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I got pregnant at 43. And towards the end of my pregnancy I was very tired and stressed. Adding to my anxiety over my age and weight during pregnancy was the fact that I had an anterior placenta. This meant that my baby’s movements weren’t felt as readily, and I ended up going to the maternity unit on a regular basis. Extra scans showed that my baby could be verging on the large scale. An estimate of 10.5 pounds was given! All these things considered meant that towards the end of my week 38 of pregnancy the decision was taken to induce labour. Here is my birth story.
My Birth Story
Bringing on Labour
Coming up to the induction date I did all I could to bring the labour on naturally.
- I ate hot curries (they just gave me really bad heartburn)
- Tried raspberry leaf tea (it didn’t work – and shouldn’t be used if at due date or overdue)
- I’d heard that pineapple would help – I ate LOADS of pineapple. To no avail.
- Walking was really painful, but I did some, and bouncing on an exercise ball. Nothing.
I even had 2 stretch and sweeps, but these had not started anything.
My case for the hospital was all packed and ready. I’d written a pretty comprehensive birth plan, but was pretty aware of the fact that birth plans tend to go out of the window on the day!
At the end of the day all I really wanted was a natural birth with as little intervention as possible. I was very anxious about tearing or needing an episiotomy or forceps.
The night before
The day before I was due to be induced was my 44th birthday. Family and friends came round and luckily this did take my mind away from how nervous I was about giving birth.
But when I went to bed I could not get to sleep. I also had the worst heartburn that I had ever experienced in my life, which looking back was probably all down to how anxious I felt. Needless to say I did not sleep well!
The big day
The big day arrived and we drove to the maternity unit. We were booked in and I was given a small room on the delivery suite to be induced.
They placed a Propess prostaglandin pessary to induce my labour. But within 30 minutes I was in absolute agony, doubled over in pain, nauseous, sweating and vomiting. My TENS machine had absolutely NO affect on this pain. The monitor showed that my heart rate and blood pressure had soared, and the baby’s heart rate had also gone up. Apparently this can be a side affect to the pessary known as hyperstimulation, where the pessary causes the uterus to be overstimulated and cause long intense contractions. They removed the pessary and I was advised I would need to wait a few hours before trying a different technique.
About 12 hours later still nothing had happened, and my cervix had not dilated, so I was put on a Syntocinon (oxytocin) drip. Oxytocin is the hormone that the body normally produces to help labour progress. The drip is started at a lower level and then increased steadily to hopefully help the body go into labour. I was put on a monitor and given a dedicated delivery room on the unit.
By this time it was past midnight, and we were both incredibly tired. But they kept increasing the oxytocin dilution to try and induce me further. At 2am the midwife checked my cervix dilation. I was only at 3cm, and I was told that 10cm was the aim.
She decided to break my waters artificially (or ARM artificial rupture membrane) and it felt very strange as lots of hot amniotic fluid came flooding out. Hopefully this would speed things up!
However, as the oxytocin dilution went up and time went on, I was not feeling very well. I was in a lot of pain, but only down one side of my body. I was very shaky and felt very nauseous. The midwife attributed it all to the induction drip. At 10am I was given gas and air (nitrous oxide) but it didn’t really do anything, just made me feel more nauseous. The pain started to become unbearable and I felt like one side of my body was really achy and jerking in spasms. The anaesthetist was called to give me an epidural.
The epidural was given at about 11am. But I was still having a lot of pain and really shaking by this point. I felt cold, clammy and really sick.
The midwife came to see how far my cervix had dilated. It was at 4cm. So only 1cm bigger than it had been 9 hours previously! My heart rate and blood pressure had rocketed again. And so had my baby’s. It was time to decide what to do next.
I had discussed the risks of a caesarean section with the consultant at my last appointment. It really was my last wish, and last resort for if everything else had not gone to plan. But we decided that it really had to be the only plan for us now, so I signed a consent form, and the anaesthetist gave me another epidural to ensure I could go to theatre.
Andrew was given some scrubs and we were wheeled down to the prep room. My heart rate and the baby’s heart rate were now at critical levels, so it was an emergency.
A lot of questions were asked, but I must confess to not remembering very much about the theatre experience after being in pre-op. I actually felt as though my whole body was numb from my chest down. Really worryingly I felt as though I could hardly breathe, as though my chest muscles were not working. The only thing that I do remember is concentrating on the instruments in the theatre as the caesarean was carried out. All I could do was focus solely on keeping breathing. I was utterly terrified, and know that Andrew was also incredibly scared by how I looked.
Thankfully I do remember the feeling of relief as Elizabeth gave her first cry!
After I had been sewn back up, they wheeled me out of theatre and into a recovery room. Elizabeth was placed in Andrews arms. I could not even feel my arms, so felt totally useless. We both had cannulas (needles) in our hands, and I was on an antibiotic drip.
We were absolutely exhausted. But we were parents, and she was perfect!
So. This is my birth story. Please don’t think that because my experience of induction wasn’t the best that your experience of being induced or your birth story will end up being the same. One thing that I have learnt is that every woman’s story is different.
At the end of the day the important thing to remember is that we ended up holding our perfect child.
I would love to hear your birth story. Do comment below, or contact me on social media.
Enjoyed this post? Read how we recently went back to the hospital for Elizabeth’s adenoidectomy.
Or how she broke her leg!
Life is never dull.
I’m taking part in the Mummy Monday linky with Becca from Becca Blogs It Out