Wednesday, 20 November 2019

PARENTHOOD: Rory's Birth Story - Our Third Baby - Booked Induction & Fast Established Labour

PARENTHOOD: Rory's Birth Story - Our Third Baby
After keeping us waiting for nine days past his due date our third baby finally made an appearance on the day I was booked in to be induced. The past four weeks have been a magical mix of emotions, moments and changes as we adapt to becoming a family of five. My husband took two weeks of paternity leave and because little one was born on a Sunday it meant we really did get to make the most of every single day of those two weeks. Luckily, our eldest daughter's half term fell in his second week of paternity leave so we all had time to bond together as a family. But lets take it back to when I was 38 weeks pregnant...

A quick back story - our first daughter was born the day before her due date after my waters broke but I didn't go into labour naturally. Four days of labour later, lots of induction drugs, interventions and we finally became parents to Isabella (read her full birth story here). Our second daughter kept us waiting for 12 days past her due date before I was induced and a very quick labour saw her arrive after only 1 hour 45 minutes of established labour (read her full birth story here).

At 38 weeks pregnant with our third baby I started to have signs that perhaps labour was imminent; there was lots of backache, practice contractions and general discomfort that gave me the feeling that I could be giving birth before my due date. Almost every night I would tell my husband that I had a feeling that 'tonight was the night', yet every morning I woke up disappointed that nothing had happened. This continued for three weeks as I sailed past my due date and well into the familiar 'overdue' world. Would I ever give birth?! Mentally I found this period tricky as I was constantly in limbo, not knowing what to tell Isabella and Poppy, when we'd need childcare for them, whether I'd go into labour naturally or not etc. The constant questioning became exhausting, not to mention looking after two children with an ever expanding bump.

At my 41 week midwife appointment it was planned that I would be booked in to be induced when I was 12 days overdue and would be offered a stretch and sweep. As I had never had one before I was pretty undecided as to whether I was going to have one or not. I really wanted to experience going into labour naturally, as I had been induced twice before, but after reading up about how ineffective stretch and sweeps can be I had decided to decline their offer to have one. That was until I went into the midwife appointment and she rang up the hospital to book in my induction. The date was only a few days before my husband's birthday and I really wanted the baby and him to have as much of a gap between their birthdays as possible. On the spot I changed my mind and asked to have a stretch and sweep, which was actually no where near as uncomfortable or violating as I was expecting. It was a strange feeling, but certainly not painful or one I would avoid if offered again. I was already 1-2cm dilated, but not in labour so there was no sign as to whether I was going to give birth soon or not.

Also, as part of that midwife appointment my bump was measured and a problem was highlighted because it was still measuring 39 weeks, despite being 41 weeks. This prompted the midwife to ring the hospital back to book a growth scan for the next morning and I was told to be ready to be induced if they noticed any problems on the scan. After having (up until that point) three uncomplicated pregnancies it was a bit of a shock to have to go for an additional growth scan. At 8.30am the next day we headed to the hospital for the growth scan, which luckily showed that there weren't any significant problems but because I was 41 weeks we had to wait for a doctor to assess the scan results before being discharged.

After hours of waiting we were seen by a lovely doctor who said that due to the estimated weight of the baby (8lb 12oz) she had brought my induction date forward by 3 days to the Sunday (it was Thursday at this point) instead of the following Wednesday. I was also given a second stretch & sweep, so I went from never having one to having two in two days! I don't think this is usual practice, but I was willing to do anything to get my labour started naturally. We were sent home and instructed to return at 2pm on the Sunday to start the induction process. At this point we felt really excited because we knew the induction process well and it also meant we could organise childcare for Isabella and Poppy, as well as tell them that we were finally going into hospital to have the baby. I had been so worried that I wouldn't make it into hospital if I went into labour naturally, so this seemed like the almost perfect scenario now that I was so overdue.

The next day (Friday) I lost my mucus plug and bloody show throughout the day (a pregnancy first for me) and began having irregular contractions/Braxton hicks. I really wasn't sure what they were because they were pretty uncomfortable, but didn't ever become regular, so I didn't know what was going on! I had read the Braxton hicks were painless, which these definitely weren't, but that contractions become regular and these didn't. By this point I was so bored of hearing myself say that 'this is it', so I just presumed the feelings were going to lead to nowhere again.

By Friday evening the on/off contractions had pretty much stopped and I'd read endless forums of people not going into labour for days after they'd lost their mucus plug. I really didn't want another weekend stuck at home, but it looked like that was what was going to happen. Saturday rolled around and the on/off uncomfortable contractions were still coming and going, but there were no other signs that anything was actually going to happen. Demoralised was the main emotion, mixed with excitement for the induction time on Sunday.

Saturday came and went, there were no more signs during the night and Sunday morning came filled with anticipation. My Dad came over at lunch time to look after the girls, we checked we had everything packed and we were set to leave to get to the hospital for 2pm. Throughout Sunday morning I had been having more uncomfortable contractions, but yet again they were inconsistent in their length and gaps between each one. I by no means thought I was in labour and was set to be induced later that day.

When we arrived at the hospital we were sent to the induction ward, shown our bed and asked to wait for the midwife to be free. It was really busy but we were seen pretty quickly; they did my blood pressure and hooked me up to the monitor for the baby's heartbeat. After around 30 minutes they came back to check the heartbeat results and weren't happy with how high his heartrate was going on occasions, but did say that I was having contractions - it was such a relief to know I wasn't dreaming up the feelings I'd been having for the past few days! Due to the raised heartrate I was monitored for a further 30 minutes and then given an internal examination where the midwife said I was 2-3cm dilated. My waters were also bulging and she said that she could feel the baby's head; it turned out I had been in slow labour.
By this point it was around 5pm, so I collected dinner while having to breath through the contractions, but they weren't all consuming by any means. At 5.30pm we decided to go for a walk, which is when everything changed. We made it out of the ward and down the corridor before I needed to stop for every contraction; the pain had increased considerably and within 15 minutes I couldn't walk any further so we returned to the ward. As everything had changed for only 20 minutes I wasn't going to say anything to the midwife, but as I had a big contraction right next to their desk I decided to mention that it had all become a lot more painful. I was now having contraction after contraction with barely any gap between them, so they offered to examine me again. Hoping it would be my ticket to the labour ward I let them examine me, only to find out I was 5cm dilated! Hello labour ward and gas & air...

I was told to walk down to the labour ward to help things move quicker, which was incredibly painful and involved a lot of stopping but I made it there. The draw of gas & air got me there I'm sure! As soon as I walked into the labour room I was straight onto the gas & air, lent over the bed standing up. It was the first time I had stayed standing up during labour and it was so much more comfortable than lying on my back on the bed, which I had done previously. However after a while I started to feel really weak, so got onto the bed and knelt up against the back of the bed. Everything happened so fast and before I knew it I was needing to push.
A few moments later and out came his head surprising everyone by being face up; it turns out he had been back to back without anyone knowing. Minutes later and our world changed for a third time with the arrival of our beautiful baby boy! For the first time I had requested to have delayed cord clamping and therefore didn't want to have the injection that brings your placenta out quicker. However, as I had had a bigger bleed post birth with Isabella the midwife was very cautious about monitoring my blood loss. Quickly she decided that I needed to have the injection because it looked like I might be having a bleed again, which luckily didn't end up being anything to worry about. About 10 minutes later I had given birth to my placenta, while it was still attached to the baby boy. I believe this is called a lotus birth and was our midwife's first ever one. My placenta was put into a bag and sat attached to the baby for a good hour before my husband cut the cord. It felt so lovely to see all of the final goodness from the placenta being given to our son.

Fifteen minutes after giving birth he started to root around, so I lined up his nose and he latched on for his first ever feed. It was such a relief once he had latched on and was feeding because although I've been incredibly lucky to have had two positive breastfeeding experiences with my daughters I was really worried that this time may not be such a smooth journey. He spent a couple of hours feeding while our lovely midwife brought us the best buttery toast I had ever had and I built up the strength to go for a bath. It always makes me feel so much better after having a bath, but it does take some building up to...that initial feeling of standing up after giving birth is quite an experience.

While I went for a bath my husband enjoyed some one on one time with our baby and then soon enough we were being escorted to the post-labour ward. By this time it was around 10.30pm, so my husband set up camp on the reclining chair next to the bed and I carried on breastfeeding. The rest of the night is a bit of a blur because the room was very noisy with other babies crying, people coming and going, lights being switched on/off etc. Part way through the night my husband got some sleep in the bed and I took the chair, then we switched back again. As hard as that first night is I do really treasure it; it's the time to get to know our new baby and essentially just stare at/smell him all night.
By the morning we were pretty exhausted, but luckily because my birth had gone so well we only needed to wait around for the newborn tests before being discharged. I will say that the after pains were pretty horrible - they felt like full on contractions but without the gas & air to relieve them - so it was essential to keep on top of all of the pain relief I could take. By early afternoon our baby had passed the hearing test and newborn checks, so we were discharged and sent home to start our life as a family of five. 

Welcome to the family Rory!

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)


Helen x
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8 comments

  1. I bleddy love a birth story. Well done you ❤

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  2. Welcome Rory! I find it fascinating reading other peoples birth stories as both of mine where plain sailing. Both slightly overdue but all natural and quick. I do remember those awful contraction type pains that when on a few days after giving birth. My husband wasn't allowed to stay with me during the night when I gave birth, it would have been lovely to have him there for support. Glad your husband got to stay with you.

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  3. Welcome to the world Rory! I love reading a birth story.

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  4. Ahhhh he is beautiful! Love a good birth story thanks for sharing and congratulations on the addition to your lovely family. Love the name too! x

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  5. Oh wow congrats, he is so gorgeous and what a story, can't believe he was back to back and no one knew. Love reading birth stories, thanks for sharing

    Laura x

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  6. Welcome little Rory! I always love reading other people's birth stories. Mine were both quite straight forward with not much to tell - I arrive fully dilated at the hospital both times, and had a two hour labour with my first and maybe half an hour at most with my second.

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  7. Ahh welcome to the world little Rory! What a beaut he is. :)

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