I’ve wanted to write this down for the past 5 months but every time I sit down to do it something stops me. Thinking about it, it’s not that I’m scared of revisiting the experience, instead I’m worried that I won’t do it justice. Those precious, excruciating, wondrous 48 hours were the turning point of my life and so momentous that it’s hard to capture all of my thoughts and feelings about it in a single blog post. But I’m going to try nevertheless as it’s an experience I want to remember in as much detail as possible. Except the pain part, I’m happy to gloss over that.
A change of Plan
I had a straight forward pregnancy (albeit suffering with fairly debilitating sickness which you can read about here) so when at 37 weeks I had high blood pressure I wasn’t too concerned. Everything had been smooth so far so why would it not be moving forward? Ah the naivety. As high BP is a sign of pre-eclampsia my community midwife (who was just lovely) had me back 5 days later to check it had stabilised. Unfortunately it was still high and in addition Grace’s heartrate was dipping when she listened in, needless to say that really shook me up. Considering the high blood pressure and the dropping heartrate my midwife decided to send me straight to the labour ward. When she said this I felt really panicked and completely unprepared. Daniel was at work, I didn’t have my hospital bag with me, I wasn’t due for another 2 weeks and I was meant to be taking my gran shopping for a wedding outfit that afternoon. My midwife must have seen the panic across my face as she said to me that it was OK if I needed to have a little cry. She got me some water, reassured me and I sat with her while I waited for Daniel to pick me up and take me to the hospital (told you she was lovely). It was just typical that Daniel had been with me at almost every appointment and the one he missed is the one with a bit of drama.
Excitement & Examinations
As we drove to the hospital excitement overrode my feelings of anxiety. I could feel and see Grace doing her usual gymnastics in my tummy so I knew she was doing OK. We proceeded to triage which was a room with three beds and I was in the middle. A few tests were carried out and I was hooked up to a monitor to track Graces heart rate and any mild contractions I might be having. The two ladies either side of us were both in labour, hearing them in such pain scared me as I knew I’d be in the same position fairly soon. We tried to block it out which is very difficult when only a paper curtain separates you from the wails of a labouring woman. We shared a bag of mini eggs and rather awkwardly the bag split and chocolate eggs rolled under the curtain, I’m fairly confident the labouring woman was too pre-occupied to notice and wouldn’t have cared even if she did. After an hour in triage the doctor came to see me and confirmed that I had pre-eclampsia and advised that an induction would be the safest way forward as I was 38 weeks so considered full term and ready to deliver. So this was it, we weren’t leaving the hospital without our baby girl and excited euphoria spread throughout my body.
Induction and 1st
twinges excruciating contractions
We moved up to the antenatal ward and straight away began the induction process. I was surprised to find out that I was already 1cm dilated which explains why I was having back pain and ended up sleeping in an arm chair the previous night! I was warned the induction could be a three day process and that I’d be checked for progress again in 24hours. So I settled in for what I thought would be a drawn out couple of days and arranged for my mum and sister to meet us in the hospital café. However by the time we’d walked to the café I was getting uncomfortable and wanted to go back to the ward where I felt safer. The midwife explained that I might feel a few twinges initially as my body prepared for labour; what I felt were certainly not twinges! Feeling embarrassed, I explaining to the midwife that I was already in quite a lot of pain despite the induction only starting an hour earlier. Turns out things were progressing quickly and I was at 2cm. I felt relieved that the pains I was feeling were genuine contractions and not just early twinges.
My mum, sister and Daniel were all fantastic supporting me through the early contractions when I didn’t know what to do with myself for best. I hadn’t been to any hypnobirthing classes but so wish I had as I didn’t get the hang of breathing through the contractions, and more often than not I let them get the better of me. I felt as though I didn’t have a chance to gather myself in-between each contraction and that they were on top of each other. This also meant the tens machine wasn’t very efficient as my finger was constantly on the ‘boost’ button. I was hooked back up to the monitor to see what was going on. The induction worked a little too well and I was having hyper stimulating contractions (back to back), Grace wasn’t too keen on this which meant her heart rate started to dip once again. In order to keep a closer eye on things we were moved to an observation bay on the labour ward and that’s when things really started to heat up…
Part #2 coming soon…