I left it a few weeks before posting up my birth story as I have been in the newborn baby bubble! So better late than never, this is what happened when I gave birth to my first child!
At 41 weeks and 3 days I was booked in for an induction. After two unsuccessful sweeps, shows, strong Braxton hicks and trying all the birth inducing natural remedies, medical intervention was my only resort in getting the baby evicted from my womb! I called the maternity day assessment ward at 8am to check if there was a bed free for my induction booked in for that day. Fortunately there was and I was informed to come in right away to get the process started. I knew a little bit about induction and that it was to begin firstly with a vaginal pessary to help ripen the cervix in the hopes to kick starting labour before any other intervention would be used. I was examined and told my cervix was around 1-2cm before the pessary was inserted and that I would need to be monitored for 6 hours after. It also meant that my ideal birth plan of a water birth was out of the window due to the infuction and need to have the baby monitored the entire time. At this point I didn’t really care too much as I wanted it to be over. I was exhausted, ached, felt ginormous and eagerly awaiting to meet my daughter. A midwife connected me to a monitor so they could observe her heart rate and movement and it was quite simply a waiting game.
6 hours passed and I didn’t feel any different. It was around 5:30pm and the midwife told me to go home and that I was booked in for the next morning at 11 to continue the induction process, which would be an oxytocin drip. We left the hospital and I starting to feel some twinges that were different from before. I still knew that the best environment to be in would be at home, to try and relax and let nature take its course. It was a good 30 minute drive from hospital to home and those twinges felt like they were getting stronger on the way home.
It must have been about 5 minutes after getting home that I started to panic (yes the opposite of what I should be doing) as the pain went from 1-2 to a 8-9. I remember feeling panicked as if I was in the early stages now, how on earth am I going to cope? Am I a complete wimp? I mean I have cried in the past from having bad period pain and this was off the scale and not even like period pain really. My hubby decided to time what I knew were contractions. One minute on, one minute off and I was rolling around in crippling pain. A quick phone call to the hospital and it was back in the car for that 30 minute drive back!
I cannot remember much of the drive there to be honest except I kept my eyes closed most of the way and was trying to focus on my breathing. I hadn’t taken any pain relief, not even a paracetamol so I felt like I needed something. Once we had arrived, the pain had gone from 8-9 to a definite 10. The worst pain I have ever experienced. I almost froze in the car and could barely move my legs to get out. Again the contractions hadn’t slowed down and were around 1 minute on and off. It took so long for me to walk across the car park and into the maternity unit stopping every 5-10 steps to hold on to a wall and just be hunched over in agony. Once I had arrived, I needed to go to the day assessment unit so a midwife could assess me and see what was going on. I just remember being in a side room, feeling the need to strip off my clothes as I felt so hot and was gripping onto the bed in pain. My husband kept telling me to calm down and relax but I quite simply wanted to punch him when he said to calm down! I was assessed by the midwife to check my progress and I was praying it wasn’t just 1cm dilated. The midwife examined me very quickly and simply said:
“You are in active labour, which explains why you are in so much pain. You are around 5-6cm and your waters are bulging and about to break”.
I was relieved! Relieved that I wasn’t being a complete wimp and I had a good reason to be in agony! I was straight away assisted into a wheelchair and wheeled straight to the delivery ward by another midwife and student that were going to be the amazing people to help me reach the end. I just wanted this to be over. I was in side room 12 that had an en suite bathroom and I could see the baby examination heated table thingy, which reassured me this is it. The midwife was old school and I love that. Plenty of experience and knowledge with a relaxed way about her. The student was extremely thorough and showed so much encouragement and reassurance I couldn’t have asked for a better pair of midwives. I was asked about pain relief and was offered gas and air. I knew I didn’t want anything stronger if I could help it, I mean I had got this far with no pain relief at all. I was just praying the gas and air didn’t make me feel sick. I was connected to continuous monitoring for me and the baby as I had been induced. The midwives were saying my contractions were very strong and almost back to back so I just puffed away on that gas and air and tried to go with my body. All the things I wanted in delivery such as music, massage, position all went out the window and the only thing that helped was my breathing techniques and the gas and air.
My waters still hadn’t properly broke. I think they were trickling but had no huge gush or awareness of them breaking. The pressure was so intense and I wanted them to break so much. With some gentle assistance from the midwife my waters broke and it was like Niagra Falls! Unfortunately my baby had a poo inside me so I would need more monitoring once she was here and she would require to be assessed straight after delivery. After 2 hours or so, I had the most intense feeling to push. It was like the ultimate biggest poo/melon was right by my butt! The midwife said, just go with it. I assumed I was fully dilated at this point so I pushed and pushed on every contraction. I was getting so tired and remember having the driest mouth so I had frequent lip balm and sips of water throughout. I also had an IV drip of fluid to help with mouthfuls of honey for energy. The midwife popped out and returned with some pink knitted baby hats. This must be it, I am so close. Every time I pushed she went back in and I was so exhausted. The midwife stated that if I didn’t deliver the head soon, I would require further assistance from a doctor. I really didn’t want any interventions and so that next contraction I pushed so hard and they could see the head! My husband looked and started to cry. The next contraction was the hardest push I had done and felt like I was going to burst! I felt a pop and the head was out. I could see and the midwife encouraged me to feel the head so I did and it was absolutely incredible. My pushing needed to slow down and I had to gently breathe the rest of the baby and within a few more pushes, she was delivered and placed on me.
That feeling of love is unbelievable and overwhelming . I had finally met my beautiful daughter and she was perfect.
My hubby had to jump in and cut the cord before she could be assessed, although it took a while as he is left handed with blunt scissors!!
There she was. No words can honestly describe this moment and every mother says the same thing, but you don’t understand unless you have experienced it personally.
Weighing in at 7lb 8oz at 2:59am.
After she was assessed and everything was ok with those loud baby cries, I delivered my placenta with a little help of the injection in my thigh and was back on the gas and air just when you think it’s over! I additionally had a second degree tear so had 6-8 stitches and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief! My first birth experience was over. I was emotional, ecstatically happy, fuelled with adrenaline and felt like I had been hit by a bus between my legs.
From start to finish it took just four hours and I only had gas and air as pain relief shocking myself that I could actually do it! How do your stories compare? I feel that I was very lucky compared to many women but certainly am in no hurry to do it again just yet!