My first labour was an induction, which took a lot longer than I think anyone had anticipated, however I wasn't warned it could take so long.
In the lead up to my due date I was in and out with consultants due to my severe pelvic girdle pain, I was on crutches and was getting stuck getting in and out of the bath and on the bed for examination. So really I feel my story starts there.
I was booked for induction on my due date.
So, we tried the balloon and were sent home to "wait and see" a few contractions in the bath at home and then nothing. Back to the hospital in morning then. A bit of monitoring, a removal of the balloon and a couple of examinations later, all which were extremely painful due to my PGP, it was decided a suppository was needed and then a pessary could be popped in to try get things going. So once that was done, more monitoring and still nothing. "Have a walk, and we'll see what happens"
A classic line. Yep, I'll just do a few laps with my struggling pelvis and sciatica in both legs, no problem. So off I waddled for the 5 mins I could manage. So Thursday, could have been Weds... it all goes into one long day to honest, another pessary a few more examinations, and lots more pain and tears later, still nothing. "Give figures of 8 a go on your ball" so I did, a bit more comfy than walking but still in pain so I just got on with it. A bit more monitoring and another examination
And stretch and sweep, "I can feel your membranes but my nail isn't long enough" oh, lovely. Just what I needed/wanted to here. I laugh now but first time, being 22 and scared stiff, it just wasn't the right thing to say.
So I started contracting a bit and got back on my ball, more monitoring through the night and no sleep again. So as things weren't progressing with the sweeps and I'd had my lot of pessaries, I was booked in for Friday evening to go up to labour ward and have my waters broken. Yes, I thought, it'll happen soon. How wrong I was, we went up with a little more optimism than the previous few days, for us to be sent back down after 3 hours as there was no one available to come and break my waters.
Okay, that can't be helped, if someone else needs them that's fine. So back on the monitors I went and I'd be back up to labour tomorrow. So another sleepless night and Saturday morning arrived. Contractions had pretty much stopped by this point. Saturday dinner comes and my waters are broken, I'd hoped for a water birth so they got me in the bath and I was contracting hard and fast, surely this meant things where going as they should be. Nope, few hours later, stuck at 4cm.
"We'll give you a couple of hours and if you're no further along you'll have to go on the drip" those couple of hours flew by, I got plenty of food and drink in me in time for the drop and sure enough I hadn't dilated any more. So on the drip I went, this is when everything went a bit fuzzy and felt quite traumatic for me.
I had the Pethadine injection to start with, I knew nothing about this, pain relief wasn't discussed in my appointments, I wasn't told to "inform myself" of my options either. Not that would have helped anyway, how do you look for something when you don't know what you're looking for? The injection made me violently sick and light headed. While I was being sick I had the midwife try and miss for 20 minutes to pop my cannula in. And then once the drip was on...
I've never felt so much intense pain in my life. Zero breathers, just pure panic set in and I didn't know what to do. I was in so much distress and in complete panic. In the end I was talked into an epidural. Why I had to be talked into I don't know, probably because of that feeling and image around being a failure when you have an epidural. So silly now looking back.
I had a little bit of sleep and so did my partner after having the shock of his life, so he thought. Things were calm for a while.
Until nothing was happening, contractions were okay but I wasn't progressing as I should have been. Also babies heart rate started to drop off. In come doctors and registrars and whoever else fancied a look. The clip inserted onto babies head and scratch test done to check all was well. I was then told if nothing happened within 10 minutes it'd be theatre, err what?? So with ten minutes left I wasn't allowed my next and last epidural top up because of the spinal I could be having. So back to the gas and air it was. As the anaesthetists or whoever it was that came in and said they were ready for us I suddenly felt an urge to push. The doctor checked, yep, baby was on their way out! So 20 minutes of pushing, an episiotomy and one massive haemorrhage later, out came a healthy 8lb 15oz Baby Girl. Beautiful and made sure she was heard. However I didn't get that rush of love you hear so much about, all I could that was I'm so glad that's over. Probably because I was so tired or maybe because my legs that weren't meant to be in stirrups were and I was being sewn back together again with a partner nearly fainting at the amount of blood I'd lost. Now, I don't blame anyone for what I experienced, it was one of those things, however things could have been in place to prevent such a long and drawn out experience.
I took over a year to recover and walk without pain, I had post natal depression and I think now looking back, PTSD.
So when I got pregnant again, most of my friends thought I was a bit nuts, I probably was. But I knew it couldn't be as bad and I knew what I wanted and didn't want.