Birth story - Claire and baby Felix

Felix is our 4th baby, and having had ICP (obstetric cholestasis) in the previous pregnancies, I knew there was a strong likelihood I would have it again. I have also been induced due to the condition each time.

A friend recommended the digital course to me when I was about 20 weeks along with Felix. And I thought for only £35 it was worth trying.

Well I’m so glad I did! Even after giving birth 3 times, I knew nothing about how my muscles worked during labour, or the fear cycle and how to trigger oxytocin over adrenalin, or most of the rest of it.

We were offered an induction date to be induced at 37+5 due to me measuring 42 weeks at 37, I had masses of extra water. Along with a growth scan showing Felix was measuring large, and also having ICP again, and my levels for that rising despite medication. We were happy to accept as I was so uncomfortable and wanted him out safely.

On the Saturday we rang for a time, only to be told they were too busy, and we then rang back again to be told we would be top of the list for Sunday morning. I spent the day relaxing at home, napping, eating lots and reminding myself that if I was super busy, that this was better. I listened to the positive affirmations mp3, and threw lots of lavender and clary sage around too.

On Sunday we rang again, and with my sister in law for company, we headed to the hospital. We got there at 10:30, and they went through that the plan was to skip the pessary and break my waters if possible ( due to being no.4). But because of the extra fluid his head wasn’t engaged, and so I would have to wait for a doctor, and a space to go straight up to labour ward. So we spent the day watching Netflix and wandering around the hospital having coffee, and trying to get gravity to bring his head down.

My sister-in-law left at 6ish as nothing had happened yet, and after asking the midwives every hour, and asking lots of questions they found a space for me to go up about 8pm. Despite all the waiting around which in previous inductions had stressed me out, I actually still felt great. I’d had a lovely day with my sister-in-law and a break from the kids 😆, and I just had a shower (and flung some more lavender around, and took arnica regularly) when I went up. I called my other half to let him know, and he and my sister-in-law swapped places at our house with the kids.

My other half arrived in time for the doctor. Felix’s head was bobbing up while I was being examined, so I was advised to go onto the hormone drip for a couple of hours to trigger contractions and bring him down further, which I accepted, and then they would attempt to break my waters again, if they hadn’t gone by themselves. What we didn’t want was any cord to come between the exit and his head. We hung out for those few hours, listening to music. I was a bit stuck on the bed for this time, as the heartbeat needed to be constantly monitored, but the midwife assured me as soon as my waters went, I could have a clip on Felix’s head instead. I made them know from the start I wanted to be a mobile as possible during the whole thing.

So my waters got broken, and then I could stand up. Which was hilarious, as I had so much waters it was just gushing out with every surge 😆. Honestly me and my other half were just laughing at the whole situation. By now it was about 10pm, and my midwife finished shift, and a new one started. The one before was great, but this one was really great, really let me just get on with it, and had also had ICP in her own pregnancies. I also started on gas and air at some point as the surges became stronger.

I remained standing and jiggling about until about 2am, when my legs were really starting to get tired. I was drinking Lucozade and coconut water, and eating jelly babies to keep myself going. My other half spent his time helping me and choosing good music to listen too, which was great.

I agreed to be examined and I was 5cm dilated, so decided I needed something else to help me carry on. I chose diamorphine and switched positions to being crouched and draped myself over the back of the bed, still as upright as possible, but able to rest between surges.

It all a blur from then on to be honest. Of surges and breathing and resting. I did say a lot that I couldn’t do it and I was actually dozing between surges, but my other half and midwife assured me I could and was doing it 😊. I felt quite calm with it all though, extremely tired, but completely in control the whole time.

Then around 7:30am I felt the pressure change and the midwife asked if I needed to push. Over the next hour ( still on my knees and over the back of the bed) I could feel Felix gradually move downwards, and then I felt the need to push. And after a few pushes and down breathing he was born.

Honestly Felix’s birth was such a different and positive experience to my other labours, and I’m so glad I got the birth I wanted with our final baby. I didn’t have a set birth plan, but I felt empowered from the course to make the decisions I did.

The positive induction stories on here really helped me change my mindset before birth, and the tools from the digital course helped me through the birth.

My favourite positive affirmation was ‘ every surge brings me closer to holding my baby’.

I’ll definitely be recommending the course, especially to fellow ICP mums, who are more likely to have inductions like me.

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