Here is my birth story, finally got a chance to write it all down!
I was due on February 19th. February 1st, I lost the mucous plug, and on February 2nd, during my routine gyny appointment, I was told I was dilated to 2 cm. Thought the baby would arrive in a couple of days! But by the 17th of February, I was still waiting. I had a monitoring appointment with the midwife that day (over here we have a monitoring of fetal heartrate and contractions every week of the last month), and she told me to contact the gyny to organise an induction if he had not arrived by the 19th. (My gyny does not like his patients to go more than a few days over 41 weeks, as he thinks it’s harmful for the baby). So I did, and the gyny organised for me to go to the clinic on the Monday evening (the 20th) to be induced. It was actually a relief to have a definite final date, because I was starting to go a bit stir crazy! Did the final packing of my hospital bags (so much stuff!) on Monday afternoon and headed in. I was brought to a room in the labour ward. I started to get a bit apprehensive when the on-duty midwife examined me, as she was pretty rough. Took her ages to figure out how dilated I was (only 1 cm, didn’t know I could close up!!!). The baby’s heartbeat was monitored for an hour, and the midwife said they would put in the gel to start the induction that night, but then the gyny arrived, and said, no, he would prefer to put in the gel at 8am the next morning. He said it was important for me to get a good night’s sleep, because the labour after an induction can be longer (ie 24 hours!!!) and more painful, and that if he started it that night, I’d be nearly sure to have 2 very bad nights in a row! That was grand by me.
Next morning, I was up bright and early, 8 came and went, gyny arrived at 8.30 to bring me to the same room to get the gel in (he said the reason he was late was because there was a woman in the labour ward delivering her baby without an epidural and she was making lots of noise and he didn’t want to scare me!!!). It was like a little strip of paper attached to a Tampax string. Then I got monitored in my room every 3 hours for an hour. For most of the day, I didn’t actually feel any contractions, but I could see contractions were getting more frequent from the display on the monitoring machine. I went for regular walks to try to speed things up. Then around 8 pm I really started to feel contractions, and especially a lot of pain in my back. Also, going for a pee got much more difficult, I could really feel the baby’s head was down!
Once the contractions started, I tried walking as I had read and been told that this was good for easing the pain, but to be honest, walking did not help at all. Because most of the pain was in my back, I found lying on my side, doing my breathing exercises and having my partner massage my lower back was the only way to get any relief. I think it was about 10 o’clock when I was brought for a monitoring in the labour ward, that my waters broke on the examination table. I was at 2 cm at that stage, and they took out the gel then. The contractions started getting much stronger (still not feeling much in my stomach) and I ended up getting sick over myself L. Went back to my room and things really kicked off then, I had half an hour of pretty continuous contractions, decided then I couldn’t hack it without an epidural, but the problem was I couldn’t move when the contractions were going. Got sick AGAIN. Decide to go back to the labour ward in a short pause between contractions, praying I was at 3 cm so I could have the epidural. I was examined and I was at 5 cm already! (in the space of one hour I had dilated from 2 to 5!). So the midwife (oh what was great was, the shift changed at 8, and the midwife that looked after me then was the midwife I did my antenatal courses with!) called the anaesthetist straight away, brought me to the delivery room and sent the boyfriend off to get my delivery room bag (not sure why, but they prefer if the partner is not there for the insertion of the epidural). Anaesthesist was lovely, he had to put the epidural in nearly straight after the local anaesthetic because the contractions were so close together. I noticed a shortening of the contractions almost straight away, though I could still feel a bit of pain in my back. I was examined straight after and I was at 7cm! So I was really lucky to have gotten the epidural when I did, otherwise it would have been too late. This was about 11.30pm, and things slowed down a good bit after that, I could see the trace from the table and the contractions were only coming every 5 mins or so. I even had little sleeps in between contractions! I still did my breathing exercises when I could feel a contraction, to help move the baby down. The midwife examined me every half hour or so, and I got to 10 cm at around 3.30, but the baby still wasn’t completely down, so she waited til 4 to call the gyny. Things were getting kinda painful again at this stage.
Gyny arrived at 4.15, examined me and found that the baby’s head was almost at the entrance! (he even got me to put my hand down and feel it!!) At 4.30, they said I could start pushing, the first push wasn’t great, I was pushing from my jaw rather than my stomach but the next one was better. It was a strange sensation to be numb but to feel the head. They were saying things like “Oh you’re doing great” and I thought they were just encouraging me, but the baby’s head was out at between 4.45 and 4.50! And baby was born at 4.50. He started crying straight away, but not for very long. They cut the cord, and put the baby on my chest. The gyny injected me with something to make the placenta come out quicker, so that was out in five minutes (didn’t notice it coming out). Apparently, I had to be cut at the end, so I needed two stitches, didn’t even notice that either!! (The funny thing, the main thing that struck me, was how I could see my bits for the first time in months!). We stayed in the delivery room for two hours so they could keep an eye on us, and then we were brought to my room. All in all it was a lovely experience and much less scary than I expected.
EDIT: Oh yeah funny thing I just remembered, the minute he came out, he pooed all over the gyny!