Birth story - Emma and baby Annabelle

It all started on Monday 23rd July with a growth scan as part of our regular gestational diabetes clinic. All had been well up until now, but this scan showed that she wasn’t growing quite as well as she had been and the placenta wasn’t working as it should. As a result, we were recommended to go in immediately and be induced. We agreed as the health of the baby always comes first.

At 20:00, I was given the pessary to start things along and at 04:30 on Tuesday my contractions started. I was re-examined at 21:00 on Tuesday night and things had not progressed far enough so I was given a 2mg dose of the gel and the contractions started coming thick and fast at this point. I was then given two further 1mg doses of the gel at 06:00 and 14:00 on Wednesday before I was told at 22:00 on Wednesday night that things had progressed far enough to have my waters broken. Whilst the induction process was not what I expected and more difficult than I anticipated, I managed the pain by keeping active, using my TENS machine (an absolute lifesaver), having loads of baths and keeping the oxytocin flowing by watching Disney films and through light touch massage from my husband!

At 07:00 on Thursday morning, we were admitted to the labour ward and the midwife broke my waters (it was just a trickle at this point). We were then encouraged to go for a walk to try and ‘get things moving’ naturally. On the way out of the labour ward, the rest of my waters let go all over the floor. Following a quick change of shorts and putting out a ‘wet floor’ sign, we continued our walk.

We returned to the labour ward around 90 minutes later and things had not progressed. The midwife offered me the opportunity to receive the synthetic drip which I accepted. By this point, I’d been experiencing contractions every minute or so for 48 hours and was exhausted. Concerned I would be too exhausted to enjoy my labour, I opted for an epidural.

Things started progressing nicely from this point onwards and our midwife was amazing. At 14:30 I was re-examined and had been told I was dilated to 3-4 cm, which was a bit disheartening. However, I was enjoying my labour so remained positive and didn’t let it get me down. 30 minutes later, I felt pressure and an urge to push, I mentioned this to the midwife who seemed surprised but re-examined me to find I was now fully dilated and ready to push! Knowing that I wanted to be able to enjoy and feel my labour, I stopped topping up my epidural at this point and it was the best decision I made. Instead, I decided to manage the pain as I knew I could, through my breathing techniques and by keeping the oxytocin flowing (more light touch massage and Disney movies!).

60 minutes of pushing later and our beautiful daughter, Annabelle was born to the Moana soundtrack and, even better, as soon as she was passed to me, the Circle of Life started playing. It was an absolutely perfect moment. Our lovely girl arrived 13 days early at 16:03 on Thursday 26th July and weighing 6lb 1oz.

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Overall, even though it may not have gone exactly as I envisioned, I had the most wonderful birth and genuinely enjoyed it.

Thanks to Siobhan Miller for producing the digital pack. Not only did it give me great coping mechanisms/techniques when it came to labour, but it also enabled me to go in feeling much more prepared than I otherwise would have been.

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