Of course my boy was going to make a dramatic and early entrance, he’s mine!
The decision was made 14th May 2019 after a growth scan that I was going to be induced. Petrified I’d heard horror stories about the pain of induction, the use of forceps and some ending in a caesarean section but Frank was measuring small, his size was dropping (failing to thrive) so the safest option was to get him out. Terrified but excited I rang my partner – today was the day I am going to be induced and we are going to meet our baby boy! How very wrong I was to think it would have been that evening. After a quick trip home grabbing our hospital bags and a last minute McDonalds (priorities) I was admitted to hospital for the induction to begin. 7.00pm that evening my cervix was checked – to my surprise I was 1cm already! Surely this means I’m in labour right? Wrong. The pessary was then inserted – nervous and naively assuming I was now going to have contractions and that would be the beginning. The pessary would be in for 24 hours then I would be checked.
We went for a walk of the hospital grounds to get things going, I started to have a few twinges but nothing major. Back on the ward the nurses advised my partner to go home and get some rest – home? Why is he going to go home? We’re meeting our baby tonight, what happens if he misses it? I thought to myself but off home he went. 11.00pm now and contractions were definitely there painful but irregular. Pathetically I thought this was bad enough and asked for some pain relief I was given Paracetamol and shocked that they wouldn’t give me anything more. Looking back now the nurses knew it was way too early for actual pain relief and I was barely in the thick of it. 2.00am I ring my partner begging him to come back up the hospital and help me but I knew he needed his rest as this will be the day it all happens.
7.00am now day 2 of induction and Cam is back at the hospital. All we had to do now was ride these contractions until 7.00pm and then we will be on labour ward I told myself, counting down the hours until it was time to check my cervix again – convinced I was going to be at least 5cm (which I was told once there I could go to labour ward and have my waters broken) I admire my optimism. 7.00pm came anxious but excited “you have not dilated anymore were still at 1cm” the nurse looked at me and said. I broke down in shock “1cm how can I only be 1cm I have been contracting all day” I cried, feeling like a failure – why is my body not working? Why can’t I dilate like other people? I was embarrassed to tell everyone who were all so eager to have some news. The nurse advised now it was time for the gel to ripen the cervix further, I would have this done every six hours. At this point my mind shut down and I started to panic – begging for a c-section, screaming I couldn’t do it anymore. What was the point in going through all this pain when nothing was happening? I wasn’t allowed to go home but I didn’t want to continue with being induced, what could I do. Sleep deprived and petrified I begged and begged to be taken for a caesarean, the nurses said they would put me on the list and a doctor would be round in the morning to discuss my choice. They left me alone that night to get some rest and clear my head for the morning. Thankfully I got some sleep.
Day 3 of induction now, well rested and clear minded. I got up went to the toilet and I’d lost my mucus plug. I couldn’t believe it, things are actually starting to happen – my body does know what to do! More optimistic the nurse came round and asked if I would like to have the gel, this was put in at 7.00am and I would be checked at 2.00pm. Thankfully I went ahead and did not go through with having a c-section without a medical need. My contractions were now coming regularly and they were very painful I was now given Tramadol which did absolutely nothing! Back and fourth pacing the corridors desperate to get down to labour ward and meet my baby – 2.00pm finally came.
This time I was not filled with confidence, I knew I had not dilated much more – after all my body wasn’t ready. It was time for the nurse to check “you’re 2cm now” I couldn’t hide my anger at my body, “however we can now get to break your waters, I’ll call labour ward and let them know you’ll be down when a room is ready”. I couldn’t believe it, this is it, I’m going to meet my baby today! Secretly the nurse had given me a sweep and my goodness it got things going. The contractions were now so bad I couldn’t speak through them, begging my partner to make it stop, embarrassed as I was still on a ward full of women. I crawled down to the nurses office asking for pain relief. To my excitement their response “get your bags Chloe your room is waiting”. Giddy from pain but excited off to labour ward we went.
I was adamant I did not want any further intervention without an epidural even with persuasion from the midwife I did not budge. The doctors came in explained what the next steps were and the anaesthetist was called to get my epidural in. 3.00pm I have the epidural inserted and I can honestly say its magic, I could not have gone any further without it. Sadly the midwife we had had for the last five hours was about to go off shift and we would have a new one, anxious and unsure if I would click with the new midwife as much as our original one – sadly we did not. Now we are in the thick of it full blown labour (not that I could feel anything except intense pressure) the exhaustion was starting to take over and the excitement was wearing off, I needed to sleep to be able to push when the time came. Dosing in and out of sleep while the midwife was keeping track of the baby making sure he was coping during the induction, all was going well or so we assumed.
In and out of sleep I could sense that something wasn’t quite right, the midwife kept prodding at my belly moving the monitor on the baby, “is there something wrong?” I asked, she said no and all was fine, however I knew in myself this wasn’t the case. 2.30am and the midwife was going on her hour break so a new midwife was going to take over, this time her name was Lucky, and I am so glad to have her, she really was a lucky charm! “Are the consultants happy with that baby’s heart rate?” she asked, she was informed that they were although they hadn’t signed the trace confirming this. At this point I started begging for a doctor, I knew something was wrong and it was, after an ultrasound as they were unsure if it was the baby’s heart rate they were picking up or my own they discovered the baby had the cord wrapped around his neck and his heart rate was irregular, I was advised I needed to push now, if I didn’t the chance of forceps or a caesarean were highly likely due to the baby in distress. With every bit of strength I had in me I pushed and pushed and at 3.15am my tiny bundle of joy Frank came in to the world.
I, along with probably quite a few women assumed that induction meant that you would meet your baby that day or at least within 24 hours, how very wrong I was! Only four days later!
Written by Chloe Pugh.