1st December 2012 12:28To summarise the previous experiences: Dd1 born 10 days overdue, started myself, long labour (over 20 hours!), epidural, ended up with forceps delivery and epio due to lack of progress, 8lbs Dd2 born 2 days overdue, started myself, v short labour (under 3 hours from 1st contraction), no pain relief of any kind, no epio, no tears, 7lbs 2oz Dd 3 born 6 days overdue, started myself, 6.5 hour labour, no pain relief of any kind, no epio, no tears, 9lbs Ds, born whooping 11 days overdue – by induction! His story goes as follows: Despite this being my fourth, I was full of anticipation and anxiety about the impending arrival – will the baby be late? Or early this time? Will everything go smoothly? What if I will need a section this time? Will the labour be short or long? Will I make it again without pain relief? I was wishing, and hoping, that things may go smoothly for me again, as I didn’t want my last birth to be a negative experience. Added complication was that my husband works on the other side of the country, so that if I went one of the days (or nights!) when he was away, I would need to not only organise somebody to drive me, but also somebody to mind the kids. As it turned out, we were lucky as I didn’t go early or indeed when my husband was away. By the time I was just over 39 weeks, my Mil come to stay with us. However, my 39, 40 and 41 week appointments came and went, and after a bunch of sweeps and exams, I was no closer to labour. Finally, after a discussion with my consultant, he decided to book me for induction when I was 40+14, which was a Monday, but I was to come in on Friday previous for a foetal assessment (where they would put me on a trace etc) at 40+11. I was very disappointed as I wanted to avoid induction at all cost. In my mind that would only lead me down one path, and that was intervention and ECS. I was also disheartened as the method of induction was to perform ARM, which I also wasn’t keen on. But ds had other plans! On Wednesday evening (40+9), I was watching a recording of the Apprentice, and just as the post-show interviews with Dara finished, I felt a pop, and my waters went whilst I was lying on my side on the couch (leather thankfully). MiL was sitting on the other couch and I calmly turned to her and said ‘I think my waters just went, can you please get me a towel’? She thought I was joking at first, but then went a whiter shade of pale! I think she thought I was having baby there and then! By some fantastic coincidence, just as we were joking about my husband hopefully being home soon, he walked through the door that very minute! Best timing ever! I always joke that the shock of the apprentice double eviction on the night is what did it. I told him about my waters, and he too, thought I was joking (perhaps I was too calm?) and when he realised I was not, he was like a deer caught in headlights. He asked me if I wanted to go to hospital, and I was like too right I want to go to hospital, like this is not the first time we are doing this pal! So anyway I changed my clothes, got my bag and off we went. I did not have any contractions and the waters were leaking only a little. When we arrived in the hospital they were going to assess me, but first they wanted a sample of the waters to confirm they are indeed gone. For some reason though, they were not leaking at all anymore – I assume ds’s head must have been acting like a plug. After trying for a while to get something into the cup, it just was no use and I went back to tell the midwife. She said not to worry and that she was going to do a test which was going to confirm whether it was the waters that went. She did the test where she leaves the swab in for 5 minutes, then dips it in a little test tube in some fluid for 10 minutes and then put a test strip in which should have 2 lines if positive, one if negative. She had to go and left the test with us, and lo and behold, only one line came up! I knew in my heart of hearts it was my waters and I started panicking that they wouldn’t believe me and that they will send me home again and I will probably end up having ds on the side of the road or something. So when midwife came back she asked me to describe again how my waters went, and I did, so she offered to do an internal to double-check, and I agreed. She examined me and it was clear that waters went! A blooming false negative on the waters test! Anyway, the trace was fine and I was sent to the ward for the night, and DH went home, ready to come back at first sign of any news. During the night waters were going only from time to time, really weirdly, only when I was changing position in the bed. I spent most of the night going to the toilet and I used up loads of my maternity pads. Next day, they decided that I would be induced the following morning unless I went by myself that night. I walked the corridors till well after midnight in the hope something would start, but no contraction in sight. With heavy heart I went to bed fearing the inevitable. The biggest thing is that I know when you are induced you cannot move about, and on previous two births that was how I managed pain, by staying upright, moving about, shower etc and now all of these options were off the table. I slept really little as this was during the big heat wave in May and the wards were sticky hot, sleep was impossible. Next morning DH came in and we went to the labour ward together. Though I was on a downer because of the induction, I was terribly excited about finally meeting our baby. The midwife explained that firstly I was going to get an antibiotic administered because the waters were gone more than 24 hours, and then they were going to administer the syntocyn, but that she would start with a very low dosage, 4 as she was hoping that as a 4th time giving birth I would maybe only need a ‘tickle’ to get going. I told her about my previous births and that I was hoping to stay mobile etc as that was what helped me cope, but she said that the only options for me not lying on my back would be to either sit on the chair or bounce on a ball whilst all the time attached to the monitor. I was really happy with that as long as I didn’t have to lie on my back, so I was swapping between ball and chair. At the dosage of 4 – nothing happened. She doubled it to 8 and I started slowly getting contractions, which were erratic and varied in strength. But at least it started! Painwise it was absolutely fine to manage, and I was sitting in teh chair/bouncing away on the ball, chatting away to DH and midwife. She obviously thought I was too comfortable and happy to be in any real labour so she turned the drip up to 12 and then 16. Contractions were coming more often now, stronger, and more regular, but still quite spaced. I was still managing well. Few midwifes came in to check on me as my midwife went on her break. They couldn’t believe I was in labour because I was ‘too content’. I was more uncomfortable with the heat than anything else. My midwife checked me on her way back and I was 5-6 cm dilated – I was delighted. Again, for some reason, midwife thought this was not good enough and turned up the drip again, all the way up to 26. While 18/22 was ok-ish, I really started to labour hard on 26. A student midwife joined us. I started to feel really hot and sweaty and started to mention God, Jesus and the saints during my contractions, as well as getting irate with DH who was asking me stupid questions. Best moment was when DH shifted in his chair moaning about being uncomfortable and his back hurting. Well, the midwife and I just shot him a dirty look and he laughed out loud as he realised what he just said! Anyway, at some point I asked to be checked. The midwife tried to reason with me saying it was too early and I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t enough progress and so on, but I insisted. When I got up I roared as I felt enormous pressure and truthfully, I thought I must be 10 cm. She examined me and said I was 9 cm. I told her that I would be pushing soon and she said not too, that it was too early. I felt like I was on the brink and she started prepping all the stuff for the birth. The student midwife was to deliver me, which I was asked if I was fine about and I said yes. At this point I was lying on my back an things seemed to stagnate all of a sudden. I was sweating buckets and felt very weak all of a sudden and started moaning that I don’t think I will be able to do it and everybody in the room replied in chorus ‘yes you can’ . Eventually, the midwife asked me to turn slightly on my side, and as I did I felt ds’s head starting to push down and let out a roar! The midwife laughed and said ‘see, now you are ready to push’. I started pushing and the head crowned quickly but seemed to take ages to deliver. I kept asking ‘is the head out yet’ and they kept saying no. As I was resting between contractions, I closed my eyes, and when I opened them again, suddenly there was 5 more people in the room standing around me! I thought WTF, and they told me that ds’s head was very big and they were worried about the shoulders not being able to come out/getting stuck (shoulder dystocia), and they called in the consultants just in case. I fell back on the bed with my eyes closed and the consultant took it as a sign of panic, and shouted at me, look at me theoracle, look me in the eyes, and so I did and he said, your baby will be absolutely fine theoracle, we are only here to observe and help if necessary. With one big push however, I managed to deliver ds, all 10lbs6oz of him. He didn’t cry. There was no sound of him at all. I kept asking DH, is the baby blue, is the baby blue and DH had no idea what I was talking about. They brought him back to me and into my arms and he was as quiet as a little mouse. I never realised that babies do not always cry at birth, I always thought it only happened when something was wrong, but he was perfect and not a thing wrong with him! I turned to DH and said, so what did we have? Nobody thought to tell me! A boy, he said! I was just so happy about our little surprise and everything going well, and ds took to breast straight away, he was just lovely and looked like a small version of DH. I had no tears or cuts and didn’t need stitching. The midwifes couldn’t believe I delivered him without pain relief, but then we didn’t know how big he was until after he was born! Recovery was good though uterine contractions are hard on baby #4 but worst pain I had was from (sorry ) piles that developed after birth, but they too went away after a week. I was over the moon with him and that I managed to have a positive induction experience. Congratulations if you managed to read on till the very end!