TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains a birth story (without birthing images), and can be viewed as graphic and stress-inducing to ladies who are currently pregnant. If you are pregnant, please exercise caution before reading. Each birth story is different, and each birthing method is different for each body and baby. This is just my experience with baby #2. Your birth can be completely different.
Its been a little while since I’ve posted, and that’s because we had an appearance from a little man on the 15th..
That’s right, Mister H came into the world, making our family a total of 4 now!
The last few weeks have gone quick, and have been filled with lots of nappies, burping, sleeping and crying – and not just the little guy either! But I am happy to say that we have made it safely through the first few weeks, and are happy as Larry now (whoever Larry is? – where do these sayings come from?)
So, as promised, I wanted to write to you all and let you know of how things went, and I will attempt to leave out some of the gory details.
If you’ve been following along with the blog, you’d know that my pregnancy was quite an exhausting one. I had quite a drawn-out period of morning sickness accompanied with extreme fatigue, and then was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I thought my pregnancy with Mister C was exhausting, as I was working full time up until 36 weeks and had bad morning sickness then too, but being pregnant as a stay-at-home mum with an all-active threenager alongside all the pregnancy troubles was definitely a crazy fete!
Add aside, the extra scans at the start due to a previous MC, and then loads of doctors appointments and scans towards the end due to the gestational diabetes, I was definitely ready for things to be over, and was so grateful to be induced early.
Little did I know it wouldn’t happen so quickly. I wasn’t induced with Mister C, but I still had to wait for him, going into natural labour just before I hit the 41 week mark.
THIS ONE THOUGH! Had my bags packed at 28 weeks, excited to be induced at 38 weeks, and that waiting game in the last month was excruciating, but once we got to the hospital and I walked into the birth suite, it all became a bit real.
You always know ‘what you’re getting into’, but somehow hitting the birth suite brings you into the present moment, and right into reality, and I was a little naive thinking that things would get going straight away and I would be home the next day.
I was checked over by the midwife, and only 1cm with no elasticity, so they couldn’t do a stretch and sweep, so they decided to give me the tape.
Stretch and sweep (or membrane sweep) – inserting a finger into the uterus gently separating the sac from the cervix to encourage labour through the release of prostaglandin.
Tape – a piece of tape attached to string which has Cervidil on it (a synthetic form of prostaglandin), which is placed around the cervix to encourage dilation and start of labour.
From there I had to wait 24 hours to see if I went into labour naturally, or my cervix dilated enough for my waters to be broken. The longest 24 hours that was, sitting in hospital with Mister B and my mum, in a ward, watching tv or doing puzzles. I did NOT pack enough ‘boredom busting’ essentials that’s for sure.
24 hours past, and the next morning I was woken up at 6am to go into the birth suite. I packed and carried all my things back into the birth suite, only to find out I hadn’t progressed whatsoever. So this time, they gave me the gel instead, and we were to wait 12 hours to see if anything changed.
Gel – a synthetic prostaglandin gel added to the cervix to encourage dilation and ripening of the cervix.
So, that night, we were back in. I refused to bring my bags in to the birth suite this time, hoping that that might give me a bit of luck. I’m a little superstitious in that way.
I had moved another .5cm. ONLY HALF A CENTIMETRE. I wasn’t very impressed, and frankly after 2 days of being in the hospital, where I had thought I’d have my bub by now and hopefully returning home, I was getting very impatient.
So were the midwives.
So they decided to then give me the balloon catheter – pretty much the last induction method possible at this point (so I was getting a little concerned they may just book a caesarian instead). This was done at 8pm (I know that clearly because it was so damn uncomfortable), and I was to come in at 7am AGAIN the next day to hopefully get things going.
Balloon catheter – a non-chemical form of induction, where a balloon is inserted into the uterus and filled with water, attached to another balloon within the vagina filled with water, to bear down onto the cervix with weight and pressure, and encourage the cervix to dilate and ripen.
I had not had dinner yet, so was looking forward to that, but once I got off the bed after the procedure, the heaviness of the balloon catheter was so unbearable, I couldn’t eat or do much at all. Even walking was too much. If you’ve been pregnant before, and can remember the pressure of baby on your cervix towards the end of pregnancy, this was 4 fold that feeling. I burst into tears.
They sent me back to the ward, and Mister B and my mum went home, even though I didn’t want them to. Nothing was going to happen until the morning, but it did – because they weren’t there. The same thing happened with my birth with Mister C – Mister B and my mum and sis went home as I wasn’t progressing as fast, and once I got to the ward and laid down, my waters broke.
Within an hour of the procedure, I started to get “contractions”. Intense contractions. I had not had these before, as I had back labour with Mister C, so I was a bit excited that I may get a normal birth this time (in regards to pain). The contractions were between 5-8 minutes and lasting about a minute at a time, and were very painful so I decided to have a shower to ease it a little. Standing up was a no go though, and as I timed the contractions in the shower, they were 1-2 minutes apart lasting about 30 seconds – at this point, I was freaking out a little and getting nervous I’d have the baby on the shower floor without Mister B or my mum or even a midwife.
I got out and buzzed and let a midwife know, in which she didn’t seem fazed – just patted me on the shoulder and said “See how we go, you can have some pain medication and a sleeping pill soon. Don’t worry, you won’t have baby in your sleep”. All I wanted to know was if I should call my partner back! Later on, they gave me pain meds and sleeping pills, and I fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning, realising I wasn’t having contractions and no baby had come in my sleep. (Dammit!). Off I went to the birth suite, no bags, and started to get set up. Mister B and mum arrived, and I was examined. I was 3cm but there wasn’t much room with bubs right on my cervix, they weren’t sure if they would be able to break my waters. The midwife I had was determined though and did what she could, unsure if it worked. It did a little bit, so they started me on antibiotics (for the strep b virus), and the syntocinon drip to start contractions.
Strep B Virus – a bacterial virus present in the vagina, which can come and go. 1 in 3 women can have this naturally occurring bacteria, and only 1% of mothers pass it on to their babies during birth. It can cause immune and respiratory problems in newborns, so mothers are screened at 36 weeks to see if they will need antibiotics during labour.
Syntocinon drip – a synthetic form of oxytocin, the natural chemical released to start and progress labour to birth.
The first bout of antibiotics was a large amount, and contained penicillin. Not long after it was added to my drip, I started to have vision problems (decreased peripheral vision and diamond-like sparkly blotches), followed by numbness around my mouth and tongue, pressure behind my left eye and a weird sensation in my arm. The midwives were concerned I was having a stroke, but monitored me to see how I was going and things settled down thereafter. I have never had any reactions to penicillin in my years, so still don’t know what the deal was!
By 10am, I was in active labour and progressing well. Just after midday, I asked for the epidural as I was getting bad back labour pain as I had with Mister C, and there was no way I was going through that again!
Epidural – pain relief using a local anaesthetic in the back to numb the body from the waist down.
Once the epidural was in effect, I had a bit of a sleep. I woke up around 3pm feeling pressure in my lower back and further down, and so the midwives examined me. I was 7cm and the doctor predicted I would have bubs around 10pm that night with how I was progressing. I was a little defeated but I could see the end in sight!
Not long after though, about half an hr, I started to feel a bit off. Something had changed and the pressure was quite excruciating, but it was a different pressure. I was trying to explain to mum, while also beginning to realise the change was similar to what I had with Mister C – the transition period.
Transition – changing between active labour to the pushing phase.
The midwives examined me and I was 10cm. It was time to get things moving to get the little boy out and into the world. This freaked me out. It was at this point I realised just what I had to do, and I remembered the feeling of pushing – I burst into tears and told mum I didn’t want to do it, knowing very well there was only one way out. I feel sorry for the midwives and my mother for at this point I think I was overly dramatic.
An hour later, and with only a little bit of pushing, Mister H was out and on my chest. Once his head had come out, the midwives shimmied him out with ease. He was a healthy 7p9lb (3.6kg), and 52cm long.
He was gorgeous. I had a progressive 10 hour “easy” labour compared to my birth with Mister C (25 hours), and he was healthy. He passed his first blood sugar test and after a shower, we finally got back to the ward around 11pm.
The next morning after sleep and a feed, he was tested again but didn’t pass. We offered another feed and some formula, and he was maxxed out – he was refusing any more, but still not passing his test so we opted for a glucose drip, and he was taken off to the special care unit during this time.
The next morning his levels were doing well so they started to ween him off the drip. I had passed my first 24 hours of blood sugar tests, and was healthy to go home, and after 3 days, we were finally able to come home. I had been in hospital for just under a week, and was really feeling homesick. Mister C and B were definitely missing me as well.
Mister H’s poor little feet were cut all over from the blood sugar tests he had, and were very tender, but other than that, he was a very happy little man.
The last few weeks have been really great – I think after being so fatigued during pregnancy, getting up to the little man for feeds at night has not left me as tired as that, so I’m functioning really well. He is feeding well and gaining weight – he has a nice little double chin forming, and is already out of 0000 suits (newborn size).
We absolutely adore him, and I am so happy to finally be over the child birthing stage of my life. Mister H is our last, as 2 is fine for our little family, and now we can move onto better things.
As I had gestational diabetes with this pregnancy, I have 50% chance of having Type 2 Diabetes (not including my family history), so I have to keep a real eye on my eating and health. Weight loss is now a focus (especially as I have a wedding dress to fit into in 2 months time!), and I can’t wait to get down to a healthy weight, although I still haven’t weighed myself to see where I am! There are more important things to worry about right now, then the exact figure on the scale.
I am loving what my body looks like already after bubs, as I only gained 2kg during the pregnancy, and my body is smaller than it was before, so that is what I am focusing on to keep me going. THAT is what is important.
It’s time to clean eat, walk every day and after my 6 week check, start an exercise routine. I can’t wait to share my progress with you all, and let you know all the tips and tricks I’ve learnt along the way, along with some great products and recipes to try for yourself too!
Thanks so much for reading my birth story – my experience this time was such a positive one compared to the last – even with the waiting game. Each birth story is different as is each body and baby, and how well different methods work! I hope that if you are on your own birthing journey, that you can take it all in and enjoy the process (even through the pain or no pain), and your baby makes their way into your arms quickly and safely!
Information on induction method procedures referenced from Baby Center
Before changing any health and lifestyle habits, please consult your practitioner. This is not health advice, but merely a reference of induction methods used during my own personal labour experience and what they did for my body, but each body and labour experience is different.