Read about Molly and Duncan’s amazing Birth Story that started with an induction but finished with a natural birth- and all of this during the COVID-19 Pandemic. A real, honest and beautiful Birth Story.
As part of my labour preparation I was listening to the Wise Hippo birth affirmations and bond and breath mp3s daily. They were my two favourites.
My Birth Story:
As I went further and further past my due date I was getting more consumed by the thought that induction was not at all what I wanted and I had it in my head by the end that it was going to be awful! It didn’t fit mentally with what I had hoped would be a very natural experience. I also felt a loss for the fact I would be unable to labour at home in a safe and comfortable place for as long as possible. I didn’t want to be in a hospital. Amazingly, COVID-19 wasn’t really part of my fears as such; apart from wondering if the hospital’s procedures would be any different/more strict because of it.
The induction was booked and 42 weeks came along with no baby. My husband dropped me off at JR at 10:30am on the 29th of April to start the induction process. I unfortunately would have to be alone in the labour ward due to COVID-19. I was asked if I would be happy to have a student midwife help attend to me. I said yes. She attempted to break my waters but was unable to do so. The more senior midwife then tried but it just wasn’t happening. The process was uncomfortable but not painful. I spent the process visualising my ‘relaxing place’ while staring at a spot on the ceiling.
I was left alone for a little while so they could decide on a plan B. They did the prostaglandin gel at about 12:45. The process was quick and without much discomfort. I was told I had about 6hrs to start contracting on my own or they would need to attempt to break the waters again.
I spent the next few hours bouncing on a birth ball, pacing the halls, leaning over the birth ball on the bed, trying to rest while listening to the mp3s.
My waters then went on their own in two stages but they recorded it officially as about 5pm. The sensation was not what I was expecting exactly, but it gave me confidence that things were progressing naturally on their own. I didn’t really feel that I was having surges yet though, there was no discomfort. They said I had until about 9pm to start contracting well on my own otherwise the next step would be the oxytocin drip. The idea of which really scared me and I have to admit I had a little a little cry after the midwife left.
Time was passing and I was feeling disheartened that things weren’t progressing. I stayed calm and focused by listening to my favourite music and dancing around.
My husband was told to wait outside from 9pm so he could join me once I moved to the delivery suite.
Amazingly, contractions really started to be noticeable and non-ignorable at 9pm as soon as he was waiting outside in the car park. I think my body/mind knew and I must have relaxed further knowing he was close. My contractions were then coming well enough that I avoided the oxytocin drip (which I was very happy about!).
From 9pm to 3:30am I laboured with gas and air and my husband coaching me through breathing, being constantly monitored by a midwife. She set up clary sage aromatherapy through a diffuser (which I think definitely helped intensify my surges), we had our music on, I was offered massage oils and heat pads once the surges got stronger. I felt most comfortable standing but occasionally sat right on the edge of the bed if I needed a rest. Although I had to be constantly monitored, they were wireless so I could still move around, go down the hall for the loo etc. Being constantly monitored didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would ahead of time. I found it hard not to fixate on the numbers though, I watched to see if it was recording my surges which of course is silly. Everyone could see I was having them so it didn’t matter if it was on the machine or not.
I remember suddenly thinking the gas and air was no longer helping distract from the pain. I had to concentrate much more on deep breaths and getting to the gas and air before the surge fully hit. That lasted for a handful of surges until I suddenly climbed up onto the bed on all fours and started involuntary pushing on each surge. Everyone reminded me to breath as deeply as possible and encouraged me through each break. 25mins of pushing and he was handed to me!! Jasper was born at 3:55am.
On reflection, the experience was great. The only intervention I needed was the gel. The hours spent alone were boring mostly, not scary. The midwives were all friendly and I felt they really listened when I voiced my concerns. I wasn’t at home but I brought some comforts with me which meant it still felt like a safe space. I had hoped to have another water birth but actually I coped well without it and enjoyed being able to walk around so much.
I wish I had known it wasn’t going to be so bad!