Tag Archives: induction

My Birth Story

BIRTH

If you would like to know what happened when I started the Induction process, then please read this post.

This post continues on from my Induction post.

So on delivery suite, I was 4cm when I had gas and air, and pethidine injection followed shortly afterwards. I hadn’t really got the hang of using the gas and air, and I wish someone had talked it through with me before the pain got so bad and I couldn’t concentrate. I didn’t realise you breathe in the gas and air and feel the effects as you breathe it in – I thought you sucked on it and then had a ‘hit’, as it were. By the time I’d worked it out, I’d already had the pethidine injection. This was jabbed into my thigh mid-contraction by a student doctor who was supporting the midwife who was with me from this point. The midwife grabbed my leg as he jabbed it, me flinging myself all over the place. Since coming to delivery suite to have my waters broken, I had already had 3 other midwives. The place was chock-a-block of women giving birth and it was very chaotic.

The Room

The room I was in wasn’t the best room to be honest. It looked a bit like a spare room, bits and bobs all over the counters. There were no chairs for My sister or Dan to sit on, there was no side table in there, and there was no crib either. In the left hand corner was a cubicle for a toilet, shower and sink. However there was no light in there and so it was rather dark. There was also no equipment such as birth ball, I was told these were for the birth suite. So it really was bare, stark, clinical.Thism and the fact that I had to wear a hospital gown instead of my own nightie I had chosen for the birth, made me feel worse. It was not what I had wanted, and I felt my heart sink a little when I saw the room, although I tried to make the best of it. Dan and Lyd eventually found some chairs, but we never got a side table for me so drinks etc had to be passed to me. Even after Bubs was born, there still wasn’t a crib, and the midwife had to go scrabbling around to find one.

Pethidine

The pethidine didn’t take too long to take effect. I remember the student doctor saying ‘ Can you feel anything yet?’ and me saying “I feel a bit floaty” and after that everything becomes a bit blurry, a bit dream-like, and very strange. I managed to control my breathing and was using the gas and air almost continuously. I felt ok as long as I stuck to my pattern of breathing – if someone talked to me, or asked me a question, or put me off my stride, it messed everything up and I would get quite upset. I was spouting off some ridiculous talk, jabbering on about Richard Branson and apparently I said “I don’t have a Jeremy Hunt what’s going on”. I was strapped to the bed as they needed to monitor the baby’s heartbeat. They didn’t actually tell me, but as the midwife was explaining to the student doctor right in front of me, that the baby’s heartbeat kept decelerating, and they needed to keep an eye on it, I knew what was going on. However, being on that bed was agony. It was so uncomfortable, I kept slipping down it, I kept trying to wriggle myself into some comfortable position, but it was useless. I just wanted to walk around. At times I had enough and just pulled the wires that were strapped round my stomach out of the machine and just got up – albeit in a bit of a pethidine induced hyperness. I kept wanting to go to the loo – I felt like I desperately needed a wee – and was becoming very distressed as every time I went to the loo, nothing happened. In the end they cathertised me to drain out anything in my bladder – they managed to get a bit off, but not much. I kept having this feeling that I needed a wee though. It was like I was going to wee myself any moment but not. So strange.

Throughout this time, doctors kept coming in and out, looking at the monitor, signing it and then walking off. The midwife also kept leaving the room as she had other babies to catch. The student doctor was with us most of the time, and he was actually really lovely and I am glad he was there. I remember telling him he was making a big mistake joining the NHS in my pethidine madness!

Timings go awry as I was off my face on pethidine but eventually the midwife said to examine me to see how far I got, as it could be that this feeling of needing to go the loo was me starting to get the urge to push. By this time I had this feeling which was very similar to the feeling you get when you start involuntary retching when you are sick – that feeling that doesn’t stop even after you have been sick and nothing more will come out. Well, it felt a bit like this, but a bit lower down obviously. That was making me make those ‘moo’ like sounds you hear people talking about. In my mind a light had gone off, I suddenly thought ‘of course! I need to push’ and I sort of suddenly snapped out of the pethidine fog I had been in – I was now wide awake. I was 9-10cm dilated.

The Pushing Part

It’s funny but I couldn’t feel the pain as I had when I had been having the contractions early on – I know this is because they change as once you are dilated you then are pushing the baby out, but I could feel the contractions but they weren’t that bad – I could tolerate it. Maybe the pethidine had something to do with this. I started to get confused though as I couldn’t tell at times where one contraction ended and another began, in order to push efficiently. I kept saying ‘help me!’ as in, help me know when to push, but the midwife assumed I was just going crazy due to the pain and kept saying ‘we are helping you’. Not in the way I meant, however!

I was pushing, and pushing, I couldn’t really feel anything with each push, it just felt like I was pushing down into my bum, but I kept having positive comments coming from the midwives; Lyd and Dan were practically cheering me on like they were at a football match. My legs were in stirrups and whilst now I think ‘oh god how awful’ I really didn’t care at the time! A Doctor was in the room suddenly telling/asking me that we may need to have a venteuse, which I of course agreed to. I had an overwhelming feeling I just wanted this thing to be over, I wanted it gone. I pushed really well but the last three pushes were with the aid of the venteuse. I was then told/asked that I needed a episiotomy, I of course agreed as I really didn;t care by this point. I remember half crying, saying I couldn’t do it, saying it stung, but then suddenly there was this blue, purple, thing on my stomach. A baby. I wanted Dan to tell me the sex, as we hadn’t known, but he was in so much shock, he was just looking. There was a sense of urgency as the cord had been around the neck, and she was clearly purple and needing help. Eventually it was decided it was a girl, and she was rushed off to the resusitair where the peadiatric team were rubbing her, and giving her a bit of oxygen. At the same time the doctor was delivering the placenta, which eventually flopped out. I remember thinking it looked a lot smaller than I imagined. The blood loss wasn’t as bad as I had imagined either; there was a sudden rush of blood but it wasn’t constantly flowing out of me like I had imagined!!

Afterwards

It is all a blur to me and I can’t remember what happened and in what order, but I remember they got her breathing and handed her to me, but at the same time the doctor was stitching me up, and telling me how to look after my stitches (as if I’d remember that!) at the same time. She looked like an alien, she was still quite blue looking, and I couldn’t register. I wanted to be comfortable, warm, and then snuggle up with her. I handed her to Dan, and Lyd, who held her, and called various family members between them. I was stitched up, and then they took the baby to weigh and check her over. After this they gave her to me and I tried to do some skin to skin.

We discussed names; We had three in mind, and decided Nancy there and then; the middle name took a bit longer. Someone came and gave me a cup of tea and toast, which was heaven. I was still in this hideous hospital gown, Lyd helped to get my things out of the bag and  got dressed and felt much better immediately. I held the baby and photos were taken. At some point the midwife came to help me feed her, but this was not successful, as I have discussed in my previous post.

It was about 4am when Dan and Lyd left me as they were told I was going down to the postnatal ward. I had no idea what happened next. I hadn’t even thought about it. I was so so tired, I was exhausted. I waited for someone to help me feed again as the first time hadn’t been successful, and so I just lay there, there was no duvet, so I had to use my dressing gown to keep me warm. Nancy was next to me in the crib they eventually found for her. I looked at her, too scared to touch her really, not knowing what to do. At some point someone told me there wasn’t someone to help me shower, so I did this on my own, with the baby in her crib next to the shower, in the cubicle that had no light, so I was practically showering in the dark, the glow of the light outside of the cubicle and in my room the only light source. I remember Bubs looking at me as I quickly washed. It was not the relaxing, warm, comforting bath I had imagined I would be having. I was asked to provide a wee sample, but I couldn’t wee very much, and so had to drink a jug of water and then try again, although no-one came to take my second sample from me. They got me a wheelchair and got my things together, at about 7/8am (so three hours after Dan had left) and handed me the baby. They asked me where my notes were, and I said I didn’t have them, and the went off to find them. They asked me who my midwife was, and I didn’t have a clue! So I waited, holding the baby, sat in the wheelchair. Someone eventually came and took me down to the postnatal ward at 9am.

Pain

Pain wise, I didn’t feel too bad. Even with the stitches it wasn’t too painful. Probably because of the local anaesthetic I was given and the pethidine! But even after a few days, the pain wasn’t too bad at all, more like mild period pains. I felt tired, bruised, my muscles ached, especially my arms where I had pressed down onto the handles on the bed when I was pushing. But most of all I felt tired. So, so tired. I had already been awake since Sunday morning, and by the time I had given birth at 1.50am, and then got sorted out, I had an hours snooze waiting to go down to the postnatal ward, which I eventually got to at 9am, I had been awake for over 24 hours. I don’t think I actually slept any sort of properly until I eventually got back home, which was on the Saturday!

Anyway this is all I can remember about my birth story. I don’t know what to think about it really; I feel disappointed that giving birth was not how I wanted it to be, I feel let down that so many things happened, so much waiting, I feel sad that the room looked awful and didn’t have the right equipment, I feel a bit miffed that I didn’t have help to wash, and I had to wait so long in delivery suite before going down to the ward. I feel bittersweet about this experience. I can’t say I felt so in love with my baby at the time, as I was so shocked, and so confused, and so tired, I couldn’t feel anything (I wrote a poem about this if you’d like to see!). I just hope if I ever have another baby I can learn from this experience and it can be a lot better.

I have also asked me sister to write a bit about the birth which I will post soon, as I really can’t remember the timing of things, and to get her perspective as one of my birth partners.

Things you may want to know about Being Induced

induced

Being induced is something that no-one wants but many of us pregnant first timers end up going overdue and needing to be induced. To be honest, no-one talked to me about being induced very much and the most information I got was from a leaflet I was given by my midwife. So when I was sent off to the hospital at 12 days overdue to start the process, I wasn’t very sure what was going to happen. This is what happened to me; you may experience things differently, I guess it all depends on your pregnancy and what they advise. This may give some idea though of what can happen when you are induced. I had absolutely no twinges, no pains, and both times a sweep had been tried, I was told that my cervix was still closed. So this baby really was going nowhere fast.

I had to wait until a certain day (I was 12 days overdue) and then call the ward, and they then told me when I should come in. I was told to call at 12, which I did, and then was told to call back at 3 as there was no beds. So even before you get there, you have to wait! I used this time to have the last supper as it were, at Pizza Express. You may wish to do something more useful such as packing stuff, but I recommend doing something nice. I was half hoping I’d go into labour halfway through my Pollo Ad Astra, but alas, it was not to be. Eventually the ward called me back, and told me to come in at 7pm that night.

It’s A Waiting Game

The first thing I am going to say, is that being induced is a long, boring, waiting game. I had some notion of going in to hospital and it all being done by the next day. Nope. Some people may be lucky and things may kick off a bit quicker for them, but for me, I was in hospital for three days before they put in the drip, which is the last resort.

To start with, I was taken to the antenatal ward. You don’t go to delivery suite until you are in established labour. This means that you are admitted to hospital, and therefore visitors and birth partners have to adhere to the visiting times rules. My partner Dan could stay with me at certain times of the day, and visitors could come at the normal visiting times. It meant Dan could stay with me most of the day, and visitors for a couple of hours in the afternoon and the evening.

The Pessary

The first thing they did for me was put in a pessary which was to soften my cervix to make it ripe. They put this in and then leave you for 24 hours! It’s basically a tampon-like thing they put up there, and a tape dangles down. Once put in you have to lie down for about half an hour or so and have a heart monitor thing done, but after that you can more or less do what you like. I’d already had 2 attempts at a sweep and it was clear my cervix was clamped shut, therefore I needed the pessary to sort this out. So then you have 24 hours of basically waiting around, with people taking your blood pressure and doing baby monitoring every so often.

After 24 hours, I had an examination, where I was happily told that I was about 2-3cm and could have my waters broken. This was about 7pm on the saturday evening. You have to go down to delivery suite to have your waters broken, and so you have to wait for there to be space, and a midwife, for you. Of course, as you are not in established labour, the priority are people who are, and therefore, this can be quite a wait. I ended up waiting 21 hours before they sent me down to have my waters broken. The midwife did a stretch and sweep after examining me, and I can tell you that it was the most excruciating thing I have ever had done. I started having some mild pains, but was told to rest and get some sleep, as best as I could. I really hoped this had kick started everything off, but alas by the morning, these pains had subsided. Therefore I was just waiting, yet again. I read a book, I watched TV a bit, I listened to the radio. I ate the dodgy hospital food. I waited for visitors to be allowed in. I packed up all my things, and then had to get most of it out again as I was waiting so long.

Breaking Your Waters

Once you get down to delivery suite, you are shown to your room, and you have to go through all the questions and introductions and everything again. Then, you have your waters broken, which for me, was a bit uncomfortable but no more so than a smear test or the stretch and sweep (after the one I’d had the day before, everything else was much less painful than that). You are then told to walk around, bounce, keep mobile, and try to get things going. I think you get about 2-3 hours to get things going before they go to the next step. I walked around the hospital a bit, had some fresh air, got a drink, and bounced on a ball a bit. I was having some mild pains but nothing that bad. I could still talk quite happily through it all. As I didn’t really know what I was supposed to be feeling, it was a bit irritating the midwives keep asking me “Anything happening yet?”. I just thought once I started screaming in agony, they’d probably know, and so would I. So again, more waiting around, more wondering, more thinking and not really knowing what I was doing.

So, for me, breaking my waters had no real effect. And so I was told I needed the drip. I was anxious about this as I had been told that the drip does make contractions more painful. But for me, there seemed no other option. So I had to wait for a midwife to be available to set the drip up. One midwife came and put the venflon in (which, I hadn’t had done before, and as a nurse, I had supported people to have put in. It was actually quite painful and uncomfortable and made using my left hand rather difficult, so I now appreciate a lot more why people don’t like them). I then had to wait for a midwife to start it off.

The Drip and the Start of Contractions

Basically, from what I can remember, the drip is put in, and every half an hour they up the dose. So you start with 2mls, then 4mls, then 8mls, up until a certain amount (I think 12? but don’t quote me on that). Then they stop upping it when you are having strong regular contractions. I think it takes a few hours to get to that point.

When they start the drip, they also hook you up to the monitor so that they can monitor the baby’s heartbeat. This means you have to sit on the bed and not move. initially they told me this would only be for a bit and then I could walk around for a bit, which I was desperate to do. (However, it turned out I had to be strapped to the monitor for the whole thing. It was not what I wanted, and I felt very trapped and stuck on the bed, which was very uncomfortable for me. I had to at times take myself off the monitor to get up and walk around, or go to the loo. That bed was agony.)

So, at about 7.30pm I was started off on the drip. How exciting! This is it, I thought. It was terrifying and exciting at the same time. Waiting to feel pain, and wanting to feel the pain, is a bizarre experience indeed. It was lovely to feel that my baby was going to be here within the next 24 hours, though. It wasn’t long, maybe an hour, before I started to feel the pains a bit stronger. For me, these felt like a ‘wave’ of pain, very much like period pain, it wasn’t a physical sensation of tightening at all, but a feeling, of pain building up and then ebbing away again, much like a wave lapping the sand on a beach. It wasn’t too bad initially, and I was chatting away to my sister and Dan, who were my birth partners. But the more they whacked it up, the more painful it became. Panic is a natural reaction and you have to calm yourself down. No-one had discussed pain relief with me, and I asked about gas and air, which I was given. I was examined and I was 4cm when they gave me the gas and air. However I didn’t get the hang of it very quickly, and by this time the pains were starting to come thick and fast, as they kept cranking it up. I tried to do without it, but the pains were then extremely close together and so I asked for pethidine. At almost the same time as I was given the pethidine, I worked out how to use the gas and air, and so I managed to relax my breathing, and basically had gas and air, and concentrated on my breathing, for a few hours. For me, the pethidine and gas and air was enough, but I had been on the verge of having an epidural if I hadn’t grasped how to use the gas and air. So now I was in established labour.

So that was the Induction process for me. The next bit is about the birth and I will blog about this soon.

So, what do I think you need to remember if you’re having an induction?

  • Remember your notes! And your birth plan. It may not be part of your plan to be induced, and a water birth may be now out of the picture, but you can adapt it and it does give the midwives something to go on.
  • Take books, magazines, MP3 Player to occupy you as it is a waiting game
  • Get as much information as possible about the process and what the plan is for you – I wasn’t vocal enough and didn’t really understand what was happening at times.
  • Be brave enough to tell people if there is anything you’re not happy with or you don’t want to happen
  • Bring snacks in as hospital food is crap and if you’re waiting a long time, you will need something to keep your energy up
  • Try and get visitors to spread themselves out across visiting times so that you have different people to see and other things to talk about
  • Don’t bring in your baby things until you get to delivery suite or else you have way too much stuff with you
  • Bring lots of PJs, slippers and tops, and don’t bother with proper clothes – someone can bring these in for you once you need them. Try short-sleeved as 1) its boiling on the wards and 2) easier for bloods, blood pressure, etc to be undertaken.
  • Try and get people to take things back you find you don’t need or else you accumulate a load of stuff to bring to delivery suite which you don’t need – I had so much stuff it was ridiculous.
  • Make sure you have a bottle of water and an energy drink with you when you are on delivery suite – I wasn’t allowed to eat in case I needed a c-section but was allowed water and energy drink (I had lucozade orange sports drink)
  • Bring money in with you – for TV, snacks, papers etc. It’s awful if you haven’t got any change and you’re desperate for a drink other than tea or water.
  •  Let visitors know about visiting times and how many can visit at once etc before you go in – I could only have 2 visitors plus Dan so when more people came it was a bit of a hassle and got me stressed.
  • Bring in or get someone to bring in once you know you’re going to delivery suite, a birthing ball if you have one or any other equipment you want – I had to wait ages for someone to find a birth ball for me, as they only had these on the birth suite, but I did feel it helped in the early stages.
  • Ask about what happens after the birth – I didn’t have a clue what happened next. Turns out you go to postnatal ward!