I want to put down in writing my experience of birth with Sienna, as I don't want to forget what a great testimony it is of God's faithfulness.
Scarlett came as a surprise, 6 weeks early, and a rushed labour was accompanied by a nasty tear. I didn't feel prepared for birth emotionally or physically and I found the whole experience rather traumatic. This time I wanted it to be different. This time I had my bag packed by 34 weeks, and I was taking evasive action against another tear (Ladies reading this might know what I mean by this, and men, you don't need to know!). I bought a book about hypnobirthing to try to have the most relaxed labour and birth as possible and read and re-read it. As 34 weeks passed and I was busy getting things ready for another baby, I asked God when we'd be ready for this baby, and 'heard' the words in my head 'just in the nick of time'. Strange words to hear, I thought, as it never occurred to me this baby would be late!
Over the next 7 and a half weeks, those words kept on coming back to me, and were even confirmed by a neighbour who out of the blue told matt the baby would come 'just in the nick of time'! I was adamant that I didn't want intervention to bring my baby into the world, and I was getting increasingly anxious as midwives started talking about induction that I wouldn't get the calm natural birth that I so desperately wanted.
At 34 weeks, 'Just in the nick of time' weren't words I wanted to hear, but as the time passed they soon became words that gave me a glimmer of hope that this baby would be ok. Eventually we couldn't leave it any longer and I accepted that induction was the best way forward. We had friends and family praying that we wouldn't have to go through with it, but the day came and I went in for my induction appointment at 10.30am on Sunday 14th December, 11 days after the due date.
When we got there we were given a private room and we were told the delivery ward was busy so they couldn't start the induction yet, so we waited. The day went by, and every so often a midwife would come and apologise saying they were still too busy to see me. I had lunch, and still no news. I had a nap in the afternoon, and still no news. After tea, at 6pm they hooked me up to a monitor to check the baby's heart rate and movement, and everything was fine. At 7pm a midwife said they would have room for me in the delivery ward soon so she gave me an examination to see if I needed the induction gel, and but it turned out I was 3cm dilated already and wouldn't need inducing after all! I was so relieved not to have to have my labour started by drugs. It was wonderful news.
Matt wasn't with me at that point, as he had gone home to put Scarlett to bed. I called and told him the good news, and said I was soon going to go to the delivery ward to have my waters broken, but they didn't expect labour to start any time soon, so there was no need to hurry back. At 8pm I was taken to my delivery room and met by a midwife, Sue, who had just come on duty. We didn't know it then, but she turned out to be a Christian. For weeks, Matt and I had been praying for the best nursing staff to look after me in labour, and in hindsight we think God might have had his hand on the day, holding us back until this lady came on duty to deliver Sienna for us!
Sue talked through my birth plan with me, and was as keen as I was to closely manage this labour to avoid another tear. She gave me another exam and broke my waters, saying I was now 4cm dilated, but not to expect anything to happen for 2 or 3 hours at which point she'd come back and give me drugs to get contractions started. In my heart I was still holding onto God not to let it get to the point where I needed drugs, so I agreed to wait and see what happened.
As soon as she left the room, the pains started. I got into my nightshirt and got the TENS machine out of my bag and knelt down on the floor, kneeling against the bed, thinking 'This is it, I'm in labour already', but there was no-one around! Matt wasn't back yet, and the midwives had gone to attend to other women. I spent the next 20 mins going to and from the toilet in between contractions as my bowels emptied which wasn't very nice, and then Matt arrived at around 9.15pm just as I puked my guts up, and in between contractions and vomiting I managed to tell him I was in labour and he needed to help me get onto the bed! He looked very shocked!
By that point my contractions were coming thick and fast and I knew I was well into labour already, feeling that familiar 'I can't take this anymore' feeling you get just before you start pushing. I told matt to get help. He went and got the midwife who came back calmly and was about to give me a painkiller before she realised I was pushing. She then flew into action and told me not to push until she got into position and then a minute later said she could see the head, only an hour after she'd left me saying not to expect anything for a couple of hours!
Sue was fantastic, and I gave birth to Sienna at 8lbs 15oz, half an hour later with only a tiny tear that didn't need stitches. I was so happy. God heard my heart's desire and made it possible, despite the circumstances of going overdue, for me to have my natural birth. Thank you, Lord!