I’d like to say a massive thank you to you Donna, for all your support. What an incredible way to embark on my journey of motherhood with you by my side (I attended your yoga class as early as 13 weeks!) Overall, I had a straightforward and easy pregnancy, some would even say lucky, as I never had any morning sickness!ย 

I will start my story from the 20 week scan as that will give better context into how events unfolded. At the 20 week scan my baby was measuring in the 16th percentile, as we know that is all fine and well,unless it drops to under 10th percentile, then it can potentially be a matter of concern. 

During the 32 week scan I was informed that baby dropped to 7.3 percentile and this changed everything. All of a sudden, I was booked in for growth scans and doing twice a week CTGs in efforts to monitor baby more closely. Subsequently, in the 34 week scan things took a further downturn and baby was now measuring 6.8 percentile.

Deep down in my heart I never felt that anything was wrong with my baby as she was always very active and I’m a petite woman myself. At this stage, I felt more of the stress was caused by the medical professionals. Needless to say our hopes of giving birth at the birth centre were now crushed so I came to terms with the fact that I would be at the labour ward.ย 

During my 36 week scan, which would be the determining scan on whether I would have to be induced and when, baby dropped again to 6.1 percentile coupled with the appearance of something new, there was slight increased placental resistance. It was a Wednesday and the obstetrician suggested to book me in for an induction on the Friday. After many discussions with my husband, although we didn’t like to think that we would be forcing our baby out, the risk we had to balance was clear. We could wait, but we did not know whether the placental resistance would get worse.

So in I went on Friday to start the induction process. Being a first-time mum, they started me off with the pessary which would be inserted behind my cervix and taken out 24hrs later. This was extremely uncomfortable as my cervix was still very posterior. Baby and I were constantly in monitoring. I was getting a few contractions according to the machine, but none that I noticed. After the pessary was removed my cervix hadn’t dilated so I was moved to another type of induction, the gel.

This induction method was the most uncomfortable because I had my cervix assessed and gel inserted every 6 hrs alongside continuous monitoring. Again, seems I had contractions and I did have some mild cramping. I did 4 sets of gels. But my cervix was refusing to dilate, which was to be expected as we are essentially forcing nature.

Throughout, I bounced on the ball and used the peanut ball too. My husband was very supportive in trying to make a calm environment with lowering the lights, making sure I was comfortable, watching our favourite shows and spraying nice smelling room spray. I did walks throughout the hospital and must have gone up and down the stairs what felt like forever. 

By this point I had been in the hospital for 3 days and I was starting to get fed up and uncomfortable. I told the obstetricians I wanted to stop the induction process and they didn’t enjoy hearing that, so they took me for a scan to check the placental resistance again. The findings were, it had not improved but it had not worsened either. We had a long chat about risks of not having this baby sooner and a final method of induction was offered, the balloon (Cooke’s balloon), if this didn’t work then c-section would be the next step. I told them I wanted a break and would do the balloon tomorrow, although they wanted to get it done sooner rather than later. They put the balloon in the next day and my husband took me out for a curry, next to the hospital, to take the edge off. 

After 24 hrs they took the balloon out and checked my cervix, it had dilated 1cm. At this point they did a cervical sweep too, to help the process move along. They would come back soon to break the waters. In the meantime, my mucus plug had also gone. I was advised that it might be a good idea to have an epidural before they break the waters, as it could be painful. Being in no mood for any more pain and discomfort, I agreed. 

Off to get an epidural I went, it took three tries to get it right, once that kicked in they broke the waters. At 1:40am I started the oxytocin drip (still practising my breathing through contractions while I waited for the epidural to be topped up), the next cervix assessment would be at 6:40am. 

At 6:40am, I was only at 2cm according to the midwife. Obstetricians came in and started to imply (which really felt like threatening) that if I didn’t dilate quicker I would be wheeled off for a c-section. The next cervix assessment was to be carried out at 10:30am. I was assessed and I couldn’t believe I was 9cm! The midwife said she would come back in two hours. She did another check and I was 10cm. She said she would come back in an hour to start the pushing. 

To my dismay, she had me on my back and legs in stirrups, which was clearly stated in our birth plan to be avoided, but we were too tired and irritated to argue more and at that point we just wanted our baby. Although most of this is a bit of a blur, I remember her telling me I did about an hour of pushing. 

Eventually baby’s heart rate was racing so I remembered to breathe, they also insisted I use their own ‘pushing technique’ as opposed to breathing baby out gently. Throughout this whole stage my husband was there supporting me and telling me to breathe and guiding me to push utilising things he learned at hypnobirthing. 

Since they had me on my back and refused to let me do my own way of pushing it was no surprise when they brought in someone to inform me that they will use a suction cup to help get baby out and do an episiotomy.  

Katherine was born Wednesday 13th December at 2.57pm, weighing 2.3 kg, so indeed small but mighty at 37 weeks plus 1 day. I was later told I had lost a bit over 1.5 litres of blood and therefore had to have two infusions. After 8 days in the hospital we were finally able to go home with our healthy and happy little girl. 

Although this all might sound traumatising to some, it is worth mentioning that at no point did I feel afraid thanks to yoga and hypnobirthing. Knowledge really is power. At every stage I knew what to expect which helped me manage bit by bit as best as I could. My advice to the girls would be, ‘Don’t be afraid, listen to Donna, Donna knows best’ ๐Ÿ™‚ย