I was 8 days overdue (8 LOOOONG days!), and booked in for an induction on that night (Wednesday) at 8pm. However from the Saturday night previously I had been getting sometimes regular, sometimes irregular contractions, and then, on the Wednesday I was booked in, I began getting contractions 5 mins apart about 1 hour before DH and I were set to leave for the hospital. I barely even timed them, because I'd been getting the same strength contractions for days, and so just assumed they were BH, and went about getting bags packed etc for induction.
On the way to the hospi, the contractions became stronger and slightly closer together (about 4 minutes), but I insisted we stop off for dinner because I was starving and knew if I was in labour I'd need my strength! By the time we got to the hospital (1/2 hour away), the contractions were 3 minutes apart. Once I had been checked in and set up in the labour/delivery room, the midwife set me up on a CTG to monitor the contractions, and after an hour of monitoring, decided I was definitely in 1st stage labour. The midwife examined me about an hour later and told me I was 2 cms. For 4 days worth of contractions I was definitely hoping I would have been further along, but I was happy with any progress at all, as it meant I didn't need to be induced.
I coped with the pain of the contractions (which for a while were quite bearable), for 8 hours: from 7pm til 3am the next morning. I tried everything except a shower, as for some reason the one thing I didn't want to do was get undressed - I think I thought it would take too long to get undressed, and then back dressed again when the time came, and I didn't want to mess my hair!!! I had straightened it before I went in, and hated the idea of messing it so early on!!!!! The contractions were pretty much on top of each other from 9pm onwards, and getting really fierce. DH had just about rubbed my back off he'd rubbed for so long, and I was at the point where I closed my eyes and breathed with such concentration, that I forgot to open them in the 2 seconds I didn't have one, and so my eyes were closed permanently! I had all my family there (and DH's!) and in the end, it got too much as they were all crowded around me, trying to help, but it was too overwhelming having so many people there, and so they all waited outside for a while, and DH and I did it together, but they kept coming in and out through the night and morning.
Finally the midwife encouraged me to try some pain relief, and so I tried a shot of pethidine, which was the worst thing I did - the pain remained the same, but I felt too out of it to cope. I felt woozy and sick, even though they combined the shot with maxalon.
So eventually, at just after 3am, I succumbed to an epidural. I tried so hard without it, but when I was checked again at that time, I was still only 4cms, and I knew I couldn't cope if I had to go through the same amount of time again, as the midwife predicted it would still be a while. I must say, I had absolutely no pain when the epi was put in. It didn't hurt a bit like a few people had warned me... worse part was having the drip put in my hand!! At first it worked mainly on my left side, but they upped the dose and within half hour I was pretty well pain free. I just felt the tightenings. It was BLISS!
At 5am I was checked again, and I was told I was 5cms, and the Doctor asked if I'd like my waters broken which I readily accepted! Anything to speed the process up! I then made the HUGE mistake of asking how much longer he thought it might be. The doctor suggested an hour per cm dilation was a 'reasonable estimation' (), and so it'd be at least 10am before I started pushing.
Well, he was close, I was checked at 11am and was fully dilated, however I'd just had my epi topped up, and they wanted me to feel the contractions more before I started pushing, so we waited half hour before I started to push. At that stage, it was just DH and the midwife and I must say, it was a great experience. I loved the fact that it was just the 3 of us there, and the midwife kept assuring me I was pushing really well, and making heaps of progress with each push. After an hour however, we realised the baby was pretty well stuck, as his head would crown, then go back up again, constantly. Try as I might, I could not keep him crowned. The midwife was really loathe to seek intervention by a doctor, and so kept trying to urge me on by telling me she'd give me 5 more minutes to do it alone, before she had to get help. I think she knew it couldn't be done without some help, but wanted every attempt to be made to avoid it...
By 12.45pm I was ready to pass out - the epi wore off 1/2 hour after I started pushing, and the pain was to the point where I decided I wanted them to top me up again with the epi and leave the baby in there! My hair was long forgotten as I was sweating so much it was matted to my head anyway! So the doctors were called, and it was decided I would be aided with forceps. I can't explain how disappointed I was to need a forceps delivery, but DH kept reassuring me that I had done my best, and this was a much better option than a C-section which I was seriously afraid of. I was topped up a small amount with the epi as they needed to do a tiny episiotomy, the forceps were put in, and within 2 huge pushes from me, and a little tug, Alexander William finally made his grand entrance. He barely cried, just looked around as if to say "what's all the fuss about?" !!! and came straight to my belly. I could see the top of him, but not the bottom half, and so I asked whoever would answer me what it was - and my DH said "it's a boy". Well I have never cried such tears of happiness in my life - I was beside myself with joy, and instantly and completely in love. It's true love at first sight I've decided! DH was rather ecstatic too!
Alexander had low blood sugar levels and unfortunately had to spend 3 days in the special care unit from 15 minutes after birth, on a drip to boost his levels. It was the hardest thing I've ever done to let him go so soon after he was born, but I spent every waking hour with him after I had been cleaned up, and Alexander took to the breast like an absolute champion.
He is the most precious thing in the world. Our family has begun!
7lbs 11oz (3.5kgs)
Born at 1pm Thursday 5/10 (18hour labour!!!!!!!)