Oliver Elliott. Born a whopping 9lbs 2oz on the 19th June 2019 at 22.04pm.
After a one failed pessary, two 6 hour prostin’s and an intense hormone drip later, you entered the world and changed my life forever. You took your time (84 hours start to finish) but you were worth every second of the wait.
I was induced at 38 weeks. Turns out him having multi cystic dysplastic kidney and me having gestational diabetes caused him to be on the bigger side. I wanted to tell my labour and delivery story because when I was looking for them, couldn’t seem to find many. Especially on UK inductions. The ones I did find were all horror stories. But is it really as bad as people make it out to be?
We knew this day was going to be the start of my induction. Waiting eagerly by the phone for the call to come in felt like a life time (but was actually only a few hours). The midwife rang and said we could go in at 11.30am. Frantically scrambling around the housing triple checking we had everything, it was time to go. I do not remember the journey. On arrival we were greeted and shown to my bed. The midwife explained the induction process and warned us it could take a while. Fantastic.. Anyway the student midwife took my observations and they monitored babies heartbeat and movement for an hour. Everything was fine, so they went ahead and started induction. A pessary was inserted behind my cervix, with the purpose of softening it and hopefully triggering contractions. Long story short, I did nothing. I had a few very mild contractions, but that had zero effect down there. Mum visited me and we went for a long walk around the hospital grounds. Once she left, I began feeling poorly. Quick dash to the toilets to hurl and dump. Lovely. As a precaution, we were moved to a private side room to prevent spreading infection (incase I had a sick bug, but I just think the sandwich they gave me was off). It was nice to have our own little space and a bit of privacy. Poor Shane slept on the hospital floor that night, while I was on constant baby monitoring. Contractions were coming every 2-3 mins. Very mind, but quite annoying. Apparently this was too many and if they didn’t slow down, I’d need to have something to slow them down. Luckily it didn’t come to that.
After very little sleep, the midwife come to check on me. Still no progression, even after all those hours of almost constant contractions. Feeling frustrated and completely deflated, my pessary was removed and they left me a few hours to see if my body would get going on its own. That never happened. During that time I had a long soak in the bath, bounced on the ball and me and mum went on another walk around. Shane had popped home to freshen up and have a nap but came back late afternoon. By which time I’d had a prostin inserted. Similar to a propess but only 6 hours and a higher level of hormone. I was allowed two of these if needed. The first one softened me up slightly. Before the second one went in the midwife gave me a sweep and said it should help. I think she could tell I was getting impatient. Contractions were on and off all night, still mild and baby was monitoring fine. He seemed quite cosy in there and not at all in a hurry to get moving.
Wednesday 19/06/19. LABOUR DAY!
After a slightly better nights sleep, I woke up around 7am for a wee. Came back in, plonked myself on the bed and there’s a knock at the door. Two midwives popped their heads in and said “Come on then, lets take you to delivery and break your waters”. Well, what!? I hadn’t even been checked. I’ve literally just woken up. My legs went to jelly, and I was sure today was the day. Packing up all our stuff and heading down to the consultant unit, I was a bag of nerves. Shane told my mum what was happening and she got ready to join us. The delivery room was actually really nice but all the specialist equipment was a bit daunting. The midwives introduced themselves and made me feel a lot less nervous. They gave me a quick check and said I was at 2cm. It had taken 48 hours for me to go from 1 to 2. wow. They wasted no time in breaking my waters. The gush was unreal. It was like someone had just tipped over a bucket of water out of my vagina. The midwives were a bit shocked at how much fluid there actually was. I got changed, they changed the bed and I was monitored for half hour. In that time, a team of consultants, doctors and surgeons did their rounds. We spoke about different types of pain relief, but I just wanted to take things as they came and go from there.
A short while later, contractions started. I little stronger than what I was used to, but manageable. By the time mum came, they’d picked up a little more and I was beginning to feel actual pain. Remembering the too breath was vital througout contractions. I’d read the book “ways to make your birth better” by The Positive birth Company (which is amazing btw) and that helped a lot. For some reason, I gravitated towards the sink in my room, using it to hold me up during contractions. That was okay for a while but then things got stronger and it was harder to stay in control. I had some codeine to help ease the pain and pressure in my back. Didn’t really help, just took the edge of slightly. Then I had some gas and air. That messed me up. I remember looking at my mum and feeling like I was about to drop on the floor. It’s all a bit blurry from there, but I remember the midwives coming back to check on me after a good few hours. Nothing had changed down there. Still at 2cm. “that’s it, I’m not doing it anymore” I said in frustration. Like my dumb ass had a choice in the matter.
It was explained to me that because I wasn’t progressing. I had to be hooked up to the hormone drip. Now, this is what I’d read all the bad things about. They wanted me to stay bed bound from then on and I needed constant monitoring on the machines, and by the midwives. I insisted they let me stay mobile because laying down made the pain a thousand times worse. Lister hospital has ONE portable monitoring machine. I got lucky that day I guess and they popped it on. The cannula took some time to get in, but once it was the drip got going, and so did the pain. Things picked up pretty quick at that point. Pain wise, it was pretty bad, but mainly in my back. The pressure was insane, I can’t even explain it. A pain I will never forget. Still on gas and air I was on the arm chair in agony and there was little Shane or my mum could do to help me.
Now we’re at the point where the pain was too much. I had lost all control of my breathing and I couldn’t take it anymore. I moved from the chair to the bed, looked the midwife in the eye and said “when can I have an epidural”. Something I thought I’d never say, but I couldn’t do it anymore. I was exhausted and I felt there was no other way. The anesthetist was with me after 10 minutes of my request. I got changed into a hospital gown, sat on the edge of the bed, curled up absolutely bricking it. He prepped me up, I was ready. Then the emergency bell went. He had to go, and I was worried he wouldn’t return. All the while I’m in crippling pain and it was getting worse with each contraction. He came back. I could have cried I was so happy. Again, I was prepped up and I remember thinking in my head “DO NOT MOVE OR YOU’LL NEVER MOVE AGAIN”. Looking dead in the midwives eye I said “I don’t want to be paralysed”. She assured me I would be fine, but I had to stay so still. The needles went in and compared to the contraction pain, it was nothing. Nothing at all.
I began to lose feeling in my bum first, then my calves, then my legs. Last part to numb was actually my bladder. The midwife struggled putting the catheter in and caused some trauma to the area. Nothing that a little gas and air couldn’t fix. I was so relaxed and calm. Shane was feeding me rice krispies at one point (because my sugar levels dropped). It was almost shift change for the midwives, and the two I had could not have been more amazing. Just before they left at 7pm they gave me a check. NINE CENTIMETRES!! I felt really sad they were leaving and wouldn’t be the ones delivering my boy.
The next two midwives I had were also great. Introducing themselves and getting stuck into my MASSIVE pile of notes. They said they’d give me a few hours to get to 10cm and let baby drop down more. 9pm came and they said at 10pm we’ll start pushing. It all became so real and I couldn’t wait to meet little boy. The boy who’s been living and growing in me for 38 weeks. Shane popped out for some air about 9.30 and the midwives did my obs. My temperature was high so they wanted me to start pushing! Panicking, I told my mum to get Shane back. I didn’t want him to miss it. It seemed like it took her about half hour to send him a text and I was so worried they’d get me pushing without him there. Obviously he came back in time and the midwives got everything ready for delivery. I had zero feeling down there so they had to tell me when to push. Long hard pushes into my bum, lasting ten seconds each push through a contraction. Sounds weird but with every push I pictured him coming down and out a little more. It was intense and exhausting, but after 20 mins of pushing. He was here. Born at 10.04pm, Oliver Elliott entered the world.
Tears come streaming down my face and I couldn’t control them if I tried. I will never forget that feeling of seeing my baby for the first time. He was perfect. Absolutely perfect. They placed him on me straight away and I held him so close to me. Shane and my mum were both crying too. Couldn’t believe I’d done it. I was in such a euphoric head space, I literally felt invincible and proud. We had skin to skin and waited to cut his cord. Apparently it was really thick and took ages to drain. We’d previously asked my mum to cut his cord and she was over the moon. Once the cord was cut, they took him to be checked over and weighed. Meanwhile the midwife assessed me for tears and trauma. Second degree tear on my perineum and a graze. I couldn’t take my eyes off Oliver and when I did, I saw to legs up in stirrups. Who’s bloody legs are those? OMG they’re mine. I couldn’t even feel her move them up there. I was stitched up and Oliver was handed back to me. “He’s a big boy” they told me. Nine pound Two ounces! Absolute unit, but still utterly perfect. Mum left shortly after. Shane and I had some time in the delivery room with Oliver. I tried to breast feed him and he latched well. We got him dressed then was wheeled to the post labour ward around midnight.
After being in hospital for what felt like weeks. I knew it wasn’t long before we could go home (or so I thought). Whilest giving Oliver his second feed, a nurse came around to check his blood sugar. Literally while I’m in the middle of trying to feed him. I understand this is something that needed to be done, but could they not have waited until I’d finished. They pricked his heel and he cried. Result was 0.1 over what I needed to be and I felt sad. Oliver wasn’t really taking to my boob much so I asked for some of the colostrum I brought with us. He had 2mls and fell asleep on me. Shane left to go home and it was just me and Oliver. Totally exhausted, I reluctantly put him in the little bedside cot and tried to get some sleep. I woke up every 20 minutes to check he was still breathing. Throughout the whole night. Tried a few more times to feed him but he just wasn’t taking to me. I asked some of the midwives for help and we managed to get him latched and fed. Not for long though.
20/06/19- Post labour
The following day was strange. I had a whole tiny little human to take care of. My epidural wore off and I had all feeling back. ALL feeling. Ouch! I was very sore down there and the thought of having a wee absolutely terrified me. Rightly so too, it stung like a mother f*cker! As I’d had an epidural, I needed too pee into a little bowl for the midwives to check. Lovely right? Like, Good morning, here’s my urine, bye. That all came back fine. The baby doctor visited and done Oliver’s head to toe check (which he hated). I couldn’t watch them moving his hips and hurting him. I cried. The doctor said the left side of Olivers tummy was slightly large and I explained his MCKD condition and that we were told he’d be scanned within 24 hours of delivery (although there was a mix up there). The doctor assured me he would check Oliver’s file and let us know what was happening. Shane came back and spent some time with us. He held Oliver and again, I cried. Seeing him hold Oliver made me love him even more and I was so happy we’d made this beautiful little boy together.
I want to go home.
As the evening closed in, I asked when we would be able to go home but was told we needed to stay AT LEAST 24 hours because I had GD and they wanted to make sure Oliver was feeding okay. “I want to go home” I told the nurse. I cried. Again. It’d been 4 days, I was exhausted, sore and starving. All I wanted was to get out of there, take my boy home and start our lives as a family, but they insisted I stayed for further monitoring. I tried to ignore where I was and focus on trying to establish breastfeeding but it was so hard when women are coming and going. They were talking about how easy it was to feed and I just felt useless.
Give me the milk.
Oliver still wasn’t feeding great on me and I asked for more help. One moody midwife came to my bedside and said “oh he should just be doing it”. Well yeah!? I know that, and that’s why I asked for help. Mentally, it was becoming quite hard when it came to feed him. I knew he needed food but he wasn’t taking it. I asked the midwife for more of my frozen stuff. She told me “no, that’ll make him lazy, he’ll think milk will just get squeezed in his mouth and he won’t learn”. Can you believe this woman stood there and watched me not be able to feed my baby, then basically deny me the milk I’d pain stakingly expressed in the weeks running up to my induction. I had no fight in me to argue. I looked at her in the eye and asked one more time. “please go and get my milk”. She did, but she wasn’t happy about it. The urge to just get up and go was real. I hated that ward and couldn’t wait to go home. The night was pretty much the same as before. I woke every 20 minutes like a paranoid mess, checking his breathing and making sure nobody had stolen him.
It’s now Friday morning. I could hear the night time midwives handing over so I waited to ask to go home. Had some freezing cold toast and a horrible cuppa tea. Tried again to feed Oliver and a nurse popped her head round my curtain. “You can go home today” she said. I cried. “Soon?” I replied. “Yes, I’ll get your discharge papers ready now”, then she left. Frantically chucking all our stuff into bags, I called Shane “come and get us” I said. By the time he arrived, I had packed up and was just waiting to see about Oliver’s scan appointment. Around midday, we left. I couldn’t wait to get out of that ward and go home. Shane pulled up to the pick up point and we set off to start a brand new chapter.
So that’s the end of my labour and delivery story. If you got to the end, well done you! Thanks for reading and I hope it gives someone an insight to what it’s like being induced. All of your well wishes and congratulations haven’t gone un-noticed and I really appreciate it. Hopefully I’ll be posting more mummy and baby content soon. Meanwhile, have a catch up on my previous posts, My baby shower || pregnancy Q&A
Kisses and Love