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Paula and her son Harry
Overdue, Induction, Vaginal Delivery

My husband and I consider ourselves to be very fortunate, I fell pregnant with our first baby within 2 weeks of "blowing caution to the wind" and letting nature takes its course.

My due date was scheduled for 19 April 2004. My husband and I both dislike hospitals and after a bit of research booked myself in to have our baby at a local birthing center where I could have my natural and much desired water birth.

The due date came and went. I subsequently had 4 membrane sweeps post 40 weeks to try and "get things going" but without success, although I was told at each sweep that I was 1-2 cm dilated and it could happen at any time. I knew the birthing center had a window of delivering babies between 37-42 weeks and anything before or after that period would have to result in going to hospital. My planned water birth was now slipping away and eventually my induction date at my local hospital was scheduled for Tuesday 4 May 2004. I tried everything to make the baby come naturally; curry, sex, pineapple, herbal remedies but without success. I heard terrible stories about being induced and really didn't want to go down that route if at all possible.

The dreaded day arrived and I duly checked into the hospital at 8.00 am. I was examined by a midwife and given a prostaglandin pessary at about 9.00 am and monitored for a while before being told I should take a wander to see what happens. My husband and I trotted down to the High Street and grabbed a light lunch then checked back at the hospital. No more progress and I was given yet another pessary at about 4.00 pm and a bed on the maternity ward. I was in for the long haul.

At 6.30 pm (2 1/2 hours later) I had a "show" and my waters broke. By 8.00 pm my contractions were coming thick and fast and I barely had time to take a breath in between each one. I was still on the maternity ward at this stage and using my TENS machine to help me through the contractions. I wanted to move around and keep active which helped. It was surreal as I was in so much pain and at the same time I saw husbands/partners visiting their wives/girlfriends with their new babies. I remember one gentleman saying to me whilst trying to breath through a contraction "It's all worth it in the end". I just looked at him with tears rolling down my face thinking he has no idea what I'm going through.

My husband started to get very concerned at my distress and called upon a midwife and told her that he thought I should go into the Labour Ward/Delivery Suite. The midwife said that it was all too soon and that if I couldn't cope with the pain now after just 1 1/2 hours of labour there wasn't much hope and unless I agreed to have some sort of pain relief I was going nowhere soon. I agreed to consider the option of pain relief and was swiftly whisked off to the Labour Ward/Delivery Suite for a vaginal examination to see how things were progressing and what our next step should be. Much to the midwife's surprise (and mine) my cervix was fully dilated. She brought in another midwife to double-check who confirmed the same. I think we were all in shock. I was told I could push whenever I felt the need. I didn't feel the need, partly because I was too scared to push, and held out until 10:00 am before I was told I would need to push soon as the baby couldn't stay in there all day and although the baby was fine at the moment, we didn't want it getting distressed and whatever way we looked at it, it had to come out that way. I tried one puff of Entonox only to vomit straight afterwards so didn't bother with that and just breathed my way through the contractions.

Apparently I pushed for just under an hour before our son arrived. I must admit it seemed more like 10 minutes not an hour - I had no concept of time. He arrived at 10:57pm and weighed in at a whopping 9lbs 9oz, a big fella, he was very long (I'm tall and my husband is very tall). Luckily for me I had no sutures. The only downside was my placenta took 2 hours to deliver. I was nearly taken to have it surgically removed but one last tug and push and it came away.

Overall, my induction was a very positive experience.

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