So I haven’t been around very much at all lately (which I’m sure you’ve noticed!) as I’ve been adjusting to my new ‘normal’ of life with a newborn. It’s been a huge adjustment over the last 5 weeks and has definitely changed my life!
Now that we’re settled in (and I’ve managed to find some small windows of time when I can actually get on the computer) I thought I would take some time to write down Grace’s birth story, mostly for myself so that I can remember it in the months and years to come. It ended up being a lot more eventful than I originally thought it would be!
This is fairly lengthy story so I’ve broken up into two parts – part 1 today and part 2 tomorrow!
I had gone into this without a birth plan because my ultimate aim was to get the baby out safely, however it needed to happen. I did have general ideas of how I wanted things to happen and what I wanted (my preference would have been for a drug-free birth) but thankfully I wasn’t rigidly wedded to a ‘plan’ because what ended up happening was pretty much the complete opposite of how I had imagined it would go!
My due date was the 28th of August, and knowing that due dates are mostly just estimates and almost no babies are born on their due date I was prepared for a couple of weeks window where I could give birth. Secretly though, I was hoping that she would come early even though it’s more common for first babies to be overdue.
I started pre-labour on Sunday afternoon the 23rd of August (the day before my birthday, and 5 days before my due date) with regular contractions that were about 10 minutes apart and got closer together over the next couple of days. I was excited that this could be it, and convinced that this baby would be born on my birthday.
I actually really didn’t want to have her on my birthday, but figured that she would decide when she would make her entrance and I would make my peace with it if she wanted to share a birthday with me. But my birthday came and went with lots of contractions but no baby.
I was exhausted by Tuesday night as I’d had 2 full days and nights of contractions but I was optimistic that things were happening.
I went into the hospital for a check that night as I was really uncomfortable and wanted to make sure the baby was okay.
Turns out that the baby wasn’t engaged so my contractions weren’t actually doing anything at all. I was very discouraged and was a bit frustrated but hopeful that she would engage due to the contractions. They sent me home and asked for me to come back in the morning to be checked over by my OB and make sure the baby was still okay.
So the next morning (Wednesday the 26th) we headed back to the hospital where they confirmed that the baby was all okay and not in any kind of distress due to the contractions but still wasn’t engaged. By the time I left the hospital my contractions had slowed right down to being about 30 minutes apart, which I didn’t mind so much because I was just so exhausted.
By the end of that day my contractions were non-existent but I was 2 days from my due date so I hoped they would return soon.
But they didn’t.
On Friday (the 28th), my due date, I wasn’t feeling baby move around as much as normal so back we went to the hospital for another check to make sure she was still happy. She was all good but still not engaged so we were told to come back on Wednesday for another check to see how things were progressing.
So back we went on Wednesday (2 September), now into September and 5 days past my due date, for another check up with my obstetrician. Baby’s status was much the same – not engaged, happy being in there.
I was not really expecting to go into September and still be pregnant, and I was super uncomfortable by this point and really ready for it to be over!
The doctor advised me that it was looking unlikely that I would go into labour naturally and scheduled me in for an induction. The earliest they could fit me in for an induction was a whole week later (12 days past my due date) because there were so many women that were overdue and requiring inductions.
They also wanted to give me time for the baby to move into the right position and the best chance for me to go into labour naturally. If they induced me while she wasn’t engaged there was a risk that the cord would drop down before the baby did and would put us both in danger and lead to an emergency c-section.
So waiting it out til my induction date and hoping that the baby engaged and that I went into spontaneous labour in the meantime was my only option. I have to say, I was feeling pretty upset at this point. I had so hoped that I would have my baby girl by then and I was so frustrated at having to wait another week before I could meet her.
I convinced myself that it just wasn’t going to happen naturally for me but I was glad that I had some certainty after weeks of waiting. I knew I would definitely have my baby by the next week.
Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays)