Ellie’s Pregnancy Journey Part 9: Labor and Birth

ellies pregnancy journey labor birth

In my previous post, I told you all about waiting for the waters to break. Now, I’m at the hospital. They had booked me in on the 7th of August to be induced, and they told me to arrive in the early morning. So after waiting for weeks for my waters to break, the day finally arrived when I would be induced! I’d read before that sometimes being induced can take up to three days, so I was dreading that it was going to take a long time. The hospital also gave me the option of whether I wanted to stay in hospital while I was being induced or go home and wait for my contractions to start. This was my first pregnancy, so I wanted to be in the safest place, as I was a little bit unsure, so I decided to stay in hospital.

I arrived at the hospital with my partner and my mom, as both of them were my birthing partners. As soon as I got there, I was induced with the prostaglandin tablet. Immediately, I started feeling contractions. At first, I wasn’t sure if they were real contractions because they were so mild. They felt like minor period pains. I had to wait for two hours in the hospital and be monitored on a machine. The midwives also advised me to walk around as much as possible after the two hours of monitoring were up. This is because it helps the prostaglandin tablet work better and it will make things go quicker.

Luckily enough, there is a really big mall right next to the hospital so, what better place could we go to than to a last-minute baby shopping? The hospital gave me a set time that I needed to be back by, which was every 6 hours, as they needed to keep monitoring me. So, we went to the mall and, as I was walking around, I could feel my contractions getting stronger and stronger. In the end, we had to go back to the hospital a little earlier because all I wanted was to lay down. Plus, I didn’t want to exhaust myself too much because I wasn’t sure how long I’d be in labor for.

When I went back, I was told that they only allowed one person with me at a time, which was a bit of an issue as I had two people. So, my mom had to leave and decided to stay at my mother-in-law’s, as the hospital was in London. This made me more worried because, by this time, it was about 7pm and I was concerned my mom wouldn’t be able to make the birth in time, especially if it was during the night. So, as the evening went on, my contractions were getting stronger and stronger. They were not painful, more like uncomfortable. In a way, I wished they’d have been painful, as it felt like at the time this would have been easier. The midwives gave me paracetamol to try and ease off the contractions a bit, but this did not work at all. Then, they advised me to take a bath, as this can help a lot with the pain. It really did. In fact, I even managed to have a quick nap in there. The water slowed down my contractions majorly, from having a contraction every five minutes to just roughly five in one hour.

At 1am, I had to be monitored again. This is when it started to get a bit tricky, because my contractions had become so uncomfortable that I was really struggling to stay still while I was being monitored. The only thing I wanted was laughing gas but, for some reason, the midwives wouldn’t give it to me. They only offered me the pethidine injection. I really didn’t want to have this, purely because I didn’t want the side effect of feeling drunk. The monitoring should only last half an hour and, in the end, I was still being monitored at 3am. Things weren’t going very well. I tried to stay still as much as possible but, in the end, our daughter’s heartbeat was dropping every time I had a contraction. Therefore, the midwives sent me off to the delivery room so my waters could then be broken, even though my cervix was only dilated by 2 centimeters.

When I arrived at the delivery room, I had to be examined to make sure that it was okay to break my waters. After a long wait, I was finally offered laughing gas (gas and air). I had previously asked to have an epidural, but I wasn’t 100% sure if I wanted one or not because I didn’t really want to feel like I was out of control of my own body. The only reason I asked for one was because I know it can take a while to prepare and I didn’t want it to be too late. Therefore, I thought that by asking early, they could have it there on standby just in case I really needed one.

After she had checked that it was okay to break my waters, my midwife did it. I wasn’t fully aware that it was happening, and this was more than likely because I had inhaled a lot of gas and air. Time felt like it was going by so quickly at this point and everything was kind of happening at once. By 4:30am my cervix had actually dilated from 2 cm to 10 cm. Even the midwife was surprised by this.

At around 4:40am, I was starting to get little urges that I needed to push. I must say, I honestly don’t know how some people manage not to push when they are told not to by their midwives! The urge is so strong it literally feels impossible not to. Also, by this time, it was too late for me to have an epidural, so even though I had asked for one earlier, my plan did not pan out. After roughly three pushes, my daughter’s head was finally out. But, then, I had a bit of trouble getting the rest of her out, because I couldn’t feel any more contractions. This is when the midwives told me that I needed to push. After roughly five minutes, there was finally another contraction and our little girl was born at 5:56am on the 8th of August. Words cannot even describe the amount of emotions I was feeling when I saw our little girl laying on my chest for the first time. It was the most emotional experience my partner and I had ever gone through together and we will both cherish that moment for the rest of our lives. We decided to call our daughter Alaena.

Read how the story continues here.

Ellie Style
Ellie-Louise Style has just finished her Master's degree in Broadcast Journalism at City, University of London. She is a new mum to her three-week-old daughter. She currently lives in London with her fiancé, and enjoys writing about her pregnancy and parenting experiences.

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