Being induced was never in my birth plan. But then again, I don’t suppose any woman plans to have an induction.
Despite this, that’s how my baby girl came into the world.
On paper, my labour probably looks horrendous. It really wasn’t. Yes, it was pretty much everything I didn’t want, but it was really fine.
I was lucky enough to meet some amazing midwives and the level of care I received while in hospital was fantastic. What’s more, it was nowhere near as awful as I thought it would be.
I spent a lot of my pregnancy scared about labour. Fearful of the pain more than anything else.
For me though, the morning sickness was far worse. The labour, while not easy, was perfectly manageable.
So I’ve written this post to show that you can have a positive labour, even if it doesn’t go to plan.
I was a week overdue and couldn’t sleep. I was uncomfortable and fed up. Where was my baby?
After a few weeks of Braxton Hicks, my contractions had all but disappeared and it didn’t look like she’d be here anytime soon.
Around 4am I started to worry. I was used to not sleeping well as Alice used to spend most of the night kicking me.
That night though, I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt her kick.
When you’re pregnant, you’re continually told to get in touch with triage if you’re even slightly worried about something.
I rang the hospital and they told me to come in to be assessed for reduced movements.
When I got there, they hooked me up to a monitor which showed both mine and Alice’s heartbeats.
After an hour of constant monitoring, I was examined by a doctor who concluded that while baby seemed perfectly fine, they might as well kick-start my labour.
Luckily, there had been a few cancellations so my induction was booked for 10.30 that morning.
Greg and I went home to re-pack our hospital bags, excited that we were finally going to meet our baby.
While we waited to go back to the hospital, we rang our families to tell them the news. Then before we knew it, it was time to get back in the car.
Despite always fearing an induction, all I felt on the drive back to the hospital was calm. I knew this was the right thing to happen.
I think all women get to a point in their pregnancy when you just want to meet your baby. And no matter what happens in the meantime, knowing that moment is going to happen any day is all you need to get you through.
After a few delays, I was finally induced around 1.30pm. My contractions started an hour later, and they came thick and fast.
I’m not sure how long it was until they next examined me but I’d gone from 1cm to 4cm dilated. Finally, I was given gas and air to manage the pain.
Those first few hours of contractions were definitely the worst. The amazing thing is, you soon get used to the pain and it becomes bearable. Especially with gas and air.
The rest of my labour moved slowly. Around 6am on the Tuesday, my waters broke. Another check confirmed I was 8cm dilated. Almost on the home stretch!
Then I suddenly got an overwhelming urge to push. I couldn’t hang on, despite what the midwife said.
Greg was amazing from start to finish. He gave me the calm and quiet I needed to focus. He talked when I wanted to chat. He held my hand and rubbed my back when I was in pain. He was the perfect birth partner, just as I knew he would be.
Eventually, I was told to go with my body. After an hour or so of pushing though, my cervix became inflamed. I went from 8cm to 6cm dilated.
If I’d been able to hang on, Alice would have come out in a few pushes, I’m certain.
Because my cervix was inflamed, they told me I’d need to have an epidural and just wait it out until I was 10cm dilated and could push again.
It was just my luck that the epidural wore off after a few hours, and needed to be topped up twice before I was ready to push again.
At 9pm, I was 9.5cm dilated. I was told they’d give me an hour of pushing. If she didn’t come in that time, they’d take me to theatre.
45 minutes later, she still hadn’t budged. The little monkey had turned her head to the side so it was going to be impossible to get her out with pushing alone.
I was prepped for theatre. If they couldn’t coax her out with forceps, they were going to give me a general anaesthetic and perform a C-section.
It didn’t come to that. The anaesthetic I was given to numb the area didn’t kick in until Alice was out of me.
After over 33 hours of labour, Alice was delivered by forceps at 10.56pm on Tuesday 22nd November.
She was placed on my chest before being taken away to be cleaned and weighed.
She was 7lbs 11oz of perfection. We were finally parents!