Up this week sharing her labour induction in the birth story series is first-time mum Aileen Deegan of Olivia’s Mother Blog.
My Labour Induction Birth Story by Aileen Deegan
When it comes to labour or giving birth, every woman’s experience is different and there are plenty of people out there that would scare the bejaysus out of you when it comes to telling their birth stories, but being induced into labour is pretty much the same feeling for every woman (I think!). It’s not natural and it’s not nice but sometimes there’s no other choice.
I was eleven day’s overdue and well into my third week of my maternity leave when I made the trip to the hospital to be medically induced. When I look back now, I was so patient in the run-up to my due date, I kept saying, the baby will arrive when it’s good and ready, but I do remember being very disappointed when I woke each morning post-term realizing I hadn’t gone into labour that night! Being brought in to be induced made me feel like a failure. I desperately wanted to labour naturally and without intervention but it wasn’t meant to be.
As a first time mother, I did read a lot to do with pregnancy, labour, and birth. Well, I thought I had! You see, I didn’t read one word about being induced, not one. I guess I had convinced myself that I would go into labour naturally because I was very active throughout my pregnancy and I also believed it when people told me “just by looking at me” that I definitely wouldn’t go over. It’s gas the stuff you believe about something no one has control over, not even you! So by law, I should’ve started myself, you know! But I didn’t, because pregnancy is unpredictable. The only thing I did know about being induced was that some sort of gel would be put onto my cervix to bring on contractions. Maybe I was told more and I didn’t listen, either way, I went in there oblivious to what lay ahead.
We arrived early in the morning and buzzed our way through to the maternity ward. Within an hour of doing all the formal stuff, I was hooked up to a fetal monitor for an hour or so, to monitor the baby’s heart rate. All was well so a doctor applied the first round of gel to my cervix. It was pretty much a waiting game…a long waiting game. Nothing much was happening so the doctor applied the second round of gel some four to five hours later and that’s when things started moving…
It’s known that medically induced contractions are more intense than when you labour naturally. I didn’t know this at the time though. And although I was a first time mother and didn’t have anything to compare my contractions to, I can honestly say those contractions could not have been normal. They just couldn’t have been. What felt like a mere 30 seconds between each one, this was enough to make me panic and feel very scared. But I shouldn’t have let fear take over. I tried everything that felt remotely comfortable, I got out of bed, had a walk around, had a quick dip in a bath. But I still felt like I was suffocating. By this point, I was in full blown labour.
I was given valuable advice during my pregnancy… ‘get the epidural if you feel you need to, there’s no one standing outside with a reward if you don’t’. And how right she was! I decided to have an epidural (at 4cm), not because I wanted it there and then but because the midwives were actually encouraging me to have one. I never expected that, I always thought they preferred if you hadn’t, but in hindsight I think it was because I wasn’t coping with the intense contractions. Once I focused long enough to actually say YES to it, I had it administered and I felt such relief 20 minutes later.
Once the epidural started doing it’s job, I relaxed! I actually got a fit of the shakes which is quite normal. My midwife advised me to get some rest as having an epidural slows labour down and it would be a good few hours before I was fully dilated. A big fluffy duvet was put over me and I felt so cared for, it was lovely. Of course, neither of us slept, we chatted to my midwife until the wee hours. My epidural worked so well, I didn’t need a top up but after a few hours I started to feel pressure and not pain, I liked that I was able to take back some control because I knew when my contractions were coming.
When I was told I was fully dilated and ready to push, I literally puked into the grey foam tray, I had finally reached the stage where I was going to be a mother and I was a mixed bag of nerves and excitement. I was about to put the techniques I’d learned in my ante-natal classes to work and it was harder than I’d ever imagined. I pushed for a good thirty minutes but her head just wouldn’t come down. The midwives didn’t want me to push any longer as my baby’s heart rate was dropping and they dropped the bombshell that I would need an assisted delivery.
They then started preparing me for a vacuum delivery. I won’t lie I was scared. The room started to fill with people and a doctor sat down at my nether regions to give me an episiotomy. That was never going to be nice, was it? Once the cap was put on O’s head, I gave two pushes and she was born. But just before I actually pushed I quickly shouted at the doctor to not tell us what the sex was. We wanted to be the first to know. She came bottom first towards me and her little girly bits were slightly swollen and for a second I thought we had a son. After further examination, though, we realized she was, in fact, a girl. My dream had come true and we got to call our daughter Olivia (a name I’d loved for years) I even guessed her weight to the exact ounce!
I am by no means scarred mentally from being induced (scarred physically yes) I would do it all again in the morning, but if I had of known what I know now, I think I would have opted to go another day over, just to see if I started myself. Forcing labour just didn’t feel natural to me and I pray my next baby won’t be so comfy and will want to stay inside longer than it’s supposed to!
Find Aileen’s sharing all things health, fitness, mama style, mini style and most recently her beautiful wedding on Olivia’s Mother Blog.