I was highly frustrated as I read my 41 week update on the babycentre website. “Congratulations on your newborn, the nasty labour is over!” Wait a minute, no it was not. I was still pregnant with a humongous bump. The midwife had also informed me that there was absolutely no sign that our baby would be coming soon. I remember bursting into tears after she had left our flat. Her words seemed so harsh “Your cervix is tight shut, its going to be a while”. How much longer was a woman who had got to this size expected to wait? I just wanted my little girl in my arms. I tried everything – raspberry leaf tea, bouncing on the birthing ball, massage, reflexology, constant long walks, the hottest curries, eating a whole pineapple and yes the other thing! But no, nothing.
In 2012, our antenatal class had no section on induction. I am told that now in 2014, due to popular demand, that this very important topic is covered. On the 9th of August, I was booked in to be induced, 12 days overdue at this stage. After a quick scan to ensure our babe was in the correct position, it was time to rock and roll. It was a real insight into the NHS – a lot of time was spent waiting on “a bed”, “a midwife” or “a doctor”. The hospital was literally full to the brim so it was not as plain sailing as we thought it was going to be. I assumed as we were booked in that they would be ready for us. Thankfully we did manage to get a bed that morning, which would be for stage 1 of induction – The Prostaglandin Pessery. This was around a 2 hour procedure. As my body was nowhere near ready to start labour naturally, this was a fairly painful process. Some deep breaths helped, along with my husbands hand to hold. After monitoring the baby for an hour, we were sent home with our fingers crossed.
Not much happened that day but Scott helped to keep me sane with massages and good company. The following morning, Friday 10th of August my contractions had finally started. I was excited and felt that this was the day. The fact that I was born on a Friday 10th (September not August but close enough) was a good enough sign for me. I got in the bath and we started to time the contractions. Fantastic, a pattern was emerging and things were finally moving. I called the hospital and they told me to hang fire until my appointment at 11am. On arrival, we had another lovely long wait for “a bed” and “a midwife”. The midwife removed the pessery and hooked me back up to the baby monitor. I explained that my contractions had started and she laughed at me. “Trust me if those were real contractions you would be screaming, these are tightenings”. Thanks, way to burst my bubble. After more monitoring, we were sent home yet again.
My brother David had flown over from Spain to meet our baby, who we all assumed would have most definately been here by the 10th. We drove over to my folks to see him and have some lunch. I don’t think my Mum enjoyed seeing me in the early stages of labour. I was experiencing the sharp cramping pains around every 7 minutes and they would last around a minute. I didn’t care though, I wanted them to get worse and for our baby to be born. The day dragged on and by night time the contractions just stopped. I was told that this could happen, as they had been brought on artificially and my body may just get tired and stop. That night I got another fabulous massage whilst Scott enjoyed Wimbledon. He even downloaded all the spa music and gave me headphones. What a guy!
Saturday 11th – today was the day we would go to the hospital and not leave until our baby was born! It was a gorgeous, sunny morning. We went for a drive first and took some final snaps of us as a two. We made it to the hospital, super keen and bang on time as always. We were told we would have a long wait as there were no beds. Feeling frustrated we took a walk around the grounds. After what seemed like an eternity we were escorted to our own private room. It was such a treat, compared to being on the noisy ward. As it was stage 2, The Gel, we had to wait for an available Doctor to do this. It took hours for one to come. Scott had downloaded movies for us to watch, however I don’t think I was taking much of it in. Finally, a young Doctor came and carried out stage 2. I was in a bit of pain after so asked for some codeine. I managed to drift in and out of sleep for a few hours, whilst Scott sat freezing cold next to me. It was a small single bed. I think when he got desperate he managed onto the bed with me for a bit more sleep.
Sunday 12th – Around 6am I ran a bath. Just as I was getting in a midwife came through and told me I FINALLY had access to triage. My room was waiting and it was time to go and have this baby. Walking along I started to get super excited. They said I had dilated enough for them to break my waters. I was introduced to the gas and air which I loved. Literally, as soon as my waters had been broken I started to go into proper labour. I got very emotional, am sure this was also due to sheer exhaustion from not sleeping well for weeks. I kept thinking how amazing my Mum was for doing this for my brothers and I. I felt very grateful.
I refused to get the final stage of induction, the drip, without an epidural. I had to wait a while until someone was available to give me one. Not the most pleasant feeling, however gas and air helped. The drip worked wonders and after about 5 hours I was almost fully dilated. My whole body was shaking violently from all the drugs I had been given. Thankfully Scott was able to calm me down and stop me from freaking out. I was just exhausted. After pushing for what felt like an eternity, it was clear I was far too shattered and that we had a fairly large, comfortable baby inside me. She kept so calm the whole time – her heart rate was consistent.
It was agreed they would take me into theatre and try and get our baby out with forceps. Of course they had protocol to follow, and we had to sign some papers accepting what could go wrong. This was pretty terrifying, poor Scott was feeling the fear. I was just so tired and was wondering if I would be able to stay awake. Scott was an amazing support and pulled me through that 10 minutes. After two large pushes, our baby girl was out at 10.32pm on Sunday 12th August 2012. She let out the noise we longed to hear, a big healthy cry. I couldn’t believe how big she was! Bonnie Violet Fraser was finally here. I was slightly gutted that Scott got to cuddle her first. However, the team did a great job of my stiches so I shouldn’t complain.
As we get closer to the due date of our son, Bonnie’s little Brother, I take comfort in the fact that the 2nd labour is normally a lot quicker and a lot more straight forward. I am hoping my body will remember what it has to do. I am keen to experience labour without an epidural and the urge to push our son into the world. However, I am a little apprehensive of what could go wrong and how it may feel without having the pain protection. Every labour is so different and birth plans rarely seem to work out. So I will just try to remain positive and look forward to the end result !