Welcome to the World Evie
Updated: Apr 12
Wonderful Pregnancy Relaxation client Louise shares her extremely positive and empowered induction birth story of her second baby Evie, in her own words below.
I love how she was a key decision maker throughout their birth, and that it is clear everyone who supported her in the induction and birth felt known and trusted which makes a huge difference to parents to be!
Evie Nora Grace, born 11/03/21 @9.44pm
On Central Delivery Suite at Southend Hospital during the third National Lockdown of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Classed as high risk due to high BMI and postpartum haemorrhage at my last birth.
My waters broke at 11pm on the 9th March whilst I was in bed. I hadn’t experienced any surges at this point, only Braxton hicks. I called the maternity unit who advised l should go in for assessment so they can confirm my waters had broken and also to have a listen in on baby. All was absolutely fine and the midwife explained I should go home to rest and relax. She also explained she would offer and book me in for induction of labour for 11th March as the baby is at higher risk of infection without the waters. I was slightly disappointed with this as preferably I wanted to avoid induction, largely due to covid and not wanting my husband to leave me until I was in established labour, but also because I wanted to labour for as long as possible at home before heading into Southend Hospital. After discussing with my husband, we decided l would accept induction on the 11th should I not naturally go into labour.
I arrived back home at around 2am and got back into bed, I did experience a handful of surges in the early hours, no patten; but it was reassuring that my body was preparing.
Not many surges throughout the day on Wednesday; they started again in the evening, however not regular or very frequent so I went to bed to try and rest. I was up during the night with surges, they were still not very regular but some were quite powerful, I put on the tens machine I hired, and I felt benefit from using this, pressing the pulse button when I felt the surge coming.
On Thursday the 11th March my mum arrived at ours at 8am to look after our son Isaac (I hadn’t even prepared her a bag of Isaacs things... that completely escaped my mind, but of course she was fine sorting it out herself!) Vince and I made our way into Southend Hospital, I was allocated a bed in the antenatal ward of central delivery suite and introduced to the midwife who was looking after me - Maisie. She was lovely and explained the doctors would be round shortly to see me and make a plan. The doctors came and explained initially they will offer the induction gel and then they will come back to review me 6 hours later, if, at that point I wasn’t in established labour they would reassess and plan accordingly.
Maisie inserted the gel at around 10am and about 30 minutes after more waters released which absolutely flooded the bed! This surprised me as I’d already released a fair amount of water on the Tuesday - I couldn’t believe how much there was! After this Vince was asked to leave, he could come back for visiting between 3-5pm but Maisie said we could walk together around the hospital grounds. I was asked to go back for some observations at 12.30.
For me, it definitely helped being with my husband and walking around, the surges seemed more regular when I was out of the ward. With each surge l practiced the calm breathing I learned from Pregnancy Relaxation with Steph, breathing in for 4 and out for 7. This really grounded me and kept me calm.
Maisie told me the Doctors planned to come back and review me at 4pm so Vince and I returned to CDS and awaited their review. Around 4.30pm a registrar came in along with Maisie, I accepted a vaginal examination and the doctor said I was around 4cm. She also released my hind waters (yes, more waters were released!!), I asked if this amount of water was normal and they said I may have had undiagnosed Polyhydramnios. As my surges were regular and I had dilated to around 4cm, the Doctor said no for any further hormone gel or drip which I was really pleased about.
From this point on the surges really started to come thick and fast, I was moved quite swiftly to a private room on CDS. The room was actually really nice and I felt comfortable there. There was a birth ball, twinkly lights and battery operated candles which gave it a nice feel.
I documented in my birth preferences that I didn’t want to be unnecessarily monitored due to my higher BMI. My lifestyle midwife also documented in my notes that I did not require continuous monitoring for my high BMI alone. Maisie discussed monitoring with me and said she said I could use the wireless monitor intermittently or consider having fetal scalp electrode monitoring where they connect a small electrode to baby’s head which gives an accurate reading. I had done some reading into these types of monitors prior to labour so felt I could make an informed decision and I actually decided to have the fetal scalp monitoring. This way I didn’t have to have the bands round my tummy or worry about it loosing connection.
The surges continued to be powerful, and at this point I took the tens machine off and used the gas and air along with my calm breathing technique. I do remember joking with my husband and Maisie as when spoke after using it, my voice changed like I had inhaled helium! Initially I spent a lot of the time standing and leaning on the bed, but after a few hours I was getting tired. Maisie and a student midwife arranged the bed so I could be on my knees, leaning over the top. This gave me some relief as between surges I could rest down on the bed. My husband was by my side holding my hand and squirting lucozade in my mouth!
Maisie’s shift ended and the night staff came on and introduced themselves; midwife Annie and student midwife Louise. They were really nice and I felt comfortable. I was starting to struggle with the surges at this point though, the pain was intense but the feeling of exhaustion was even more so. I was really hoping things were progressing and that I would feel ready to push soon. Around 8.30pm I accepted another vaginal examination, Annie said I was 7cm. I felt like I needed something more than gas and air so requested an epidural. I had been thinking about it for sometime before that moment and it was the overwhelming feeling of running out of energy that I was struggling with.
An anaesthetist called Peter came and asked me to sit on the edge of the bed. I had an epidural with my 1st child so I was familiar on what I needed to do. Peter was really kind, I told him when a surge was coming as it’s quite difficult to remain completely still when that’s happening!
During the procedure though, I really started to feel like I needed to have my bowels open...this feeling was so intense, I was convinced I would do a poo even sitting on my bum! I said to Annie and my husband how desperately l needed to go!! Peter got the epidural catheter in but as soon as he was finished I quickly turned onto my side, I said ‘I think she’s coming, I really feel like I need to push!’ After just a couple of push’s I delivered Evie with the support of my amazing husband Vince, Annie and Louise at 9.44pm. Such an incredible, empowering feeling.
Evie was put straight onto my chest where she stayed for over and hour and had her first breast feed. Her cord was clamped when it turned white and Annie tied on her cotton cord tie. We had such a lovely amount of time, they didn’t rush to do their checks or weigh her etc. It was perfect. I honestly couldn’t believe how quickly things progressed, I wasn’t even hooked up to the epidural and before I knew it she was here!
I look back at my labour and birthing experience and feel so happy and proud of myself and my body. Even though, due to circumstances some of my preferences were altered, I felt completely in control and I felt fully supported by my husband and the staff caring for me which is so important.
Louise joined me from autumn 2020 until February 2021 making the most of our in-person classes at The Snug when they were possible, then joining us on Zoom after Christmas. If you’d like to learn more about ways to work with me, or to join us at Pregnancy Relaxation, just follow the links or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org