I wanted to share my birth story as I know induction can be a big fear for lots of people, But it doesn't have to be the end of the road in terms of a positive birth. Our son Sebastian was born weighing 6lb 15oz following a positive induction and it was the most amazing experience. I feel incredibly emotional and proud of what my body did. Was it how I'd 'planned'? No, but I felt in control and that my preferences were listened to and respected.
Sebastian was born 6 days before his estimated date. I had high blood pressure which after days of treatment and an overnight stay in hospital wasn't being controlled, so it was strongly recommended that I be induced.
I really struggled with being admitted to hospital and needing medical intervention. I was suddenly faced with a route I'd not wanted to take. But instead of getting negative, I really dug deep into the tool kit I'd built throughout my pregnancy. This tool kit consisted of hypnobirthing, yoga breathing and acupressure techniques I'd learnt, as well as understanding the choices I had around my birth.
I wanted a natural birth without unnecessary intervention. This was arguably necessary so it was important to me to make informed decisions that would help me retain control and at the centre of the experience.
Fortunately, an induction didn't mean the start of more intervention for me and the pessary got things going. I had it put in at lunchtime and after the hour that you have to stay still for monitoring, went out to get some lunch. I could feel it was starting as I got quite a few niggles so I rang my husband to let him know.
Due to my high blood pressure, I was unable to use a birthing pool (although I did ask several more times just to be sure) so I got in the bath. Whilst in the bath my waters broke. I was in there for about an hour when my husband arrived. I got out and we put the tens machine on.
By about 4pm things had progressed quite rapidly. I didn't have any further examinations, I just knew things were moving forward myself.
I suggested to the midwife that I thought the contractions were ramping up and after a bit of persuading, she reluctantly took me to the labour ward.
On the labour ward, I heard the midwife say "why has she been brought in here she was only induced a few hours ago?" But after a quick check she agreed it was for good reason and said the baby would be born soon.
There's a lesson in this ladies Trust your body! You and only you can know what you're feeling.
Alongside deep slow breathing, I continued to use the tens machine along with acupressure points (I found these very effective).
I needed an episiotomy so at this final stage, I used gas and air. I had written out my birthing preferences along with my husband. He was my voice on the day which really helped me stay in the zone.
My main ones were having the uninterrupted golden hour with my baby after giving birth, waiting to cut the cord and keeping the placenta to have placenta tablets made. The baby was passed straight to me and having him skin to skin was one of the most incredible moments of my life. As I held him, he rooted around and within 20 minutes he'd latched on to feed. Thinking about it makes me tingle with emotion.
My birth didn't go to "plan" but I look back at it with such positive feelings because I felt in control in what is quite an uncontrollable situation. I was focused and empowered thanks to preparing, and managed to have a positive and natural birth even when faced with intervention.