Kathryn’s Positive Induction and Water Birth

Kathryn’s Positive Induction and Water Birth

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is with third-time mum Kathryn who had an induction at 13 days post due date. Kathryn had a water birth and her baby boy was born in his own waters too!

This is my third pregnancy, each one has been so different but this time I had no concerns and everything had been very straight forward- we knew to expect a larger baby (9lbs 7oz). 

For 3 weeks prior to Elijah’s birth the Braxton Hicks that I had been getting on and off since about 25 weeks became constant and uncomfortable, I kept expecting it to turn into labour but unfortunately no such luck. During the days after my due date I received 3 unsuccessful sweeps and was stuck at 1.5cm with a long cervix. 

We were booked in for an induction on the 12th day after our due date and I was very upset as I believed my birth plan was now out the window, but due to this group and course I knew how to handle it and wrote a new birth plan in the event of each stage of a possible induction- I felt much more prepared and almost relieved to have an end in sight to meet our son. 
On the day of the induction we prepared everything and hoping to get an outpatient induction so I could come home to await the labour 🤞 on arrival at the hospital I was examined and found to be at 3cm 🙌 although this was great news they were unsure to give the induction due to reduced staff and the worry I would be unable to get the care I needed if I went into labour quickly. I was of course upset at the prospect of being sent home but remained calm and after 2 more hours passed they decided to give me a pessary and send me home…..

Within half an hour of the induction pessary being inserted my ‘Braxton Hicks’ had become a lot more painful and I knew I was going into labour but I was keen to labour as much as I could at home, we drove back home and I used everything I had learned to create a lovely environment in my front room. Jelly babies and Lucozade in hand, bouncing on my ball with my TENS on and with the scent of lavender candles burning around me watching love island 😂 

At about 1.30am having started contracting at around 8pm the night before I decided we needed to ring to come in, at this point they were coming between every 3-5 minutes, they were a little irregular but I felt I needed some more help with the pain. My breathing techniques were helping me so much and my partner counted them in and out while I used him to put all my weight on, we made an amazing team! 

The midwife tried to advise staying at home until they were more regularly 3 minutes apart rather than 5 but we had to face a 30 minute drive to the hospital and I was getting so anxious! 

We set off and all of a sudden my contraction went to around every 7-10 minutes! Which in now, I realise because of my tension after being so relaxed at home. After parking, between the car and the hospital doors I had about 6 contractions that I breathed through keeping on my Tens. 

After being monitored and examined again I was found to be 8cm all done with my tens and paracetamol 💪 I was allowed to go and deliver my baby on a birthing suite after all 🙌  we were over the moon! 

I climbed into the pool and already had the urge to start pushing! It was amazing to be able to feel all the sensations but I was desperate for some pain relief so was given the gas and air. 

I used this more as a tool to assist with my breathing technique and started to use my down breaths as I could feel the pressure. A very painful 45 minutes later after being very vocal between breaths 🙈 my baby boys head appeared still in his waters and surprised everyone. 

One more big push and he was out and punched his way out himself to break the sack. I was instructed to pick him up from between my legs and with very shakey hands I laid him on my chest and had the most magical golden hour where we waited for the cord to stop pulsing to cut and I delivered my placenta quickly after the injection. 

Surrounded with the support from my mum and partner who let me scream in their faces that ‘I can’t do it’ during the transitional phase of labour and those final pushes, the whole process went exactly how I had hoped even after all the worries of the induction ruining all my plans. 

This course was invaluable to both me and my partner, you don’t realise how much so until after the fact. Thankyou so much ❤️

Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.

Becca’s Positive Birth; induction, epidural and forceps

Becca’s Positive Birth; induction, epidural and forceps

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Becca and baby Jacob. Becca had an induction, epidural, and a forceps delivery with an episiotomy. Becca says it wasn’t the birth she would have planned, but it was “100% positive”.

I had a very uncomplicated pregnancy with baby measuring above 90th centile consistently, didn’t need any extra scans.  I had a failed sweep at 40+2 weeks as my cervix was too high, this was repeated a week later and midwife managed to do it. It wasn’t particularly painful, just a bit uncomfortable. Unfortunately it didn’t really do anything, I was therefore booked for induction at 40+ 12. 

So went in on Monday to be induced, I had the balloon catheter inserted to try and to kick start labour and/or to get my cervix to 2cm so my waters could be broken. I was 1cm dilated when they examined me and also had another sweep. Thankfully we got to go home and came back the next afternoon after 24 hours. I had a few mild pains but nothing major. I was on put on the CTG monitor for ages before they examined me as Jacob was moving around so much they couldn’t get a baseline heart rate, finally they examined me and I was 2cm, they said they could break my waters. Interestingly I had started with contractions once they hooked me up to the CTG, coming every 10 mins but only mild. Unfortunately they didn’t have enough midwives available to break my waters as they would need someone to be with me 1:1 once they were broken. So I was moved to post natal ward and due to Covid rules, my husband had to go home.

Contractions were increasing in frequency, some were 2-3 mins and I thought I was in active labour but looking back this was just mild labour!! This was a tough night as I was on my own and the ward was quite busy. I used the breathing techniques and listened to my playlist. I put my TENS machine on at about 4am and this really helped with the pain. I didn’t sleep all night because of the pain, they had told me I was priority to go back to birthing centre but unfortunately still no midwives available and understandably actively labouring ladies took priority.

They moved me back Weds morning at 7am which meant my husband was allowed back. I just cried in the room though before he came because I just felt so tired and we still didn’t know when a midwife would be spare. Eventually a midwife was available at 1.30pm and she broke my waters, I was already at 4cm which was reassuring, my contractions had lessened a bit but only for a short period so I think I got 20 mins sleep that morning! Thankfully there wasn’t any meconium when my waters were broken otherwise I would have had the oxytocin drip started straight away, my contractions increased in frequency and severity, I started the gas and air….. amazing stuff!

I had discussed my worries about being too physically exhausted as labour progressed due to being sleep deprived and said I would be open to epidural later even though this was not in my birth preferences. The contractions became really strong and the midwives thought I was doing well and things were progressing. They said I had 4hrs to get to 7cm otherwise would need to start oxytocin drip. At one point a consultant came round and said I could still go into the pool as I was low risk if I wanted too but would be in another room. By this point I was “comfy” and really didn’t want to be moved, I was also happy with baby being monitored. 

The day shift midwife left and she was confident that baby would be born that night, she even wrote his wrist band out with that date. I had another lovely midwife and student midwife take over my care. It was time for the repeat examination and dishearteningly I was at 6cm so they needed to start the drip. At this point I said I would have epidural as I was just so tired, it had been 36 hours since I had slept and just couldn’t see how I would have the energy to push the baby out. I hardly felt the epidural be done! It was the dream! Honestly, don’t be worried about having one. It wasn’t too long after hormonal drip started that Jacobs heart rate dropped to 80 but picked up fairly quickly.

They then noticed is baseline rate was increasing and showed reduced variability. Lots of people suddenly appeared. The doctor was amazing and explained everything really well. She said if things continued we were heading for emergency caesarean so I was consented for this, cannula inserted, catheter put in and bloods taken. Then his heart rate seemed to sort itself out!! So back to original plan of pushing him out once dilated. She examined me and I was 7cm so they were just going to observe closely but if rate changed again I would be down to theatre.

Anyway, it happened again! By this point everyone was saying he was going to be a boy because of the trouble he was causing! The doctor ended up examining me again and in quite a short space of time  I got to 10cm. This meant that they could attempt an instrumental delivery however if this didn’t work I would need an emergency caesarean. 

All the staff were amazing, they kept my husband informed with what was happening and looking back at no point did I feel scared or worried. Thankfully I managed to push him out with forceps and episiotomy! It was odd pushing when I couldn’t feel anything, I just had to push like I was doing a massive poo : ) He was born at 1.13am so about 12 hours after my waters were broken. It was the most amazing moment when they placed him on my chest and found out that he was a boy, I just cried my eyes out. I then asked for them to give him to my husband for skin to skin time. 

Placenta wouldn’t then come out so the doctor had to manually remove it and had about 900mls blood loss. Jacob was reviewed by the paediatric team and he was healthy, no concerns with his cord gases. My husband even got to cut the cord and I had skin to skin time when we were in recovery. We had a couple of hours together in recovery and then my husband had to go home, he unfortunately couldn’t come back till visiting time which was 3pm. It was a hard morning, suddenly trying to feed a baby on very little sleep after going through labour. My blood count was checked and was quite low, thankfully not low enough to need a blood transfusion but they gave me an iron infusion.  

The first night with baby was hard, he was feeding constantly and just wouldn’t sleep! The midwives took him for 4 hours in the end as I was just beside myself with exhaustion. 

So that’s my story  – not at all how I expected it to go but I would 100% say it was a positive experience. Beth’s course prepared us well for all eventualities, particularly when things started to not go to plan. He is one week old today and we are settling into life with a newborn.

Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.

Kristie’s Positive Induction

Kristie’s Positive Induction

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Kristie and her surprise baby girl. Kristie was 2 weeks overdue and had an induction via pessary on the Consultant Led Unit. had a consultant led birth. Kristie had immediate skin-ti-skin which she describes as “magical”.

After 2 “failed” sweeps at 40+3 & 41weeks, I was booked in for my induction on April 19th. I tried EVERYTHING to avoid induction but baby was clearly far to comfy. My induction was pushed back to the following day due to a lack of beds and we weren’t called in until 6pm. 

Arriving at the hospital my husband was allowed to stay with me in a private room whilst we waited to be checked prior to the pessary being inserted. After a VE (Vaginal Exemption) I was 2-3cm dilated so no need to be induced, I just had to wait for a room on the delivery suite for my waters to be broken. I asked of I could have Maternity Led Unit at this point and was told no due to the intervention. At 2.30am I really needed to go to the toilet and my waters went spontaneously 🥳 I was advised to get some rest as they told me it would take a while before anything started happening…. contractions started coming thick and fast almost immediately (I’d like to put this down to the dates and raspberry leaf tea), I had to use the breathing techniques learned from the course to get through them.

By 5.30am I had to call for pain relief. I was hooked up to the CTG and baby’s heart rate kept dropping when on my left side but picked up again when on my right, the midwives did another VE and I was 6cm dilated! So off to to the delivery suite we went. The gas and air was heaven! The midwives were incredible, trying to honour as many of my birth preferences as possible, I was able to have the bed up to lean over the back, this helped so much to move my hips during contractions, they put the diffuser on (although I barely registered it) and wireless monitoring so I could move around if needed. 

Baby’s heart rate kept dropping and I had to have the clip put on her head to monitor her more closely, which ended up with me on my back, by this point I can remember saying I didn’t care, I just wanted her out. I can vaguely remember hitting the transition phase but thinking about the course, knew this meant it wouldn’t be much longer until I held her in my arms and this gave me the strength to keep going.

The involuntary contractions are something else and so fascinating to watch… after 5 hours of active labour, a lot of support from my husband and the incredible team of midwives (plus the threat of a ventouse if I didn’t get the baby out with her heartrate dropping) baby Freyja was lifted up onto my chest for skin to skin. The feeling is just magical and it’s so true that you forget all the pain in that special moment.I had the injection to deliver my placenta due to the blood loss, but again the midwives honoured my request to wait as long as possible before giving me the injection. I ended up with a small 2nd degree tear which needed a couple of stitches, a labial graze and tear which also had to be stitched. 

Although my birth wasn’t the incredible water birth I had envisioned, the course absolutely gave me the confidence to let go of what I couldn’t change and to go with the flow. I am very grateful that as many of my preferences were accommodated. For all those mamas to be who are told their babies are measuring big, please know that your body is built to birth, I didn’t measure big at any point in my pregnancy nor showed any signs of GD and I gave birth to a beautiful 11lb baby girl.

Trust your body and believe in yourselves and definitely practice your breathing alongside affirmations in the run up to baby’s EDD (estimated due date). And remember; You’ve got this! ❤❤❤

Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.

Alexandra’s Positive Birth

Alexandra’s Positive Birth

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is with Alexandra and her first baby. Alexandra had an induction at 39 weeks due to high blood pressure. Alexandra says of her birth and her decision to have an induction “We stayed as a new family of three in the delivery room with all the lights dimmed until 4am which was magical. I have no regrets about being induced and I feel nothing but positivity about my birth story. I would do it again in a heart beat.

💕 FTM – induction at 39 weeks due to high blood pressure. 
💕Planned: Natural water birth with minimal pain relief.
💕Actual: induction, TENS machine, gas & air, (failed) epidural. Vaginal birth. 

Baby Harry – born May 26 @ 10:49pm – weighing 7lb5oz 

Throughout my pregnancy, I really wanted a water birth after hearing of a friend’s amazing birth story. I knew this was unlikely as my hospital’s maternity unit only has one birthing pool but I still prepared nonetheless on the chance it would be free. 
Unfortunately, at 33 weeks my blood pressure started to slowly creep up and after a few triage visits, by 38 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational hypertension. The consultant explained the risks and benefits of induction at 39 weeks.  With this in mind, we made a decision that induction was best for our baby and myself.  

When I arrived at the delivery suite for my induction with my husband, I was contraction free, freshly showered, all packed. I actually felt a bit sad. For months, I had always imagined myself going into spontaneous labour at home and walking along the corridors in the hospital, pausing mid contraction and full of nerves and excitement to meet our boy. 

I knew I’d have to wait on the ward for up to 2 days before that special moment would arrive for me, and I also knew that there was a chance induction might not even be successful for me. But, I also knew I had to stay focussed and not allow these  thoughts to impact my attitude and mind set towards my baby’s birth. Positive thoughts were my goal. 

I was examined that evening and the midwife said I was 1cm and that the gel would make things more favourable and easier to break my waters. The gel was applied that evening at 6pm. Period type pains and discomfort kicked in which progressed to contractions by the early hours of the morning. TENS machine went on around 1am. This was an absolute god send and a real help with those early labour pains. The boost button was amazing!! By 3pm, I was 2cm dilated and ready to have my waters broken. I was transferred to the delivery suite and my husband was invited in. I was so happy to learn that the midwife who would be delivering my baby was my community midwife who had transferred to delivery. I was so pleased to see a friendly and familiar face. I think this helped my oxytocin levels. She really involved my husband in the birth too and had him doing lots of jobs which he loved as it kept him busy. He was rather nervous I think! 

At this point, I was a little worried as I felt like the pain had dulled a little. After the initial monitoring and examination in the delivery suite, the midwife explained that contractions were regular and I was 3cm dilated and nearly fully effaced. My waters were then broken. I was using only the TENS machine at this point. The midwife was so surprised that I was talking through the contractions; I could barley feel them and monitor showed them to be regular and strong. 

When my waters were broken, it was decided I didn’t need the oxytocin drip because the contractions were already regular and strong. However, the contractions ramped up to such a point I asked for the epidural. I was using my breathing techniques but I felt like they were taking my breath away. The epidural kicked in and the relief was amazing – but sadly short lived!! Unfortunately, something went wrong with the epidural and it stopped working, my husband was pressing the top up button but I could feel it wearing off and contraction pain was coming back. By the pushing stage it had worn off almost completely (the anaesthetist met with me post delivery to discuss what had actually gone wrong!)  this meant I could feel the contraction pain but it also allowed me to push in a controlled way, coached by the midwives. During the transition stage, I actually asked for a c section. I was exhausted from the lack of sleep the night before and my legs were seriously aching from being on the bed for continuous monitoring all day. I was given a firm no by the midwife. 

With the support from the amazing midwives and my amazing husband, our baby boy Harry was born at 10:49pm. The pain vanished instantly and he was placed straight on my chest – we had one gorgeous hour of skin to skin, followed by skin to skin with my husband. The midwife then  brought us the most amazing tea and toast. We stayed as a new family of three in the delivery room with all the lights dimmed until 4am which was magical. I have no regrets about being induced and I feel nothing but positivity about my birth story. I would do it again in a heart beat. 

Tips I would give to any other first time mums who are being induced: 
❤️keep a positive mindset – induction does not always mean a negative experience of lots of intervention. The only intervention I had in the end was the gel and my waters being broken. Everything else progressed naturally. 
❤️ consider a TENS machine if you haven’t already. It really got me through my night on the induction ward. I hired mine online for £20. 
❤️Please don’t be worried about epidurals failing if you plan to get one – my case was rare and the anaesthetist said that the midwives should have sent for him. Again, I’m actually glad they didn’t. The epidural gave me relief when I needed it and I have no regrets about it wearing off. 

Thanks to this fantastic course which has taught me so much, I was able to have such a positive birth experience. I am forever grateful, and I will be recommending to all expecting mummies I meet. 


Baby Harry

Want to feel confident, calm and prepared for all types of births? Check out The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Created by midwife Beth, covering how to stack the odds in your favour to get the birth that you want, and also how to feel calm and prepared for every birth journey! Videos, checklists, audios & a support group mto get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth. Knowledge is Power!!

Gemma’s Positive Induction

Gemma’s Positive Induction

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is with first time mum Gemma, who after 6 episodes of reduced movement used EBRAN to make the informed decision to have an induction. Gemma describes her birth so positively, and her power photos are just incredible!

⭐️ Vaginal birth – gas and air, tens machine, paracetamol and codeine ⭐️
⚠️ Induced on due date due to reduced movement concerns

🌸 Arabella Blossom Thomas 🌸
Due date – 5th May, born on 7th May at 2:13am weighing 8lb 1oz

After six episodes of reduced movement during my third trimester, I accepted an induction on my due date following the guidance of the consultant and using EBRAN. I had three sweeps between 38+5 and 39+5, each time I had cramps and lost more of my mucus plug. I’m of the opinion this helped because I was ‘favourable’ and 1cm when my first induction gel was inserted at 12 noon on Wednesday 5th May! I had to stay in hospital for the gel, which is really what I didn’t want! I’d requested the Foleys Balloon induction so I could go home for 24 hours but this was advised to be ineffective as my body had already began to dilate.

 From 10pm Wednesday to 5am Thursday I was contracting every 3-5 mins – this was bloody intense! I really felt them so was freaked that established labour would be unbearable! I used my Tens machine, codeine and breathing techniques to get through them. I was alone in hospital that night which also made it pretty scary! But the breathing and Tens really helped me through.

By the time my husband arrived at hospital to visit at 9am the contractions had stopped. I was fed up that I’d gone through constant contractions for them to suddenly stop! At 12:30 I was 2-3cm and felt like my hard night had been for nothing! I tried to stay positive but honestly I felt really down and scared by this point. Another gel was inserted to help get things moving again. At 1pm we went for a walk round the hospital, I made it to the car park and had four strong contractions! They made me loose my breath so up we went back to the ward to pop the tens on again. More codine, a few big hugs from my husband and a cry at the midwife got us examined earlier than they wanted to – to my delight I was 4cm and could go to the labour ward!! It was now 2:30 and I was adamant I was having an epidural as the pain contractions were super close and I was panicking a bit! How would I get through this!?

We were wheeled to the labour ward where I was introduced to gas and air – bloody hell this stuff was UNREAL! Suddenly I was having a great time – I mean it! Music on, dim lights, essential oils, bouncing on my ball, tens machine and gas and air. The next hours flew by as I was high on the gas and air! I felt empowered, strong and realised I totally had this! (See pic if my power stance) At around 5:30pm my waters were broken and I was about 6cm, the midwives were really happy with this and said by breaking my waters I shouldn’t need the hormone drip as my body was doing it all naturally. 10:00pm came, still vibing with the music, bouncing away, dim lights etc and I was 8cm!  At this point I asked for codeine – the midwife tried to insist I had pethidine as I was becoming pretty tired. I insisted on the codeine. Much to her surprise this really took the edge off the final few hours where I fully dilated by midnight! The tens was on full whack and the gas and air being used to the full. 

It was time to push! I tried to be upright and forward on the hospital bed but after an hour of pushing like this the babies heart rate was dropping. I was sitting on the bed upright like an armchair, gas and air still being used. What amazed me is that by this point the tens machine was too strong! I just used the boost every time I pushed but it was turned way down. I’d expected this bit to hurt the most but it just felt like a huge relief! I pushed like I’ve never had in my life – found this way harder than I expected because the calm breathing goes out the window! And I was so focused on that before so it was like undoing what I’d practised so much!

Anyway, and hour of pushing and Arabella arrived at 2:13am! I didn’t need to be cut – To my amazement as I knew this kind of position would be harder for her to navigate through. A few stitches were needed as I had a 2nd degree tear but that was it! That didn’t hurt having had anaesthetic down there, and I didn’t didn’t feel the tear happen which I’d worried about so much. (Four days later and I’d never know that I’ve had stitches down there).

I am in absolute awe of my body – this birth was a scary scenario for me on paper, I’d desperately wanted a water birth – but hand on heart it was the best experience of my life. I’m blown away by how my body worked and how strong I was in the moment if it all. I’d do it again in a heartbeat! This course taught me to see the positives, let go of what you can’t control and focus on my breathing. Thank you so much Beth Kitt for this course – It wouldn’t have been the positive experience it was without you.

To all other women – you CAN do this! And you will rock it!! X

If you want to learn ways to have a positive birth, know how to stack the odds in your favour to get the birth you want, learn techniques I cope with contractions & feel more prepared and confident in your pregnancy, then come and enrol in The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Antenatal and Hypnobirthing online course, it is only £34 to give everyone the opportunity to have a great birth. This course is led by a midwife, includes antenatal education birth prep and Hypnobirthing.

Nuala’s Unplanned Cesarean

Nuala’s Unplanned Cesarean

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. Nuala was hoping for a VBAC to welcome her second baby into the world. Nualahad a Foley Balloon induction but her labour progressed quite slowly. At this point Nuala was offered a oxytocin drip to progress the labour or an unplanned cesarean. She opted for a cesarean and had a calm experience and had the drapes lowered as her baby girl was welcomed into the world.

I’m always under consultant /midwife shared care due to a history of childhood arthritis but it’s never caused me any issues as an adult or in pregnancies. I’m starting my story at my 39+5 appointment after an uneventful and healthy pregnancy where I did more exercise and posture health management for myself than first time round. 

I’d had twingey evenings all week leading up to this appointment and hopeful that spontaneous labour was only days away from around my due date. At this last growth scan, the doctor found that baby was suddenly measuring 98th centile on growth after tracking 70-80th all along. After some discussion, I agreed we would book for induction one week over (18/04) although I declined a sweep as I didn’t feel ready.Also I didn’t really believe I had a 10lb baby on board… as I felt smaller this time and last one was only 6lb10 on 38th centile after tracking 80th too. 

I contemplated how that appointment had gone all weekend and then with no real changes to the twinges, I requested to see community midwife at 40+2 for V/E and potential sweep. She assessed that my cervix was soft (dates FTW!) but still mid position or potentially closed. She asked if I had been sent for a repeat GTT even though earlier one was negative (family history) which I hadn’t and in hindsight I wish I had.

I still didn’t believe 98th centile and started to get quite annoyed at this point. Geared myself up for a “debate” at my 40+5 appointment and also requested a female doctor as I was doubting that male doctors were sympathetic enough to understand my points, I know this shouldn’t bother me but it did and receptionist didn’t even blink when I asked. 

AT my 40+5 appointment I got quite upset as she again walked me through the potential risks of a bigger baby and not having gone into labour spontaneously yet at almost a week over and also given that I didn’t go into spontaneous labour in last pregnancy, this was putting me on the “backfoot” for this one – I had visions of exact repeat situation of hooked up to drip and stuck in a bed with an epidural and nothing working again. I accepted a sweep to try bring on labour before induction which I agreed to go ahead with – cervix was shorter and very slightly open so it was possible. In hindsight I didn’t really use EBRAN properly at this appointment, I left the appointment quite deflated and focused on the risk outcome of my decisions rather than the benefit of what I had chosen. I wish I had been more prepared as I felt under pressure to make a decision in seconds without my husband there, but the doctor reminded me I can stop the process at any point later and change my mind,

The options discussed were foley catheter Induction or book in now for elective c-section. I chose to go ahead with induction, thinking that’s closest to my original plan. I had a COVID swab and headed home to self isolate for the weekend. I came home, had a cry – rewatched Beth’s videos on Medical Induction and controlling what I can and letting go of what I can’t. Felt SO much better that I was making a decision that was keeping baby safe, she’s fully cooked, potentially big and there’s no more benefit to her staying in there, only potential increasing risks as days go on.

I made my mind up to treat the weekend like I was already in early labour whether I was or not – chill out, music, dancing, cuddles with toddler and hubby, good food, reading and enjoying the sunshine in the garden. And a bit of pampering too to set up for going into hospital. I started making notes on this story so I wouldn’t forget things along the way. 

I got quite a few regular (every 10 mins or so) contractions on the Friday night but none were very strong. Went to bed with 2 paracetamol and slept fine. These eased off on Saturday aside from lower back pain most of the day. Got a FEW big contractions on Saturday night with a bit of mucous plug coming away but not very much. Again headed to bed and they eased off. 

Induction on Sunday

Phone call at 7.04am to head in first thing that morning. I asked midwife for some time to get ready and agreed I could be there for 10am (we’re only 20 mins away). Got up, washed my hair and final wee pamper and my mum and dad came over to sit with our little boy. He understood what I was telling him about the baby coming (finally lol) and sent me off with a lovely gentle kiss – beautiful boy and a wee oxytocin boost to boot. 

With our local restrictions, hubby dropped me off at the door to the ward and I got settled. I had Foley catheter induction. I’ll not lie, I found this first examination and insertion unpleasant but cervix was actually only 1cm open and 3cm long so I really needed it to help get me going. I kept breathing through using as much of the techniques and staying as calm as I could. Once in, I spent the day bouncing, pacing the bay and standing over the bed to read. I went for a full hour walk around the hospital grounds and another once around the carpark after dinner. Foley actually fell out just before this second walk after dinner. I thought maybe I had strained it out trying to go for a no. 2, but midwife assured me it it could only have come out if it had been sitting in my vagina instead of cervix meaning it had done its job and opened me up a bit! Yay!

Time to get ready for waters being broken but was confirmed they would do this first thing the next morning so I could get a good night’s sleep in the bay and some breakfast. Got a supper of toast and tea, yum! Slept on and off for cat naps throughout the night but not too bad. It was so much more relaxed on the bay than my previous pregnancy where there were so many people about! It’s so important to get rest and sleep on induction bay if you can, the road ahead can be quite long!
Got more toast and tea for breakfast and scoffed an extra protein bar, a fruit and nut mix and some jelly babies as well as knew would likely be asked not to eat except jelly babies. Moved on round to labour ward. I asked to wait until my husband arrived before trying to break waters which was no problem at all. This was the most surreal and hilarious experience of the day! I started using the gas and air vigorously to get through this one, I get really giggly on gas and air, it’s the closest to being high (not that I’d know for real!) that I’ve ever experienced (in both pregnancies). Well…on my water breaking

I started to giggle thinking I sounded like Darth Vader on the gas n air so I kept going on it, also had Princess Leia socks on so in my head I started saying “I’m Princess Leia, I’m Princess Leia” completely spaced out and uncontrollably giggling but it must have completely relaxed my body because waters broke and it was a tsunami over the bed! Midwife said she’d never had anyone laugh their way through a water breaking and we had a good giggle about the Princess Leia visualisation after I eased off on the gas n air for a few minutes! 

The next two hours before administering the hormone drop, (standard time is one hour but I requested a bit more time which was again no problem) involved mobilising and seeing if labour would start spontaneously – bounced on ball and zoned out listening to my playlist, waters kept coming out constantly when I relaxed so figured this was all good ways to bring on contractions on their own. It didn’t, but I figured that was unlikely anyway in the short time frame so we discussed with doctor and went onto the hormone drip at a low level which is a normal recommendation VBAC anyway apparently. 

I asked if I could get a shower before syntocinon went in just to freshen up and this was amazing to have, the shower was my happy place all throughout pregnancy for pain relief at home. Midwife helped me to the shower with the wireless CTG unit.
Once in, contractions started to ramp up and I continued on gas and air and breathing techniques in between. I got regular, strong 4 in 10 contractions from 14:30 starting at 2cm dilated so I agreed to be examined at 6.30 and see how I was getting on and help me make a call on what I wanted to do next as I had wanted to avoid the drip really.

Great mixture here of all positions, on the ball, on the floor, sitting up forward on bed, resting on my left side, dancing, standing leaning over side of bed and keeping bladder empty. Kept losing more fluid and definitely felt like I was dilating and pelvis was opening up. Midwife kept praising how well I was doing with my breathing and gas and air and changing positions. Felt very proud of myself using everything I had learnt from the course!

6pm came and because contractions had been really strong and regular, doctor asked if he could examine me then to assess where we were and discuss. Agreed and found I was 3-3.5cm and just about effaced. He gave me all the options but recommended c-section as the progress rate indicated worst case I would be on the drip all night and well into the next day and if I wanted to go for a section now it could be calmer and less rushed. The main factor presented was risk was about uterine rupture continuing to increase if I needed to be on the drip for a long time. Kept being reminded by all staff that I was the boss of this birth and they would just give me the options and benefits and risks and support me.I wasn’t pressured and was given time to think and discuss as he went to review another patient. Honestly I was massively disappointed, I think I had hoped I would have been 5cm at that point given how I was feeling but in the moment I hadn’t pre thought what good progress would have felt like to me before the examination so I wobbled a bit here.

It was at this moment my already amazing midwife went on her break and and a senior midwife came in – a hypnobirthing pro herself, Nicole of The Motherhood Bubble (https://instagram.com/motherhood.bubble?igshid=kfkcav9suhvb) on Instagram (another great page to check out if you’re from Northern Ireland) – by sheer luck she was just who I needed to speak to at that moment and she helped me discuss and sound the whole thing out loud as I do normally which she picked up as my personality type immediately. She got my YesMum cards out and helped me pick out some to feel better. Hubby and I used the chat time to do our own typical logical 4 box method and came to conclusion that c-section was the right and best choice for us all. I felt I had too many unknowns at the road ahead otherwise on the induction pathway and baby was currently so happy and chilled, I wasn’t as tired as I had been with my first wee man so I knew cesarean section recovery would be more laid back at the very least. 

I updated the doctor on our choice and asked for a calm caesarean with drapes to be lowered as baby was born etc. Got all prepped to go and just then a bigger emergency happened next door with a wee distressed baby – I was so rechilled at this point after speaking with Nicole that a simple control what you can let go of what you can’t in my head kept me in check. 
Honestly the worst part was accepting that it meant my day team had to go home and I didn’t know who would be in theatre with me and then lo and behold in walks a midwife from my first baby and the lovely lady doctor I seen at 32 weeks. 

A couple of hours later and I walked down to theatre (also so much more empowering than last time!), when I met the theatre nurse, this again was the lovely person I remembered giving me a head massage the last time 🤣 our fantastic cesarean section birth followed with all our requests and at almost 10pm, drapes were lowered to Magic Radio playing and we saw our beautiful little girl lifted up into the world 😍🥰…weighing only 80g off where the doctor predicted the week before… 🤣 on the 96th centile so proven that they do get this right on scans too so I happily ate my own words! Got lots of pictures and cuddles and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ was on the radio as they stitched me up which I LOVE and is giving me a lovely oxytocin boost as a memory for expressing now!

I realised at the end that it had been an all female theatre team and my hubby was the only man in the room, including my wee woman – total GIRL POWER! How amazing is that?! Doctors post op update was that she was able to reuse the same scar line from before and that I had very little scar tissue which was so amazing so when healed I’ll only have one scar line.The summary was that baby had been hanging out in an unfavourable position which wasn’t through lack of trying on my part so really c-section at that time was 100% the best choice for us all. 

Wee woman was so awake and alert afterwards which was very different to her brother and she got a feed in recovery, almost latching on immediately except for my massively large nipples that my newborns just don’t seem to like staying on. We’re now expressing at home… 

For me, our story just completely sums up “Control what you can, let go of what you can’t” and I feel so positive about all of our decisions and approaches this time where last time even though generally positive overall I struggled to accept it a bit and beat myself up that I hadn’t tried hard enough and asked myself lots of what ifs after. 
There’s NO WAY I could say that about this wee baby’s birth, I tried everything I could for a VBAC and stayed positive. It just was meant to be this way for us. 

If I ever have a third, I’ll be bossing that elective cesarean section from Day 1 and giving my consultant team way more credit along the way!

Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.