They say that no two children are ever the same and you can say the same thing about labour and birth. With the help of hypnobirthing and determination, here is Vicky’s story …..
My first experience of childbirth was 4 years ago which resulted in me going 2 weeks over due, induced (2 pessaries did nothing), waters broken and then a 20 hour labour with, epidural, ventouse and stitches. This was frustrating as I had sailed through my pregnancy, worked full time in a pressured sales job and carried on training at the gym 3 mornings a week. I was convinced my easy pregnancy would result in an easy labour. Err no.
Well it never put me off doing it again as 2nd time around I was sure my baby would come flying out definitely no later than my due date and without me being induced. I was actually so determined not to be induced I booked acupuncture in advance and told my midwife I was holding out if I had to as long as my baby was safe.
2nd pregnancy was harder this time as I had a 4 year old to run around after and some really hot summer days but the fact I was having Braxton hicks really early on kept me focused and positive that baby number 2 would be on time.
As I got closer to my due date people were shocked at how big I was. I was a totally different shape than when I had my daughter so was convinced I was having a boy. I was actually so convinced that I would only look at boys clothes and at home even referred to my baby bump by the boy name we had chosen. I just thought it was because I had indulged on food and wasn’t going to the gym like I had done during my first pregnancy.
Well my due date came… and then went. So 3 sweeps and 12 days later I’m arriving at the hospital to be induced. I was remaining positive but inside I wanted to cry as this wasn’t the way I was supposed to be having my second baby. I was supposed to have gone into labour naturally, got into a birthing pool and a couple of hours later calmly welcomed my baby into the world.
My first pessary and sweep was at 3pm. The midwife said I was about 2cm dilated and having slight contractions but nothing to get excited about. 6 hours later I had the 2nd pessary and was still only 2cms dilated so my husband went home. The pessaries had to now be given by a consultant so at 4am a consultant gave me another sweep and told me he would break my waters at 8am. He advised me to try and get some sleep. Great I thought. Here comes another 20 hour labour but at least I can have some rest and breakfast.
At 5am I was taken off the monitor and lay down to sleep still not feeling a thing. At 5.30am I jumped off the bed with a pain that took my breath away and my show came away. 10 minutes later I could feel contractions. I called the midwife and asked if I could call my husband back up to the hospital but as I was on a ward he wasn’t allowed. At least things were happening now but it all felt so quick and intense and much faster than last time. I got on the ball and listened to by hypnobirthing music.
10 minutes later I was drenched in sweat and having constant contractions. The midwife took one look at me and told me they were taking me to delivery. I text my husband to come to delivery and then unable to sit in the wheel chair I walked along a long corridor and into a lift trying to breathe through the contractions. It was nearly 6.30am which meant I had been having them for about 45 minutes that I then panicked thinking how will I get through 20 hours of this!!
I got into the delivery room and was given gas and air which helped me control my breathing and relax. At 6.45am my husband walked in, looked at me and said ‘pull yourself together’. I cant write what I said to him but you can imagine. He thought (as did I) that I was in early labour. At 6.50am the midwife said she needed to examine me and break my waters. What I didn’t expect to be told was that I was 10cm dilated. I was in absolute shock as it was only an hour ago my contractions had started. My husband who had been in the room for 5 minutes was so excited by this he shouted out ‘we are having a baby’. Like I needed reminding.
I carried on with the gas and air for a few more minutes and then stopped as I was ready to push and the midwife thought I needed to focus. To keep me focused I kept thinking about my 4 year old daughter and how I couldn’t wait to hold this baby. At 7.33am my baby was born. To my surprise I had given birth to a beautiful baby girl not a boy as I was so convinced. I could hear everyone in the room having a guess at her weight and remember thinking ‘gosh she is big’. Well she was a healthy 10lb 2oz and the image of her big sister.
So after all my fretting about being induced the labour was so quick I would say that second time around even if you do end up being induced it’s a totally different experience. I really enjoyed it and felt so much more in control.
And yes, I have become one of those slightly annoying women who love to tell people they had a natural birth on just gas and air, pushed out a 10lb 2oz baby with a 2 hour labour because I am proud and totally in love with my chunky monkey Autumn Lily.