I don’t think it’s quite possible to put into words how excited I was for my baby to come into the world. After having an early miscarriage before Ollie, there was a time that I had convinced myself that I was unable to have a baby. I loved every part of being pregnant and just got more excited as his due date got nearer. I committed to listening to my hypnobirthing relaxation tracks and immersed myself in my NCT classes…
My waters broke in the middle of the night 10 days early, but I didn’t start contracting so after heading to the hospital as we were asked to, we were sent home and were told if I didn’t start contracting that I would be induced the following morning. Would I have taken up the ‘offer of induction’* now – thats to be debated. But looking back that day was just amazing, we were both so excited! We walked a lot, ate loads… hey I even pruned and gave myself a mani & pedi in anticipation.
Nothing happened, so in we went the following morning to Kingston Hospital. My birth plan had been as little of anything as possible and in the birthing suite, but there I was checking into my hospital room and being hooked up to monitors. It literally didn’t faze me in the slightest though. I was happy. I was excited. I had heard of such long drawn out inductions, so we were there ready to play the long game. But I stayed focus… I was getting closer and closer to meeting my baby. This was everything I had ever dreamed of. The midwifery team were fabulous and I was ready.
I was given an examination and was 3cm dilated which obviously I thought at the time was amazing – this was actually happening! Now I would ask – is an induction necessary? They went straight to the syntocinon drip still and recommended that I should think about having an epidural as it could get pretty intense. I declined. I was prepared and knew it would be an option later on if I needed it.
Within 6 minutes, BAM… I was having full on surges pretty damn close together. So yeah, it was intense. Even though I was on the monitor I tried to keep as mobile as possible on the ball and on all fours. My eyes stayed closed and I stayed focused on my breathing, holding onto the fact that every breath I was getting closer to meeting my baby. I was visualising my honeymoon beach. I was there in every sense of my being and I didn’t need anything else.
There was a moment where they found meconium, so put the electrode on Ollie’s head which made me more anxious than I had been at any point, but when I had the nod that he was ok, there came the urge to push. Feeling his head as he was crowning with my hand was just so overwhelmingly wonderful, it gave me all the will power I needed to push him out and get him in my arms.
Within 4 hours, Ollie was here. My husband (Andy) was there with me the whole time and was my absolute rock. The three of us were a force to be reckoned with that day, it just blew me away. Andy saw that he was a boy and declared ‘we have our Ollie’, those words just made me sob. Sob with relief, pride, adoration & exhaustion. He was with us and in no time at all was feeding and it was just wonderful.
We stayed in hospital for the 24 hours for Ollie to have his observations (as my waters had broken 24 hours before) and I just remember this absolute glow over our room. Andy stayed over and we embarked on all our ‘firsts’ with Ollie together. Family came to visit, I fed lots and lots, we took Ollie home – I was in heaven.
So no matter how scary the word induction may seem, it doesn’t have to be negative. If this story makes one woman feel more positive in the lead up to her birth, then fabulous. If you’ve been ‘given an offer of induction’, remember it is just that – an offer. Talk it through with your healthcare providers and go through BRAINS. What are the benefits? What are the risks? What are the alternatives? What is your instinct telling you? What happens if you do nothing? And remember to smile – have an honest and open discussion with your healthcare professional and take a pause.
This is your birth… ask the questions, start the discussions and stay strong to your desire for a positive birth. You’ve got this mumma!
* NICE Guidelines https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg70/chapter/1-guidance