I was scheduled to be induced on 15th March. I got up in the morning to what I thought may have been my waters having broken so called the hospital. As I wasn’t in pain, they said to sit tight and wait to be called as I was scheduled in for induction anyway. I got a call just after 9am and was told I could either come in (as I was on the list), or wait 24 hours to see if my labour started naturally. As I’d mentally prepared myself for labour, I asked to come in.
I went in to be induced just after 10AM. I was let in to the ward, given a bed, told to make myself comfy and was talked through what was going to happen. I was to be given the Prostin Gel to get started and then essentially sit and wait for it to work. I was told that it may not work and that I may need further doses - as some people do - so I half expected to be there for a while. I was given the gel at 12pm, merrily had lunch, messaged friends, got given some compression socks, texted my friends about how sexy said socks were … Then everything went from 0-100
I started having what can only be described as period cramps. As the cramps became more intense,I asked for paracetamol. the midwife looked at the monitor I was hooked up to and saw I was actually having really strong surges.I kept contracting but there was no sign of any dilation.
The contractions grew closer and closer to the point where they felt constant - I couldn’t catch a break. They gave me Pethidine for the pain and asked me who I wanted with me in labour. After telling them I didn’t have a birth partner but that a student midwife from the community was going to be there as support, they said they’d be contacting her.
When I got up to the labour ward, I was given access to gas and air (what an absolute lifesaver!) which kept me happy for quite a while. The midwives handed over - I was allocated the one who would be with me for the night and the community student midwife showed up and broke my waters. We had a laugh, chatted about random things and checked my blood sugars every other hour (thank you gestational diabetes!) which made time pass. To everyone’s surprise, I was progressing and dilating well on my own - which I was told doesn’t always happen when you’re induced. I had bloods taken which also indicated signs of preeclampsia.
my contractions grew stronger and the breaks in between pretty much non existent. I was exhausted at this point so asked for an epidural. They fitted me with catheter and the anaesthetist came to prep me. As she was about to put the needle in, the midwife announced we had to stop and lay me down a couple of minutes as baby boy’s heartbeat had dropped for a second time in quite a short space of time. After a couple of minutes, we were up and running again and finally got it set up. It was such a relief when it finally kicked in!
I’m not sure what time in the morning it was when I was fully dilated. However, as I was on an epidural and I’d kept topping it up, I couldn’t feel a thing. So, when it came to pushing, the midwives had to ´guide me´. After trying for a while they examined me to discover that little man, although he was ‘head down’, was, in fact, facing the sky rather than the floor. His head was also tilted at a bit of an angle. The midwives started preparing me for what may need to happen next and the consultant obstetrician came in. She said they’d have to attempt turning baby boy which meant carrying out an episiotomy on me, then using a ventouse to turn him. Before I knew it, I was being prepped for surgery and taken down to theatre.
When we got to theatre, everyone introduced themselves & everything was explained to me again. The anaesthetist who’d administered my epidural the night before and topped up my drugs later, was there and explained the process off administering extra ´blockers’- by the end of it, I couldn’t feel a thing below my armpits!
I had the episiotomy and was told to push as they tried to turn the baby. True to form, he wouldn’t budge . And so, the only option left was a C-section. As we were already there and I had the pain relief, it happened straight away. The anaesthetist had stayed head side with me and I’ll never forget her - for her honesty if nothing else. After the episiotomy, but before commencing the C-section, she mentally prepared me by explaining that, though I wouldn’t feel any pain, I would feel some sensations and pressure - “I won’t be able to take that away but I AM here to help you breathe through it”. I’m so grateful she did prepare me for it because it’s the most bizarre, nauseating sensation I’ve ever felt - it really does feel like someone’s doing the dishes in your tummy when they get going!
After minutes of pressure and breathing though it using my hypnobirthing techniques- at 5.54AM on 16th March - there was a sudden release when I heard the consultant say “hello you” as she pulled baby boy out. I was expecting to hear him scream but there was only silence. I asked the anaesthetist if he was ok. She said he was fine and with the student midwife (which I was happy about as she was both of our ‘safe place´as I knew her from our antenatal appointments).I finally heard his cry for the first time- I burst into tears and the anaesthetist told me he’s gorgeous. Once he’d been cleaned up he was placed on my chest and the rest is history… life as I knew it was over!
Even writing all this down, it all doesn’t seem like a “big deal” to me as we’re both here and healthy - it ended well and I got to bring my gorgeous boy home.I’ve seen the midwife since and she said I remained so calm and composed throughout that she was impressed! Part of me thinks it’s because I decided early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to be baby boy’s safe place, that I didn’t want him to come into the world under a cloud of chaos. I also have the hypnobirthing course I took in my third trimester to thank for it. It would be easy for me to view my birth as a failure but I don’t, thanks to hypnobirthing & making informed choices. All I wanted as I was going through labour was to safely deliver my baby boy. I’d been his safe place for 9 months and I wanted to continue to be throughout labour - that, and finally getting to see his little face was all I could think about.