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Being a Virgo, I like to be organised and have things planned.
So when Damien and I were informed after my 34-week scan that our baby was on the large size so I couldn’t go full term and would need an induction, I was quite comfortable with the decision.
We’d heard a variety of stories about labour, both good and horrific, and being first-time parents, we were a little worried.
I’d had an easy pregnancy, with no morning sickness or any major ailment. I was heavily pregnant over the summer months, so ended up with quite fat feet and a little carpel tunnel in my right hand, but otherwise I felt well throughout.
In my birth plan I’d stated that only Damien and I were to be in the birth suite (no other family members) and I would try and go through the labour without any drugs for pain relief, but was open to having an epidural if the pain was too much.
The night before the induction, Damien and I went over everything one last time to make sure we hadn’t missed anything.
The bags were packed, the house was clean and the nursery was ready and waiting on one final, tiny ingredient, our baby.
We were filled with excitement, apprehension and anticipation.
Bright and early the next morning, after very little sleep, we checked in and headed straight through to the hospital birth suite where we were met by our midwife and obstetrician.
My waters were broken, the induction drip started and my baby and I were wired up to monitors.
The sound of the constant heartbeat all the way through labour is not something I will easily forget.
Every half an hour my midwife popped in and pumped up the induction drip, and each time the contractions came on faster and more intense.
Each time I asked my husband to let me know once the monitor showed the contraction was on the way back down, so I could look forward to the relief of the pain subsiding.
But it continued to intensify, the breaks between contractions got shorter and shorter and the smile I’d had on my face when I walked in quickly began to fade.
It was at this point I asked the midwife for the epidural. It took several attempts to administer, which turned out to be the most painful part of the labour process.
From then on, labour become a pleasant experience.
Thanks to the epidural, I could not feel anything from my belly button down.
I continued to progress through labour, with my baby dropping further and further down. At one stage I even managed to sneak in a little snooze as we waited for my obstetrician to return from performing a caesarean.
About six hours after the induction began my midwife and obstetrician told me it was time to push.
With no feeling in the lower part of my body, I did the best job I could with no real idea if I was actually pushing.
Squeezing my husband’s hand, I focused and, after 15 short minutes, our precious baby girl was handed to me.
She measured 51cm and weighed 3.82kg. With tears of happiness, I hugged my little daughter even closer and smiled up at my husband.
Enjoying precious cuddles with my little girl.
I was up and about the next day, and took full advantage of five nights in hospital to ask the nurses lots of questions and enjoy meals cooked for me.
It was a little daunting to go home, as I no longer had the safety net of a nurse buzzer to use whenever I needed some help, but it was so very special to bring our little baby home and start our family life.
At first we had a little difficulty with breastfeeding, so Scarlett didn’t initially put on a lot of weight and I had to express, but other than that she has been a very easy baby.
She sleeps well and is generally happy.
I realise not all labours go smoothly, or can be as organised as mine was, however I can honestly say it was not the hardest thing I have endured (mind you, that could be just the epidural talking).
But all of this makes it much easier to consider going back for more.