Part 1 of this take can be found here. So I left this on the night before I was induced. Or Wednesday 10th July, if you want to get all technical about it. I ran around town grabbing bits and bobs that we needed and then called my hairdresser to cancel my appointment the following week. My Mummy-in-law had agreed to come over to watch Dylan while I was being induced and after but she was going to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime at the Theatre during that afternoon (weds) so she would be over until about 8pm so my Bro and his lovely wife were on standby in case the sweep worked quickly. That evening we tried to prepare Dylan a bit about that was going to happen and that Mummy was going to be away for a few days, which was heartbreaking. Another thing I haven’t me
ntioned is that my parents were on a cruise in the Norwegian Fjords. I had warned my Mum when they booked it that I could be induced this week but she was positive that that wouldn’t happen! It was nearly impossible to get a text through to them when they were on the boat but when they’d docked I could get a hold of them. However they were starting to sail home on the Thursday evening to arrive back in blighty on Saturday morning. My poor Mum was beside herself and so upset that she was so far away! After a hectic evening getting things ready we went to bed quite late and true to form, I slept badly.
Thursday. Day of the Induction.
I woke up in a right panic… My hair really really needed cutting. It was a right thatchy mess! I got up, made Dylan some breakfast and a packed lunch (him and Granerie were going to the “big park” to feed the ducks and have a picnic) and then bang on 9am I called the hairdressers. I explained the situation, probably sounding like an utter loon, and they said if I could get there in 15mins they could give my bonce a chop. I ran to that hairdressers! I realise that this was me focusing on something silly to stop me from worrying and it definitely worked.
By the time I got home Dylan and the MIL were just ready to go to the park so I got a hug and a kiss before they left. Joe and I had just enough time to double check that we had everything we needed and then it was time to drive to the hospital. On our arrival at the hospital we were shown to our induction bay. It was the same place that I was induce with Dylan but I was in a different curtained off area with adjustable bed, uncomfortable chair, wheelie table, birth ball and frosted window. My induction was scheduled for 11am but they wanted to monitor the baby first. The Midwife explained to me that the Consultant said that the baby needed to be monitored for the whole time after I was induced which made me turn back into the weepy-mess-lady. When we had the appointment the day before the Consultant had said that I wouldn’t need to be hooked up to a monitor, that they’d just check me every so often, that I would be free to move around during the labour and then she’d written that I had to be on a monitor the WHOLE TIME! Ugh! Anyway the midwife was awesome and found me a wireless monitor so I could be hooked up but also free to walk about, bounce on the ball etc.
The monitoring bit took a while because the baby wasn’t moving as much as they wanted, it was asleep and then after a bit of a poke it was moving a bit too much. After about an hour the midwife was pleased with the readings from the monitor and I was induced. The pessary/teabag of doom was popped in and when I returned to my induction bay my lunch had been served. Chicken and stuffing on white, the world’s saltiest crisps (yuk), a banana (yuk), a shot of orange juice and some gluten free chocolate cake… luckily I had bought homemade lactation flapjacks, some Slimming World bars and some fruit. I was then able to go for a walk with Joe for 2 hours. We walked around the hospital a few times, had a coffee and chatted. It was a beautifully sunny and hot day. We returned to the ward, I got checked over and monitored and then was allowed to go for another 2 hour walk.
At about 6pm Joe went home to see Dylan and his Mum (and to get aftersun…)The whole of the afternoon I had been having twingey contractions that were sporadic and quite mild. I had missed the dinner lady but she’d left me another lunch bag of pork and stuffing on white, with more über saltastic crisps, an apple (yay!), another shot of OJ and a slice of gluten free cherry cake. At this point my contractions were becoming quite strong and about 5 minutes apart. When I was admitted to the ward they had told us that Joe couldn’t stay overnight with me which really freaked me out, I hate hospitals and I really didn’t want to be left alone. What if the baby started to come really fast and he missed the birth? And I just really needed his support. But before my midwife left her shift for the night she said that as there was only 2 couples on the induction ward that it’d be ok for him to stay but he would have to sleep on the chair or the floor and not in the bed. Yipee! I spent my time waiting for Joe to return colouring in, reading a crappy magazine on murders (?!) and munching slimming world bars. I am so rock and roll at times! Joe came back at about 9pm and we walked around the hospital again. The contractions were getting a lot stronger now and were stopping me from walking and talking. The new midwife didn’t think they were strong enough, gave me some cocodamol for the pain and suggested that I got some rest. It seemed to work and I dozed off and more amazingly, so did Joe sleeping on the uncomfortable chair!
Friday 12th June
We were both woken up at about 3am by a really really loud gushing noise from the next bay and a quiet voice saying “oh shit, my waters broke”. Honestly, it was the loudest breaking of waters ever! We both dozed off again only to be woken again by the same woman making the same loud gushing noise! And then she was wheeled off to the labour ward. My contractions had totally stopped now, I was getting the occasional very painful twinge but not much else. I was being induced from cold, I was 2 weeks before my due date and my body didn’t feel at all ready to give birth. I had had no “feelings”, no niggles, no braxton hicks, nothing. I slept quite well, better than Joe anyway. We waited until the midwife turned up in the morning to check me over. While we waited Joe went to the kitchen to make us both a cuppa and I had a few visitors. I was colouring in my adults colouring in book when suddenly there were 3 Doctor types around my bed with clipboards. “Good Morning we’re here to go through what will happen during your C-section” Er, my what now? My face must have been a picture because one of the doctors then said “This is Bay 3, right?”. It wasn’t. I was in Bay 1 and my heart was in my throat and my stomach had fallen through the floor! Haha.
Another bit of monitoring and then another walk around the hospital. After 24hrs of the pessary being in and nothing much happening the midwife removed it and we were moved around to the labour ward for the next part of my induction… The hormone drip. My new room was lovely and clinical, just what I didn’t want. Oh well, at least I had an en-suite. My contractions had returned and were getting more frequent and stronger. It was about now that I wacked the TENs machine on. I had used a TENs with Dylan and had put it on in the evening the day before. As we settled into the new room, my 2 new midwives arrived in my room and explained what would happen next. The baby and my BP would be monitored again to make sure everything was good and that it was safe to drip-me-up. Next they would break my waters. Then they would put one of those horrible cannulas in my hand and start the hormones and they would ramp up the dose every 30mins depending on how I was doing on it and then hopefully I would have a baby.
During the monitoring my midwives chatted and put me at ease. They were lovely, really chatty and friendly. I felt so much better having nice people with me. After a while they were happy with the baby’s activity and I was prepared for having my waters broken. Thankfully they let me have the ethonox (gas and air). I have completely blocked my waters being broken out, it was so uncomfortable and seemed to take forever. Anyway… Next it was cannula time. The midwife tried first to put the needle in my left hand, along my wrist but she blew the vein. The wrist swelled up with a huge bump. Next she tried in a vein in my right hand and blew another vein. My hand swelled a little bit. At this point I got really upset. All I wanted was to go home and see Dylan and have a cuddle with him. The midwife called a doctor to put the cannula in. The poor bloke. He turned up while I was mid-contraction having a little moan. I was crying, a swollen pregnant-looking hand, bouncing on a birthing ball, with in a puddle of amniotic fluid. What a scene. He popped in the cannula and left us to it.
As soon as the hormone drip was started the contractions increased in strength and got closer together. Joe popped the radio on to Kerrang! Radio and it was like the DJ’s knew exactly the music I needed! It was all pop-punk types that I could sing-a-long to and every single song I knew which was fantastic! We chatted music with the midwives and one of them had been to see Nirvana in Manchester, amazing! I spent most of this time bouncing and rolling on the birth ball, it was good the movement kept me focused and it seemed to help with the pain. I was allowed gas and air throughout, yipeeee. It really is magical stuff! I was getting myself in a bit of state about this labour taking forever and kept asking when the baby would come. They said that they didn’t know and that it could take a while and in passing they said that their shift ended at 8:30pm. It was now about 5pm. Right, I thought, the baby is going to be out by then!
After a while (and like with Dylan I kept my eyes closed a lot) I was getting really uncomfortable on the ball and just generally uncomfortable. Yet again, I started begging for the hard drugs. The midwives advised me to go for a wee and to try to have a poop and said that they’d need to examine me internally if I wanted to have the stronger drugs. In my head I was freaking out. This labour seemed to be so much more painful than with Dylan. The last time they checked I was 2cm dilated (when my waters were broken) and I had it in my head that I was still around that mark. I cried a lot. I wanted to go home and I wanted to see Dylan. Joe was amazing, he kept me calm, he rubbed my back and he gave me kisses. It was getting more uncomfortable on the birthing ball and I said I wanted to try kneeling on the bed (I couldn’t move too far from the bloody monitor). Moving was a mistake. Kneeling felt horrible. I had the head of the bed fully raised and I was holding onto the top. I tried on all fours, that felt horrible too. I tried standing. No. So I tried lying on my back. I know it’s not the best way to give birth but I was really tired! I had put Joe in charge of my TENs machine, telling him when to turn it on to contraction mode and he noticed that everything I had it turned up I was flinching lots. He was right, the TENs machine seemed to be making the contractions worst some how so I asked him to unplug it. Weirdly, it helped. Then 2 new midwives came into the room and introduced themselves. It was shift-change o’clock (8pm). I had a few more contractions as they handed me over and I started to have the urge to push. To be honest, at the time I thought that I just wanted to push but on reflection it was my body telling me to push. At the time I felt really sneaky and was trying to push quietly just to urge the baby to get out, how bonkers is that?!
My new midwives were equally as lovely as the ones who were leaving me (always the drama queen). One student. One old-hand. As my originals left the student midwife said “Emma are you pushing?” oops, rumbled. Yes…”Would you mind if I checked you to see how dilated you are?” I agreed but I was dreading being told that I was still 2cm and then she said “I can see the head” Er, what?! I looked at Joe, he looked at me and I went into the zone. The student midwife took control as the other one got out the “giving birth” kit from the trolley. I can’t really remember the bit that happened next, it was all a bit of a blur. It took 3 pushes to get the baby out. 3! I’m pretty impressed with that! And then I was being handed a beautiful baby. “Congratulations, it’s a baby girl” Eilys Elisabeth Hartley was born at 8:21pm on 12.6.15 (I said she’d be out by 8:30, haha!) I held her and cuddled her and she had her first feed. Then Daddy had a cuddle too. The weirdest bit was getting the placenta out. I was vaguely aware of a tugging sensation as I was feeding Eilys and then the student midwife said “are umbilical cords normally this long?” No, they weren’t! Haha!
We then called people to tell them the good news starting with Joe’s Mum (I wanted to tell Dylan first but he was in bed already!) I was desperate to tell my parents, bobbing on the open seas. I tried to call their mobiles. Nothing. So I called the offices of the cruise liner to see if I could get a message to the boat but they said they couldn’t do it. My Mum had given me 2 numbers for the cruise company and as it turned out the other number was the actual boat! Unfortunately the line was awful, the poor receptionist tried to take the message but I don’t think it got through. About 5 minutes later my Mum called my mobile from the boats satellite phone (costing £18 per minute!). My parents were over the moon!
She was weighed. 6lb 10, not small at all. In fact she was perfect. They said that we could go home as soon as I’d done 350ml of wee…I was utterly desperate to go home but my body had forgotten to wee! I had a shower. Eilys fed again. I had some food, about 2l of water and got confused by the TV (I had apparently entered some sort of time vortex and TFI Friday was on TV). Eventually at 1am, we were allowed to go home! It was chucking it down with rain and obviously the middle of the night but it was so lovely that we could go home.
Thanks for reading… sorry that I waffled on so much