My due date came and went, and at 40+5 we went in for a routine check up. Immediately my midwife tried to book me in for an induction. When we asked about alternatives she told me my placenta would start to die at 40 weeks. My Hypno hackles went up – that’s simply not true; your placenta can start to deteriorate at any time and “die” is an emotive word to use on a pregnant lady. I said we would be happy to be booked in for induction at the latest date the hospital offered (40+13) as long as I could see a consultant before then. I was given an appt for a consultant at 40+12. I was offered a sweep by the midwife, who seemed resigned when I turned it down! From what I have gathered from my mum friends’ experience, a sweep only really works if you are already on your way into labour, and if that were the case why have the sweep!? I walked out of the room feeling massively empowered and even the MW was impressed by my stats from hypnobirthing and personal research.

The weekend came and went with no baby. I took walks, had acupuncture (which chilled me out as much as anything – certainly didn’t bring on any twinges but I loved it!), ate well and rested. I also cried and swore at everyone phoning about my progress (we got “congrats” flowers before our baby!) – it’s a hugely emotional time and everyone has an opinion, and they aren’t afraid to share it. I got v bored of quoting WHO guidelines and told a few people to bugger off – speaking to Kat and others who had delayed induction really helped. Kat has some great literature too. I’m v v happy to speak to anyone in the same situation.

We went to see the consultant, ready for battle. We needn’t have worried. Whilst the midwife we saw first (I still don’t know why we saw her) again was horrified at our stance, the consultant was sympathetic and listened to our point of view. We saw her on a Tuesday and after a liquor scan to check the baby (bonus baby sighting!) had enough fluid she said we were fine to proceed with monitoring. (An aside- the sonographer told me to expect a 9lb+ baby. Total tosh – don’t let them scare you!) I had a sweep, as I was curious to see if my body had started any sort of labour preparation. Hearing I was 1cm was a huge boost, as was the consultant predicting I’d go into labour naturally. I cancelled my induction, booked in some additional monitoring, and also another induction for the following Monday – I wanted to know all options were available to me.

At lunchtime on 40+13, I had my first mild contraction, 6 hours after the time my induction appointment had been. That evening I had a couple of glasses of wine and went to bed. At 2am I couldn’t sleep thru my contractions so took a bath, at 3.30am I woke my husband and we watched comedy, stuck on the Tens machine and did some massage. A black cab (ideal for labour – the yellow disability bars are fab) took us thru the streets of Hackney at dawn to the Homerton – I have a clear memory of driving past pissed hipsters playing the guitar on a street corner!  On arrival at the hospital we were told to wait in the waiting room as they were full. We would be seen in turn. Embarrassed about the mooing noises and movement I was using with each strong contraction I waited in the corridor, alone, whilst my husband badgered the reception midwife for an examination. This was the lowest point. I was in pain, alone, and frightened of being sent home. I found a bathroom and was discovered – mooing and moving!! – by a midwife. “We’d better take a look at you,” she said. My waters broke on examination (I thought I’d weed on her and couldn’t stop apologising) and she confirmed I was 10cm – no wonder my labour was more full on than the quieter ladies in the waiting room!! She told me she’d be off shift in an hour and would come and meet my baby – she was sure he’d be out by then. Music to my ears! She was slightly optimistic – Arthur was born an hour and 45 mins later, with help from wonderful midwives – their advice on position really helped as did their encouragement. He weighed 7lbs 8 and came out with lots of hair on his head, but no signs at all of being overcooked. He is a happy baby, with no extended crying – and he’s gorgeous!!!

This was right for me. Make the decision that works for you – that may include induction!! Whilst I laboured with no drugs (which had been my plan) if I hadn’t arrived so late I would have taken them – I don’t believe it would have been at odds with my hypno experience, it would have been another decision I could have made for me and my labour, enabled by Hypno. It’s not about whale music and a zen labour – it’s about what’s right for YOU and ensuring you have the tools and information to own the experience, however that may go.

Hypnobirthing remains the best money we have spent on our baby. I haven’t even touched on how it empowered my hospital and blood phobic husband. I recommend it to anyone. I’d also say that midwives are great, and they will help you when you are tired and weary. I sort of saw them as the enemy after they’d pushed me to induce. Not true!

Good luck to everyone!! Xxx

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