Birth stories – Amanda & Cody

Birth stories

Welcome to part 2 of my Birth Stories blog series. This week we meet Amanda from Life with ASD and me as she tells us the story of her induction, and Cody’s arrival into the world. 

When I found out I was expecting for the 4th time I already knew the kind of labour and delivery I was going to have! My 3 previous pregnancies ended with inductions……… inductions that took 3 days to get started! It seems my body doesn’t like letting go of pregnancy.
Cody’s labour was slightly different in the fact that I was having a social induction as opposed to an induction for being overdue. Having 2 children with autism means I couldn’t just disappear in the middle of the night to go and give birth and needed to have childcare pre arranged as the children wont just stay with anybody. 
From having 3 previous inductions I knew it was to be a long process, I was admitted at 8am and had a 24 hour pessary inserted, monitored for 45 minute and encouraged to keep mobile. We spent the next 12 hours pacing the corridors, bouncing on balls and going up and down the stairs. David was sent home at 9pm and there were zero signs of anything happening and I fell into a fitful nights sleep. 
I wasn’t hopeful for a cervix check the next morning as I had felt nothing more than a twinge since the pessary was inserted. A midwife came to check me at around 9.30am and I hadn’t dilated a single centimetre, not one. The plan then altered and they decided that would use the 6hr pessary inside and I could have the maximum of 3. The first was placed at 10.30am to be checked at 4.30pm, we spent another day fitfully walking the corridors, same as the day before. I started to get a few twinges and aches and pains, so it was looking hopeful. I mentioned it to the midwife and they popped me on the monitor and there were some small contractions, they left the pessary in until 4.30 and made the decision as I was having some sign of movement not to insert another. They checked my cervix and I was now 3cms dilated, within half an hour all the little niggles I was having disappeared. They didn’t want to break my water yet, the midwife said she could but as the baby was so high up still there was a chance of the cord coming first and they would prefer to wait till he came down a bit more. David was again sent home at 9pm and left to explain to the children why Mummy was still at hospital. I spent most of my 2nd night in hospital awake with cramping in my stomach, some really took my breath away but they weren’t showing on the monitor, I was offered paracetamol for the pain! I remember being quite miffed and shouting at the poor student midwife “I’m in labour I’ve not got bloody tooth ache!” I couldn’t have anything stronger unless I went to delivery suite, they couldn’t send me there as there was no beds and I wasn’t in established labour! I was starting to feel frustrated now after 2 days of nothingness and cried myself to sleep
Day 3 came and the Doctor came round to see me to explain our options, I basically had 2 choices:
  1. Have another 6 hour pessary
  2. Go home and wait 24 hours to rest my cervix and come back
I explained to the Doctor that there was no way I could go home without a baby in my arms, it would be far to confusing for my children who were already unsettled after not having me there for 2 full days. So we started the process of the 6 hour pessary again, the aim was to get me to 4cm so my waters could be broken and get the baby to move down. I spent the whole 6 hours bouncing up and down on the birthing ball and the last 2 hours of the pessary I started to feel stronger contractions. It was removed at 3pm and I was a good 4cms and my waters could finally be broken.
We moved to deliver suite at 4pm and my waters immediately broken and I was placed on a syntocinon drip to speed up my contractions. They started coming thick and fast and I was coping just with gas and air. Skye was born just 50 minutes after my waters were broken in one bog push. So when I started pushing just 55 minutes later the midwives immediately put there catching gloves on and got ready for business. After pushing for 15 minutes and nothing happening I begged them to check me, it was an odd feeling, I was pushing but knew I didn’t need to, but I couldn’t help it, I just felt that pressure that made me want to push. They reassured me to follow what my body was telling me to do and go with it, but 10 minutes later I got off all fours and said that if they didn’t check me now I would go outside and find someone who would! I was a woman full of gas who meant business! So they checked me……… I was still only 4cm and the pressure I was feeling was due to Cody being back to back. 
Over the next 14 hours my drip was constantly adjusted and my contractions came in waves, this part of my labour was all a bit of a blur and time. I know I had a shot of pethidine and some point and a change of midwife, it was when the midwife’s changes that things stepped up a gear. Baby was really happy and on my last cervix check the previous midwife recorded I was a good 5cm, the new midwife checked my a few hours later and was confused as she was only getting me at 4cm. She decided to call in the doctor to review me as at this point I had been on the drip for 16 hours and from her cervix check I had made no progress. The Doctor came and examined me and agreed I was still only 4cms and that we needed to make an alternative plan to get this baby out, even though he was perfectly happy I had given it the best chance I had pessaries and also a drip and not got further than 4cms. I was signed off as a failed induction and asked to sign papers for an emergency section. Dave was passed some scrubs and my poor Mum who was there the whole time banished to the waiting room.
This part should be straight forward but it wasn’t, there were 17 attempts made to insert an epidural into my spine, a mobile scanning unit was even brought in to assist with placement and they still couldn’t get the epidural in. It was then decided the only option was a general anaesthetic, David was sent out I was asked to drink an awful substance and strapped to the bed! Everything then went black.
David tells me he was outside for less than 10 minutes before he heard Cody cry.
Birth stories - Mandy and Cody
Next thing I remember was coming round in recovery to see David holding a teeny tiny baby, my first question was what did he weigh? David told me he weighed 8lb 4oz and he says I replied with, well he can’t be ours he’s too small! 
I was in and out of consciousness for around 6 hours and struggled to properly wake up. I was moved to the ward at around 6pm and was still very groggy. I was finally fully awake and mobile at around 7am the following morning and Cody spent his first night being looked after by the midwives on duty as I just couldn’t stay awake.
I was up on my feet, catheter and drips removed by lunchtime and was begging to go home, obviously there wouldn’t allow me due to having a section and my reaction to the anaesthetic. I was allowed home the following day at around lunch time.
Cody’s was definitely an epic labour and delivery and one that I wouldn’t like to repeat!
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  1. Rachael
    October 30, 2014 / 11:53 am

    My goodness, you’re a warrior! What a story. x

  2. Mo Ade
    October 30, 2014 / 5:25 pm

    Wow Amanda, well done! What an incredible journey to get to hold your bundle of joy :-)Thanks for sharing. There’s nothing like a birthing experience really … so much pain mingled with so much delight :-).

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