How I lost 8lbs 9 in a day! - my birth story
This, like my son's birth, is long overdue! The past 6 months have been a blur of sleep deprivation and trying to keep my little one safe and happy.
For those who are interested, I wanted to share my birth story and recovery in case it helps anyone in a similar situation.
I was nervous and excited for the labour part of pregnancy, I'd read tonnes, watched in awe at hypnobirthing videos of women giving birth with no pain relief and was psyched to get to the midwife led birthing unit, use the pool and squat my baby out! Of course I knew birth plans are rarely how things go but I had hope.
My due date came and went with no symptoms (I wish I'd not told anyone the true date after the 100th 'no baby yet?' text!) and my midwife offered me a sweep to get things moving. I politely declined repeating to myself 'my baby will come when it's ready' from the hypnobirthing books. Another week passed and no progress so we made a plan for a sweep at 41weeks+3days and booked an induction for 41+5. The sweep happened but there was no effect so off we went on the Thursday to be induced.
I was not keen on the process but you start being told about higher risks to the baby and 'ageing placenta' and I couldn't hold my nerve to wait it out.
The first pessary was inserted and we were told they’d review my cervix again 24hours later. Sadly we had to stay on the ward for 6 hourly CTGs (baby heart monitoring). The whole set up was not great at keeping the oxytocin flowing as it was a boiling 4 bed room with women in labour, newborns and women being induced in the same place.
24 hours rolled round and at my review disappointingly nothing had really changed. Second pessary was inserted but this time it felt like a razor blade! I was in pain straight away and it was getting so sore I couldn’t stand. This was not labour pain as it was very local to the birth canal so I was begging for it to be removed. Eventually they agreed to remove it and miraculously the pain stopped! They agreed to let me rest before attempting another pessary. Thankfully when they next assessed me in the morning I was 3cm so they didn’t need to put another pessary in. I walked and walked the corridors and after my next assessment with the doctor my waters broke! Contractions started and were definitely manageable.....to begin with. I continued to walk around but by that evening the pain was spreading to my back and I was struggling to find a comfortable position to wait each contraction out. They’d been coming 3 in 10mins so I was given the green light to go to the labour ward but we had to wait for a bed/midwife to transfer us. The midwife took pity on me and took me round to the ward despite her shift ending as she knew there’d be a longer wait as it was changeover time.
Thankfully that meant I could now access gas and air! It was the weirdest thing! I’d read that it didn’t really kill pain but it distracted you and boy it sent me off to another planet! I was going at it quite hard so kept vomiting. I knew I was still at 5cm and it was likely to be a long time so I put in my request for an epidural. This is where I lost track of time on the gas and air. Finally the epidural was in and it was bliss! I came back down to earth but the downside was I was now stuck on the bed and not allowed to eat and drink. The rest of the day was spent sat in pretty much the same position having reviews of my cervix every 6 hours. 5cm, 6cm, 6cm, 8cm, 9cm - stuck! James’s head was in a slightly awkward position and he’d started to show signs of distress so the call was made to go for a c section. By this point I was quite glad the decision was made as I felt so exhausted from the past 3 days and did not feel that ‘active labour’ would have been possible any more leading to likely forceps or ventouse delivery.
The theatre staff were amazing and put me at ease as best they could. I had a bad reaction to the anaesthetic where I became uncontrollably shivery so the moment where James was revealed to us was a bit odd as I was violently shaking. We heard that wonderful cry and I managed to get a few kisses in before he was taken with my husband to have a cannula fitted and antibiotics. So I was taken to recovery with a fever alone and shaking. Eventually the shaking stopped and I started to feel normal again. After what felt like forever I was wheeled to the ward where my husband and gorgeous son were waiting! I finally got him in my arms after 4 days of trying!
Looking back I would say I should have avoided the induction and could have waited it out, but I know at the time the fear of there being a problem with James overrode my logical mind no matter how many times I tried to believe the baby will come when he’s ready. So my birth could not have been further from the super active plan I had in mind but the fact that we have a wonderful, healthy baby and we're both safe had to be the ultimate goal.