I’m back! And it feels really good to be here. I’ve taken 5 and a half months off but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping an eye on these lovely pages. Motherhood is hard and early Motherhood is exhausting! But popping over to these pages everyday has given me a little bit of respite, I’ve enjoyed the odd little purchase here and there and loved reading about Fatherhood from Lolly’s husband Ste, Charlotte’s struggles with not always ‘getting it right’ and hearing from Fern about when she might feel broody again… If ever, to name a few. And the introduction of The Littles List and The Rock My Wedding book launches today. Amazing.
So anyway, I thought the best place to start would be to share Tayo’s birth story (thanks for all of your well wishes btw you lovely people). It’s a hard one to fit into one post so I thought I’d make it a two parter and hopefully I won’t bore the hell out of you. Today I’m going to talk about the lead up to labour and in the second part I’ll discuss the labour itself and what happened post labour.
If you read my last post before I went on maternity leave you will know that my waters ruptured at 30 weeks. What followed was a lot of talk of premature labour, walks around the NICU, twice weekly visits to the hospital for monitoring and then finally at 34 weeks I was admitted to hospital following a growth scan where they confirmed that Tayo was lying transverse, or sideways, and that mixed with my leaking waters was just too risky. I wouldn’t be returning home until I had a new baby in my arms.
They wanted to induce me at 36 weeks and not a day later. That meant almost two weeks stuck in a hospital bed whilst my husband tried to juggle life outside without me, which is no easy feat when he works over an hour from home, Leo only goes to nursery three days a week, we have no support network around us except for each other and well, I was in hospital to add to all the things he had to now think about. I’d packed a hospital bag but not one to last two weeks so he had to try and navigate my drawers too! Poor man. And more to the point, I wouldn’t be with my boy. For two weeks. I was devastated but I knew it was the best place for me to be. Keeping up with work coupled with multiple trips to the Costa in the main hospital building and making sure I kept my curtains open so I could talk to the other ladies on my ward just about kept me sane. And although we don’t have any friends or family close by I am unbelievably lucky to have incredible friends who popped up one Sunday afternoon to surprise me with a baby shower… That we held in the hospital car park! It made my life. And my beautiful boy came to visit me every day after nursery… Mainly to eat my rice pudding but just seeing his face for an hour was so wonderful.
When you spend a significant amount of time in a hospital bed you watch a lot. You observe. You overhear conversations. You see what our wonderful midwives have to go through on a daily basis. You see that she should’ve had her break by now but actually she’s here taking my blood pressure because she’s over run and wants to make sure that my obs are done on time because I am actually really important to her and my baby even more so. I just can’t praise them enough. They remembered me every day, they helped me through and they we’re genuinely interested in my well being. Absolute angels.
It was decided that my induction date would be Monday 16th August. A Monday!? It couldn’t be a Monday. My mom was in America, my in laws work, I’d not yet made any friends that could watch Leo for me should I need someone to be on hand. What if I was in labour and Anthony had gone to collect Leo?! Super stressed.
The following day the consultant did his rounds. He was SO lovely. He’d let me out for three hours at the weekend to get some fresh air, see my boy and if I’m honest…. go to the pub for a decent meal. So when he opened my curtains he was his happy chirpy self and I just cried in his face. Poor bloke. Anyway I told him my fears and how if it could happen on a Friday that would be so much better for me. To my surprise he was like… ‘ok, let’s do it Friday’. That was 3 days time.
For a week before his induction date Tayo was doing somersaults and hadn’t engaged even slightly and was still for the most part in a transverse lie. There was talk of having to physically turn him which was something I wasn’t at all looking forward to but low and behold, the morning of induction day, he was finally head down.
I was taken to the delivery suite and given two tablets and left for 6 hours. If nothing happened in 6 hours I could have another. Leo was at home with his Nana so I felt completely happy about him and now I could focus on trying to get this little boy here safely. It was some time in the afternoon when I had the tablets. I didn’t feel anything for a few hours. A couple of twinges but nothing that I would say was particularly significant. We ordered a chinese, watched some crap TV and laughed.
After about 5 hours my midwife came to examine me and confirmed I was 1 cm. I had a small contraction whilst I was being examined and that helped her to confirm that actually, whilst still head down (phew) Tayo still wasn’t engaged. She went back to report to the doctor and so I assumed I would have a good few hours before anything else happened.
Oh how wrong I was.
In swans the Doctor. She had her face mask on so all I could really see were her eyes. She could give any good Mac Make-Up counter girl a run for her money. Her eye shadow was amazing, her eyes such a dark brown. It might sound weird that I was so transfixed by her eyes but it was all I could see of her, I had to use them to connect with her. She examined me and told me that actually, she was going to fully break my waters, using that 1 cm gap. I really had no idea what it meant to be honest but I was like, Ok, let’s go.
She told me to inhale the gas and air. On my first breath I instantly felt sick. The Doctor told me that I needed to use it because this was going to hurt. How very right she was. I screamed. I didn’t want to scream but I did. If this is what it felt like to have your waters broken what was the birth going to be like?! Instant doubt entered my mind. There’s no way I could do this. She stopped immediately. Tears blurred my vision but she got me; she stared dead into my eyes. She told me ‘Becky I’m going to stop. And I’m not going to start again until you tell me to. This is your body. You are in charge.’ And from that moment everything seemed different. It was my body and I could do this. I just had to take a breath and gain some control. So I gave her the go ahead. I sucked with all my might on that gas and air. She broke my waters and at the same time, she engaged Tayo. Taking me from 1 cm to 3. And those waters that had been slowly dripping for the last 6 weeks? Well, turns out I still had an ocean left, so much so the poor doctor had to get changed because she was absolutely drenched.
Everything was seemingly quite calm except for the odd few small contractions. And then my Mom called from America.
If you have a story about being induced that you would like to share with us, please send us a submission, we’d love to hear from you.