Kirstin's Positive Induction Birth Story

5 minute read

I would say I had a very straightforward pregnancy, relatively speaking. The usual going to bed at 7pm during the first trimester and only eating beige foods, followed by the ease of the second trimester and then the back pain and thumb twiddling of the third. I like to know what I am getting myself into so I read everything I could about vaginal births, water births, pain relief - mainly so I knew what I didn’t want - and hypnobirthing!

 

Being one of the last of my friends to have a baby, and being slightly older (geriatric according to obstetric medicine), I felt relatively prepared for pregnancy and birth. I knew I wanted to have an unassisted vaginal birth, hopefully in the birthing pool. I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible, move around during labour and stay off my back. My little boy decided otherwise!

 

When we met our hypnobirthing coach, I had an ideal picture in my mind of what I wanted for labour and birth, as I think most women have. Admittedly, I was a bit scared at the thought of any medical intervention so to address this fear she directed me to her website to read about positive assisted birth stories. With hindsight, I am so glad I followed her advice!

 

We had a scan at 40+1 and our baby’s growth was tailing off, a trend for the past few growth scans. The midwife floated the idea of induction and my heart sank. I knew, from all my obsessive reading, that as soon as one intervention happens, it is likely to be followed by others. My partner and I discussed induction together and agreed that we wanted our little boy here safely and didn’t want to risk his health by waiting. I was booked for the balloon catheter for the following day, opting for the more ‘natural’ induction method.

 

Once the catheter was in, we were sent home and had everything crossed it would induce labour - it didn’t. When I returned to hospital the following day, I was 2-3cm dilated, moved to labour ward and the midwife was able to rupture my membranes. I did not realise how much amniotic fluid would saturate the hospital bed! I managed to eat a load of carb-laden foods, knowing that the syntocinon drip would mean I couldn’t eat again until baby was born. That was 7pm on the Sunday evening.

 

As soon as we arrived in our room, the midwife dimmed the lights, turned on a coloured night light and showed my partner how to set up the calming playlist I had been curating for weeks. I was able to walk around the room, wheeling my drip with me, until the contractions started to kick in and I didn’t want to be too far from the gas and air. I remembered all the breathing techniques we had been shown and focused on these to help me get through the contractions. However, by 11pm, when I heard I was still only 3cm dilated, with contractions becoming more and more intense, I wanted an epidural. I remember my partner reading me the information leaflet in order to get my consent (when I was high on gas and air) and telling him to read faster.

Kirstin's Positive Induction Birth Story

By midnight, I was lying on my side, having had my epidural, gas and air still fully gripped in my hand and focussing on my playlist. My partner was incredible: stroking my arm, holding my water bottle and reminding me to keep breathing through the contractions - my epidural hadn’t fully worked so I could still feel them. He is my rock but I didn’t even need to ask him to do anything for me; he knew instinctively. We had many discussions about my birth plan, ensuring he was fully informed of my wishes. The next few hours were a blur of trying to feel more comfortable by moving around the bed into different positions, with the help of my midwife and partner. I kept trying to avoid looking at the clock and remain focussed on my breathing and music. By 5am I was fully dilated and at 5.30 I was ready to push. I ended up having to push lying on my back, which I found frustrating as I knew this wasn’t what I had originally wanted to do.

 

After two and a bit hours of pushing, I was exhausted and couldn’t do any more. Looking back now, I think I was in transition but my body felt exhausted and I had nothing left to give. My partner spoke to the midwives and, he said, there were some quiet conversations between the two of them before the room filled with people. I started to worry as no-one had said what was going to happen. The doctor then sat down and explained that the baby's chin wasn’t tucked so he kept getting stuck, and that she could either hold his head in the right position so I could push him out or he could be pulled using ventouse. She also recommended carrying out an episiotomy due to the risk of tearing. More interventions that I hadn’t planned for but I opted for the ventouse and episiotomy.

 

After two more pushes, and a few adult words escaping me, our little boy was born just after 8am on the Monday morning. He was placed on my chest straight away and given a quick clean. I had requested to have delayed cord clamping; however, this wasn’t possible due to the risk of bleeding following the induction. There were many unplanned interventions that happened during my labour and baby boy’s birth, but as soon as he was placed on my chest, I honestly didn’t care. He was here, safe and healthy, letting everyone in the hospital and surrounding area know that he had a good pair of lungs! We cuddled and fed on the bed, as a new family of three, for a very long time, just letting our wee one adjust and being completely left to it by all the medical staff.

 

Throughout my labour and birth, I was able to use all the hypnobirthing strategies we had been taught. I had my playlist, breathing and such a calm environment the whole way through until the ventouse. Even when I was being stitched, I used my breathing techniques. I felt heard by all the staff at the hospital and my partner was my champion. I didn’t have the birth I had planned but it was an extremely positive experience - one I feel I could do again!