I was induced around 1pm with the pessary and within an hour or so all the tightenings I’d been having for a couple of weeks suddenly ramped up, by 6pm they were pretty intense and I was having to lean over on the bed and do a lot of swaying, use my breathing techniques and the tens machine! I started with some gas & air and then at 8pm I was 2cm.The contractions were very close together and I felt slightly disappointed that all of that pain didn’t mean I was further along! But within an hour they moved me to delivery, they gave me pethidine to help slow things slightly and give me some rest, but my body was not up for that and just kept going, by 11pm I was 10cm!
I remember asking if it was too late to use the pool! The gas & air was doing wonders..! I then pushed for nearly 2 hours - I tried for as long as I could on my knees holding onto the bed, but my body kept pulling up and away from the contractions, I was finding that position particularly hard work. Eventually I went onto my back and into stirrups and I remember thinking this isn’t the position I wanted to end up in, but I was also too tired to try anything else.
They then put a big bar into place over the bed so I could pull that towards me when pushing, which actually was a huge help as it helped me really push down with each contraction.
Jack & the midwives were telling me they could see the top of Sam’s head as I pushed but he just kept sliding back, eventually it was suggested to try a ventouse delivery to help baby. The cup went on and I was given an episiotomy, with the next push and one pull, Sam’s head was born! Finally another contraction came and with one more push he was born at 1.56am, weighing 7.12lbs at 42 weeks exactly!
Unfortunately, I tore (3rd degree) with the final push, along with the episiotomy. Sam was put straight onto my chest and we saw that he was a boy! The happiest moment of our lives and the most surreal. Both of us in tears and I felt incredibly proud that I’d done it!
They left the cord to pulsate and then Jack cut it. I had the injection for the placenta and we were amazed by that when it came out. It all felt pretty calm and normal at that point, but then very quickly turned into a bit of a rush as I started to lose a lot of blood - my uterus wasn’t contracting so I ended up losing 2.6lts. With a lot of people in the room and Sam still on my chest it was all a bit of blur - they said I would need to go into theatre and so Sam was given to Jack. They offered me a spinal block or general and I went with spinal, again pretty much out of it at this point. Sam was doing amazingly, the first few feeds were with colostrum I’d harvested and brought in, so Jack gave these as I still couldn’t move my legs.
I eventually was able to breastfeed later and we’re now exclusively breastfeeding and both getting the hang of it! After the birth I had 2 units of blood to increase my iron levels and that really helped, however I still didn't feel quite right after a night at home. My blood pressure was sky high, so we were told we needed to go back to hospital and potentially be readmitted, which we were. Eventually they found the right mix and I’m on tablets to control it. I was discharged after a few days and I was totally desperate to get home. Sam has been amazing, but it was hard as Jack couldn’t be there in the evenings so I was getting maybe 1-2hours a sleep an evening between Sam clustering and being monitored throughout the night.
So it was definitely a tough first week...! The actual labour itself I think was positive, it all moved quickly, I used my breathing techniques and only gas & air, we had skin to skin and Jack cut the cord. Jack was totally amazing throughout - he kept me calm and focused and let me just be in my zone. He took control of the TENS machine for me and it wasn’t long before he was able to judge when I needed more or less power, allowing me to just focus on my breathing and using the gas & air. He guided me through each contraction and reminded me to breathe without the gas & air in between them (easier said than done!) His love, support & encouragement throughout was totally incredible and I feel very lucky to have had him by side.