I'm back .
We lost our daughter at 20 weeks, she died in utero and I had to be induced to give birth to her. I was pretty traumatized from the birth experience, not because it was out of the ordinary awful in regards to the actual labor and birth but just the trauma of giving birth to a dead baby, being worried it will happen again etc. Because of the support groups I joined after my loss i knew all the different reasons babies die and I was also adamant I didn't want to go overdue, besides also having a lot of anxiety throughout both pregnancies. With our daughter I had gone publicly and I am fairly convinced that is why some things went wrong, not that she could have been saved but there were definitely warning signs that got brushed off as 'normal' by my gp and midwives and I know if I had gone privately my OB would have at least looked into it further. Anyways...
With ds1 I found a private ob that I absolutely loved, he was so patient with my insane anxieties and did whatever he could to ease them, including allowing me to come to his office weekly to have his midwife scan me to show me the baby was still alive, with no extra charge. We discussed not wanting to go overdue and his thoughts were that he would be happy to do an elective c/s anytime from 38 weeks but with induction he did not want to do it before my due date unless my body was showing signs of being ready for labor as he felt it increased the risk of a cascade of interventions and an emergency c/s. So the plan was to induce on my due date. We ended up moving to London before the birth and I found a private ob and we had the same plan, to induce on my due date. I ended up going into labor spontaneously at 39.3 (the morning after a very long walk) and the birth was amazing, very healing and exactly what I needed. I didn't really know I was in labor for half of it, I knew I was but the contractions were so short and no rhythm to them that I thought I probably wouldn't have him for a couple days so I went to a fetal well-being scan and ob appt I already had booked for that day. At the scan she couldn't even really measure him because he was so far down and when we left to walk to my ob appt my contractions got worse. When my ob saw me he goes 'you don't look too good, let me examine you.' Then, 'you're 5cm, you need to get to the hospital.' . Seriously the most satisfying thing to be told you are already 5cm when you had only just decided you were in labor! Went to the hospital and DH ran home to get a bag I hadn't even packed since I thought I had a few days until induction. I labored there for a few hours and then got an epidural. They examined me before the epidural and I was only 6cm, so hadn't progressed much since arriving at the hospital but once I had the epidural I dilated the rest in two hours and was ready to push. I'm convinced this is because I finally relaxed, that the pain was reminding me of loosing our daughter, and once the pain went away I stopped fighting it and just opened up. 20 mins of very calm pushing and there he was. A really lovely, quiet and calm experience. It was so healing.
With ds2 the plan was the same, induction on my due and again I went into labor spontaneously a few days before my due date. This time I had had a stretch and sweep at my last midwife appt at 39.4 weeks, when she did it, although I was only about 2cm dilated she felt I was really showing signs of being ready and that I wouldn't make it to my induction date. That evening I did pelvic rotations and bounced on the birth ball for about 30 mins and woke at 1.30am to my waters breaking! His labor was a bit faster and more intense than ds1's (until I got the epidural again), I had these visions of trying the birthing pool at the hospital but instead it was a mad rush at 2.30 in the morning with me screaming in the car and telling the midwife I wanted epidural immediately upon the elevator doors opening. So a stretch and sweep and bouncing on the ball definitely worked for me. Like lady 'EM said, I think the fact you've been in labor and given birth before does work in your favor as your body kind of remembers what to do.
How many weeks are you now? A rainbow pregnancy is so hard, I even struggled with awful anxiety through ds2's pregnancy, I don't think it ever really goes away. But hopefully you have an ob that really helps ensure that this birth experience is calm and healing for you. Have you been coping ok with your pregnancy?