Birth story - Natalie and baby Nuh

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I made it all the way to my 41 week appointment on 14 May to discuss induction options. The only day I could be induced on this week would be at 41+3 and with my husband not feeling comfortable to continue the pregnancy past this, we agreed to induction. I was advised that they would start with a pessary and should this work I would still be fine to go to the birthing centre and have a water birth. I was also offered a sweep at this appointment which I decided to take (had already declined week earlier) now I felt like there was nothing to lose as induction was approaching.

In the early hours of 15th May I woke about 2am with a feeling I had wet myself. We went into hospital to be checked and found that my back waters had broken. We were sent home to see if labour would start and if not I was due to be back the next day for induction anyway.

We got home just before 6am, my husband went to sleep and I fed the cat and then joined him in bed. As soon as I led down the surges started! Like nothing I had felt before, so I started timing them and they were regularly every 6 minutes. At this point I was able to sleep through them so I got some rest.

I laboured through the day, we ate, we walked and we bounced on a ball. Labour continued into the night where the intensity started to shift up a gear and surges were more regular. I put my TENS machine on, but didn’t find it wasn't for me.

Around 5am on 17th May I had been in labour for around 24 hours and was tired so my husband suggested I go to bed and try to sleep a bit. As soon as I led down the surges slowed to one every 10 mins and I napped between each one for about an hour.

I got up and felt a new boost of energy to go again, so got out of bed and got on the birthing ball again to start bringing surges closer together. Very quickly surges went back down to every 4 mins, but I suddenly noticed I could no longer feel my baby moving and hadn't felt him for a while. I called triage and my husband and I rushed to the hospital to be checked.

Surges had now gone to about one every 15 mins but my focus was purely on baby. On the machine his heartbeat was found, but he wasn't moving. I was advised that birth centre was no longer an option and I was now high risk with priority to be induced as soon as there was room on delivery suite. I didn't panic, all I needed was my baby to be safe and I knew I could make the room on delivery suite comfortable for us.

I was placed on induction ward and was checked - I was at 4cm! I was advised that I could just have front waters broken and see if this got things moving along, so I agreed. We were moved to a room on delivery suite around midday and waters were broken.

I had to have continuous monitoring through labour, but the midwife was so supportive of getting me up and being UFO, along with having tea lights, good smells and music playing. Once waters were broken things ramped up pretty quickly and within two hours I was 7cm (they expect you to go 2cm in four hours). The drip was most definitely not an option as my body was doing this! I did ask to try gas and air and it did help me so I continued with it.

I did ask the doctor for further pain relief to which my husband stepped in and advised to ignore me(drilled into him that I didn't want pain relief). So instead I asked the doctor to take baby out of the sun roof (C section) and when he said no I said I was going home as I was done with this now!

Around 430pm I felt the surges change and about half an hour before this I told my husband I needed to poop so he knew we were getting close. The only comfort I found at this point was holding and squeezing my husbands clothing whilst going on the gas and air. I had found I was annoyed with music at this point and chucked my headphones across the room to get rid of it🙄

I managed to get up on the bed, onto all fours holding on to the back of the bed and shouted 'I'm pushing' repeatedly. I was advised that I wasn't pushing as I was not 10cm yet as it was too soon, to which I advised (shouted!) this was incorrect and I was most definitely pushing. A quick check and I was indeed 10cm! (I know my body!)

Whilst pushing baby out his heart rate dropped and the emergency button was pressed. Although lots of people came running in, I still felt very calm and instinctively knew there was nothing wrong with my baby. As soon as the rush of people entered the room my babies heartbeat returned to normal and so we continued. I did need to be coached to push due to the length of time we were going for, (the midwife apologised for this as it was something that was written in my birth preferences).

After an hour of pushing and an episiotomy (decided by my husband that this was the best option) baby Nuh was born at 1735 weighing 8lb2 on 17th May.

I did want to birth the placenta naturally but due to loosing so much blood I was advised at 7CM that I should consider the injection to get placenta out to slow the bleeding, to which I agreed.

I did get my immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping - the midwife had to fight for this for me as the doctor was trying to work on getting the placenta out quickly. I'm so grateful for my midwife!

It was not the birth I had imagined, but it was the best birth for us

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