A year ago, we were preparing for a home birth. My waters had gone the day before and I was desperate for contractions to start. I had an induction booked for 10:00 am and was trying to work out whether the pains I was feeling were going to amount to anything. 9:30 am came and we decided to head to the hospital.
The induction list was really long that day so we spent a lot of time just sitting around, waiting. We ended up asking to leave the hospital and went into town for lunch. It was so nice and just that I needed before birth. We went to Nandos and were giggling like children at my giant padded arse that made me waddle like a penguin. I was continuously leaking waters and it was very physically uncomfortable, but we made the best of it. After lunch we went for a really long stroll around the shopping centre, stopping every now and then to change a pad or breathe through the very irregular contractions I was having. I had everything crossed that they would progress into actual labour.
By 6:00 pm nothing much had happened and I started to feel really anxious and upset. I was missing my three other children and really didn’t want to spend the night on the ward. I asked to be discharged and explained that I suffer with anxiety and was planning a home birth in order to avoid being in hospital. The staff were really patient and understood my reasoning. They were happy for me to go home but asked that I come back in at 10:00 am the following morning for monitoring.
On the way home from the hospital I started to feel really sick. I went straight to bed and had a really restless night. I kept waking up hoping I was in labour, but I wasn’t. In the morning, I realised I hadn’t felt the baby move since leaving the hospital and it was approaching 48 hours since my waters had gone. I called the hospital to confirm my NST monitoring and they asked me about baby’s movements. When I told them they had been reduced, they told me to go straight to the labour ward. I didn’t realise this meant I would be induced that day, so I went on my own with just a book and some snacks! When the midwife put us on the monitor, both of our heartbeats were really erratic. My pulse was jumping up to 140bpm and the decision was made to induce me then and there.
After a bit of a flap and a few tears, we managed to sort out childcare and Dean [my fiance] brought all of my stuff in. The drip and some antibiotics were started at 12:00 pm and he [Atlas] was born at 7:04 pm. Thankfully, we were both absolutely fine after birth however there was no real explanation for the crazy heart rates. He did have the cord wrapped around his neck three times, which caused a few issues at the end and may have been a contributing factor.
All of the prep I had done for my home birth really helped me stay calm and relaxed during the induction. I’d been practicing hypnobirthing and it definitely got me through six of the seven hours of labour. I needed some gas and air at the end, but for the first time I managed to avoid any stronger pain relief (all of which had made me feel really sick in previous three births). Our beautiful boy was born weighing 7lbs 2oz at 39 weeks and 1 day. He was my smallest baby but doubled his birth weight by eight weeks and therefore suits his name Atlas perfectly!