I knew that I was going to have to be induced early. I’d been visiting the hospital every week since 27 weeks, when I had suffered bleeding and had to spend the day in hospital. It all seemed to go downhill from there. Every time I saw the Consultant they seemed to find something else wrong. I was already a high risk pregnancy due to my age and having diabetes and high blood pressure etc in the family. I had scans almost every week. My baby was a star of the screen before he was even born.
One week they discovered I had polyhydramnios, then the baby was getting very big. I had test after test to check for various things. My GTT came back normal twice, but they were convinced I was diabetic, so the specialist diabetic nurse decided to have me check my blood by pricking my fingers 4 times a day. It turned out that even though the GTT didn’t show it, I did actually have gestational diabetes. By this time though I was around 34 weeks pregnant. I was started on Metformin. A week later my blood sugar levels were still high, so the dose was doubled. The week after they were still high, but they didn’t want to start me on insulin that late so my induction was booked for 37.5 weeks.
I was happy to give birth early as I was told the baby was very big. My last one was well over 10lb and I’d developed an obsession with having shoulder dystocia. My consultant told me they weren’t concerned about the size of the baby, and not to worry about that as I had already given birth to a big baby naturally. The problem is that after 38 weeks the placenta stops functioning as well when you’re diabetic. So he rang and got me an appointment for the 12th August.
I’d been induced 19 years earlier, so I had a good idea what was going to happen, although it wasn’t an experience I was looking forward to. I was told to ring the ward at 7am on the morning of the 12th to see if they had a bed for me. I rang and was told to go in at 9am. I felt very sick! I told my husband to go to work because I knew it would be a few hours before anything happened, so my Dad was taking me in. My Mum came to keep me company.
I took a case, a handbag and the babies bag, and that was trying to keep it to the minimum amount of stuff. I got to the ward and I was the only one booked in for that day for induction. I chose a bed by the window in case it got too hot. It was the only one on that side – there were 3 beds opposite me. At around 9.30am the midwife told me she was going to insert a pessary and do a “sweep” at the same time. I was really looking forward to that!! She put the pessary in and I just waited. I wasn’t expecting anything to happen – they told me I could have up to 3 pessaries L
After a few hours I started to get contractions, so they put me on a monitor to monitor the length and frequency. By around 4pm they were very strong and close together. The midwife checked and I was 1cm dilated – how depressing. She gave me another sweep!! I really thought things were happening and that I would have a baby by that evening. My husband and sister (my birth partners) both came after work, and I was still getting contractions. By around 12.30am I told them they might as well go home and I would ring them the next day. The contractions slowed to nothing and I managed to get a bit of sleep.
The next day my sister and husband called in on their way to work (my sister works at the hospital so she came with my husband). Nothing much happening, but they were going to give me another pessary. I had the pessary, bounced on the ball and walked up and down the stairs and the corridor.
Hours went by and there were no signs of contractions. They put me back on the monitor to check the baby was moving and his heartbeat was ok. Another internal and still no progress and ANOTHER sweep (I was beginning to hate those). They spoke to my Consultant and a caesarean was mentioned, but nothing finally decided.
A Doctor came to see me in the evening to see if they could break my water, but as there was no progress they couldn’t. For some reason they decided to try another pessary (my third!!). Oh and of course I had another sweep!! They said they would come round and assess me in the morning to see if they could break my water then. If they still couldn’t – then it would be a caesarean. By this time I was so sick of seeing women come in and get taken to delivery suite, that I would have agreed to a caesarean there and then. I was put on the monitor to check baby. Husband and sister went home again.
At around 7am a Consultant came and said she was going to send someone to try and break my water. She explained that as the baby was so high it was going to be a risky procedure, as the cord could prolapse. If that happened I would have to be prepared to go straight to theatre – no epidural or spinal, as there would be no time, so it would be a general anaesthetic. I had the venflon (?) put in the back of my hand ready, and phoned my husband to come as soon as he could.
He arrived at the hospital just as they were taking me to the delivery suite. I had a massive room that joined straight onto the theatre (just in case). One of the theatre staff came and introduced herself and told me that they were standing by for me.
A lady Doctor came in and told me she was going to try and break my water. She then, to my shock and horror inserted a catheter. It really hurt. She didn’t ask. I could have just gone to the toilet perfectly ok by myself – I wasn’t even in labour at this point. I was absolutely dreading it by then, but I didn’t feel a thing when she did break my water (the catheter was worse). The water poured and poured and poured out of me. The Midwife laughed and said I could take a pound off the weight of the (giant) baby they thought I was having because it looked like most of it was water. Fortunately, everything went ok and I didn’t need to go to theatre. But the water still kept pouring out for hours after. I think he was inside his own swimming pool.
Nice big comfortable arm chairs were brought in for my sister and husband and we waited for things to happen. Then the midwife started the drip to bring on my contractions. I was hooked up to a monitor for the whole time, due to me being a high risk pregnancy. In the beginning I didn’t mind, as looking at the monitor and knowing when a contraction was coming and going kept me occupied.
A lovely lady came in to talk to me about epidurals and assess me to see if I would be ok . I’d had one before and didn’t want one again, but I discussed it with her anyway and even though I had a high BMI it was easy enough to find a space to put the epidural in.
Every so often the Midwife told me she was going to turn the drip up. In the end I told her I didn’t want to know when it was being turned up because I knew the pain was getting worse and worse. She asked me if I wanted to try Gas and Air. I wasn’t in extreme pain, and I kept telling her I wanted to wait until I was in more pain ha!! In the end I gave in and started on the Gas (which I loved in the beginning). It was just enough to take the edge off the contractions and make me feel slightly drunk and out of it.
And the drip was turned up and up and up.
When a midwife came to discuss the birth after and go through my notes she commented on how high the drip had been turned up. We read further through the notes and then we saw it went even higher!!
I don’t know how much time had passed but I was in extreme pain and asking for pethidine. My hot wheat bag and the gas and air weren’t helping at all. I had the pethidine and told them it wasn’t working – although my sister tells me I said this after only about 5 minutes J
And still the drip was turned up higher
At around 9.30pm I was in ketosis and my blood sugar was going low (I had to have it checked all the way through the labour). I was in so much pain I was feeling out of control. The midwife wanted to examine me and I was 4cm dilated. I could have cried. I was imagining another 6 hours of excruciating pain so I told them I wanted an epidural. I couldn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth. My midwife was all for natural birth, but even she commented to my sister that she thought it was a good idea.
A lovely Irish man came to do the epidural. I remember lying on my side and he had put it in in minutes. I didn’t feel a thing. I was hoping that the epidural would take the pain away totally. When I had one years ago I was completely paralysed from the waist down, but apparently now they don’t give such a high dose. I kept telling them I could feel pain, but they said it was just pressure and I would always be able to feel that. Looking back on it the pain was actually better and I became more coherent as I wasn’t in such pain.
Unfortunately at this point the babies heart rate started to drop and the doctor started panicking. They tried to take blood from the top of the babies head, but couldn’t manage to do it (probably due to his hair), but just at that point I started to push. They examined me and I’d gone from 4cm to 10cm in a matter of minutes (I needn’t have bothered with the epidural).
The head came out and that’s when it all started to go wrong. The babies shoulders were stuck! Then it was a real emergency situation. It’s a good job I was in such a big room, because there were so many people in there. I started off with my legs in stirrups (I don’t remember at which point they got there), but due to the shoulder dystocia, they had to push my legs so far back they were by my ears. I later learned that this was called a McRoberts manoeuvre. My husband ended up at the back of the bed behind me and my sister in the corner of the room (she was very miffed to miss the actual birth). I had my husband and midwife pulling my legs back. A midwife pushing down on my stomach and what felt like too many pairs of hands inside me!! Everyone just kept shouting at me to PUSH! I’ve never pushed so hard in my life.
Eventually he was manipulated out at 22.11. Totally blue, lifeless, swollen and not breathing. My husband whispered it was a boy. And the baby was whisked off by a paediatrician. I could see them working on him and I just kept saying over and over to my husband “Is he ok?” “Is he ok?”. He kept telling me yes, even though he obviously wasn’t. His Apgar score was 1. Eventually he started breathing and his score miraculously was up to 9.
They asked me if I wanted skin to skin contact. I said yes and his little battered body was placed inside my nightdress. I totally fell in love. I was besotted with my precious son. There was no blood on him. He was covered in vernix, so his skin was perfectly soft and moisturised.
They let us all stay in the delivery room and my sister dressed him for me. He was 9lb 2oz, not the 12 pounder we were expecting, so the clothes were way too big for him.At 2am I was taken to a room and I was left alone with my lovely little boy. I could have held him and looked at him for hours.
His little face stayed blue and was congested and swollen for days, but he was still beautiful to me. His blood sugar was very low so he was very sleepy and I had to keep waking him to feed. Due to his low blood sugar he was having his heels pricked regularly (to take blood), so I wasn’t allowed home on the Sunday. On the Monday he developed jaundice, so we were kept in for another day. His weight dropped to 8lb. My husband had to go buy smaller sleepsuits.
I went into hospital at 9am on Thursday 12th August. They started the induction procedure at 9.30.
I gave birth on Saturday 14th August at 22.11. Eventually on the Tuesday evening (6 days later) they let me go home.
I gave birth on Saturday 14th August at 22.11. Eventually on the Tuesday evening (6 days later) they let me go home.
The midwives came to visit at home for longer than normal, as his weight took a while to go back up and his jaundice lasted for 8 weeks.
My darling Brandon is now a gorgeous healthy bouncing baby, and I would go through it all again tomorrow to have him J