I have put together my birth story below. Lily Jane Foulkes arrived on Friday 11th March weighing 8lb 6oz.
I was due on the Friday 7th March but by the Thursday 10th there was still no signs of anything happening, despite the numerous whole pineapples I had been eating! On the 10th I went for a long walk and then went to the midwife in the afternoon for a sweep to see if that would help.
The midwife doing the sweep made it clear that they were not always successful but if it is I may start getting signs of labour after 72 hours. She said she thought something might happen the following Sunday. With that in mind I went home to a spicy curry!
Around 12.30am that night I was lying in bed and felt an unexpected trickle. The midwife had said that I could experience some cramping and discharge following the sweep so I assumed that was what it was. I got up and went to the bathroom and had another trickle. I woke up Tom, my husband, who told me to ring triage to ask them what they thought. They advised me to lie in bed on my side for an hour and they ring them back to tell them if there was any further water. After an hour of both lying down waiting I got up and there was no mistaking my waters had broke! I rang triage back and they told us to make our way in.
When we got to the hospital I was taken straight in to the monitoring room as I had tested positive for Strep B in my pregnancy, a bacterial infection, which meant I needed to go on a drip of antibiotics to minimise the risk of the baby also getting it. Once I was hooked up and my contractions were being monitored I was given a pessary to try and induce labour. I was told if established labour started within 8 hours of them doing that I would be able to go into the birthing pool as I had hoped, if not I would be given something else to induce the labour further.
Not long after the pessary had been put in I started getting strong contractions. Tom helped me through them doing the breathing exercises we do in class and he had learnt at the birthday partner class. After a couple of hours they starting getting really strong and I asked if I could go to the pool, the midwife checked me and said I was only 4cm dilated and if I could hang on for another half an hour she though I would get to 5cm and be able to go, if I couldn’t they could give me some pain relief. I said I would try to last the half an hour and declined the pain relief. After fifteen minutes I couldn’t bear it any longer, the midwife checked again to see how I was doing and I was 8cm dilated! This meant I was now too far along to change rooms and get in the pool! She offered me an injection for the pain which I decided to have, she left the room to go and get it and I felt a sudden uncontrollable urge to push! I told Tom that I needed to push and he rang the buzzer and the midwife came straight in, she looked again and told me ‘the baby is ready’! With no time to have any pain relief other than gas and air I was in established labour for just an hour and a half before Lily arrived at 8.22am on the Friday morning.
Although it wasn’t the scenario I had imagined I had stayed open minded throughout pregnancy about the birth and the possibility that I wouldn’t be able to use the pool or do it without pain relief. My bit of advice for everyone is that although it is nice to have an ‘ideal’ plan, remain open minded. Looking back I’m glad that it was all over and done with quickly and would choose that rather than hour and hours in the pool room! Whatever the situation the staff are at Arrowe Park are great and you will be in safe hands! It’s all worth it when you get to see and hold your baby for the first time!
Good luck everyone and hope to see you out and about soon!