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At MyBump2Baby we feel it is important to share real-life stories to raise awareness and support other people going through similar experiences. Today Emma Witten the founder of the wonderful Ecocobox shares her positive natural labour after induction birth story with us.
A Great Natural Labour after Induction by Emma Witten
I hate due dates! I’ve had two babies and gone over with both. First time around I woke up every morning and cried that I’d not gone into labour that night. It seems crazy because obviously I wasn’t going to be pregnant forever, but the anticipation was more than I could take. I thought about when it would happen constantly. I think it was a mix of anxiety and excitement, and I think it was probably the reason he stayed put; all that adrenaline probably had him scared of making his entrance!
We talked about refusing an induction because all I’d heard were horror stories, but after talking to the doctors, we decided to go ahead with a pessary and cross our fingers it would work. It was weird waking up on 18 March knowing that I was being induced that day, and we’d meet our baby soon. I’d already had a couple of sweeps, but putting the pessary in was more uncomfortable, and I felt crampy right away although it faded and I started to doubt it would work. But at 10pm, 7 hours after having it put in, I started with contractions. The NCT teacher had said to contact the hospital when there were 3 contractions in 10 minutes, which confused me because I had that pretty much from the get go (turns out it’s how I labour as it happened like that with baby 2 as well!). The hospital calmly told me to call back when they were more intense.
I told my husband I was in labour and we decided he should get some sleep until I needed him “it’ll probably take ages anyway”. I had a go with a tens machine (hated it) bounced on my birthing ball (hated it) and finally found my happy place in the bath. It was strange seeing the contractions – I could literally see the whole bump move upwards and could make out a sort of outline of my baby. I’m not sure what time I got my husband, but it was the point where I really couldn’t be faffing around with my phone, timing my contractions; things were getting intense. I felt pretty calm and was finding myself in my zone, mooing through the surges.
Finally I suggested we go to hospital and my husband said ‘why? What do they have that we don’t?’ GAS AND AIR! I’m glad I suggested we leave then, because it took over an hour to get to the hospital – a journey of only 15 minutes normally – because it took me so long to put clothes on and get to the car. I had been naked, and was now contracting frequently with only about a minute between them where I could do anything, so everything took forever!
Arriving at Hospital
We arrived at the hospital about 4am, and Neil ran to find someone while I contracted against a costa coffee machine. They brought a wheelchair but sitting down was horrendous and I absolutely couldn’t sit when I had a contraction, I needed to stand, so it took ages to get to the triage area. I was 4cm, and they dimmed the lights and I stood looking out over the Brighton coast, which was all lit up in the night time.
I remember suddenly feeling a gush down my legs and thinking it was my waters and feeling freaked out to see dark streaks of blood instead. Don’t worry they said, you can sometimes bleed when you’re cervix opens quickly. And it did – 4cm to 10cm in an hour!
It was weird because I thought someone would tell me to push, but I got to a point where it was this absolute undeniable urge to bear down. They asked me not to as they wanted to examine me, but to try not to was like fighting a war with every fibre of my being! There was a tiny lip of cervix that wasn’t out of the way the midwife said and I mustn’t push until it was moved or it could swell and cause issues; but thankfully it moved with my next contraction (and a little help from the midwife).
I pushed for 20 minutes and they could see a head but they were worried he was getting a little distressed and gave me an episiotomy, and he came out super fast then! And there he was, Ben, all 7lb 3oz of him, screaming like you see in the movies with a mouth like a cave. They put him on me and within just a few minutes he was bobbing his head around, and he latched and fed like textbook.
I felt like a superhero. People were coming in and out of the room while I was being stitched up and I didn’t care at all. It is the most confident I have felt in my own skin, ever. I remember turning to my husband and saying I could do it all again.
We didn’t make it to the ward. No one was arriving in labour so they left us in the delivery suite. Ben was feeding well so we went home that evening. My labour was 8.5 hours from start to finish, and it was really empowering. I’m so glad I read a hypnobirthing book as I think it helped me listen to my body and trust it, and I felt pretty calm overall.
I’d have liked a water birth but aside from that I was just thrilled that I’d done it, was ok, and had a healthy little boy. Ignore all the horror stories about induction, because they’re someone else’s story, not yours, and it’s totally possible to have a great natural labour after one.