Paige made the decision to have an induction for medical reasons. The birth that followed wasn’t the birth she planned but she used her Hypnobirthing tools to stay calm and she made decisions that felt right for her all the way along: “I hope my detailed story will help others see that despite the twists and turns of things if you stay in your power and feel strong it will get you through anything.”
Please note: when we hear ‘positive birth’, our mind might immediately jump to a specific kind of birth. However a positive birth is more about how the birther feels than the type of birth. Paige’s birth certainly didn’t go as planned and there are a few bits that may be a little difficult to read but overall she feels positive about her birth experience.
Willow Juniper born 1st December at 8:14pm / weighing 8lb6 birth story
Long birth story - It has parts that are difficult to write about but overall is positive, long induction and un-planned c-section. 52 hours of labour.
Hospital led At home as long as possible for the early stages Water/pool/Tens & breathing for pain relief but open-minded to other pain relief options.
Labour ward Balloon induction on due date due to baby’s size & my Crohn’s Disease Scar Tissue issues. Successful balloon induction Delayed water breaking because of hospital delays/no rooms available Hormone drip to progress contractions Gas & Air throughout Epidural due to back-to-back contractions Pushing stage for an hour Un-planned c-section as baby was back to back & face up & wasn’t progressing during pushing.
At 40 weeks on the day of my due date I came into hospital for a planned balloon induction because of baby measuring near the 97th percentile and my Crohn’s Disease scar issues/adhesions. My consultant and I decided if I didn’t go into spontaneous labour by then I would come in.
So on the 29th November, I was called in and asked to come in for 4pm. As soon as I arrived a lovely midwife checked the baby’s heart rate for half an hour. The doctor came in to go over the induction process. Started really fun, my husband was allowed to be in for a few hours and therefore the induction insertion was able to hold my hand (thankfully because of visiting window 4-7pm).
About 5pm I was taken to a labour ward room to get a vaginal examination and put induction in place. My Cervix was still high and closed upon vaginal examination, so the balloon catheter was inserted with my legs in stirrups. I had a few breaths of gas & air which didn’t really help the pain but I breathed through it! They used a speculum and inserted the double-balloon which felt like pressure but wasn’t painful. The investigation hurt more than the speculum and balloon insertion, to be honest! Have to keep it in for 12 hours.
“ I put on my Tens machine about 8pm and this helped loads! ”
Once it was in I started getting surges and cramps consistently at about 6pm. Took paracetamol and at about 7pm they were taking my breath away, very low sharp pains, and felt like I needed to poo. I was given a shot of some drink pain meds called oromorph. I also put on my Tens machine about 8pm and this helped loads! I got ready for bed early as Chris went home at 7pm and listened to the Freya app and meditation music through the night. The surges were consistent through the night but not regular, some every ten mins and others every 3.
5:45am baby heart rate is monitored again before having the balloon removed and vaginal examination. Was left on the monitor for a long time as short staffed. Finally at 6:50am they came to remove the balloon induction and upon examination I was 3-4cm dilated with my cervix now open and soft. When they removed the balloon I had my show come out. Was told to get up and moving to help progress things.
17 hours in the induction ward because of all waiting around! Change over of staff in the morning! After staff change at 8am, I had a cry to the new midwife because of the wait and she told me in an ideal world I’d get my waters broken within 2 hours but have to wait for a space on the labour ward. I was upset about not having Chris with me and the waiting for a room and midwife was dyer!
At 11pm on Tuesday 30th I finally got my own room on the labour ward with a midwife and student midwife. I called Chris to come in but said not to rush as can take a while. I had baby monitored and then they broke my waters at 11:45pm which was the most intense and weirdest thing ever, the water’s membranes were really tough and took a few go’s to get broken, and then an avalanche of water came out haha it only get’s more glamorous lol. The discomfort was intense as they did a sweep-type examination as they also inserted a hook thing to break the membranes.
Chris arrived at 12:30am and we went for a walk around the hospital together. I then started having irregular contractions that felt like pressure and this was without any support. But at 1:30am I had a Canula put in to prep for hormones drip. I was started on the drip at 2:45am but continued to use my Tens and breathing techniques. I must admit the Tens was a god send during the first stages of labour!
At 4:30/5am the contractions went from 0-100 and I was unable to just breathe through them anymore. I started struggling to cope and at this point, it all get a bit hazy tbh. I remember having an examination down below and being told that baby’s head was chin up and she was also back to back, and I was still 4cm. I was having back-to-back contractions as well so was really hard to cope with hearing that news as the hormone drip was escalating them so much. I decided to get an epidural put in to manage the pain. By 6/6:30am an anaesthetist named Ben came in to put it in and at first, it helped a bit but I wouldn’t say it numbed the pain. By half 7/8am there was a handover of staff so it felt a bit rushed and I was still not comfortable.
“ We got a new midwife who said ‘we will get through this together’ and I trusted her straight away ”
The day staff started and we got a new midwife called Mandy who was honestly just incredible, couldn’t have done the next part without her. When she arrived I was struggling again and a bit emotional whilst I tried to breath through the pain, and she said ‘We will get through this together’ and I trusted her straight away.
After an hour or so (timings become cloudy because of how intense this all was) another anaesthetist called Scott came to check on me because I shouldn’t have been feeling so uncomfortable with the epidural and long story short, the first one wasn’t successful as they didn’t place it properly (not their fault, apparently it’s just the way my spine is shaped making it extra difficult). Once the new one was placed at like 10am I actually got some relief and was able to sleep in between contractions. I didn’t ‘plan’ on having an epidural at all but so so glad I got one, I wouldn’t have gotten through the day without it, especially as the baby’s position wasn’t favourable for vaginal birth. Just goes to show I could try everything but it really does come down to how the baby is positioned and how that will then impact pain, progress, etc!
A doctor said they would come 4 hours later to review and at 2pm they said I was 7cm which was progress but not much. They said I would have another 2 hours and would need to be fully dilated or it would result in a section which was a bit blunt tbh, this isn’t the case at all and my midwife stepped in to advocate for me to make sure the process wasn’t rushed, she was incredible!
“ It was just me, my husband, and our midwife Mandy at this point and it was super calm. ”
A couple of hours later and another review (about 4/5pm), I was 8cm so processing well but slowly. The doctor did an ultrasound on the baby to check her position and actually, we came to the decision together to continue to the pushing stages. Shortly after this, I progressed to 10cm so we started the ‘pushing’ stage with each contraction and I laid on my left side, right leg bent in the air with my knee close to my chest whilst I breathed in and pushed downwards. It was just me, my husband, and our midwife Mandy at this point and it was super calm. The epidural meant I could focus on my breathing but thankfully as it had been in since the morning it started fading enough I could feel when the surges were coming. This helped loads because I was able to use the breathing from the course to push the energy downwards to my bottom and did so with the help of my midwife. I felt SO empowered that despite everything so far I got to this stage and was pushing for about an hour, with gas and air in between each surge for relief.
After an hour of this, I did start getting back-to-back contractions again which were so intense I started to lose control of my breathing and calm. The doctor came at about 7pm to examine me and I was 10cm but not progressing even after pushing so we decided to go to the theatre to either turn baby manually via forceps to get her out via c-section. We used ‘BRAIN’ and also baby had a couple of heart rate drops so it was an easier choice to make at this point for her.
I was taken to the theatre at about 7:30pm and prepped for surgery where there were lots of people. I was shaking uncontrollably my body was a mess after being in the hospital from Monday 4pm as well as all the adrenaline. After another examination from the doctor during a contraction, they could see that they were unable to do the forceps delivery because the baby was still high up (& stuck) so we all agreed to the c-section, and very quickly everyone prepped for that. They used the epidural tap to numb my body and it was a blur of checking the effects with cold spray, Chris getting into scrubs, signing consent forms etc. The team also had a handover during all of this so it was hectic but they kept us as calm as possible and one of the team members got me warm towels to lay on me which was lovely.
At 8:14pm willow was whisked out of the sunroof and very quickly we heard her cry, and she was healthy and well. She was pretty exact to what the growth scans said, and measured a very healthy 8lb6!
I appreciate I went fully into detail and I hope whoever reads this doesn’t just see the intense side to my story. Writing it all out has been extremely cathartic for me and although things took a couple of days and didn’t progress in the way I had hoped we ended up meeting our precious baby girl who is worth all of the pain and fear we experienced.
The online course Get birth confident with Nicola was brilliant. I loved being able to meet local mums who have/had similar due dates and it’s so lovely seeing our births being shared. Nicola the host of the course was such a huge support in the lead up to my birth as I knew I was being booked in for an induction, so on top of the course which was already really insightful and helpful for my mindset, the ongoing care and extra resources Nicola provided to me was so helpful. I feel like I’ve made a really great friend through the experience and one who has supported my choices and helped me feel able to advocate for myself and practice hynobirthing techniques through the intense moments as much as I could.
It may not be the water positive birth story a lot of people expect to hear, but I hope my detailed story will help others see that despite the twists and turns of things if you stay in your power and feel strong it will get you through anything. We’re so blessed with our gorgeous baby girl, Willow.
If you want to see more from Paige and baby Willow and see Paige’s incredible crafting and sewing creations, you can follow her on Instagram - @paigejoannaa