I was reluctant to write this post because everyone’s experience is different to each others due to a lot of factors, such as the individuals pain threshold, help provided from the birthing partner/s and so on. However, several people have asked me so I thought to post this up to help others.
So, the day before my due date there were no signs of baby coming. I had opted for my midwife to do a sweep to help things progress. The following morning my water had broke although this being my first baby I wasn’t entirely sure. I went into hospital to check and the midwife had mentioned she did not think my water had broken since there wasn’t a pool of fluid in my womb when I was lying down. She then sent me home instead of admitting me and gave me two pads. She had mentioned that if I were to leak some more fluid (which I had done) to call. The midwife on the phone had told me to stay at home and come in early the following morning to be induced.
I had returned to the hospital at 8am and was not seen till later that evening (around 7pm) due to a lack of beds. I was given another sweep and prostaglandin (a hormone-like substance that causes your cervix to ripen) from a wonderful midwife who made me feel comfortable and calm. I then waited for a few more hours till I was 2cm dilated, when the night-duty midwife offered to do another sweep… this time the midwife was not even trying to be gentle and prodded in me like she was trying to stuff a chicken! I asked her to be as gentle as she could but she didn’t listen and I screamed and told her to stop.
When I was moved into the labour ward I was situated in a room, which was dirty, had blood in the sink, and looked as though it was used as storage. I had asked to move into another room, which was so much cleaner. The new midwife was absolutely lovely. She was very professional and had a warm personality that made me feel calm. Sadly her shift ended and another midwife plus student had taken over. Unfortunately the midwife and student was no help at all. During my contractions the two were more interested in talking about buying property and other topics amongst themselves! Luckily, I had two amazing birthing partners who help me get through my contractions. Once my contractions started to build up my birthing partners would let me know by reading the machine. This would indicate that it was coming and that I would need to inhale some gas and air.
Finally, towards the end, a doctor and consultants came in and took over. They used Syntocinon (a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, which your body releases to help labour progress) and increased the dosage every few minutes. Contractions brought on by Syntocinon tend to be more intense that an epidural is commonly offered, but I refused it. Don’t get me wrong… at one point it hurt like a B**** and was considering taking an epidural but with the support and reassurance of my birth partners I’m glad that I didn’t.
I was in labour for quite some time and the doctor advised that I have an assisted birth in case the baby felt distressed. Although the baby’s vitals were okay I did not want to take the chance of making the baby distressed so I opted for an assisted delivery. The doctor wanted to use forceps and kept insisting it was the better option but I had made it clear that I was against it and instead I wanted to use a ventouse (a silicone suction cup used on the baby’s crown). My preference for ventouse over forceps was because it was made of silicone plastic (not hard plastic or metal), I was less likely to rip and it would not scar the baby. The doctor was very reluctant to use the ventouse however he said he’ll try it to keep me satisfied and to his surprise I proved him wrong and everything went okay.
My main advice is to be prepared, research and speak to the professionals. Antenatal classes has definitely made my partner and I become aware of all information needed so when it came to labour, we were comfortable enough to know what to do and to make any decisions if any complications arose. Another thing I have experienced is friends, family and even strangers exchanging their stories or advice. Just remember not everything you hear is fact and whatever person ‘X’ has gone through doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same thing. Good luck and stay strong xoxo
- Trust your instincts
- Trust in your own body
- Be prepared for the worse
- Remember you can always say ‘no’
- Have birthing partners you can rely on
- Keep active (move while contracting)
- Always ask questions if you are not sure
- If you are unhappy let the head midwife know
- Antenatal classes
- Breastfeeding classes
- Birth Skills by Juju Sundin
- The Wonder Weeks
- My Pregnancy Today BabyCenter
- My Baby Today BabyCenter
- Baby Feed Timer