Throughout my whole pregnancy I spent so much time listening to and reading other people’s birth stories. I became obsessed with it! Towards the end when I knew I’d probably be induced due to gestational hypertension, I narrowed my search down to induction birth stories. I know everyone advises not to do this, but my approach has always been to be prepared for anything that could go wrong! I read so many stories about inductions not going so well, and even the doctors told me it would make my labour harder and longer so I was prepared for the worst. When the opposite to that happened, I was pleasantly surprised! That’s why I want to share my own birth story, because it was so much better than I thought it would be.
I was booked in for my induction on Thursday the 17th of January. You can read my previous post about my third trimester to find out why I had to be induced. I arrived at the hospital with Cameron in tow at 8am. After some time on the CTG monitor, having some blood taken and a cannula put in, they inserted the gel to get the induction started. This was at 10am. I had planned to do everything I could to get the labour going, but both Cameron and I were exhausted. I was about a week into having a head cold and Cameron was also starting to get one, plus I had quite a bad sunburn on my shoulders and thighs. Not the way you want to feel going into labour! We only managed a 10 minute walk around the car park and back, so I spent the rest of the day watching Netflix, while Cameron slept on my bed! The nurses thought it was quite humorous that he’d kicked me off my bed and was snoring away! I didn’t feel much happening until around 2:30pm and the contractions were only very mild and sporadic. My Auntie (and midwife) Marilyn arrived at about 3pm and she put the CTG monitor on again. I was still having a few contractions but I was worried that I wouldn’t be dilated enough for the doctor to break my waters when they checked me again.
The doctor arrived at 4:20pm and thankfully I was just dilated enough for her to break my waters. The minute she did, it was go time! After getting up to go to the toilet I was having contractions lasting for 45-60 seconds and they were only 2 minutes apart. Going from practically nothing to contractions bad enough I had to stop what I was doing was really intense. Just as all this had happened my Mum had arrived too which I was so thankful for! We moved everything around to the birth suite and got settled in there. For the first few minutes there I was labouring standing up swaying my hips from side to side, and then I moved to sitting on the exercise ball and bouncing on that. I found that as long as I kept moving I felt okay. The doctor had asked Marilyn to also start the drip to get things moving but luckily I didn’t need it as the contractions were already well on their way! I was monitored again on the CTG and things were looking good there, but my blood pressure was getting quite high, it was around 160/100 if I remember correctly. I decided to get in the bath and that provided some relief and also helped to lower my blood pressure back down. I stayed in there for a while but my feet got sore after a while as the only comfortable position was sitting back on them. I still loved the feeling of the water though, so I moved into the shower next and had the hot water running on my back. At this point it had been 2.5 hours since my water had been broken. The pressure and pain was getting really intense and I was thinking about asking for some drugs. I kept thinking “just one more contraction, and then I’ll ask”. This probably lasted for 10 contractions until I finally asked! Marilyn checked me again and I was 6cm dilated. I found that quite disheartening as I didn’t think I could keep going for a few more hours! Little did I know it was much closer from happening than I thought. I think this was around 7:30pm. I knelt over the back of the elevated bed and clung onto the gas and air like it was my lifeline! I (and everyone else in the room) thought I’d still have a few hours to go until I was 10cm. The next 40 minutes brought the worst pain I’d ever felt. And the pressure caught me off guard, I can’t even describe what that felt like! But I knew I had to “surrender” to the pain rather than fight against it, which I think helped things move along so quickly!
It got to 8:10pm and I remember saying “I feel like I need to do a poo, and I know people say that’s when you’re ready to push so I don’t really know if I need to do a poo or if I need to push!” … So I started pushing, with Marilyn guiding me and Cameron and my mum both there beside me. I’ll never forget the feeling of excitement in the room when she started to crown. I was in shock that it had all happened so fast and I was about to meet my baby girl. It was only 10 minutes later at 8:20pm when our beautiful baby girl, Amelia Grace was born; her whole body came out in one contraction! The first thing I said when she I saw her was “she’s so cute!” She had her eyes wide open and was covered in blood and vernix. I scooped her up and turned around to lie down after Cameron had cut the cord. It was the most surreal feeling, finally getting to hold her in my arms. When I birthed the placenta, and again when I got up to shower, I lost over 1L of blood which was quite scary but thankfully I didn’t need a transfusion. I didn’t need to gave any stitches either which was a huge relief. The fast labour and blood loss was most likely due to the hypertension so I’ll be interested to see how things go the next time around!
The next few hours after she was born were a blur. I was totally exhausted, shocked and so full of love. My dad and sisters came in to meet her, and my mum and Cameron got her dressed. Marilyn did all of her checks; she was 2.79kg and was 47cm long. I attempted to feed Amelia but she wasn’t really interested while we were in the birth suite. After showering and getting packed up, we moved back around to the room. This time Amelia latched on well and had a good feed. She was a very sleepy baby though; she was only feeding every four hours and I had to wake her to do so. And she very rarely cried! I thought there was something wrong because she was so content!
Going to sleep the second night I was terrified, because everyone had warned me “second night is the worst” but the “bad night” never really came. We left the hospital on the Sunday afternoon. My milk was just starting to come in at this point. Another thing everyone warned me about was how emotional you get when your milk has come in and they were definitely right about that! I sobbed for the majority of the drive home. Poor Cameron didn’t know what to do with me but I reassured him it was normal! We settled in well at home and Amelia continued to feed well and was gaining weight like a champ. It’s now been 6 weeks since Amelia was born and things are still going really well.
If you’re still reading this – thank you! That was a long one. If you’re currently pregnant, I’m sending you lots of love and good vibes! You’ve got this mama!
I’ll continue to write some more blog posts sharing what motherhood has been like so far and what things I recommend for those first few weeks of navigating life with a newborn! I’m no expert but I hope that sharing what has helped me can also be helpful to someone else.
Thanks for reading,
Shona Mimi xx