Ciaran’s birth story

Here it is…

I had an induction booked for 38 weeks+3 days (Mon 27 April) courtesy of Ben (9lb 4oz, shoulder dystocia and a third degree tear). If you are induced becuase you are overdue and there are no medical problems you can be induced on the day ward and go home between doses, as this was early induction I had to be on delivery suite – boo!

I called delivery suite at seven ish, having got up and got me and Ben dressed early ready to go to hospital only to be told they were chocka block and to call again at 10. OK – killed a few hours starting blankly at the laptop and playing cards while hubby entertained Ben. At 10 we were given the go ahead to drive up. We got to the hospital about 11:15 (having dropped off Ben, made the moses basket, stopped on the way for hubby to take a call etc..) to discover that a couple of women had rudely gone into labour and my room was taken!

We spent a few hours in the waiting room before eventually the decision was taken to start the induction on the day unit. My consultant came examined me (ouch – nobody told me having someone push your cervix would hurt that much) and said I was zero cm, but quite thin. First dose of prostaglandin was given and I started having fairly regular contractions straight away.

As I was having 4-6 contractions in 10 minutes the midwives recommended that I stay on the maternity ward overnight. Frequent contractions carried on, and when I was examined a few hours later I was already 1cm dilated – hooray! I went to sleep (as best as you can with three other pregnant women in early labour snoring and groaning occasionally!) and while I slept Ciaran decided to have some fun and turned back to back.

Next morning I was taken up to delivery for another dose, which wasn’t much fun. You are in a room alone, nothing much is happening, there aren’t other women to gossip with and although the first midwife was nice and looked in every couple of hours it was very lonely. Hubby had a big meeting that he couldnt miss so he looked in for a bit before the meeting, went to his meeting and then came back. I walked the grounds of the hospital over and over, and knelt leaning on the bed, chairs and birth ball to get Ciaran into a better position and was getting stronger contractions.

I was due a third dose of prostaglandin at 4pm, my midwife came to say goodbye at shift change and that was it from 2:00 to 5:00 when a midwife asked where my notes were, no name, no introduction. Bored of waiting hubby and I went for a walk, by this point we had to stop when I had a contraction which was frequent. I was also getting really worked up by the delays (the midwife wanted the doctor to examine me and kept promising to be there soon for over an hour).

I was strapped to the monitor and examined again and guess what – still 1-2 cm. I was quite upset at this as I was having frequent painful contractions that did bugger all. After some more delays the doctor broke my waters (asking for a different midwife to be present- weird). I found this terrifying for some reason. I don’t think it actually hurt, but I didn’t like the feeling and insisted on gas and air and screamed and sobbed throughout. I had a LOT of water and the floor had to be mopped up while I sobbed. The contractions became a lot more powerful instantly and midwife told me not to use the gas and air anymore as it worked better in late labour! So at 6pm I was left with my waters broken and told they’d take a look at me at 10pm.

Looking back at this point I was clearly showing transistional behaviour but the midwives assumed I was just panicking and fussing about nothing. I was insisting hubby came to the loo with me and really scared and shaky etc… Hubby ran me a hot bath which was great but he ruined the effect by
1. Asking me to get out in case the hot water scalded the baby.
2. Compaining at my latest way to cope with contractions – singing tunelessly through my tears

We got out and the pain was unbearable. As I’d been told no g&a for a while, I got hubby to grab the midwife and get something for the pain and I had a pethidine injection. I am not a fan. All it seemed to do to me was make me zone out between contractions which were now coming with a 20-30 second gap. I was kneeling on the bed leaning on the pillows for each contraction, still convinced that I had to turn the baby around before I could start dilating. At this point I was devastated. I couldn’t cope with the pain and as far as I knew I was just starting out, maybe 2-3 cm dilated. I remember crying because everyone thought I was a wimp.

At this point hubby was great we decided bugger it and got the gas and air going without a midwife, he was rubbing my lower back in each contraction and occasioanally grabbing passing midwifes to ask about an epidural (wait a few hours they said). I had a couple of funny feeling contractions where at the end of the contraction I suddenly sat back on my heels and felt like I might do a poo (nice). I decided not to share this delightful insight with hubby.

I had two of those weird contractions and suddenly realised that the head was emerging! Cue much screaming as hubby tried to find the call button (that probably wouldnt have bothered the midwife much) and then we both screamed for a midwife. A few came in, hubby told them that the baby was coming, they calmly took my knickers off realised that it really was coming and then started barking orders “Ellen turn over onto your back NOW”, “Put your gloves on, put your gloves on” to the student.

I didnt really want to give birth on my back but wasnt in a position to argue, in fact other than shouting angrily that I had really wanted an epidural and that nobody believed it had been hurting me, I was fairly quiet. A few shouts at me to breathe a few easy pushes and then I felt a slither of warm baby body and Ciaran was born.

Unlike with Ben, Ciaran was put straight onto my tummy, Chris cut the cord when it had stopped pulsing and we were breastfeeding quickly. Initially we planned to go straight home, but after the trouble I had breast feeding Ben I wanted to get it right this time and decided to stay in over night to get advice and support.

Completely different experience to Ben. Not being in a birth pool made me feel that Chris was more involved, he was holding my hands and rubbing my back but being left alone made me feed scared and isolated. Like every Mum the minute I held my new baby I knew it was all worth it.


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