We arrived on labour ward at around 9:30 to find a very busy labour ward; it was one of those shifts, the board was full and red. No room at the inn for me! I had pre-arranged for Lesley (a fellow midwife) to perform my sweep and give me the Propess (well if you’re going to have a sweep you might as well have one of Lesley’s sweeps!) so I called her and said we were waiting for a bed.
Luckily a bed was found for me in the induction bay and Lesley arrived grinning at me with an entonox mouth piece ‘You’ll need some of this’. I don’t know who was more horrified me or my husband. And she was right I did need some entonox! After a lot of giggles the Propess was firmly inserted and the pain kicked in pretty much straight away. So much so I didn’t even make it passed the doors to the reception area (we had planned to go for a walk and get some lunch). My husband put my TENS machine on and I spent the next few hours bouncing on a birthing ball, texting family to keep them up to date and a lot of ‘I can’t do this’. The thing with Propess is the pain never goes away, there is a horrible constant aching pain in your groin that no amount of walking, squatting, hot compresses can help. I was getting pretty desperate, and it was only the beginning.
By 2pm it had all got too much and I begged the midwife in charge to find me a free room, it’s really hard being in early labour in the induction bay, no space to move around or privacy. Room 10 was free and I did the walk I’d seen so many other women doing in labour from the induction bay, TENS machine in one hand and my pillow in the other (I’m pretty sure I was bare foot I didn’t care about anything at that point). I really wanted to use the birthing pool but as I was being induced for OC I knew that once I was in established labour, I should have continuous monitoring. I started the entonox again, but I wasn’t laughing anymore and my husband called my original home birth midwife Kate, to see if she could come in and look after me. Thankfully she was free and arrived to find me in tears, taking off my make-up and begging for an epidural. After a lot of reassurance she decided to examine me so I knew how I was progressing. But unfortunately I was only 2cm dilated.
So I continued to mobilise for a few more hours desperate for some form of change and progress. At 6pm I was re examined and was found to be 5cm dilated and my Propess was finally taken out and my waters were broken (an ARM), which were clear! Within 2 minutes the contractions felt completely different, like really strong but manageable waves. We agreed that if I have a 20 minute trace on the CTG and it was reassuring I could use the pool. Horary! At last the one thing I had been focussing on was ready and I got into the warm water feeling completely relaxed. It felt amaaazing. Like the best bath you have ever go into post Glastonbury festival (but less mud) or after the longest day at work.
After an hour of really strong contractions and A LOT of gas and air I began to really lose control and begged for an epidural again! In hind sight I was probably in transition but my midwife left the room to talk to Zoe (a good friend and fellow midwife) who was on shift to see if she could put me off and encourage me to keep going a bit longer. But for some reason (and only my body knows why) at that moment when my midwife left the room, I suddenly had a huge contraction and felt the baby’s head beginning to crown and screamed at my poor husband ‘it’s coming!’ so he did what he thought was best, he pulled the emergency bell. My calm, quiet birth suddenly turned into a bit of a drama and lots of people came running in only to see my beautiful baby girl being born in the pool at 20:35. I decided to have a physiological 3rd stage, and delivered the placenta myself in the poll, 15 minutes later. Total blood loss 150 mls, and a tiny graze.
And we were all home 3 hours later having tea and peanut butter on toast in bed.