I was induced at 39 weeks and 2 days. I had a very normal, healthy pregnancy except for a slight thyroid issue that was treated with medication and caused no issues.
At 35 weeks my belly was measuring small so I had an extra scan measure the baby. Our baby seemed to be on the lower percentiles for its size but things looked good otherwise and the obstetrician I saw didn’t seem phased at all because baby was proportionate and only mentioned the possibility of induction after 40 weeks. I had finished the HypnoBirthing course and was adamant that I would not be induced and go into labour spontaneously. I was fixated on the idea that that all inductions lead to other interventions in every instance and wanted to have a natural birth using all the HypnoBirthing methods I had learnt.
I went in for my 39 week check up and was told by the registrar that it was strongly advised I be induced as soon as possible. They told me my belly was still measuring 4 weeks behind gestation and the risks to the baby were high. I was able to advocate for myself and felt informed and empowered to ask questions and make choices about doctors advice because of what I had learnt in hypnobirthing. The induction was tentatively booked for the following day and I could go home and decide with husband if we would go ahead or not.
The best advice we got (from Michelle) was to trust our instincts and ask to explore every avenue possible. Even though I was hell bent on avoiding any intervention, especially induction, I felt like I had been the same size for a few weeks and that the baby wasn’t really growing much. We also made the decision to do the induction because the alternative would be (possibly) 3 weeks of worry and anxiety that we had made a selfish decision just because it was in our birth plan at the expense of our baby’s health.
Even though I might have had a natural labour it wouldn’t have been the birth I wanted because I would have felt anxious and guilty. We called the hospital and asked for another scan to check the fluid and placenta told them we would make our final decision after that. The hospital was very supportive and we felt really positive about our decisions. That night I looked up HypnoBirthing with induction stories and read about so many positive and varying labours that were so different to what I was imagining. It was one of the best things I did and was so empowering.
We arrived at the hospital at 4pm on Wednesday. The doctors did the scan (which looked normal) but we decided to start the induction anyway. My cervix was not effaced at all, so at 5pm the doctor gave me the gel. I had dinner with my husband and was starting to feel some cramping in the early evening. I started to feel a bit passive waiting for time to pass so I asked for a fitball to bounce on and smelled clary sage oil. It was important to me to not feel like a patient in the hospital, especially during early labour, so I did everything I wanted like I would have at home. The cramping continued all evening and got progressively more intense (but not bad). I listened to relaxations and music and went on the fitball. I was sharing a room with another woman who was sleeping and I asked to be moved so I could move around without disturbing her and later I had endone during the night so that I could sleep.
I felt like it was okay to ask for things even if I wasn’t offered them and doing what felt right for me from the beginning was really crucial in the whole experience being positive. By the morning I was having mild surges and using lots of HypnoBirthing techniques. At 12pm, after 3 rounds of gel, I was only 1cm dilated and was offered to have the balloons or to try and break my waters and see what happened. I decided to have my waters broken, went to 2cm straight away and started to have really intense surges lasting for about 1 minute. I laboured without the drip for about an hour because my surges were so intense on their own.
We were caught off guard with how fast things escalated and I was tiring quickly. Thinking I would be doing this for at least another 12 hours after about 3 hours of labour I had morphine to help me rest in between contractions. This was not in my birth plan and I felt a bit defeated at the time, but my husband and midwives were so supportive and I felt like it was my decision to have pain relief based on my instincts (and actually it was a great choice).
I relaxed so much more and the HypnoBirthing techniques started to really work for me. I started to feel some pressure but thought nothing of it. At about 3.5 hours my surges changed and I started to have an overwhelming pushing urge that I couldn’t control. The midwives told me it was probably too early to push but to breathe through it and go with my body. After half an hour I had an examination and the midwife told me I was 10cm and ready to push!
40 minutes later our baby girl Romy was born. I used all the breathing techniques and really listened to my body and only had one small graze. In the end Romy was small and so was my placenta, so being induced was actually medically necessary and the right thing to do!