Abbie tells us in her own words about her experience of being induced, epidurals and giving birth.
"I booked in to be induced on Friday 22 September as I had gestational diabetes and my son was measuring big - they thought I would have a 10 pounder!
"When I arrived at Hinchingbrooke hospital I was told I may have to go home and come back tomorrow as they were too busy - but they said to wait around and see. They kept delaying it then changing their mind but eventually I was induced late in the afternoon. Overnight I was in incredible pain from the induction and was so worried about the actual labour if this was how bad being induced was!
"On the Saturday morning I was still in horrendous pain so I started doing laps of the hospital in the hope it would help bring labour on - but half way round the induction string fell out and I was devastated as I was convinced it wouldn’t have worked and I would have to start again. Luckily that evening they examined me and I was dilated and could move across to labour ward to have my waters broken.
"I ended up going across to the labour ward at 6am on Sunday the 24th and within the hour had a midwife break my waters. I was told to walk around the hospital for an hour in the hope my cervix would open ready to give birth. Unfortunately after the hour I was still at 3 cm so my midwife advised I had an epidural as they would be using the drip to induce labour further.
"I remember being so nervous having the epidural inserted that I was convinced I would faint - I think I was convinced I would be paralysed as I had heard so many horror stories about that happening, as ridiculous as it sounds! As the drip was working, I appeared to not be progressing in labour and the hours went by with no change. However at about 17:00 my baby's heart rate kept going fast so my midwife pulled the orange emergency lever. A lot of doctors and nurses came in and they decided to carry on the drip and if it didn’t work in an hour I would need a caesarean. After about 10 minutes, my babies heart rate increased again and the orange lever was pulled again - and the same doctors etc came in. The doctor in charge told the midwife to prep me for a caesarean and as he walked the door he decided to examine me himself just to check - and was surprised that I was fully dilated!
"Within seconds the doctor had put the stirrups up and was telling me he would advise me when to push. It all happened very quickly and shortly after my son was born."