Only last week I was moaning about being overdue and complaining about the things I won’t miss about being pregnant, and today I’m holding a baby in my arms and it all just feels like a distant memory. Not just any baby, but my baby.
Despite being desperate to end my pregnancy I very reluctantly accepted an induction date 11 days after my due date, but felt positive it would go well as during my sweep the week before things had looked like they were heading in the right direction. I still hoped that I would go into labour myself, but as I was having a difficult pregnancy knew that induction was probably the safest option for us. Induction can be a long frustrating process, and I was ready for this to take some time, but luckily for me my body was nearly ready anyway so I just needed a little push, and 20 hours after I was induced my contractions started.
I had all these plans to remain active and not use many drugs during my labour, which started that way until about 11 hours in when things got quite intense. As I was on the induction ward until things progressed far enough to go to the labour ward, there wasn’t much pain relief available, but I was offered some pethadine which pretty much knocked me out for a few hours so I could get some rest. Things then get a little hazy for me at this point, and during monitoring of the baby her heart rate had become very very low, and suddenly there were 5 people stood at the end of my bed telling me we were going to the labour ward now and my bed was wheeled off down the hospital corridor.
On entering the labour ward I was monitored closely and met a doctor who said that he was positive we were meeting our baby today, and I had 12 hours on a drip to have the baby, otherwise it was going to end in an emergency cesarean. The whole way through pregnancy I was scared it was going to end in surgery, and I had only been given the clear to have a normal birth when I was 39 weeks pregnant, so I became a bit determined that it wasn’t going to end this way. Things then started moving very quickly, and getting very intense and my new best friend gas and air wasn’t cutting it anymore for the pain, so I decided to ask for an epidural. I had a student midwife with me who decided to examine me before we tried an epidural, and she then had to ask her mentor for a second opinion which made me a bit panicky, but actually it turns out that I was fully dilated and the baby was coming.
Next thing I remember was another doctor was in my room saying ‘oh we’ve heard all about you’ and explained I had a bit of a rest time before we were going to start pushing. I had been told that due to my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome I was likely to have a speedy active labour, but I don’t think anyone realised how quick things could be. And once I started pushing, Ivy was born in 19 minutes. Next thing I know was there was this baby on my chest, and I had a daughter.
I remember looking at Chris and crying ‘she’s born on the 17th, it’s the day I wanted!”. Since I knew I was pregnant I’ve been saying it would be really nice if she was born on the 17th October, because then what was a very sad day for me, could become a happy one. Five years ago, on the 17th October I said ‘goodbye’ to my mum next to her in a hospital bed as we were told to prepare for the worst and that she wouldn’t make it to the morning after her stroke. My mum amazingly pulled through, and made a full recovery, and because of the date and how much it meant to me we gave Ivy a middle name after my mum, Susan.
I didn’t have the calm hypnobirthing birth that I wanted, in fact I had quite a panicky close to emergency birth. With problems with her heartbeat, I lost a lot of blood, and the umbilical cord snapped. But none of it mattered once she was here safely, and I’m recovering well, and everything feels like a nice happy bubble right now. Welcome to the world Ivy Susan.