I was due to be induced on Wednesday 18th July at 13 days overdue. Having done my nct classes I originally thought i would choose to delay induction and opt for additional monitoring to allow the opportunity of a natural labour and birth. I knew that induced labours could be more painful due to the sudden onset of strong contractions ending in a cascade of interventions such as epidural, forceps, vontouse, c section etc. However as the days passed and my pregnant friends, nct group and bnb forum buddies all went into labour and had their babies I just wanted to have my baby! I really didn’t want to wait any longer. I had tried all of the natural remedies including walks, bouncing on my gym ball, spicy chilies and curries, sex, evening primrose oil capsules, raspberry leaf tea, bumpy drive in the car etc etc etc, I had 2 sweeps. Nothing!!!
So on the Wednesday i repacked my hospital bag for the final time with lots of things to do, magazines etc as I knew induction could take a long time. My hubby finished work and we set off for hospital in time to be there for the 6pm scheduled time. When we got there we buzzed to be let in to the antenatal ward (also the postnatal ward, mixed but separate bays) and it was clear they werent expecting us!! We were kept waiting for around an hour and eventually told that labour ward was busy, that they had 3 inductions from the day prior contracting, on diamorphine waiting to go up to labour ward and they were going to send me home. I honestly wanted to cry I was so upset. I had just spent 2 weeks waiting for this to happen and thinking about nothing else and I was finally there and was being sent home. I understood that they couldnt try to get me into labour when they had no where for me to give birth, I was just so upset.
So they put me on a monitor to check baby was ok and gave me an internal examination. They said if I was 1cm dilated they would get me back at 7am the next day to break my waters. If I wasnt, I would have to come back at 6pm the next day. Unfortunately I wasnt dilated enough so 6pm the next day it was. The midwife did give me a really thorough sweep though and said she hoped it might work. She was also impressed with my pain tolerance during the sweep and said it would bode well for labour which made me pleased!!
So hubby took me out for pizza and we had a long walk that evening round the town. Hubby had finished work on wednesday ready for my induction so he didnt go to work thursday and we pottered around and went out for tea before we were to head to the hospital. I had a call saying they were still busy and not to come in until 8.15pm but at least I was still going that night!! We had pasta out and set up our new ipad which I was taking to hospital for entertainment. Finally it was time to go in.
We were kept waiting in a room for ages again and finally I had a bed and we unpacked my bits and I was hooked up to a monitor for around 40 minutes to check babies heartbeat and see if I was having any contractions. Hubby went home and left me ready for bed. All was fine with baby, no contractions were happening and at midnight on the thursday they inserted a pessery which they said would be in for 24 hours.
They said everyone was different, I could go straight into labour that night, in which case they would call my DH, it could happen the next day or it might not work. They would then try another pessary and if that didnt work they would decide between a gel which is inserted for 4 hours and they can try that a few times or to put me on the drip. It was the drip I really didnt want as it is that which can make the contractions come on very strong and painful so I was keen to avoid that. I really wanted to have my baby on the birthing centre with only midwives in the birthing pool and not on the labour ward which is more medical with doctors. There is a lot of equipment on labour ward, resusaturs and you can have an epidural etc but on the birthing centre it is dimmed lighting, birthing balls, water pools etc. My aim was to keep things as nateral as possible.
I slept well that evening and in the morning on friday i felt normal. I had a shower after breakfast and got dressed and as I was waiting for hubby they hooked me up to the monitor to check baby again and I started to feel period type pains. The midwife told me they were contractions and that I should spend the day walking round the hospital grounds (we werent allowed to leave the hospital) and climbing up and down stairs to get my labour started. I was really excited and once DH arrived around 11am we set off and walked round and round the hospital, climbing up and down stairs and slowly my pains got more and more so that as we walked I would have to stop when I got a pain. They felt very low in my uterus which I found odd as I had expected them higher up in the bump for some reason.
We got some lunch and went back to the ward and sat down to eat our sandwiches and read magazines. I ate my lunch and after a brief walk early afternoon the pain started to get much worse. I was really struggling now and starting to get upset. I couldnt walk and sitting on the birthing ball was agony. I didnt know what to do with myself and was panicking. The midwife told me to have a shower so I went and stood under a hot shower which did help. All of the pain was in my lower back and the hot water really eased the pain. I started to loose my plug and tons and tons of bloody mucas was stringing out of me all evening which was horrible. I was in so much pain. I was given paracetamol (this feels like a joke when you think you are dieing!!) and told by the midwife that this was just early labour. I really couldnt believe that! I dont know how close the contractions were because it was all a blur but around every 5-7 minutes although it felt more often to me. Hubby was rubbing my lower back hard each time I had a contraction which was nice.
The midwife recommended having a bath so she ran a bath for me and this is when I remember things getting really bad. It must have been around 7pm and I was ok when I got in the bath, had relaxing music on my ipod and hubby was running a flannel under icy cold water and holding it on my forehead. After a while though I just couldnt cope and was crying out in pain everytime I had a contraction and straining and pushing against the side of the bath. I am suprised the bath didnt break as I was pushing against the sides so hard. The midwife kept coming in and out and even though I was naked I didnt care! After an hour or so it just wasnt helping so I got out. The only bath on the ward was in a 2 bedded bay and a couple with their new baby had this bay and I felt so bad that they were there with their new baby and I was whaling and screaming in their bathroom. I apologised as we left and they said not to to worry, the girl that that was me earlier today!
I went back to my bed and put my tens machine on and tried to walk up and down but ended up just lying on the bed crying in pain. At around 10pm I was given an injection of diamorphine. I just couldnt cope any longer without pain relief, I had never known anything like it and coiuldnt cope. It did really help and I was snoozing and drifting in and out of consciousness. Times really get confusing now for me but I know that the diamorphine was meant to last around 4 hours and by that time I had called them back to ask if I could be moved upstairs to the birthing centre or labour ward – at this point I didnt care where I went! I just wanted the baby out and the pain to stop.
I was then checked for the first time and was 4cm dilated (i couldnt believe that, was sure it would be 10!) and was taken upstairs to the labour ward at around 1am on saturday morning.The birthing centre was closed as it wasnt staffed. Looking back I am disappointed about this but at the time I really didnt care. I was just happy to be going up to have the baby. We walked up and hubby was rubbing my back hard everytime I had a contraction.
Finally I had some gas and air which was great and made me feel drunk! We had some music on and I felt much better. The midwife was nice and she chatted to us, came in and out checking on me and baby and I just sipped water and used gas and air. This time is very blurry to me as I was so high on the gas! Next time I was checked I was 6 cm dilated and the midwife said it could take an hour per half centremetre so I could have another 8 hours to get to 10cm and I knew I just couldnt cope any longer. My waters were broken to speed things up and I asked for an epidural.
She did offer me to get into the birthing pool and I really wish I had said yes but because the bath hadnt helped and I was in so much pain and spaced out, I said no. I wish I had said yes but anyway I didnt. I also threw up over and over again into a silver bowl, the gas and all the water made me feel so sick. The anesthatist came and I had the epidural. This meant I was hooked up to a monitor and I was so tired, once the pain subsided I started to fall asleep. At some point the contractions slowed right down due to the epidural that I had to have the drip to start them back off again.
Next time I was checked I had got to 8 cm but because progress was so slow the midwife got the consultant to come and check me. They said the babies head hadnt dropped and decided to give me 2 hours and would then come back and reassess. That was 10am saturday. Hubby went for some tea and toast as we hadnt really eaten since lunctime the day before and hadnt slept.
The consultant came back again at 12.30pm and advised that I had made no progress. Was still only 8cm and babies head hadnt dropped. The said they could leave me another 2 hours if I wanted to but after that I would need to have a c section. Hubby and I both got upset at this point as I so hadnt wanted to have a ceasarian. Ive had gynaecological surgery before and I know what that kind of operation is like and I really wanted to avoid another scar.
I felt so weak and tired though and although I had the epidural to numb the pain I felt pressure down below and in my coccyx where I was sat/laid and couldnt move. We talked for a while and the consultant said she was 99% sure that she would come back in 2 hours to no progress and so she made the decision for me to do the c section. I was upset but also relieved that I would meet my baby soon. Everyone including hubby got into scrubs and we went to theatre.
We went to theatre and they started the operation. I had canulas in my hands, pads monitoring my heart on my chest. When you have an epidural they spray a cold spray onto you to check you cant feel anything. They spray your arm and chest and its icy cold and then they stray your tummy and legs and you can feel it but cant feel that its cold. Very weird. I could feel pressure as they opened me up and pulled the baby out and I heard my baby cry immediately at 13.24.
I had asked for my husband to tell me if the baby was a boy or girl when it came out and they lifted the baby straight up for him to see and tell me. I was convinced the baby was a boy and throughout the pregnancy we referred to baby as he. Everytime we dreamt or thought about it we pictured a boy. I would have been delighted with either gender but was so shocked and utterly delighted when my husband told me – its a girl!! We had already decided the girls name would be Freya Evie Jane. Evie after OH great nan and Jane after my mum. She weighed 8lb 6oz. It turned out that the cord was wrapped up beneath her head and that is why her head never dropped down and why I hadnt gone into labour. The consultant said I would never have been able to give birth to her naturally because of this. She was 16 days late.
She was taken over to be cleaned up and then bought to me for a cuddle. It was amazing to hold our baby finally and cuddle her. She was wrapped in a towel with a wooly hat on. She was absolutely beautiful. Shortly after this time as they kept working on me I began to realise something was wrong with me. At the time I didnt really know what was going on but now I know that I was loosing blood and they were unable to stop the hemmoraging.
I started to feel really faint and very sick and frightened. They gave me an injection to stop me feeling sick and the midwife held my hand. The consultant asked them to take my hubby and the baby out of the theatre and go and weigh Freya. My hubby must have been so upset and scared at this point as it was clear something was wrong.
Eventually, as they were on the final attempt they could in the obsetric theatre to stop the bleeding, it worked and they stemmed the bleeding. I had lost 2.5 litres of blood and had to have a blood transfusion in theatre. DH and Freya came back so I could hold her again and breastfeed her. We had more photos and I was sewn up. I was then told that because I was too ill I had to go to the intensive care unit and my baby couldnt come with me. They asked what formula to give her and I cried, I so wanted to breast feed her so they let me.
My in laws had come to the hospital so I was taken to the ICU and my MIL stayed with the baby on the labour ward. Alternatively she would have been taken to Special Care Baby Unit. DH came with me and split the rest of the afternoon and evening between the 2 of us. The baby was bought to me every 4 hours to feed and I also expressed some colostrum to be syringe fed to her. I was very ill and remember drifting in and out of conciousness and even falling asleep as I fed her. I wasnt allowed anything to eat or drink incase I started bleeding again and had to be taken to surgery. It was a hot day and I was so thirsty I had a very dry mouth.
I was checked hourly and had a very high pulse, low blood pressure and very low iron levels. I had a drain from the wound and catheter. The next day on sunday I did feel so much better and wanted to go back to labour ward to be with my baby. She had been brought across for feeding so hadnt had any forumla but I started to get very upset once I felt better at being separated from her and was evenutally taken back to the labour ward. I was still too ill to go to the ante natal ward and was kept on labour ward for another 24 hours.
My mum and Dad both came to visit on the sunday and saw Freya. I had a wash on the sunday and managed to get from my bed to a chair and back. On the Monday I was taken to the antenatel ward when my pulse went back under 100 and that day I got up and had a shower and started to walk.
The staff and midwives were amazing and I do think I benefited from a longer stay in hospital as they helped so much and gave much needed support.
On the Tuesday I was told we could go home, although we didnt end up being discharged until 11pm because during the evening a sick baby was born and all the doctors were there. Although I had a tough time, this bought home to me that it could have been worse. I heard my baby cry straight away and knew she was fine. Although very traumatic, I am so lucky to have a healthy baby girl, that is all that counts and I would do it all again for her.