I started contracting 7 days over my due date. I was desperate for my baby to arrive so I was encouraging the pain as much as possible. However my contractions were only 10-20 minutes apart and not consistent enough to go to hospital, no matter how much pain I told the midwife on the phone I was in!
I was still contracting at midnight so I called the hospital again to see if I could go in, but she said my contractions were still not close enough and I was not in “established” labour. After a brief conversation, she asked me when the last time I felt the baby move. This totally took me by surprise, it hadn’t occurred to me that I should still be feeling movements during/between contractions. So when I replied that I hadn’t felt any movements since before my contractions started (nearly 6 hours before) she said I should go to Day Assessment at the hospital to be checked over. This made me happy and sad because I was happy to finally be going to hospital in the hope on my return it would be with our baby, but on the other hand I was so worried that something was wrong.
We decided that we should pack the car up with the bags and car seat that had been sitting by the front door since I was 37 weeks, “just in case” we may return as a family. We finally arrived at Day Assessment at roughly 1/1:30am and I was strapped up to a machine that recorded the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions. After roughly 40 minutes, and a scan, the midwife said the baby was ok and not distressed in any way, probably just tired. She did question me though, she asked how I was feeling as I “looked rough and tired” (I had a stye in my eye that I’d had for a couple of days). She suggested that I stay in over night (even though it was already gone 2am) and she would give me something to help me sleep. Rich wasn’t allowed to stay overnight so off he went home to get some sleep in case things started to progress. Finally at 3am I got some tablets to help my pain so I get some sleep. I got just as much sleep as I would have done at home, but I was in hospital – where the drugs were! I awoke at roughly 6/7am with just cramps but my contractions started up again a few hours later. The midwife came in offering food and said that the Doctor would be doing the rounds roughly at 9am and that she needed to strap me back up to monitor the baby. Rich arrived back at the hospital at 8:30am, so I wasn’t alone. The midwife came and checked on me again and wanted to keep me on the monitor for longer as the baby’s heartbeat didn’t have enough range and the movements were still reduced, eventually both picked up and I was taken off the monitor. The Doctors came round at 10am and I was so overwhelmed as I was just expecting the one Doctor but about 6 people rolled in to the room to talk about what I wanted and the monitors results, as I was now 8 days overdue. I just asked that they get the baby out, and I don’t think that I could have coped another 4 days of “mild” contractions for my scheduled Induction. Luckily they all agreed that I would be able to be Induced that day (Sunday) due to the lack of movements, slow heartbeat and me being so uncomfortable. One Doctor was really concerned and asked to scan me again as he wanted to check the baby’s position and the position of the umbilical cord. He was worried that breaking my waters would make the baby rise up and the cord come down. After a lot of talking and yet another scan he agreed that I could be induced as long as a Doctor was also present, incase I had to be taken to theatre (I seriously hoped this would not happen!)
We were told to walk around and have some lunch as there were no midwives available for induction. It got to 3pm ish and we decided that it would still probably be a good few hours till I was taken in to be induced, Rich went home to try and get some sleep. By the time Rich got home, I was on the phone to him saying that I would be taken in to delivery to start my induction in the next couple of hours. Typical. He said he would still try and get some sleep and be with me by 6/7pm. I was scared at the prospect of being alone, but I knew he wouldn’t really miss anything.
At roughly 5:30pm I was taken across to Delivery suite, room 4. I was asked to change into a gown (in case I had to be taken to theatre) and get comfy on the bed. The midwife put in my canular and then the Doctor broke my waters successfully without any complications. Thankfully!) Rich then arrived at 6:30pm.
I was in fully established Labour at this point, as I was already 3cm when my waters were broken. My contractions got progressively stronger and I was soon unable to talk through them. I was starting to really feel the pain and was begging for pain relief, mainly an epidural (even though I really didn’t want one. We had discussed even if I begged, I didn’t want to have an epidural unless I needed one for medical reasons). The midwife was talking through with us some options and I agreed to go with the Diamorphine. I got this at roughly 10pm along with an anti-sicknes drug as I had vomited a few times too. I relaxed enough to lay on the bed for a couple of hours. (As I wasn’t able to sit still so constantly rolling/bouncing on the birth ball). I was so out of it I don’t remember any of the conversation going on between Rich and my midwife other than that they were actually talking. I was so grateful that she didn’t leave my side the whole time I was in labour (only to make Rich a cup of tea). I wasn’t expecting this as I had been watching One Born Every Minute for the last few years, and most of the time the midwives were not always in the room the whole time.
The Diamorphine wore off after about 2 hours and I was in so much pain I kept telling Jenny (my midwife) that it felt like I needed to push, she advised me to get up and walk about a bit – maybe go to the bathroom, as my next examination wasn’t for another 2 hours. (This was a little difficult as I was strapped to the monitor still and was also attached to my drip). I managed this and still I told her I was feeling very uncomfortable and it felt like the baby was coming! Whilst being re attached to the monitor she couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat (I started to panic – but she said it happens a lot – probably just to calm me down). However she decided that she would put a clip on the baby’s head to monitor his heartbeat and at the same time check me over (this was an hour earlier than my “scheduled” examination) I am glad she did as she said I was 8/9cm dilated!! I was so ready to push at this stage, I got into the position I wanted – what we had all talked endlessly about in our NCT classes. I was on my knees on the bed leaning over the back with my trusty Gas and Air, however it was roughly 2am and I was pushing on every contraction and the head kept coming down but then popped back up again. I was so distressed that this “NCT recommended” position wasn’t working for me, and the midwife suggested I take a break and and try and do this in the sitting position (which I had been told that can cause “most damage”, I wasn’t impressed but ever so eager to get the baby out and finally find out the sex!
My trusty Gas and Air was taken away from me as I was told I didn’t need it(!!), and to hold on to the bars at the side of the bed to help me push. Well, It worked and after a few long, hard pushes I experienced the worst part of giving birth – the crowning of the head. Before I even realised the midwife announced “the head is out”! I was so out of it, and just concentrating on the contractions and pushing, but I heard her say the cord was stuck around the head twice – she said not to worry and I believe she managed to get the cord away from his neck. All of a sudden all these midwives (maybe a Doctor or two) came rushing in the room – his shoulder was a bit stuck. Luckily I didn’t need any of their assistance and with another push he was placed on me as they announced “IT’S A BOY”. Myself and Rich just stared at him, we couldn’t believe he was finally here and so perfect.
We decided to name him Albert George (it could have been George Albert). Before I knew it he was taken off of me to be checked over due to his “traumatic” arrival. Because of this and also I was shivering and shaking so much after the birth, Rich had the first skin to skin with Albert whilst I was being sorted out and stitched back up. After this I was given Albert and we tried the first feed, with the help of my midwife we managed it successfully. I still felt very weak, so Rich dressed him in his first little outfit and wrapped him in his blanket whilst I had the quickest and coldest shower (the hospital happened to have a boiler issue). By the time I came back in to the room, the bed had been changed and I was able to get some rest for a couple of hours as I couldn’t be transferred up to the maternity ward straight away.