I arrived at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on August 7th 2019. The plan was to have a pessary induction for 24 hours and to monitor the baby in hope the induction would get things started.
NOTE TO ALL NEW MUMS WHO MAY HAVE TO HAVE AN INDUCTION… we should have been told not to get our hopes up, we should have been told it can take up to 5-6 days for an induction to work.
If I knew then what I knew now, I would have mentally prepared myself for a long and uncomfortable stint in a hospital bed, because even if the induction works there was still a 42 hour wait for a delivery suite to actually have your baby in – crazy right?
I arrive to a bed right by the window – which was a spot of luck as it was such a warm day and I was lucky enough to have a gentle breeze blowing in at me.
The induction was done fairly quickly. It’s basically pessary which is put up you like a tampon, not the most comfortable procedure but also not the worst one!
I was then hooked up to a monitoring machine which kept an eye on the babies heartbeat, this is just in case they have some kind of reaction to the medication.
You had to press a button every time you feel the baby kick… mine was a little kicker as you can see!
No movement over night, Sam stayed as long as he could with me but went home really early to feed the cats – let in the carpenter (house still being finished) and to freshen up and have a shower.
I stayed and watched the horrible hospital food come and go, whilst keeping myself amused with a word search puzzle booked I had managed to find in the on site shop.
Sam arrived back and it was such a lovely day we took a stroll around the hospital grounds – I wasn’t allowed out of them – I felt a bit like a prisoner!
24 hours came and went and…. nothing, so I had a further 6 hour pessary put in.
Given the fact my care plan says “little intervention or interference below” due to trauma I have had in the past I wasn’t in a very good mental state at this point – but still things could still always be worse – the food for that matter or the poor woman opposite me!
Still constantly being strapped up to the monitoring machine my anxieties were getting worse. Still no sign of baby but dilated to almost 1.5cm so getting closer.
After trying most of the tricks we decided to go for a long walk around the hospital again, and I even had a mini workout on the outdoor gym – at this point I would have tried anything!
I don’t like hospitals and as we moved onto day four I was ready… after the walk I laid on the bed and felt a slight gush… could it be. I got really excited and rushed to the toilet. Apparently it was something called a show, the mucus plug had started to come away.
This was a great sign and I was ready – but needed to have my waters broken – for that I needed a delivery suite, and I was added to the long 32 hour waiting list!
I woke up trying to be as optimistic as possible but the nerves and anxiety was getting the better of me, so I tried to do some calming bouncing exercises on a ball – it didn’t work!
Wait, wait, waiting game… both sets of our parents knew at this point how restless we were getting so Sam’s parents came up during visiting hours at 3pm. We went down to the cafe for a cup of tea and as I took a first sip, the call came, a suite was free. We leaped for joy and headed straight for the ward.
My parents turned up shortly after which was perfect timing as my mum settled me in the delivery suite. Mum left Sam and I – Once settled it was time.
Due to having Strep B as well as having the hormone releasing dip I needed an antibiotic. So I had a drip in each arm which was terrible for someone who doesn’t really like needles, so I actually almost past out at the first hurdle, before my waters were even broken!
I often wonder now what it would be like if my waters were to have broken naturally? This part (for me) didn’t hurt, they use a hook to break the sack and suddenly it feels like the log fume at Pleasure Wood Hills them park!
My contractions started pretty quickly and the midwife seemed confident things were processing at a good rate. I used my hypnobirthing techniques to get me into the zone – with Enya playing in the background – whilst Sam was squirting lavender spray around my face.
They don’t tell you when your waters break they just keep coming at every contraction. In fact there’s a few things they don’t prepare you for in labour.
After an hour into it I can’t tell you what happened in my labour. I have blacked it all out and as a result I am not having trauma therapy for PTSD.
I remember going in at 5pm to discover eight hours had gone by in a flash. I have flashbacks of having the epidural that didn’t work. I also still feel the fear of when the babies heart rate dropped at around 7am so they decided on an emergency c section
The rest is a blur, the second spinal injection, the c section, even the recovery. But I will never forget the moment I first set eyes on my giant purple 10lb 3oz baby boy being held up over the surgery screen… or the look on Sams face!
I didn’t get to hold my own baby first and that really hurts. Sam went with him and I was left alone being pieced back together.
In total this hospital gave me three sweeps, two pessaries, six internals, one water break, a 16 hour labour and an emergency c section, almost two weeks hospitalisation and PTSD.
It’s not until you lay your body on an operating table and would give your life to save your baby you know just how amazing a mothers love is.
I would do it all over again for him, for my Leo.
Here is to new adventures as a three.