· By Tiny Hearts Education
We arrived at Epworth at 7.30 am for induction. We booked an induction at 39 weeks while the kids were staying at their mum's house, so we didn't have the stress of finding babysitters for all five kids.
The midwife (Kat) put me straight on the CTG, and we waited for the obstetrician, Michael. Michael got delayed in theatre doing a caesarean, so he didn't get to us until 9 am. He did a VE and couldn't break my waters, so he gave me the Prostin gel. By 9.10 am, I'd started having mild tightenings. I'd already decided on an epidural when I booked the induction, and the anaesthetist was booked for 11 am, so I was counting down. We watched Kath and Kim while we waited to distract me, while I kept having tightenings.
The anaesthetist (Gab) didn't arrive until 12.30 pm as someone in labour needed him more urgently, but he quickly got a drip and the epidural in, and then I was comfortable. Then we waited for the obstetrician to come back to see if he could ARM me. He came at 1.45 pm and was able to do the ARM. There was a huge gush, way more than with Asher. I'd felt like this baby was way bigger than Asher, but once I saw how much liquor there was, I wondered whether I just had more fluid this time. We discussed with the obstetrician what to do next and decided to wait a couple of hours without starting the synt to see if just the ARM would get me into labour. Cue more Kath and Kim while we waited for things to happen.
The midwives changed shift to the afternoon shift in this time too (Sarah Bennett). In the next couple of hours, I had a few tightenings, but not many. The ob came back at 5.30 pm and did another VE, and I hadn't dilated, but I had effaced. We decided to start the synt.
It kicked in really quickly, and I was having a lot of contractions. I could feel the tightness but no pain. Established labour started at 6 pm. I made sure I pushed the epidural button heaps during this time, so I didn't have a repeat of what happened with Asher and end up in agony, trying to get back on top of the pain.
The midwives had to turn the synt off after 2 hours to give the baby a break because I was hyperstimulated and he was having decels. I had some pressure at this stage, so I was hoping I was fully dilated, so the synt didn't have to go back on. 2 days before my induction of labour (IOL), Epworth changed their visitor restrictions to allow two support people in the birth suite (had been 1). This meant we could have Molly come in and do the birth photos again.
I was so happy - when we went into the 4th lockdown a couple of weeks before my IOL, the thing that upset me most was that we might not get professional birth photos, so I was over the moon when they updated their restrictions in time. I messaged Molly at 7.30 pm and asked her to head in, in case everything happened quickly. She arrived at 7.45 pm. My ob got caught up (4 births throughout the day already before us!) but arrived to do a VE at about 9 pm. I was barely having one contraction every 10 minutes, so I wasn't getting my hopes up that I'd be fully dilated.
But I was!! I was so happy. The baby was ROT instead of OA, but the Ob said he should just rotate as I push, being a multi. My legs were super numb from overdoing the epidural button, so I had to put them in the foot supports to be able to push. I started to push at about 9.05 pm. The midwife could see that he was coming down straight away. It hurt a lot, the same as with Asher, except this time, I felt like I was getting somewhere, so it was motivation to keep going.
As he got lower, my sacrum started to hurt heaps, so I tilted to my right side a bit to take the pressure off. Pushing was more effective, and it hurt me less, so I stayed there. We prepared to call the family on FaceTime to watch the birth, seeing as Covid prevented mum from coming in.
At 9.40 pm, my obstetrician came back ready to catch the baby! By this stage, I was in agony and nearly refusing to push, but I could hear his heart rate dropping and not coming back up, so that was motivation to keep going. We called the family ready for the birth.
My obstetrician was setting up for an epis and ventouse birth because of the baby's heart rate, but then I did a big push and got him to crowning, so I didn't need it.
His head was born quite quickly. He had a compound presentation, so my ob got the shoulders out carefully, so I didn't have a bad tear. At 9.45 pm, Elijah Harrison was born.
The first thing I said was, "oh my gosh, he's huge!". Everyone agreed he looked quite big. My ob predicted 4kg. I just knew he was significantly bigger than Asher! Molly stayed for some photos while my ob did some suturing. I only bled 180mls.
Elijah wasn't interested in feeding, so we weighed and measured him - 4060gms and 54cms! Over 700gms bigger than Asher - no wonder I couldn't breathe or eat properly in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
I spiked a temperature post-birth, and the midwife wasn't sure why, but the OB said he suspected it was related to a mild obstructed labour rather than infection or anything.
Elijah finally had a small feed then I got up for a shower when my leg numbness was gone. Then we headed to the postnatal ward and were in bed by 12.30 am!