"We arrived at 8am and at midday I was given a 24 hour pessary to try and make my cervix favourable enough for them to break my waters. Thanks to Holly and my research I knew that after this stage there was a good chance my body could take over on its own and I really wanted as little intervention as possible so requested not to be monitored or to have a second pessary and to be simply left the maximum amount of time between each intervention to give my body the opportunity to take over.
We spent the rest of that day enjoying our last moments together just the two of us. As I was classed as high risk we couldn't go home to wait with their blessing despite my protests so we walked around Chichester (although we were told to stay off site we figured what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them) enjoyed a meal in a cafe and then headed back to spend the night in hospital. We didn't sleep that night thanks to some impressive lungs on another woman on the ward but I was full of anticipation.
I awoke at 6am to my waters breaking. I was so pleased I nearly rolled out of bed trying to get Dan's attention as he slept in the recliner next to me. I knew that my body now needed to enter active labour on its own within 24-48hours before they would push me to have synthetic oxytocin due to the risk of infection so we were now on a timer as I knew I didn't want that.
Contractions started later that morning and were very manageable. They brought with them huge excitement and I walked and bounced away on my ball to encourage them along. Then we were due for monitoring of baby and because they were so busy I ended up on the monitor for two hours on my back due to short wires...of course all my contractions stopped at this point.
As soon as I was off the monitors we went walking around the hospital and luckily the contractions came back, closer together. We ate dinner with Dan's Mum whilst they were five minutes apart and by the time we got back to our bay they were ramping up. When I was no longer able to maintain a conversation whilst breathing I asked to be examined and was told "you are in too much control you won't be far enough along yet" I could have argued it there but decided to take a bath instead as they were so busy on the ward. The bath felt nice and it was incredible at this point to have time and space to ourselves away from a busy ward having not been able to labour at home and it definitely all moved very quickly from there so would highly recommend it for anyone else needing to be induced. After the bath I was examined-5 centimetres and up the stairs I went.
All the staff had been good up to this point on ante natal but I have to say from the second we were on labour ward the staff became incredible. They read through my preferences and seemed really excited to be having a hypnobirthing set of preferences and instantly helped us to be creative with lights (some angling of the examination light and a scarf covering it!) and to put our music on.
I breathed through the contractions through the night with the help of gas and air, counting and focusing and managing to sleep between them. No screaming, no panic, no crying. It was almost like when a crisis happens and you have to cope and be calm to get through it and then afterwards you think, wow that was really intense! I had to be monitored the whole time due to the cholestasis but was standing or sat on the edge of the bed leaning over Dan the whole time.
I only came out of the zone at 3am when a dozy wasp flew into the room-cue a mildly panicked midwife and husband who has a fear of flying bugs! Wasp danger averted and we went back to focusing. I asked for a paracetamol for the back pain and was laughed at but it really helped! We found out later that Flynn was back to back despite my efforts on the ball!
By the next morning I was fully dilated but didn't have any urges to push and then the contractions started to slow down. I felt something wasn't right and the midwives agreed. We decided to try everything we could and if that didn't work to ask the consultant to examine me. The midwives were so amazing, leaving the room and telling us to cuddle to create more oxytocin, helping me move the monitor cables so that I could try different positions. At one point contractions started again and it felt like baby was really trying to come so they rushed in, only for all contractions to suddenly stop. I feel like baby tried to come out and then stopped when he realised all the barriers ahead.
We called the consultant but be was busy in theatre but recommended I have the synthetic oxytocin which I refused as I had the strongest instinct it wasn't the way to go and I waited for him to come out of theatre. When he examined me he found cheeky baby was chin up, back to back and his head was badly positioned against pelvis so he was a square peg in a round hole! He said it was lucky I didn't have the oxytocin as could have really damaged baby's head against my pelvis.
C section was then scheduled and baby was with us an hour later! Even though it was an induction and a section, two things I ultimately didn't want, I found the whole experience to be positive and very calm throughout- the midwives looking after us couldn't believe how calm we were and at staff changeover half way through labouring my new Midwife actually thought I had an epidural!
A huge thank you needs to go to Holly and the Calm Birth School from Dan, Myself and baby Flynn for such a wonderful positive and calm birth experience."