted. Utterly pointless, as they did not work one bit!

I ended up just using the Hypnobirthing upbreathing techniques throughout the contractions (inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 6-8 seconds), which I really did concentrate on. At around 9.30PM, whilst watching Heisenberg do what he does best, I felt an almighty contraction that made need to move. As I turned to the side whilst laying down, I heard a 'pop' (which Ricky didn't hear, so I am unsure if it was more of a feeling rather than a sound!) and my bladder felt really full with the sensation of also really needing a poo. I thought this could be my body about to clear out, but as my made my way to the bathroom, my waters broke in a gush and carried on gushing for what seemed like ages.

The realisation and realness of everything happening all of a sudden made me burst into tears and I just remember repeating myself again and again with 'OMG my waters have broke Ricky, my waters have broke'. The midwife came to see me and this was when I lost my mucus plug too. Not as bad as what I expected it to look like either!

I swear at this moment in time was when things really did ramp up. All of a sudden, I was getting 2-3 contractions within 5 minutes and sometimes they were back to back contractions with no break inbetween. I am pretty sure I was annoying my midwife at this point, as I called her back in. She offered me Diamorphine and gas and air. I accepted both.

I don't remember being given the Diamorphine as it's an injection of pain relief into your thigh, but I do remember it slowing the timing of contractions down; spacing them out so I could grab a few minutes rest in-between each one. However, the pain itself wasn't any better, so I tried the gas and air. I think I had around 4-5 puffs and I had the urge to vomit. Luckily, there was a sick bowl nearby that Ricky grabbed and I didn't bother with the gas and air anymore.

Things then got really tough as we was nearing 1am and I was incredibly tired. The most exhausted I felt I had ever been (until the pushing stage came, then boy did things change!). Ricky bless him had fallen asleep, so I had to breathe through every contraction alone and try to cope as best as I could. I didn't get any sleep at all and ended up just about coping until 5am when the midwife told me I would be moved down to delivery suite within the hour. I was so thankful!

I was given a wheel chair and moved to a delivery room which was much more inviting. Open, bright and breezy... just what I needed after an exhausting night!

I had so many birth preferences in my plan that I wanted. I already couldn't have the dream water birth I wanted, but having a mobile labour is something I also didn't have... although, more down to choice! I also packed battery operated candles and room spray, a hypnobirthing playlist and specifically requested to not be coached through the pushing stage, but this all changed later on.

I had the longest night, but the established labour stage felt even longer. I was examined straight away and the midwives couldn't believe I was 8cm dilated already. I knew I wasn't exaggerating about the pain and I was in a way made to feel as if I was being dramatic!

My care was then handed over to the next midwife, Charley, who saw me throughout the delivery. She was absolutely wonderful and hats off to her because as much as I really needed my two birth partners there (Ricky and my mum), I definitely could not have done it without Charley. She was my absolute rock from start to finish.

She told me I needed to get to 10cm before I could start pushing and I remember asking what the time was and it being something like 10.15am. I remember asking how long would it take to dilate another 2cm and Charley said I could start pushing at 12pm. From then on, I remember asking (probably every 5 minutes), is it 12pm yet?! Time was going so slow!

The contractions really ramped up and I was struggling throughout each one. At this point, I wasn't using any pain relief at all so tried gas and air again, but it made me feel queasy once again so I quickly dumped that! A male consultant then randomly walked into the room and asked me if I wanted an epidural. Now, it was in my birth plan to NOT ask me if I want pain relief and to just sit back and allow me to request it if I want it. So of course, when I am in the worst pain of my life and wanting it to end, I screamed yes at an epidural. The thought of being numb everywhere at that point was a dream!  He said he would administer it and would be right back.

As soon as he left, Charley sternly shouted at me (in the nicest of ways!) that I didn't need an epidural and that I could do this without it as I was already so close to meeting my baby. I kept saying no I can't do it and then she explained that there is the possibility of an epidural slowing my labour down and at that point, I just wanted it over as quick as possible so I agreed I don't want it.

I kept feeling the sensation to push out a very, VERY large poo and for some reason kept apologising that I needed to push. Charley ensured me that it was absolutely fine and a completely normal feeling, but that I wasn't ready to push yet. She said my body would take over when it was ready to push the baby out and what I thought at that time was my body trying to push him out was actually just my body pushing him down and 'around the bend'.

I specifically remember asking for the time and being told it was 11.40am (just 20 mins after the above photo was taken!). I remember feeling so, so happy and that I just had another 20 mins worth of holding in this massive human POO and that I would soon be meeting my baby.

Just before 12pm, baby was so low down that Charley could no longer find his heartbeat. So, she asked my permission to put a clip on baby's head to monitor his heart. Of course, I said yes!

By 12pm, Charley explained what I needed to do to push as I always had this fear that I wouldn't know what to do. Head and chin down into chest, eyes closed and avoid 'mooing' as she told me my energy would be used up doing that rather than pushing.

I honestly found it really hard to begin with and felt like I wasn't doing it right. I could feel pressure down there, which was uncomfortable but not painful. What was painful was every contraction I was getting in which I had to ignore it and push through it.  During the pushing stage, baby's head can come out bit by bit but then suck back up a little and this is what kept happening to me. It was partly do with the fact I wasn't spreading my legs wide enough, which I found REALLY difficult due to having SPD (pelvic issues) throughout my pregnancy. So, Charley brought stirrups in and I was immediately panicking because that's the kind of instrument you see in soaps and movies!

With a bit of difficulty getting into the correct position for the stirrups, it definitely helped me to push through each contraction until the point where I then started screaming: the ring of fire was here. All of a sudden, I felt a super strong burning sensation and it honestly felt like I was going to rip down there. However, as soon as Charley told me that I had until 1pm to push the baby out naturally or intervention would be required, I knew I had to do it. I wanted to avoid meeting that male consultant a second time!!!

I honestly don't know how I did it, but I ignored the pain I was in. The abdominal cramp digging down inside of me with the mixture of feeling like my vagina was on fire. I had to just ignore it and keep pushing and pushing!

And then... at 12.49PM, out popped a very sloppy and wriggly baby boy!

Weighing in at a chunky 8lbs, 8oz, he was immediately placed onto my chest for skin to skin. Charley read my birth plan and gave me as much of it as she could. Therefore, we got the delayed cord clamping that we really wanted. We was also given the 'golden hour' that I so wanted and Ricky got to cut the cord.

This gave us the chance to be alone for the first time with our baby boy and say our million hellos.  Baby was then weighed and Ricky put on his first nappy and got him dressed.

Charley midwife & baby Woody

Whilst Ricky had skin to skin with the baby and my mum had her first hold afterwards, Charley got me some toast and apple juice and it was the best tasting toast I have ever, ever had. I hadn't eaten in hours and had survived my entire labour without any pain relief. I was just running on all but three jelly babies!

Within a couple of hours, my sister came up to the hospital to meet her first nephew and I was wheeled down to the postnatal ward to get showered. I have never smelt so bad lol!

My first birthing experience is definitely something I will never forget. As much as I can't really remember what a contraction actually feels like, I remember them being painful enough for me to swear I will have no more kids. However, as I sit here and type this with my 7 week old Woody asleep on me, I cannot help but want another one or two babies. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for your comment! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I'll answer them!