I went into hospital at 5PM, had the gel inserted at 6PM, and was told a second check will be done after 6 hours. Having had no contractions until then, I happily waited with my hubby until I was moved into a ward, and even went down to the cafeteria for hubby to have dinner. Once we came back to the ward, we were watching a movie together when the pain started to come. At first I thought it was just mild cramping, but by about 8PM, I was afraid hubby might have to leave before getting the electrodes on, so I asked him to put the electrodes on before it was too late. I'm glad I chose to because the contractions came quite quickly and intensely from then on. As hubby had to leave overnight, I was left on my own grabbing desperately onto the TENS machine from about 9PM. I thought I was just being a sook pressing onto the boost button whenever I had a contraction, so on one contraction I didn't press the button. Oh my, did I find out how much the TENS machine boost button was helping during contractions.
I didn't know about it then, but I was one of the few people who get over-stimulated by the induction gel, and my contractions were accelerating way too fast. By 11:30PM, my contractions were 1 minute apart (thanks to the Elle TENS timer, or else I would not have had the mind to actually time it), and when a CTG was done, I was immediately sent to the birthing suite as bub was in extreme distress. My uterus had overstimulated and my contractions were coming too fast whilst my cervix wasn't dilated properly.
Once I was in the birthing suite, I contacted hubby to come back, and suddenly a large group of doctors came in and started pricking and prodding. They were telling me I might have to go into an emergency c-section, but because I had eaten dinner, they had to wait. They gave me some injections to stop the contractions and monitor bub for the time being. Because of bub's extreme distress, they broke my waters and bub's heartrate was monitored via a head clip. I was told the TENS machine may interfere, so I had to take it off. It was a sad moment as I was so ready to get through the labour with the help of the TENS machine and some gas.
The early hours of the next day was long and hard as I was waiting for bub to settle, whilst being forced to fast (not even water) as the C-section likelihood was high. Luckily bub did settle by about 4AM, and hence we decided to try vaginal birth the next morning. Due to the C-section risk, I had an epidural early in the morning, and then the syntocin drip started. It was an interesting 4 hours from 8AM to 12PM as I had multiple visits from the doctors whenever bub started getting distressed. The word C-section was mentioned so many times I can't remember. I didn't feel the contraction pain thanks to the epidural, but I couldn't have the active labour I wanted to. With imminent C-section, the doctor came in for a final check and found I was fully dilated and the head was low. Although the doc still wanted a C-section, a midwife in the room suggested just pushing since the bub was already so low. The midwife won the argument and I started pushing, and despite the epidural there was pain.
I don't remember when the doctor came back into the room or what was happening, but I realised at one point when I was pushing there were more than 10 people in the room. I only pushed for 20 or so minutes and with the help of ventouse and an episiotomy, bub came out. My hubby and I had discussed whether he would cut the umbilical cord or not multiple times during pregnancy and our final decision had been that he would cut it. However, once bub was out, the doctor just cut the cord and after a brief show of bub's face to us, he was sent to the resuscitation unit. It was a long few minutes waiting to hear bub cry, and when he did, I was so relieved. Hubby ended up cutting the cord a little closer to the stump (so he did get to cut the cord somewhat) and it was a blissful moment holding my baby for the first time.
I wasn't even in the mindset of asking what was wrong, and only found out in my discharge papers that the cord was wrapped tightly around bub's neck, and that's why the doctor rushed in whilst I was pushing and I had to have the episiotomy.
Recovery from the episiotomy was hard, but all in all I was grateful to be able to deliver my baby vaginally. I only had a glimpse of labour pain which I can say was masked significantly by the TENS machine, and then the epidural. Hats off to all the mamas who gave birth, whether they had pain relief or not, and whether everything went to plan or not. In the end, all that matters is that sweet face that you're staring into in the middle of the night wondering 'how on earth did something so beautiful come out of me?'.