Today we have Charlotte’s story!
Bouncing on the ball for what felt like the millionth time, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the midwife came into the room to tell me that labour ward finally had a bed for me for them to break my waters. At this point I was overdue by 15 days with my second baby and I was very much fed up, especially because I was suffering with pelvic girdle pain which had gotten worse in the last few weeks.
My eldest arrived 13 days past her due date after I had the balloon fitted; it fell out 12 hours later when I woke up with contractions, and after a 10 hour labour I had a beautiful baby girl in my arms. I didn’t really enjoy the experience of having the balloon fitted. It was extremely uncomfortable and painful at times, but it did the trick so I was willing to try it again this time. So when the midwife at the ‘Induction of labour clinic’ examined me and said I didn’t need the balloon or the pessary and basically I just needed my waters breaking, I found myself both pleased and disappointed at the same time. The labour ward had been and still was very busy so I was told to go home and expect a call from them within the next few days, and that I would be called the next day to go in to the clinic again to be monitored with me being so far overdue. I spent the entire next day staring at my phone anxiously and annoying my other half with how fed up I was, but Labour Ward didn’t call and I was eventually asked to go to the clinic for 4.30pm.
I was made comfortable and hooked up to the machine to monitor baby’s heart rate, and after a little while I was asked to drink some water and move about a little to wake baby up to check his heart rate whilst awake. So I did exactly that and this little munchkin suddenly went from being fast asleep to having a disco meaning his heart rate went sky high. Eventually (4 hours later) he calmed down but the staff decided I should be admitted on to the ward and be on the priority list to be moved upstairs to labour ward as I was really overdue. That night I think I must have had 2 hours sleep (mixture of anxiety, it was too warm, and the lights/noises disturbed me) and I spent the following day trying to relax or bounce myself into labour. It felt strange that I was the only one in the room not in actual labour, in a way I felt as though I shouldn’t be there. It was about half an hour after my little girl had visited me that I was moved upstairs. I was over the moon to see her as she had been with her grandma for the past two nights and I had missed her so much. She cheered me up, especially when she found the midwife’s pinard horn and used it to listen to my tummy.
I’d had my heart set on giving birth in the new midwifery led labour suite (originally I wanted a home birth but my other half was worried) that was purposely built to have a more home from home feel to it, but because I was 15 days over and had the little hiccup with baby’s heart rate it was now out of the picture. Instead I was in one of the normal (and very small) labour rooms. The Dr came in to tell me that once the midwife had broken my waters then they would leave me for a few hours to see if things would get going on their own rather than hook me up to the hormone drip, and then left her to get on with it. However, she then had to call him back in because my waters were too tight around the baby’s head for her to break them, no matter how hard she tried! She then pulled a face at him as he broke them without a problem and sat looking smug at her (this was all friendly of course, she was laughing about it). After monitoring baby’s heart rate for a few minutes the midwife brought me a ball to bounce on (whoopie another one) and said she would be back in half an hour to check how I was. Well as soon as she left the room the contractions started and just kept getting stronger and closer together so that when she returned I was having around 5 or 6 in 10 minutes.
The first time around I was in labour for about 10 hours and the contractions gradually built up over that time, so in between them I had a little time to rest. This time they just kept coming one after the other and although I was glad it was a quicker labour I did find myself wishing I could have a little rest, at least just once. I wanted to be on the floor in ‘cat’ (yoga pose) which I usually found very comfortable, but I had a cannula in my hand from being on a fluid drip earlier so I couldn’t get comfortable at all. Instead I ended up staying on the bed which was easier to keep the monitor belt on me anyway. We had taken our Bluetooth speaker with us so that I could listen to my playlist I had made for the occasion, very aptly named ‘Pushing Tunes’ by my other half, so I was quite relaxed listening to that and also doing my yoga breathing. At one point I had a out 3 breaths of the gas and air but it made me instantly sick so I was put off after that.
3hours and 15 minutes after having my waters broken I had a new baby boy in my arms. I spent the first 10 minutes repeating “Oh my god” at the shock of having a boy; I come from a family of all girls so he is the first boy in the family for a long time. I also couldn’t believe just how much hair he had as my little girl was pretty much bald when she was born. I was over the moon when he latched straight on for a good feed, I’d had some trouble getting my daughter to latch properly in the early days, which is one of the reasons why I had then trained to be a support peer.
My labour wasn’t how I would have liked it to go, but it went smoothly and it was my labour. I still got to have my music, the midwives followed my lead and only stepped in when needed and even delayed the cord clamping like I had asked. I’ll keep hoping that I’ll get either a home birth or the midwifery led unit next time.
Thank you for reading x