Rupert Phillip James Marston arrived at 6:39am on Saturday 5th March (just a day shy of Mother’s Day), weighing 7lbs 11oz. We are totally in love with our new (smaller) baby boy. He seems tiny to us (after Wilfred’s whopping 9lb 6oz’s).
My labour was induced on Wednesday after some Reduced Foetal Movement, I was given a Prostin Tablet to kick-start things, it’s purpose (unlike my first, induced labour) was to ripen my cervix (rather than necessarily start contractions). I did contract a bit and used my TENS machine that first night to help with the pain. I also had a lovely dose of pethidine when things picked up, which helped me sleep. I dilated 3cm before the prostin tablet stopped working (once it dissolves, it stops releasing the hormone).
Then we were on a waiting list to have my waters broken … This often starts labour ‘naturally’ but they will defer to an Oxytocin drip (Syntocin in my case) if things don’t pick up. A room became free on our third night in hospital and we ended up having the drip (along with an epidural … Which is standard procedure with Syntocin because it is released so quickly into your body, it artificially creates very strong and regular contractions, which are full on with no build up).
I got my epidural and settled down to have a nap (Richard was snoozing on a reclining chair next to me). Once the drip kicked in, I very quickly noticed that I was feeling contractions and could still move my legs. Turns out the epidural had gone in slightly off -centre and was only affecting one leg, rather than blocking me completely.
Things ramped up quickly, they were unable to rectify epidural as the drip was already working so quickly. I turned to gas and air. And swearing. The contractions intensified and I could feel intense pain in my left thigh and pelvis. Luckily, my midwife, Michalene was amazing! She really guided me through how to get the most from the gas and air and breathe through the pain.
As the pain became more frequent, I demanded she ‘check me!’. I wanted to know how dilated I was. She refused as she said I was doing well and she didn’t want to discourage me if it wasn’t much. I repeated ‘f*cking check me, now!’ (Apparently I’m delightful under the influence of gas and air!), which she reluctantly did and informed me I was 9cm! Which explained the intensity of it … I had gone from 3-9cm in 3 hours with contractions one on top of the other and hardly any break.
The next hour is a bit hazy. I totally zoned out from her and Richard and closed my eyes, breathing through the pain and puffing on the gas and air. She asked if I felt like pushing and I didn’t know … But tried anyway. Pushing was the best pain relief I’d had yet. So I pushed like hell. She kept telling me off for doing it when I didn’t have contractions! I wanted to squeeze my legs together but she told me not to because the baby’s head was coming … I think my exact words were ‘don’t f*cking lie to me’. Because I just couldn’t imagine that we’d reached that point. But sure enough, after a few pushes, I felt his head born. Shortly followed by his body and massive relief.
The pain completely stopped. And I met our beautiful baby boy. Richard cut the cord while I held Rupert to my chest and marvelled at myself for doing what is thought I couldn’t do… give birth without massive pain relief and intervention (no forceps this time round. And not even a little tear!).
Given the option, although I’d try and avoid induction … I don’t think I’d have an epidural next time at all. Which is huge for me – I’m totally a ‘take the drugs if you need them’ type girl. But the experience and sense of achievement totally overshadowed the pain in the end and my body is practically back to normal which has been a huge bonus, caring for two children!