Claire's Birth - part ii {the induction}

We arrived at the hospital and headed straight for the birth unit. It felt so surreal walking into the hospital NOT in labour!

The nerves had well and truly set in by now, and I was full of anxious anticipation. When we arrived, we were shown into our room. One of the midwives offered me a hospital gown, but I was really hot, and preferred to just stick to a singlet. I hate hospital gowns, and wearing one while almost 38 weeks pregnant is akin to a circus tent, so I'm glad I could skip it.

They popped me up on the bed and put the baby on a trace, and this is where things got a little crazy. My pulse was racing, and baby's heartbeat was fast. Like... really fast. It was not a typical reading for me, and they were concerned that she might have been in distress - so they monitored it for a good half an hour to see whether she would calm down when I did. It stayed high for a while, and one of the midwives started talking c-section with me, which resulted in my pulse racing even faster. Hubby suggested listening to some music and trying to relax before my OB arrived, so I did that. It helped, and baby started calming down too, though still not regular enough for their liking.

They decided to give me some IV fluids to see if it helped hydrate both me & baby, and in preparation for the syntocinon drip. Unfortunately, my veins picked that morning to shut up shop, and the midwives had loads of trouble finding a vein. They called in one lady who butchered my left arm {seriously, the bruise has only just started fading now, 11 days later} and left me slightly traumatised. They were about to 'have a go' on my other hand, when my doctor made his appearance and took over - thank goodness for his timing, as he got it placed first go - wish they'd spared me the first trauma!

He wasn't concerned about the baby's heart rate at all, and that was reassuring enough to calm me down too. It was almost 9am at this point, and we went over the plan for the day and discussed pain relief. I'd decided the night before to just start out with nothing and go from there, with every intention of getting an epidural later in the game if I felt I was done. My OB left it up to me, and we decided to crack on with things.

The internal showed I was still 3cm dilated, and it was easy for him to rupture my membranes. I forgot how odd that felt {though I was in transition last time, so slightly distracted!} and man, it gushed. And gushed. And gushed. If my waters had gone at home, it would have made a right mess. The fluid was clear, which was reassuring - and as the midwife was changing the bed sheets, it tipped all over the floor and splashed everywhere. Awkward!

They decided to attach an internal monitor to the baby, so that I could be up and about during labour. This was slightly fiddly and uncomfortable, but it was way more preferable to being cooped up in the bed the entire time.

Once that was done, my OB switched on the syntocinon drip & left us to it, disappearing to his regular appointments and promising to check back soon. I'm not kidding you; within five minutes of that drip starting, I was having my first contractions. And they weren't gentle ones; they were hard and firm and required breathing from the get-go. Unlike my labour with Georgia, these ones didn't have much of a break in between. My labour had officially begun.

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