Updated: Aug 20, 2021
An amazing positive induction story from a lovely second time mum Laura.
"I always assumed my daughter would be born early, just like my son was back in 2009. My waters went naturally in my sleep at 38+2 trying to convince myself it was just pee or sweat. Back then aged 24 I had never given much thought to how I wanted to birth or what choices were available to me, so I was swept along with the whole medicalised hospital birth and taking all pain relief possible.
When I fell pregnant in 2017 aged 32 I knew I wanted a more informed and peaceful birthing experience this time around, so I attended hypnobirthing and waterbirth classes at my chosen birthing center. From 38 weeks I had 5 "membrane sweeps" from my midwife to try and encourage the start of labor, but they all failed and so I was booked in for an induction on Wednesday 10th January 2018 at 9:30am (i was exactly 40 weeks on this date).
I arrived at the induction suite and was taken to my assigned bed on the 6 bay ward, where one other lady and her partner were also settling in. The Midwife came and took my observations and scanned me at the bedside to ensure the baby (as we didn't know what we were having ) hadn't changed their position, all was good and we could continue with the induction process. She explained the whole induction process to me and then asked if I had any questions. I asked her "if they were able to break my waters straight away and I labored myself without requiring any other medical interventions would I be able to still have my water birth downstairs in the birthing center?".
After ringing downstairs they advised they would allow this as I'm exactly 40 weeks and also a "low risk" pregnancy, I was literally ecstatic with this news and my mood lifted instantly. The Midwife returned at 10:30am ready to begin the induction process, she performed an examination with my consent and advised I was 2-3cms and she would be able to break my waters. Once my waters had broken my contractions started pretty soon after and I was managing really well with my breathing techniques and felt so calm and in control, I moved from the bed onto the birthing ball at the bedside to help with positioning.
The pace and intensity soon changed and the Midwife asked if I would like to try the gas and air, when she returned she observed how fast the contractions were coming and asked if it was okay to examine me again, I was now 7cms! She rang downstairs to advise the birthing center I was on my way so the Midwives could begin filling the pool and preparing the room for my arrival. I remember being wheeled through the corridor in a wheelchair biting down on the plastic nozzle that wasn't attached to anything,, whilst passing a group of expectant mothers on a hospital tour. I was feeling every contraction and the intensity radiated through my back towards the front and low down, but I never once felt scared or vulnerable, I just felt in control.
I arrived at the birthing suite and 2 new midwives welcomed me and the room was just amazing, I remembered the layout and how inviting and peaceful the rooms are from my tour whilst pregnant but being here now I felt calm and happy. I got into the pool and I instantly relaxed, I enjoyed baths so much whilst pregnant that I knew being in the water was what I wanted this time around. I was managing the contractions with the gas and air but they were coming thick and fast and I wasn't getting a break in-between. I remember getting this sudden urge "to push" although if I remember rightly I'm sure I told them "I need a poo" but they didn't seem convinced as I hadn't been in the pool for long from arriving. She advised she wanted to listen to the baby in the water and I remember her saying to stop using the gas and air for a moment but the contractions were just too strong.
The next thing she advised was that she was having to press the buzzer for assistance and I needed to get out of the pool. I looked up and saw 6 other midwives in the room now and a bed at the other end of the pool that they had wheeled in. A mat was placed into the pool and I was hoisted out and onto the bed and the gas and air taken off me. They advised baby's heart rate had dropped and that I needed to "push now"! as the baby's heart rate had dropped (later I was advised the medical term is bradycardia).
Our daughter Hannah Elizabeth Paxton was born at 12:35pm and weighed 8lbs 3oz ❤ our little rainbow surprise! 🌈
Although we had that slight emergency at the end and I never got to fully birth my daughter in the pool, I never once felt scared or vulnerable but felt empowered by my strength, focus, and determination to have the birthing experience I envisioned. I turned up that morning expecting pessaries, drips, and hours upon hours of labor and birthing on another medicalised birthing ward.
The induction process for me was such a positive, fast and intense experience that I wouldn't change for the world!"