On Tuesday, the Consultant advised that the best way forward was to come in to the hospital later in the week to be induced. The baby’s growth had slowed down slightly and since it was near my dues date, why not help the little lady along! Also, because I was an older mum I would not have gone past my due date anyway (which was the following week).
Well, I had had no twinges or signs that she was ready to come into the world but I trusted the process and assumed that was the best way forward.
We explained to the children that mummy would go into hospital on Thursday afternoon and the likelihood is that their little sister would be born some time on Friday afternoon or evening. How excited they were!
With a little intrepidation my husband and I set off to our local hospital, checked in, so to speak, and settled down to listening to a sonography recording of the baby’s heartbeat. This was to establish a baseline heart rate of the baby before any drugs were administered to induce labour. My husband left to pick up the kids from after school and I settled down to the comforting sound of my baby’s heartbeat which echoed round the ward of 4 beds. Except my little one didn’t like the strap round my tummy nor the echo it made around her in the womb, and she certainly didn’t stay still. So much so, she moved, kicked and jumped so much so that instead of a 20 minute data gathering exercise, I was strapped to the machine for over 2 hours as nurses and a doctor peered at my readings trying to work out the baseline line as she wasn’t for settling down!
Eventually I was good to go, and a kindly nurse administered the first pessary so deep inside, she could have tickled my tonsils. Time went by and I was asked if I wanted any painkillers. Indeed I had no need of any. Six hours later I was back on the sonography machine. “It can take up to 3 attempts before your body is ready to deliver the baby”, I was advised. This time a rather burly nurse who, I can only describe as having hands like a builder, administered the 2nd pessary with such force she brought tears to my eyes as her thick fingers pushed deep inside to position the drug at the back of my cervix. That was unpleasant!
Well attempt number 2 did not work (administered around midnight) nor did number 3 (around 7 in the morning, by Nurse Builder Hands!). When the doctor suggested I could try a 4th time, I felt my eyes water at the very suggestion of it and declined. I deduced that if it hadn’t worked at this point, it ain’t gonna work at all! My next option was a C-section which could be carried out the following day.
As I lay on my hospital bed, between Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning, two ladies had given birth naturally from my ward and I was privee to their intimate groans and weeping as their pain took over before they were wheeled swiftly to another part of the building to deliver their babies. The sound of nearby newly borns crying echoed around the wards in the wee small hours. The sound of short bursts of activity in the corridors as women were wheeled to the labour suite throughout the night moaning or crying out made me feel like my little girl was never going to come out naturally. Nor was she ready to!
I knew I would not have a good night’s sleep for a long, long time.