What’s it like to have an induced labour? It’s a question I see popping up on social media all the time.
More often than not other women respond with really negative stories about the process. I don’t doubt that these women had a bad experience. It’s not always the case however. I just wanted to share my induced labour experience to give other women, who may be headed the same way, some reassurance.
I has an induced labour at 39 weeks when I was pregnant with Aidan. I had gestational diabetes and in The Coombe it’s their policy to induce women who have the condition.
I was so nervous about it. Now at the time I was delighted to be heading in for induction because I was overjoyed knowing that I’d soon be holding my first born.
However, I read up about induction online before going in. I like to read real stories from real women.
The majority of them were bad stories. I read that induction doesn’t work. I read that it leads to a much longer labour and indeed a much more painful labour. My nerves were shot.
On Thursday, April 25th I was admitted to The Coombe at around 6pm. I settled in to my bed in the corner of the ward and soon after my consultant was at the end of my bed. It was time to start the process.
I was administered prostaglandin gel. It’s a drug that encourages the cervix to soften and ripen. This allows the cervix to open and causes contractions to start.
That night I lay in the bed listening to your one beside me snoring and waited for my contractions to start. They didn’t. I was terrified because I read online that if the gel didn’t work I would be put on an oxytocin drip, which apparently make your labour way more painful.
The following morning the consultant came round to check on me. She confirmed that the gel hadn’t worked. However, she administered a second round of it and headed off again.
Bored of the ward myself and Daddy Chambers headed off for a walk. We went for a coffee across the road and it was then I started to feel slight pain.
It’s a good job I headed back to the hospital very soon after because it wasn’t long before the pains were coming thick and fast. I walked as much as I could, bounced on the gym ball and stuck on the Tens Machine I brought with me.
I remember a midwife insisting that I actually wasn’t in labour. I begged to differ and insisted she checked. I was right and she was wrong.
Not long after I was brought down to the delivery suite. I’m not going to lie, I was in a lot of pain and I begged for an epidural. When I finally got one, I informed the anaesthetist that I loved him! I kid you not!
I was invincible after that! I sat up in the bed, washed my teeth and had a great natter with the midwife on duty; a Longford woman and an absolute lady.
When it was finally time to meet by baby, otherwise known as the pushing phase, it took me just twenty minutes. Weighing 6lb 7oz, young Aidan was handed to me and the rest is history.
I know everyone’s experience is different but I’m simply sharing this story to let people know that just because you’re induced, it doesn’t mean you’re going to have a horrendous labour.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t pleasant. The majority of women will agree with me there! However, being induced didn’t lead me to have a longer labour. The gel didn’t fail to work. I never ended up on a drip. Yes there was plenty of pain but it was normal labour pain. I can say that because I went in to labour naturally a year and a half later, the night Sarah was born. I had the same pains with her as I did with Aidan.
In all, my induced labour lasted seven hours from beginning to end. So if you’re reading this and heading for induction soon just remember that are good and bad stories from induction. It’s not always bad. And do you know what? Even if it doesn’t turn out quite like my experience, you’ll get through it and when you’re handed a beautiful baby at the end of it all, you’ll forget the pain.
I used to think that was a myth but it’s so true. It’s so worth it, no matter what you go through. Above all, don’t worry.
If you’re looking for more information on induced labour, have a read of this really handy booklet from the HSE.