I was diagnosed with high blood pressure during the later stages of my pregnancy and at my 38 week check, the Registrar informed me that if the baby had not arrived by 1 May (my due date), I would be taken into hospital to be induced.
I was a little disappointed as this did not fit with my birth plan! However, I remember Nerissa advising us to keep and open mind and 'go with it' so that's exactly what I did.
I went into hospital on 1 May. Unfortunately, I couldn't use the home-from-home rooms and spent Monday in Triage within the Delivery Suite. I had 2 Prostin hormone tablets and was continuously monitored to check the baby's heartbeat. The Midwives advised me that induction was usually a lengthy process with a first baby and that I probably wouldn't have my baby until Wednesday (3 May). Dave and I prepared ourselves for the long haul (assisted by a cool bag full of healthy and not-so-healthy snacks)
Dave was sent home on Monday evening as there was no sign of any contractions and my cervix had not dilated (although they did say that the baby's head had dropped). I was taken to the ward and managed to get to sleep by about 11pm, preparing myself for a repeat exercise the following day.
At about 1.45am, I was woken up by really strong contractions. I managed to get out of bed and squat by the radiator, whilst breathing my way through the first two contractions, a great position practised during Nerissa's classes!
I then made it to the toilet before the next contraction, where my waters broke and I had a 'show'. I told the Midwife that things had started to happen a little sooner than planned but as the initial contractions were still 15-20 minutes apart, she gave me two Paracetemol and advised me to have some toast and try to get back to sleep.
Sleep?!!! I couldn't even get onto the bed! By the time I had reached the bed, the contractions were really strong and about 4-5 minutes apart. I also had an overwhelming urge to push. I got down onto my knees on a pillow and started to rock my pelvis and breathe my way through the contractions. It really helped.
I buzzed the Midwife and she examined me. I was 8 cm dilated! She was really surprised and called my husband immediately. It was now 2.30am on Tuesday 2 May.
I was whisked off to the delivery suite in my bed where I met Jo, the most fantastic Midwife I could have hoped for. She advised me that I would really have to work with my breath in order to resist the urge to push as otherwise, my husband may miss the birth!
I did stay on the bed but was in a fairly upright position. I used my breathing to control and manage the contractions (it was too late for pain relief anyway!). Dave arrived at 3am and I was then 10 cm dilated. I started to push immediately. I used breath and deep sounds as I was pushing. After the second or third push, I felt the head crowning: 'ring of fire' is a perfect description! Two pushes and baby Luke Anthony arrived into the world at 3.26am! He looked so perfect.
It was the most amazing feeling to have delivered my baby naturally. You can't really put it into words. The pain whilst giving birth was not as strong as I had anticipated - I personally found the contractions much stronger. I delivered the placenta about 30 minutes later. By this time, Luke had been placed on my chest to feed. It was a wonderful experience.
I had to have stitches in my vaginal wall and muscle. However, my perineum was intact (thanks for the tip about wheatgerm oil Nerissa!).
We took Luke Anthony home on the Wednesday. He is a very hungry baby and was losing quite a bit of weight so I decided to combine feed (breast and bottle) which is now going really well (after two weeks of frustration and soreness!).
Luke is adorable. I have found the first few weeks quite difficult but extremely rewarding. Becoming a parent is definitely my most life-changing and satisfying achievement to date. Dave is also enjoying the new experience and is finding time to bond with his new son whenever he can.
PS 'I also think the Raspberry Leaf Tea helped, thanks Nerissa!'