I had a baby girl, Cleopatra (Cleo) Evie Barrington on 29 August 2014 at 12.40 pm in a pool room at SDH watching the pool being filled up as there had been no time for water birth!
I was induced in the end as I was overdue and over 40! My due date was my 40th birthday and NICE guidelines say that no woman over 40 should be allowed to go overdue, most are induced on the due date. The thing was in my notes, as my birthday was my due date, I wasn't technically a mother over 40 so I wasn't on the radar- it was wonderful, no one mentioned it even though I knew!
My first was + 3days so I thought this baby might be late. I opted not to have a sweep at my 40 weeks check-up (age wasn't mentioned - think the midwife for to check even though I was then 40 years + 1 day old), I waited until the next week, had a sweep on Thursday and whilst chatting things through with the midwife she said they would give it 24-48 hours to see how things went, then maybe another sweep etc etc 'after all there is no need to hurry things along really, is there?' at which point I piped up (as I was well ready to meet my baby by now) 'except that I am over 40 now'. Cue *WHAT* from the community midwife, frantic rustling of papers, date checking, apologising that she hadn't noticed previously etc, one call to the on-call registrar at SDH and I was booked in for an induction the next day at 8 am!
In the end, it was quite relaxed as I queried with the ward if they needed me at 8 am on the dot as I had to take my little boy to nursery etc and they were easy on the time. I arrived and was monitored at around 9.30 am, they broke my waters (ARM) at 11 am and the whole delivery, including the third stage was all over by 12.40 pm. No gel or drip is needed. This was as the community midwife had predicted as my baby was so well engaged.
My first baby was delivered within 14 minutes of arriving at the hospital as I had laboured so successfully at home (in the bath mainly). So this time although the ARM was clinical and unpleasant and I was uncertain of myself throughout a lot of the labour I was pleased to be in the hospital from the start so there was no mad rush to get there like last time. The Kenya yoga and pregnancy yoga I had practised helped a lot as did the hypnobirthing. I listened with headphones to your CDs and visualisations for the first stage of labour throughout, except for the actual ARM and the stitches afterwards (I had a tear, like with my first baby) when I listened to my yoga teachers' recommended playlist and the one we had used in class ('happy tunes' - to help take me to a 'happy place!!).
The Hypno CDs really helped when I was on my back on the bed being monitored, I was sure I was having contractions already from the sweep and it was uncomfortable being prone on my back. Then again once the ARM had happened, they monitored me again (although I was allowed to sit on a birthing ball) so my movements were restricted, and I was sure the contractions were more intense, all very uncomfortable. I used my TENS machine - useful as a distraction as well as pain relief.
I was grateful for anything that gave me some sense of grounding and control as the labour pains were not like those first-time rounds that had come on naturally. I had no idea 'where I was on the labour journey and how far I had to go. The midwives didn't either as I was so calm and quiet.
We talked about aromatherapy just after the ARM and I requested a pool room and some aromatherapy oils. They went away (I was left with a student midwife onward while the other midwife checked on someone on postnatal) and I got in the bath in the small labour room we had to relieve the pain I was in, no drugs were forthcoming (I'd asked for paracetamol), no mention of being moved, so I had 2 of my own paracetamol and we asked for the pool room, contractions had been every minute since the ARM and were maybe every 5-10 mins before that. Got out of the pool in between contractions and shuffled with TENS to the pool room.
As soon as I got to the pool room I felt a lot calmer, it was lovely and spacious and light and airy, pool filling commenced but before it was even halfway, I started doing some gentle yoga swaying and I felt I needed to push. The student had been going to get towels but turned round to see me moaning (apparently I was standing by the window, leaning on the windowsill with my legs crossed!). Afterwards, she said that at that moment she just had a very strong feeling that the baby was coming and she shouldn't leave me, so she pressed a buzzer for someone else to bring bedding and towels. She helped me to the bed to examine me and 2 pushes later (and a second-degree tear) Cleo was out! A relieved and surprised midwife, mummy and daddy.
The other midwife said later that she was walking back from postnatal thinking 'yes, we must get that aromatherapy for my lady now' when she heard a baby crying and thought 'noooo, I can't have missed it?' but she had. My student midwife was just 3 weeks off qualifying and absolutely fabulous throughout.
Overall a very positive induction experience. I hated how clinical it was, but with hindsight, it was a great way and outcome as I wasn't worried about my little boy as I had arranged nursery for him all day and his grandparents to collect him, which meant I could concentrate, with my husband, on the birth.