Kind of a newbie here - first post. Feeling overwhelme... - NCT


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Kind of a newbie here - first post. Feeling overwhelmed 😩

Tugsgirl profile image

Hi 👋🏻 I’ve come over from the fertility network. Some of you will know me from there.

Im 39. I’m currently 34+ weeks with my rainbow baby, a girl. Hubby and I were ttc 4 years including 2 years of ivf. Hubby is a T4 paraplegic. I had a natural miscarriage (possible CP) aged 28. We had 2 missed miscarriages during ivf. I had a D and C for the first one and medical management for the second. It was then discovered that I have lupus anticoagulant (aps). I’m on Enoxaparin and daily aspirin. Altogether we did 2 fresh rounds, 4 frozen and used a total of 7 embryos to get to this stage. We still have 2 embryos in storage.

Anyway yesterday we had another growth scan and appointment with our consultant. Baby is measuring a week ahead at 6.08lb! As she’s an ivf baby they stuck with ivf dates, never going by the 12 week dating scan. But she looks perfectly healthy. The consultant has suggested getting me in for 2 sweeps set 2 days apart in 4 weeks and if they don’t have the desired effect then a pessary induction followed by the drip, if necessary, at 39 weeks. I’m booked for another scan in another 2 weeks. I’m at the stage now where I’m really struggling with pgp and edema in both feet. I’ve fought with anxiety throughout the whole pregnancy. No one prepares you for how hard it will be after infertility and loss.

I guess I’d like to hear some positive stories re; babies weighing less than their predicted weights, having the sweep (pretty scared of this tbh) and being induced. All I’ve heard are horror stories and everything I feel I gained from my nct classes feels like a waste of time. I’m now getting really really frightened about pretty much everything 😬😩

Thanks for reading..

106 Replies

Just want to say howdy and welcome - so good to see fellow warriors making it over here 😃

Not long to go now 💗

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to WeeMrsH

Hey 👋🏻 Nice to hear from a friendly face, so to speak. I’m getting absolutely bloody terrified! Of sweeps, induction, labour itself, baby’s predicted birth weight (8+ lb) 😩😅

How are you and little one doing? xx

WeeMrsH profile image
WeeMrsH in reply to Tugsgirl

Our boy was measuring ahead too - 2 weeks I think. I was induced at 37+6 due to very high BP and he weighed 7lb 1oz; so probably not far off their prediction had I went full term! I don’t have a positive experience to tell so won’t comment further 😂🙈 other then we got a healthy baby at the end of it 💙

Try not to fret too much lovely, if I learnt anything it’s that it’s pretty much entirely out with our control (as to what eventually dictates your labour and how it goes). You’ll both be in safe hands.

Massive love and luck, look forward to hearing of your daughter’s safe arrival in a few weeks 🥰

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to WeeMrsH

I could do with all the luck, thank you ☺️ xx

Hi lovely both you and me are on this journey together and pretty much at the same stage. I'm starting to feel anxious also ATM I'm booked to be induced on the 1st Aug which less than 4weeks. I has my 34 wk scan and baby is around 5.5 lb which is about right. Your baby isn't that much heavier and your a bit further. Don't forget the scans aren't exact as such. Everything has become so real for us both now and we will be mummies very soon. Stay strong xx

Hey 👋🏻 It’s so nice to get an update from you 😊 When was your 34 week scan? Mine was only yesterday 😂 I’ve got another in two weeks and then they’ll book sweeps. They don’t sound at all nice. Are they going straight into induction for you? Our positions are so similar so please keep in touch xx

Had my scan today and got one more in two weeks. Yeah straight in for induction for me. Never mentioned a sweep. My baby has a slightly dialated kidney so that's also why they are doing it amongst my history and thyroid. Nervous but excited too. Soon be here. We still never found out the gender xx

How do you feel about induction? Some people have advised a “wait and see” approach but as with you, my pregnancy/delivery is classed as high risk due to ivf, my history, my blood clotting.. I can’t have her on the labour unit, I have to have her in the delivery suite which has all the medical equipment and doctors on standby. Like I said, please keep me posted on how you get on.. Can’t wait to hear what you have; blue or pink xx

I don't believe induction is particularly nice but I'm going with it. I'm relaxed really and I'm under the correct care. I'm under the deliver suite too but going to try a water birth first. I'll be in touch for sure. You'll be fine just take each day as it comes until little miss is here xxx

I really appreciate you staying in touch, given our similar stories. I admire your attitude so much. Speak soon xx

Hi Tugs!!

So glad to see that you are now so close to seeing your baby!

I was induced at 37 + 4 because baby's growth had stopped so they wanted baby out rather than in! I had 3 pessaries which got me to 2cm dilated but not into natural labour. The 2cm was enough for them to break my waters though so had to wait for a bed in the labour ward. I'm not going to lie - the pessaries were really painful as someone's hand is in places that no hands should be!!! So, at 37 + 6 I was finally taken to labour ward and waters broken. I was put on the drip to encourage labour and then labour lasted approx 2 1/2 hours!! Induction can be a slow process and allegedly labour is more painful but I don't have anything to judge that against!! x

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to lorraineb61

Oh dear, I was a bit naive in thinking these induction pessaries may be similar to the good old ivf ones and that insertion would be a doddle! Oh God help me lol 😂 😅 At least your labour sounds like it was relatively quick.. xx

I have to agree with this... I only had one pessary put in and that was sore... then having my waters broken I was on gas and air 🤣 I was only 1-2cm and they struggled to pop them as my cervix was still so far back!! Tugs the pessary has to basically be put in/on your cervix... so yes it’s not the most pleasant experience 🤣🤣🤣 xxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Sprinkles86

Oh no. That’s what I’m dreading. Not so much the labour, but how they get me there 😬😩 xx

I found the pessary not much worse than ivf procedures. And I’m a wuss! The gels were worse but I made them give me gas and air for the second one after experiencing the first one. Again, you get a baby to keep at the end of it. It’s worth it.

Thanks Lizzie! That is some comfort xx

I can’t help because mine were planned csec- think you know my story 😊 but wanted to say I’m still so happy for you!!! 💖🎉xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Kathy_t

Thank you. How are you doing? Xx

Kathy_t profile image
Kathy_t in reply to Tugsgirl

Good! Twins are tough but so happy to have a lovely family. How long do you have left? Xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Kathy_t

I can imagine 😅

I’m booked for an induction now on August 9th 😬 It’s getting very real very quickly now 😅 xx

Hey Tugsgirl. Nice to see you here. I'm sorry you're feeling uncomfortable, not long to go now though 😊

I went in for a sweep (at 41 weeks as I wanted to avoid induction) but my cervix was closed so they couldn't do it, but I went into labour that night which was very quick and straightforward. Not sure if the internal exam triggered something anyway!? I don't think they do a sweep unless your cervix is 'favourable', but I could be wrong. No personal experience of induction but my cousin has had 3 and she had straightforward births each time. Painful, yes, but no complications. If you do get to that point I hope goes smoothly. Look forward to hearing your update. Xx

in reply to

Sorry, I should add that the examination was uncomfortable but manageable. Easier than the scratch!!!

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to

Maybe my cervix won’t be favourable then 😂🤞🏻 I don’t have to have the sweeps, I could go straight to induction at 39 weeks but it’s just not knowing what to do for the best 🤷🏻‍♀️ xx

in reply to Tugsgirl

It is hard decision. I would just advise you to be as informed as you can be with both options. I researched everything from possible interventions to pain relief. I galso googled positive induction stories which helped me, plus knowing my cousin had done it 3 times without interventions was reassuring. I personally wanted induction to be a last resort but my labour ended up being as quick and intense anyway so you just never know how it is going to go. I can understand wanting/ needing an induction for medical reasons though. I had a really good experience but for some reason nobody ever talks about positive experiences, which is a shame. It is pretty intense and surreal but whatever happens you'll have your beautiful baby at the end and it no longer matters. Xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to

You’re right, all I hear is horror stories so thank you ☺️ xx

Hi. I was told my baby would be big (9 or 10 pounds) which I just didn’t believe. He was 7lb 13 in the end. I think these estimates from scans are often wrong.

I was induced on my due date because of my age (42 at the time) and because I had excess fluid and I had 2 pessaries. They got me to 1cm dilated and were my least favourite bit of the whole labour. I was put on the drip so I had an epidural and it didn’t hurt at all. I was very anxious throughout my pregnancy as we had waited a long time for our son with some losses along the way. Although my labour didn’t start naturally it was a good experience, definitely not a horror story, and was the best day of my life. If I had to do it again I wouldn’t change anything.

Good luck with it all. You will get loads of good advice here and then you can decide what is right for you. Am so pleased for you. Not long until you meet your daughter! Sending all my best wishes xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to City74

They’ve estimated her birth weight to be 8lb+ which isn’t too bad I guess. I’d panic at a 9lb+ 😅 but yes, I’ve read about many inaccuracies with estimated weights.

Thanks for the good luck wishes xx

Hi tugsgirl wow 34 weeks already!

I can’t answer on the sweep as I refused one at my 40 +3 appointment with my midwife ( my endometriosis makes even simple examinations painful) so we decided to book for induction at hospital instead- my consultant didn’t want me to go over 12 days overdue so midwife booked me- that night my daughter came naturally! My son came 6 days before my due date so to go overdue was a shock!

I was very lucky both my labours were short - 6 hours with son & 5 hours with my daughter. I had my son naturally but with my endo & being older went for gas & air with a birth pool. It definitely took the edge off my pain & eased my backache ( I had a backache labour with my daughter) it was more tricky pushing to get my daughter out as she had her hand over back of her head ( she was always posing like that in scans!) lucky the head midwife was able to help & with her advice our daughter came out safely 😍To be really honest I found the stitches afterwards more painful than having a baby! You literally forget the pain part as soon as soon as you see your gorgeous baby it’s such an amazing moment meeting your baby you’ve waited so long for this moment 😍

Remember women’s bodies are geared up to having babies. There are many pain relief options available your midwife can talk through the pain relief, birth plans don’t always go to plan so see how you feel.

Our little girl was also ahead of dates & definitely was on the bigger side but no one said she was too big! Her brother was only 6lb 6oz at 39+1!!! I was getting very worried as she weighed 7lbs 11oz at 38 weeks I ended up with a UTI then I’m sure that was due to her size! In the end she weighed 8lbs 14oz at 40 +4.

As for the anxiety I don’t have any advice but feel for you. I had awful anxiety throughout even as I went into labour I worried something would go wrong with her I kept saying I hope she’ll be ok. But not long for you to go & your baby girl will be here safely in your arms before you know it ❤️👶🏻and she will worth all of what you’ve been through to get her 😍it’s amazing having that family unit it’s even better than I imagined it to be.

You’ve gone through so much you are strong a real fighter so I know you’ve got this ❤️

I can’t wait to hear your birth announcement & see you have that family that you deserve so much .

All the best with the rest of the pregnancy & birth 💞xoxo

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to

Hey Jess. I bet you’re enjoying every second. She looks lovely and not at all big.

Her predicted birth weight is 8lb+ so not too scary at the moment.

That’s another thing I’m dreading though now that you mention it - an episiotomy or tearing! Starting perineum massages this week! I can’t wait to meet her though, I just wish she would come a bit earlier and naturally but the problem is, the blood thinners, that’s why they want to induce me early xx

I was on aspirin and fragmin but was still allowed to go to 40+5. If you’re really scared of induction then ask them to let you go longer. I really questioned everything about why they needed to induce me and made an informed decision to go to 40+5. Sorry, loads of comments from me as I read through.

I totally didn’t think giving birth was nearly as bad as I had expected, and on paper I had a very difficult time, but in reality it was fine and I got a baby to keep at the end of it. Everything that happens during labour is one step closer to holding him or her. I would definitely do it again.

I appreciate every comment. The consultant says that ivf pregnancies are ever so slightly higher risk than standard pregnancies and that also the longer I leave it the worse my pgp will get. As baby is head down now there are times when I struggle to stand straight, it feels like she’s grinding down on my pubic bones 😬

It’s good to hear you’d do it all over again! Hubby keeps talking about using our last two embies and at the moment I just keep thinking “You MUST be joking!!” (Actually my thoughts aren’t that polite!) 😂 But who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind xx

in reply to Tugsgirl

Thank you. It has been so worth fighting for 😍 she wasn’t that big thank goodness 😂 healthy weight but not huge!

I’m sure I only tore because her hand was behind her head coming out & I struggled to push her because of that- my son was easy he came out easily one or two pushes & didn’t tear at all with him! Not all women will get stitches but if you are unlucky to you will get local anaesthetic & gas n air too. Mine healed within 2 weeks & by the time hubby returned I was capable of doing housework etc,

If getting pregnant wasn’t so hard with my endometriosis I’d love to have another baby & I would be happy to do it again! The moment you meet your child is the best feeling in the world ❤️

It should be your choice how you have your baby unless there is a valid medical reason for early induction. I can understand why you want baby to come naturally I felt the same midwife said it was my decision ( but consultant he insisted no longer than 12 days post due date)My midwife did say now I was booked in & more relaxed baby would come and she was right she came that night! 😂 I know there some old wives tales to bring on labour naturally could do.

I just wanted to know she was okay , which sounds silly as like you i had growth scans & I heard her heart beat so many times but wanted her to get out safety I couldn’t truly relax until she was here with us ❤️ It is such a hard journey it really takes it out of you.

Not long to go until your precious baby is here, can’t wait to see picture of her when you feel up to it. 😍 xoxo

Hey! My baby girl is 11 weeks old and I had basically the same story. Said she was big (she ended up only being 8,4 when she was born so not massive) so I had 2 sweeps at 39 weeks, neither of them worked. Ended up going in for induction but I got the cooks balloon. I happily took the sweeps and the induction because I had anxiety about baby being ok.

Hope this helps ☺️ Xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to JulieOcean2

What’s the cook’s balloon? No 8lb 4 definitely isn’t that big. Mine is only predicted to be similar at 8lb+ but the reason they want to start sweeps at 38 weeks and full induction at 39 is mainly because I have blood clotting problems and they don’t really want to run the risk of me getting into labour naturally.

Sounds like you were brave, for the better good. Thank you xx

JulieOcean2 profile image
JulieOcean2 in reply to Tugsgirl

The cooks balloon is all that I got offered for induction (doesn’t put extra hormones into the body is what I was told is the reason) it’s 2 balloons filled with fluid one inside the cervix and one outside. And it’s left in for 24hours.

Ahh I see, do you feel a bit better that you have a plan time wise baby coming though rather than just waiting? It made me feel a bit safer knowing I wouldn’t just be left xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to JulieOcean2

I guess I do. Just naively thought that a sweep would be a bit “uncomfortable” same with pessary (I’m used to pessaries with ivf but this sounds a lot more intrusive).

The cook’s balloon doesn’t sound particularly nice either to be fair 😬 Well done you xx

JulieOcean2 profile image
JulieOcean2 in reply to Tugsgirl

Ahh ok. I’ve heard horror stories about sweeps being agony but I genuinely didn’t mind either of mine I had zero pain. Neither of them worked right enough so god knows if that makes a difference ha. Xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to JulieOcean2

So good to hear you didn’t find either painful though 👍🏻 xx

Welcome! My girl was IVF too. I went 12 days overdue. I had a sweep at 7 days overdue and it’s uncomfortable but manageable. I was then induced at 11 days over. I ended up with emergency c section. I wouldn’t say my birth experience was great but I just wanted her here so it didn’t effect me emotionally about how she got here. Also you dread these things but actually none of it is as bad as what you think. As soon as they are in your arms you literally forget about it all. My girl was 10lb 1oz as well so wasn’t easy but we got there. We didn’t even have growth scans so was a complete surprise. My anxiety was awful all the way through so found the end hard but got there xxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to

Emotionally I’m not too bothered either but physically is a different story 😂😬😅 Hopefully you’re right and I am building it up in my head to be so much worse than it is 🤞🏻

10lb 1 is quite an impressive weight! xx

in reply to Tugsgirl

I am such a wuss about everything (I faint at blood tests) so birth terrified me but I’ve managed IVF, the pain of a miscarriage, labouring until fully dilated and c-section so now I think if I can do all that I can do anything so I’m pretty sure you can too 🙂. It always sounds so much worse when you hear about it.

She was rather large 😂 but you would never guess it now. She’s quite dainty.

Can’t wait to hear your birth update xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to

I’m a wuss too despite everything I’ve been through. Thank you. I can’t wait to share xx

Hey, lovely to see you over here. I had 3 sweeps before I went in to be induced they were uncomfortable but manageable. As for the pessary’s for induction I didn’t find them any worse than what we go through during IVF. I did end up having a c section but that was partly down to choice after 3 days of not getting past 2cm. When I had my little boy they said I probably made the right choice as he had quite a large head which would of made labour difficult. They were right about my little boy being big but my friend was told her baby would be over 9lb and she 8lb 6 so they’re not always right x

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to E_05

Hey 👋🏻 Thanks for this. I know we go through some pretty crappy uncomfortable stuff with the ivf and I’ve been looking for things to compare the sweep and induction to, in terms of ivf levels. That’s somewhat comforting.

I’m not too worried about her size yet, they think 8lb+ although if I end up looking at 9lb+ I may start to panic about that too 😬😅

I hope you’re well and enjoying being a Mum xx

Oh bless you! It is a really worrying time. With my DD I was told she was 8lbs at 36 weeks. She was born 2.5 weeks later weighing 7lbs 9oz. I was told by my community midwife that if she had one measurement that sat in a different centile (her femur length) then this can skew the calculation. She was right as she was born very long and to this day is still tall for her age.

I had severe polyhydramnios with my DD. I was told that this produces big babies. At 33+6 weeks I was told he was 8lbs 2oz already. I was booked in for an elective c section yesterday but he has his own plans and my waters broke Monday when I was 35+4 weeks. He was 8lbs 8oz born so they were in the right ball park but if I had followed growth charts I was expecting him to be more like 9lbs 8oz! Try not to worry about predicted weights as they are more for the doctors to identify possible complications.

I hope your rainbow baby arrives safely. Xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to

7lb 9 is a lovely manageable sounding weight 😊

I had some polyhydramnios on my previous scans too but I’m happy to say that the gestational diabetes test was negative and that the fluids over the last two scans are now back within normal ranges.

Thank you and congratulations xx

Wow not long to go! Lovely to see you here. Can’t help you as I had a c section but I just wanted to wish you all the best and assure you that you’ll forget about everything once you have that little miracle in your arms. Xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Noobs

Hey 👋🏻 Yea, I know you’re right of course, once she’s here after everything I’ve been through, it will all pale into insignificance I’m sure. It’s just getting to that point! 😬😅

Hope you’re well xx

Noobs profile image
Noobs in reply to Tugsgirl

I know. It’s easy for me to say this now after 9 months of anxiety. I’m great and loving being a mummy. Thank my lucky stars every day and still have to pinch myself that it’s real ha ha. Deep breaths Tugsgirl, you’ve got this❤️.xx

Nice to see you here 😀 My 12 week scan moved my dates forward by 5 days vs IVF and then she came at 39 weeks (so technically almost 2 weeks early from IVF date) weighing a healthy 8lb 5oz. Labour was only 5 1/2hrs. I did need a cut to help her out but i did it on gas and air and although not the most pleasant experience in the world was definitely the best birth I could of hoped for 😊 I know it’s easy to say not to worry but things don’t usually go wrong and you’ll most likely find it’s nowhere near as bad as you imagined it would be. All the best for the last few weeks xxx

Hey 👋🏻

Yea I see Jess mentions stitches in her reply. That’s another thing I’m dreading so I’m starting my perineum massages this week!

I often wonder what they’d be saying re; gestation had they adjusted my dates at my 12 week scan..

5 and a half hours is amazing! I hope to be as lucky 🍀 🤞🏻 Xx

Hey lovely, my boy always measured ahead (my hospital DID change IVF dates!) and at our growth scan at 34 weeks he was measuring about 36+ weeks and they had me do a diabetes test (which was negative) as he had grown so much! In the weeks just before the scan we had a massive bleed and I was in hospital for a couple of nights as they thought either he was coming early or placenta was coming away (neither happened thankfully). We had also had an episode of reduced movements. All of this with his large size, my humongous legs and feet made me agree to be induced at 38+5. They were expecting him to be well over 9 pounds and he was born at 8 pound 9 ounces, although because of the fluids I was given in labour I think a natural birth would have seen him come in a little bit lower than that.

If induction doesn’t feel like it’s needed to you then don’t be pushed into it. In all honestly I wish I would have waited, as when I was induced both him and my body clearly weren’t ready as I didn’t dilate past 1-2cm, he ended up in distress and being born via emergency section.

If you’re planning to breastfeed just be aware that induction (and section if you were to have one) can both delay your milk coming in, plus section babies are more sleepy as they don’t have the mucus sucked out of them like they would if born vaginally. I also had a blood loss of 800ml during the section which again affects your milk coming in.... don’t be put off though, I’m still feeding him at 12 months 🤣 he did have formula top ups in hospital as he struggled to latch on as he was so sleepy. Turned out he had a tongue tie so when he was able to latch on he was struggling to get anything anyway!

Can I just say how excited I am for you both after everything you’ve been through... if there was ever a ‘deserved’ baby it’s this one xxxxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Sprinkles86

Thank you 😊 That’s so nice of you to say.

Sounds like you had a bit of a scare..

I don’t know what to do for the best re; the sweeps and induction. I can avoid the sweeps (although they’re saying in my case that they think it will be beneficial) but I don’t think I can avoid the induction as they don’t want me to labour naturally due to my history and blood clotting. I guess that’s why they want to start me off a bit earlier.

I am planning on breast feeding yes, thanks for the heads up. I’ll definitely be discussing this at my appointment in two weeks xx

Sprinkles86 profile image
Sprinkles86 in reply to Tugsgirl

Ah yes I’d forgotten about your blood clotting, the good thing about induction is you know when baby is going to come so you can get organised if you have pets that need looking after etc. I was offered a sweep at 38 weeks but I declined it.

Great news that you’re planning to breastfeed 😊 it really is amazing, the first six weeks are so hard but it is so worth it and gets a lot easier after that. You can ask your midwife for some 1ml syringes as you can express colostrum from 37 weeks and store in the freezer, then when baby is born if your milk is a bit slow to come in you can give baby the colostrum as the hospital should be able to store for you when you go in. Baby only needs tiny tiny amounts when they are first born, stomach is the size of a marble I think it is.

To help your supply do loads of skin to skin and put baby on the breast as soon as they show feeding cues. Look into the fourth trimester - I wasn’t aware of how much baby just wants to be held by mum and found it a bit overwhelming! Using a sling helped keep baby close but meant I had my hands free for a little while. MultiMAM compresses are good for if your nipples get sore, and lansinoh nipple balm as you can leave it on when baby feeds. See if there’s a la leche league group in your area as they have some good info on getting ready for breastfeeding, or chatting with a lactation consultant (IBCLC) will help. Good support is so important, we really struggled at first and turned out he had a tongue tie which we had snipped at 9 weeks. Even then his weight gain was a little slow until I saw a lactation consultant at 16 weeks and from there things got so much better xxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Sprinkles86

Thank you, you’ve given me some really handy tips here. We covered breast feeding in nct, a whole two and a half hour session of it but like I said, since all this talk of inductions etc I forgot most of what we learned in my panicking! The lady who did the breastfeeding session said she’s available from 7am to 11pm at night on the phone and will do house visits when we’re struggling 😅

Just one question? How do I express from 37 weeks? I’m not even leaking at the moment. I will pop an email to the breast feeding nct consultant too and ask my midwife, just wondering if you have any tips on how to get it started?? Xx

Sprinkles86 profile image
Sprinkles86 in reply to Tugsgirl

Ahh that’s amazing 🥰 yes it’s easy to forget as there’s so much to take in too!! There’s loads of good info on the kellymom site about breastfeeding, here’s a link to the page on hand expressing, it’s hard at first and you’ll only get a couple of drops but after a few sessions you will get more:

I’ve found if you use your fingertips to tap over your breast, like raindrops style, then use your fingers to massage from the outside of your breast towards the nipple. Hard to describe how to massage but if you make a fist and use the middle part of your fingers. Do that all the way around your breast, then make a ‘C’ shape with your hand and carefully squeeze from the outside of your breast towards the nipple several times. God I’ve made it sound complicated 🤣 but it gets so much easier once you’ve done it a few times!

Shel Banks is the lactation consultant I’ve seen for help, she does a live Q&A every fortnight on the parent platform page on Facebook which is great (plus you can go back and watch old ones too).

That feeling when baby is born and latches on for the first time... honestly it’s just amazing xxxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Sprinkles86

It does sound a lot to take in yea but thank you! So you suggest trying this at 37 weeks? Xx

Sprinkles86 profile image
Sprinkles86 in reply to Tugsgirl

I forgot to add, on the massage bit using the middle section of your fingers you roll your fist sideways so start on index(?) finger and roll towards your nipple ending on little finger...

Yes some say 36 weeks but think general guidelines say 37 weeks. I really wish I had known about it and done it before I had my boy, as he ended up having formula top ups in hospital whereas if I’d expressed some colostrum he could have had that instead. There’s a good group on Facebook UK breastfeeding and parenting support, lots of helpful mummies on there for help before and after baby comes xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Sprinkles86

Thank you so much for all your tips xx

Firstly congratulations on your pregnancy! I was just induced 2 weeks ago at 39 weeks, as they predicted my son was weighing 9lb4oz at 38+5, I had the pessary inserted (which scratched a bit, but no more than the blood draw they did first) and after 24 hours was in early labour so they didn’t need to put the gel in, I walked around for a few hours/ bounced on the ball while my contractions got stronger/ closer together, then had a bath to help with the pain. I had my waters broken and was 3/4cm and had 4 hours before they started the oxytocin drip, I wish they’d checked for dilation before starting that as I think I was further gone than they thought at that point, before the oxytocin drip I didn’t have any pain relief, but the drip made my contractions a lot stronger and very close together, I had one lot of pethidine and some gas and air, and two hours after the drip started I felt the urge to push, the midwives were convinced I still had 4-5 hours to go at that point, but in 3 pushes my 8lb exactly son was out. It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be x

Nin21996 profile image
Nin21996 in reply to Nin21996

Also regarding the point made above my milk came in normally after 3 days, and I have an oversupply

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Nin21996

Thank you. Your experience sounds manageable.

I’ll definitely be discussing breast feeding at my appointment in two weeks xx

Nin21996 profile image
Nin21996 in reply to Tugsgirl

Good luck x

Hi 👋🏻 lovely to see your name pop up on this site! Can’t believe how close you are to meeting your precious girl. Have you considered hypnobirthing to help with your anxiety about labour, etc? ‘Your Baby, Your Birth’ is an excellent book if it’s something you would be interested in.

I was induced at 39 weeks. Had a sweep and one pessary at 7pm (both bearable) and my daughter was born the next morning just before 10am. Was it painful? Yes. Was it worth it and would I do it again? Absolutely.

Hypnobirthing breathing techniques kept me really calm throughout and I can’t recommend enough. I think after the crazy anxiety levels for the previous 9 months I was just desperate to get her here safely and was excited.

Take whatever you need to get through labour, be aware of your choices and preferences. You can absolutely do this. Xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Lou9

Thank you for saying the sweep and induction were bearable. Funnily enough it’s these things and the thought of tearing or being cut that terrify me more than labour itself. Actually I was feeling pretty good about labour after the nct classes until it dawned on me that I won’t be able to go into labour spontaneously.

I should have a look at hypnobirthing, I know I should, I didn’t really take to mindfulness though so I guess that’s why I hadn’t considered it so far xx

I hate mindfulness but loved hypnobirthing breathing x

Well I will take a look in that case. I was such a failure at mindfulness 😂🤦🏻‍♀️ xx

kt_11 profile image
kt_11 in reply to Tugsgirl

Another recommendation for hypnobirthing. I’m not usually into that type of thing at all but my midwife said afterwards that my (induced) labour was the most calm she’d ever seen 😂

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to kt_11

Thanks. I’ll get onto it later today. Just a google search I presume? Xx

kt_11 profile image
kt_11 in reply to Tugsgirl

I think actually it was my OH who booked it. I imagine that’s how he found it though. All the course material was from “The calm birth school” though I think if that helps you find someone. x

Hi tugsgirl! I too was a fertility network and have followed your story. Having had multiple rounds of I've and recurrent miscarriage I understand the anxiety. I ended up being induced a week early as I had gd and my lb was measuring big. I too was scared of sweeps so I declined them and went for pessery induction (although I wanted to leave it a bit longer I was too scared to go against the hospital protocol). It started things off but then slowed so was about to go for injection when they discovered the monkey had gone transverse so a c section it was! He was born 5lb 13oz, so not big at all!! Anyway he is now 10months and perfect. All I can say is try not to get hung up on stuff. The hospital will be doing everything in your best interests, but you have the say in what you want. It will not follow any plan and you know what when you are holding your precious little girl you won't care. I still couldn't believe he was mine until he was in my arms! I wish you all the joy in the world. Xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Lamb82

Hey 👋🏻

I’m too scared to go against their advice too. I don’t think it’s that they’re trying to pressure me because it’s better for them but that it’s genuinely better for me. Spontaneous labour isn’t advised with my history and blood clotting.

Our daughter has been transverse a few times, that and breach 🤦🏻‍♀️ but in Thursday she was finally head down! I cried with relief because they’d been talking about turning her at 36 weeks. Just hope she stays down 🤞🏻

Thank you xx

Well done you for getting this far. Pregnancy after multiple loses is stressful been there and know exactly how your feeling. I got a sweep and went into labour that night then birth the following day with my first baby. I think the description of the sweep was worse than the actual thing. But everyone's experience of these things can be different. Hang in your nearly there and wishing you best of luck x x

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to

Such a positive response. Thank you ☺️ xx

Hiya! I recognise you, I’m here from the fertility network too! I can’t help you with the weighing side of things, but I can relate to how difficult this is after infertility. When you work so hard for something you are so eager to know every single detail and some health professionals can be a bit blasé as they see so many pregnancies. Anyway I hope you get the advise you’re looking for, I’m sure everything will be absolutely fine xxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to staaa88

I recognise you too ☺️ It’s nice to be joined by familiar names. Thank you xx

Please look up the positive birth company. Siobhan Miller from there has really helped me with my anxiety over birth.

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Katylou27

Thank you for the tip xx


Look up The Positive Birthing company. This is helping me loads.

Growth scans are wildly inaccurate. Measuring a week ahead is nothing. You don’t NEED to do anything if you don’t want to. Your baby will come when it’s ready!

Don’t be afraid or a sweep if you decide that’s what’s right for you. It takes 1 minute as is nothing more than weird and uncomfortable

Also- ask about the new induction method. They use little rods that swell to dilate you, much nicer apparently.

Remember- you have options! Ask for all of them. What happens if you wait another week? What about going for a section? How accurate are the scans? Don’t get Rail roaded into a decision without ALL the info. The nhs is great but they focus what is quickest and most cost effective. This isn’t necessary the best option for you.

Don’t be afraid of induction if that’s what you go for. It’s fine! People love telling horror stories but there are far more happy tales to tell

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to badgerhynes

A minute of pain can feel a lifetime but actually you’ve made me feel a bit better about it when you describe it as weird and uncomfortable so thank you xx

badgerhynes profile image
badgerhynes in reply to Tugsgirl

TBH I don’t even think it took a minute! Just keep breathing and try to stay relaxed. It’s really nothing to be overly concerned about. It’s just a bit pokey and proddy. You feel nothing afterwards (except a bit of period like ache). If it means you don’t need to have a induction then that’s great. I had 5 sweeps

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to badgerhynes

5? Wow! What a warrior 💪🏻 xx

Hi, as the others have said try not to worry (if possible). I suffer from endometriosis and was monitored with growth scans every other week from week 30 as my baby was measuring small. With each scan my baby was measuring in the <10th centile, however I was under an amazing consultant in a high risk maternity unit and she always reassured me with every scan that she wasn’t concerned with the measurements. I went into labour naturally the day before my baby’s due date but had a difficult labour resulting in an emergency section and my little girl being born the day after her due date ......... at a very healthy 7lbs 3oz. My point being (as my consultant assured me) the scans can only be so accurate and birth weight is often out of sync with the scan measurements.

In relation to the sweep I had one the day before I laboured: I must be honest I found it very sore (more to do with my endometriosis) but I think it done the trick.🤣

You are nearing the end of a very long journey, focus on the joy that is to come very soon

Endometriosis makes everything so much more intense and painful doesn’t it? Thankfully I don’t have it, so maybe you’re right and I wouldn’t find it as sore as you did. Thanks xx

Hi -congratulations - i bet you cant wait to meet your new baby xxxx i had to get cut towards the end of my labour ( my daughters heart rate was starting to lower ) - to be honest i dont remember it being painful as i think the adrenaline had kicked in . When i had to get stitched up my legs wouldnt stop shaking ( i wasnt fussed as i got to stare at our beautiful lady ) again your body has just done the most amazing thing ever . Good luck with it all and please let us know how you get on xxxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Loubump

Thank you. I know if needs be I’ll have no choice. I’m going to try the perineum massages just in case it helps. Nothing to lose right 🤷🏻‍♀️Thank you. I’ll keep everyone posted xx

Yay, so nice to see you here!

I had three (maybe four, can’t quite remember) sweeps and I don’t usually tolerate anything very well. It’s over SO quickly though, and will be worth it if it works.

You are designed to labour and give birth so you will be able to do it. I practised the breathing a lot before d-day and it really really helped. I had lots of comments from the midwives about how good my breathing was. I did not need to scream or cry at all.

I would say my best advice would be not to set your heart on anything but to know your options and learn about pros and cons before you have to make decisions in the moment.

And... IT WILL BE WORTH IT. There will be an actual baby which you will actually get to take home and keep. You’ve got this.

Oh and I was induced and again, it’s worth it. You get a baby at the end.

Thank you SO much. This is just the kinda thing I need to hear. Xx

Hey lovely

So nice to see you here! I cant imagine how anxious you must be feeling. I was awful with just the IVF journey. I didnt believe it was real until our baby girl was in our arms. My little bubs was measuring big but was actually not as big as they expected. I went through 3 sweeps, a failed induction and an emergency section. I would do it all again though far easier said than done on the other side. But you will forget it all as soon as your little princess is placed in your arms. I would do it all again xxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to NMP1026

Hey I remember you 😊 Your baby girl must be what, 6 months or so? Xx

NMP1026 profile image
NMP1026 in reply to Tugsgirl

Awe I wasnt expecting you to remember me. Yeah she was 6 months on the 27th June 😊. All the birthing stuff seems so long ago now but I was so worried. My birth was no where near what I wanted but she got here safe and sound. Your princess will be in your arms before you know it. Just be prepared and know your options xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to NMP1026

Safe and sound for mummy and baby, that’s the main thing 😊 Nice to hear from you xx

Hi hun, just wanted to say good luck with everything you amazing warrior 🤗 this is my first post on NCT, slowly making a transition from the fertility forum now I am 11 weeks. So no advice from me but I wanted to wish you all the best and can't wait to hear the updates xx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Kiedy84

Scary coming over here isn’t it? Fertility network feels like a safe space, a safety net. Thank you for your kind words and congratulations on your pregnancy xx

Hello hun! I was induced with my second little girl via drip as couldn’t have pessaries due to previous c section and it was very painful as I was only on gas and air. I would advise to ask them for an epidural straight after you’ve been put on the drip as I went 0-100 in minutes when they turned it up as I wasnt dilating! You soon forget everything when you are holding your little one.

Very exciting not long now hun hope you get the birth you are wanting xxxx

Hi. Can't believe you will be welcoming your beautiful baby girl in a matter of weeks now. So happy for you and your hubbie after all you have suffered. It's natural to feel anxious before your baby is born. I know I was extremely anxious prior to both my children being born. I was induced with both my daughter and son. I also had my waters broken with my son. I had a forceps delivery and episiotomy with my daughter. Both children were very big (daughter 9lbs 7ozs and son 10lbs 7ozs.) I wasn't really overdue either. 40+4 with my daughter and 40+3 with my son. If you do end up being induced you will cope. One word of advislce is that the contractions pain is more intense with being induced so take all the pain relief you feel you need. Remifentanol helps. I had it when having my son. Gas and air helps take the edge off. An epidural is great if you decide to go with one. I had this with my daughter. Everyone's experience is different. The main thing is to know that your body is a powerful thing. It heals quickly too. You can do this. Before you know it your precious daughter will be in your arms. Don't scare yourself reading wild birth stories. You will be in good hands at the hospital with professionals who deliver hundreds of babies. Try not to worry. This is a special moment in your life and your husband's too. Don't let fear take away from your special time. Looking forward to hearing your lovely news. Take care mummy to be very soon. Xo

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Poppy16

Thank you. I’ll do my best xx

Hi Tugsgirl! Can I just start by saying, you are amazing! 🤩 You've gone through so much and remained strong. You're weeks away from meeting your miracle rainbow. You CAN do this!

I'm having c section next week (due to horrendous 1st birth) with my rainbow baby, so can emphasise with (some of) the turmoil you've been through. Have been told he's also measuring big, but to be honest, measurements were way off with all of my friend's babies, so am gonna just wait & see!

Whatever medical interventions are needed, wear your crown with pride and just remember what will be waiting for you at the end. It will all be worth it! 😘 💪🌈👑 Xxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to JC12000

Thank you so much for such a lovely message xx

Hi Vicky

I wasn’t classed as high risk so didn’t have any extra scans so never knew weight of baby. I was 41+4 when I had my baby nhs dates ivf dates I would have been 41+1. I had an attempted sweep at 41 weeks but she couldn’t do it, i was unsure of having one as had heard they are not nice. My friend had one and told me it was just like a smear test, more uncomfortable than painful. Regarding induction mine failed to progress unfortunately and the pessary overstimulated me so I had lots of contractions all together, but I wouldn’t say it was horrible or anything just more frustrating than anything else. Frustrating that my body wasn’t doing what it was supposed to. We had done a digital hypnobirthing course and I feel it really helped me stay calm. I have read lots of positive induction stories, I guess everyone’s experience is different. Xxx

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Penders

Currently trying to work my way through a hypnobirthing audio book - hoping I haven’t left it too late! 😅 🤞🏻 xx

Awwwww Tugsgirl how wonderful it is to read your post. I have been off fertility network for a while. I'm sooooo glad you finally got some good news. I'm all teary right now. Congratulations. Happy for you.

Tugsgirl profile image
Tugsgirl in reply to Lawmom

Oh hey 👋🏻 😊 How are you doing? Long time no see!

I’m over 36 weeks now. My baby girl feels stronger every day, like she’s actively trying to get out (think Alien lol). Induction is booked for August the 9th 😅 Very scary but also exciting xx

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