Gestational diabetes induction birth stories

Here we share some of our members gestational diabetes induction birth stories. With gestational diabetes, many ladies may be advised to have an induction of labour [IOL]. Induction may be ‘the unknown’ and for many ladies, a scary and daunting, unnatural process. Many ladies hear lots of horror stories surrounding induction and so it’s important to understand what is involved so that you can make an informed decision over whether you consent to induction or not.

Induction of labour

In order for a baby to be born, the cervix (neck of the uterus) has to shorten, soften and open and there needs to be contractions. In most pregnancies this process happens naturally between 38 – 42 weeks and is known as ‘spontaneous labour’. Induction of labour is the process of starting labour artificially.

But what would be the reasons for needing to start labour artificially? The short and simple reason is ‘Medical reasonswhere it is felt there is increased risk to the health of your baby or you should the pregnancy continue

Let’s take a quick look at the National Guidelines around this: –

NICE Guidelines SIGN Guidelines HSE Guidelines
Timing of delivery for mothers with gestational diabetes Advise women with gestational diabetes to give birth no later than 40+6 weeks, and offer elective birth (by induction of labour, or by caesarean section if indicated) to women who have not given birth by this time.

Consider elective birth before 40+6 weeks for women with gestational diabetes if there are maternal or fetal complications.

Women with diabetes requiring insulin or oral glucose-lowering medication who have pregnancies which are otherwise progressing normally should be assessed at 38 weeks gestation with delivery shortly after, and certainly by 40 weeks. In the setting of excellent glycaemic control, adherence to treatment and absence of maternal and fetal compromise, women with diabetes may await spontaneous labour up to 39-40 weeks gestation.

The frequency of fetal monitoring should be increased if the pregnancy is allowed to progress beyond 40 weeks’ gestation.


We explain induction of labour in more detail, reasons for induction, look at the 3 national guidelines, share lots of information around different methods of induction and links to research on our induction page.

Gestational diabetes induction birth stories from our members

I was induced at 38+1 after being on Metformin for my GD, first pessary was put in at 5pm, checked at midnight and 2cm dilated so told to rest and they’d come get me when the labour ward was ready for me, transferred to labour ward at 6am. Cos of an emergency on the labour ward they popped my waters at 2:30pm and my little boy was born at 2:26am the next day. They checked my sugars for me while I was in labour with the help of my hubby who pricked my finger for them. Baby was fine and all his sugars were perfect, mine went back to normal straight away too! We were sent home the following evening ~ Jessica

Induced at exactly 38 weeks due to suspected placenta deterioration. Induced at 11am, first contraction at 5.30pm, waters broke at 8.50pm, baby born at 9.30pm a healthy 8lbs. Duration of labour recorded as 28 minutes! It was all so fast! I was ecstatic as I got the VBAC I so desperately wanted after having a emergency c-section with my 1st ~ Sophie

I was induced at 39 weeks (due to being on Metformin) on the Friday at 11am. I had period like pains overnight, then the following morning (Saturday) at 10:30am I had a sweep, which made me 3cm dilated. This then put me in the queue to have my waters broken. I had my waters broken at 7pm, same day, contractions weren’t regular so was put on hormonal drip at 10:15pm, by 12:35am (Sunday) my little (5lbs 11oz) princess was born. I read so many stories about the induction being a long process, it is extremely painful, you’re most likely to have an epidural (I only had gas & air) and that you’re more likely to have a C-section etc. But I can honestly say I had a very positive labour and having GD did not affect how I wanted it to go ~ Natasha

GD pregnancy 1 a very protracted and medicalised induction due to a preterm premature rupture of membranes, but GD pregnancy 2… amazing!! Notwithstanding a long latent phase between Monday night, and things finally seriously getting going on the Wednesday night, I had the most amazing water birth in an alongside MLU [midwife led unit] (despite both GD and GBS +), I was so focused on delivering my baby that when the midwife, who was just watching me do my thing, said “and out pops baby, you can pick baby up” I reached down and lifted my baby from the water to my chest, gave baby a kiss on the head, said hello and cuddled baby to my chest… We were a good minute or so into this snuggle with new baby when the midwife actually asked if it was a boy or a girl, didn’t even cross my mind to check we were so awestruck! I still feel amazing when I think about that labour 7.5mths down the line ~ Lisa

I was induced at 37+4. I had a pessary and two 6 hour tablets. I managed to get to two cm and was upset as I was told I needed to get to four. Dr came to see me. Said he could break my waters and he did!! I got the drip that night. Early the next afternoon I was holding my perfect little boy in my arms. He passed his blood sugars first time and off we went home ~ Vicki

I went in for my final growth scan and consultant appointment at 36+6 weeks. I was taking metformin and insulin so knew I was going to be induced at 38 weeks. It was decided at the appointment due to my blood pressure slowly increasing over the previous weeks it would just be best to induce today. As baby was fine I ended up having 2 doses of steroids over 24 hours. I was very strict with my diet and did not need a sliding scale, although my numbers did rise slightly. I then had 2 x 24 hour pessaries. I was only 1 cm dilated but was not too worried or upset as baby was happy, my blood pressure was stable and it was my first so knew it could be a while! (I had my trusty GD lunch box with me for snacks to get me through!) The following day I had the hormone drip and they broke my waters at 11am. At 20.55 that evening my healthy baby boy was born at 37 + 3 weeks weighing 6lb 13. Put him on the boob straight away and he passed both lots of sugars. We were then discharged by lunch time the following day ~ Lauren

I was induced at 37 weeks due to reduced growth 24hr pessary went in had no pains or any sign that it was doing anything but when they removed it they found I was 3-4cm dilated taken straight up to delivery, 1 hr later had waters broke baby arrived 3 hrs after this. Had no tears and coped with the pain with pethidine and gas and air. From 24 hr pessary going in to baby arriving was 29hrs. Baby was small but totally fine and she smashed her sugars with the help of colostrum ~ Leanne 

I was induced at 39 weeks (first ever induction)… I had the pessary put in on the 3rd of February at 2pm & come 7pm that evening I started to get some little tightenings. Managed to finally fall asleep and woke at about 7:15am to go to the toilet and I was bleeding to find out I was 5cm dilated. Called my partner, he got up to the hospital by 7:45am just as I was being taken down to labour ward, i was checked again at 8:15 to find I was 8cm with bulging waters so they popped them and my son was born 16 minutes later at 8:26am weighing 8lb 1.5oz on the 4th of February! Born 39w +1 ~ Tia

I’m a first time mum and I was induced at 39 weeks exactly. I had a 24 hour pessary in for 30 hours (5 hour wait for a room then an hour of the room being set up), I was then dilated enough to have my waters broken, I started having some contractions straight away but an hour and a half later they put me on the hormone drip as my contractions weren’t quite regular. 40 minutes with the drip and my little girl was born at 6lb 2oz. I did it all with just 2 paracetamol and gas and air. The only bit that was hard was just as I got to fully dilated, everything else was pretty easy going! In fact my midwife thought I had many hours left of (in fact she wasn’t in the room when I got to 10cm dilated). I did have a tear but even that didn’t hurt, I just chugged the gas and air whilst they did the checks and local anaesthetic.
I had toast and jam straight away after whilst my girl was on my chest getting skin to skin. That jam tasted like the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I then walked back to the ward, pushing my girl in the hospital cot.
Honestly pregnancy didn’t agree with me, and I fully accepted that I was going to have a medicalised birth due to GD but it was actually an enjoyable experience on the whole. I was allowed to just be in the zone and it didn’t matter that I had some meds to speed it all up ~ Sara

Diet controlled, induced at 40 weeks, no sweeps previously as cervix not favourable! 1st 24 hour pessary mild tightenings but very little change to cervix, 2nd 24 hour pessary put in, approx 6 hours later tightenings started getting more painful, midwives thought was all just the pessary and only when started getting urge to push a few hours later did we realise I was fully dilated! Less than an hour later had my girl in my arms (via a forceps delivery as she had the cord round her neck). Total 36 hours, with only 5 hours in actual labour ~ Rosie

Managed to stay diet controlled thanks to advice on the GD site, was discharged back to the community midwife so they let me go to 40+2, when I was booked in for induction. Day of induction came round, went in got put on a monitor for ages to see if little one was ok, apparently my nail varnish messed with the o2 readings. Finally passed that, then midwives popped my waters. Went for a walk to town, contractions started, ate my lovingly prepared GD lunch (you should’ve seen how much food I bought with me), went to the loo, got that feeling. Midwives were called, our son flew out and job done in 2 hours after waters were popped. My notes say labour was 1 min, 3rd stage 4min…. just a couple of grazes too . Anyway, all grand. I have done natal hypnotherapy for both of my kids (but not taken it too seriously on the day) and used tens. Little ones blood sugars were all grand afterwards too AND once they’d observed a feed and got a blood sugar from him 2 hrs after a feed they let me go home that night. ~ Helen

Was induced at 39+1 and had her within 24 hours weighed 6lbs 15oz and perfectly healthy. I was on insulin and metformin for my fasting number but following the diet and using the advice on her we are both doing great ~ Yvette

I stayed diet controlled from 29 weeks. I got induced at 39 weeks (baby was measuring big) my induction was gel then I went to bed the next day I got my waters broken and my son arrived 4 and half hours later all on gas and air! It was very doable and he only was 7 pound’s 2 oz in the end he was and is just perfect! ~ Lisa

First time mum – gave birth at 39+1. I was induced on the 15th of July 2018 at 12pm and had one pessary put in at 1pm and just loads of walking around and bouncing on the ball and then at 12am on the 16th of July I was in labour and was 4cm dilated, I had gas and air until they could take me to labour ward, got to labour ward at 2:30 am and was checked again and was 8cm dilated and then after 40 minutes I was ready to push, baby heart rate was dropping so they cut me and used the suction cup and two pushes and he was out but the cord was around his neck but he screamed ever so loud… the best part of my whole pregnancy was giving birth to my little boy. I thought my labour was easy compared to stories I had heard ~ Telieah

I was diagnosed at 26 weeks with gestational diabetes, having never heard of it and went into a full on panic and guilt spiral…Until I saw mention of the GD Facebook page and website that Jo put together. It was like a lighthouse of knowledge through all the confusion and most from the medical professionals and so called diet experts. None of the dietary suggestions given to me by the hospital controlled my levels, but with the help of Jo and the low key ladies on here I was able to get a handle on it quickly and I was lucky enough to stay diet controlled all through the rest of my pregnancy. At 37 weeks I had a growth scan which showed my little girls belly had stop growing so was I was induced at 38 weeks and she was born with no complications, no need to monitor my levels during labour due to being diet controlled and I had a relatively uneventful and easy labour – although being induced took 5 days in the end. Hospital food was awful for GD so it was a bit of a week!
Thank you so much Jo, the team of admins and the lovely ladies in the group. Without your help I would have had a massive battle at keeping my unborn gummy bear safe until her arrival and may have had more complications and issues without your support ~ Kim

I’d originally planned for a water birth in the birthing centre and was all set and given the ok for this right up until 38 weeks. Unfortunately my bump stopped growing and after a growth scan the consultant became concerned about static growth and recommended an induction which I was very disappointed about having got so far with the finish line in sight! I opted to delay induction for a week and have a sweep instead which got me going naturally. I had to give birth in the hospital and was very apprehensive about a managed birth as I’d had one previously (non GD related) which was less than positive. The midwives acknowledged my disappointment, and this time around they had wireless monitors to enable a more active labour but in triage they did say I wouldn’t likely have a water birth. Imagine my delight and relief as I was admitted and moved to the labour ward and the first thing I see is the pool being filled.  I laboured a few hours in the pool which was lovely but slowing my contractions down, so I had my waters broken and my baby girl was in my arms 2 hours later. I didn’t give birth in the water but I could have if I wanted to and was able to remain active bouncing on the ball right up until delivery. Whilst being a managed birth with monitors, the midwives were very “hands off” and allowed me to go with the flow and it was a really positive birth experience, much more so than my first labour which was a non GD pregnancy ~ Jessica

I found out I had GD with my second baby (I didn’t have with my son) at 28 weeks. I was diet controlled until 35 weeks when I was put on metformin (twice daily). I had my last scan just after 36 weeks and baby’s tummy was off the scale so I was to be induced. The next week and a half was the most worrying time of my life. Worrying I was going to give birth to a huge baby and have complications during birth (I suffered a post-partum haemorrhaging with my son so was worried anyway). Induction day came 11th March. I got to drive myself to the hospital. I was given gel [Prostaglandin] at 10am, then the next lot at around 6pm but nothing happened, however I wasn’t in any discomfort or pain and was very relaxed. I was watching films, so relaxed (not how I imagined it). At 1am my waters were broken, contractions started immediately and at 03:46am on my son’s 1st birthday I gave birth to my beautiful daughter weighing 7lb 11.5oz (her brother was 7lb 14.5oz) so she was even smaller. She was born at 38+3. My only advice to anyone would be is just remember scans aren’t as actuate as you may think. And honestly the hard work put in is so worth it! ~ Kirsty

My induction was amazing!! Pessary in at 5.25pm baby born at 10.26pm. It was perfect and I didn’t tear this time! I was told it would be at least 6 hours before anything would start. I had 16 mins from getting on the delivery suite to baby arriving so I nearly had her on the induction ward. It was very intense but I felt in control on every contraction. So much nicer than my first natural birth. ~ Georgie

I had the most amazing birth being induced. I had the pessary in at 2pm (totally closed and round the back), contractions started at 6, waters broke at 9, taken to labour room at 11, I had gas and air and then pethidine (she had gone back to back when my polyhydramnios waters broke), born 5.48am. I just took everything in my stride, had my preferences but didn’t rule anything out and I think that helped me stay calm – Kimberley

Diagnosed at 26wks, 2nd sugar baby. Diet then metformin then insulin controlled. Induced at 38 wks. Mild contractions 12hrs after pessary, then they calmed down & was told that’s quite common (as the hormones are peaking then). So, as I was 4cm dilated, waited for a room to have waters broken (which took 10 hrs!) & a drip to get things going. Was really lucky & given wireless monitor so could stand and walk, even go to the loo at the start of labour & the contractions were controlled at 4 in 10 mins. Time went quickly but felt slow! Suddenly doubted I could do it & REALLY gripping poor hubby’s hand but half knew that must mean we were close. Finally, got the urge to push – and the little man ended up delivering himself fully between contractions! It was just under 2 hours from having the waters broken and was a really calm, special birth – sounds ridiculous but a lovely labour & very special memory. Also a really stark contrast to my first labour with a very late GD diagnosis (36 wks), still VBAC and thankfully ok but scary and really shows how important diagnosis and effective management of GD is. ~ Trish

When I went in for my induction I was put on the monitor and was already contracting, they left me to walk around for most of the day and tried to pop my waters but I wasn’t dilated enough so I had a 24 hour pessary instead, then they could break my waters. Waters were broken on Tuesday at 3.30am, went onto the drip 3 hours later and our little girl arrived at 1.51pm Tuesday after a 3 hour active labour and 15 mins pushing ~ Rebecca

I was diagnosed late at 32 weeks as they missed testing me. I was diet controlled for seven weeks and initially refused the planned induction on my due date after lots of reading and research. The deal was that I would be monitored and a possible sweep on my due date with an induction booked in for a week later. Due date came and baby’s movement was reduced and so my original induction was scheduled back in. 24hour pessary in at 3pm (cervix was high and closed) and then that was it, a few pains that night but got some sleep. Seen by docs in the morning and told to keep moving. Seen by doc at 4pm that day and I was 1cm and waters were broken. I was given two hours on my own before drip was inserted, I also had antibiotics as strep b had been a concern. Contractions straight away were 45 seconds long every minute and it was all very intense. Put on a drip at 6pm and strapped up to a monitor. I believe there was issues with tracking her heartbeat and a clip was put on her head as soon as they could. Pushing by 11pm and Ava was born 8lb8oz at 11.35 pm. Delayed cord clamping, hubs cut cord and sugars were fine and it was my blood pressure that stopped is going home! ~ Sarah

I was induced with my son in 2016. They started me off with the 6 hour prostin at 8pm. Waters went on their own at 12.30am and my son was born 3.12am. First baby as well used just gas and air and my tens machine ~ Sheryl

I went in to be induced but was already 3cm. The midwife broke my waters at 11am and she was born around tea time. No interventions apart from breaking the waters and when she checked dilation about an hour later. It was an amazing labour ~ Jen

I was diagnosed around 28 weeks and metformin controlled. All measurements were fine but as I had reduced movements on one occasion and a tiny little bleed they decided to induce me at 38 weeks. We only had a week to get our heads round it. I went in on Friday 13th March and had a pessary which had no effect and was removed on sat 12pm. Had a second pessary and a spicy pizza with my husband on the Sunday evening. Had pains and tightenings from about 10.30 and was given paracetamol. They ran me a bath at about 11.30 but I couldn’t sit in it due to the pressure down below! My waters went in the bathroom and they examined me. First midwife had to get a senior midwife as was not sure what she was feeling. Senior midwife just said “get the entonox”! I asked if all was ok and she smiled and said, you’re 9 cm, your baby is coming! I started on gas and air and rang husband as they wheeled me into the lift on the bed. After a very easy, straight forward birth, with no stitches, Isla was born at 7.25am on Monday 16th March. Her sugars were a little low and we were struggling to breastfeed so she was cup fed formula. We stayed in hospital until Tuesday evening when her sugars were normal. ~ Sarah

I was induced with my 5th baby, super quick labour and delivery! They literally put the thing [pessary] in and within half hour I had contractions but the nurse didn’t believe me and I had her an hour later ? I was 39 weeks ~ Lucy

Baby 2. Measuring within lines but tummy higher than the rest of him. Planned induction for 39 weeks and sweeps at 37+5 and 38+5. Sweeps showed I was favourable and cervix 80% effaced on 2nd and 2cm. Baby was not impressed with contractions and heart rate on higher side of normal after sweep. So induced that day at 38+5. Pessary put in at 215pm. Contractions started at 6pm getting stronger and longer but minimal change in cervix. Waters popped at 10pm and then the show kicked off and baby born quickly after 12 mins pushing at 10.52pm. He weighed a lovely 7lb 15oz- and sugars were 2.6 (first) then in 3s and 4s. Kept in for 36 hours.
Much more intense having water popped than pessary alone!!!! GD diet controlled 20-27 weeks, then 3 x met until 36 weeks needing 8 units levimir. – Sarah

I have high BMI, and GD but explained a water birth was really important to me. They agreed as long as I didn’t need to go on drip to be induced, or need a sliding scale (blood sugar levels had to stay under 7) but said they didn’t see why I couldn’t. I took plenty of GD friendly snacks & walked & walked & walked some more around the hospital as much as I could to get contractions going and keep my blood sugars low. My induction was easy peasy and quick! Contractions started after first lot of gel [Prostaglandin] at 5.45pm, waters went on their own at 1am and hey presto baby arrived at 11.15am – all on gas & air and birthing pool… A gazillion times better & easier than my first child which was a spontaneous labour (and lasted 67 hours!!!)  ~ Gem

I had a 2.5 day induction, one day in early labour, one day waiting for a midwife to be available to break my waters and then approx 22 hours in active labour. Early labour was manageable with tens machine, lots of walking etc. I had an epidural before my water breaking and had a very peaceful labour. The epidural fell out about 5 hours before I gave birth and nobody checked it so I ended up having an unmedicated transition and birth, I coped with hypnobirthing techniques. 20 minutes pushing and baby arrived, I had minimal tearing, no forceps or ventouse, she passed all her sugars. I was able to have almost all my birth preferences including immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping. I was very anxious, scared I’d be traumatised, but I was so relieved when it was done, I felt like a superwoman! Recovery was good too, we both took to breastfeeding well luckily too. Induction can but doesn’t always lead to more interventions. Put your birth plan in your mw hands once you’re given a dedicated one and highlight any parts that are very important to you. Even if you end up in a situation off your plan, they will still try to implement little things for you ~ Amy

I had a good induction, with my sugar baby. (Baby number 2, GD, born 4 days before DD) Bit of a disaster day before hand. Daughter ill and my mum had to see her oncologist that morning. There were no beds to start with. My partner and I arrived at hospital at 5pm and I was checked at 1/2cm had a pessary then walked around for a while up and down stairs. Had another check and was 2/3cm with strong contractions so sent to delivery suite. My mum arrived and they broke my waters at 10.15pm I felt the need to push after an examination part of my cervix was blocking the exit (so to speak) midwife manually moved it… Same thing happened with my first child and last time I panicked as the pain is excruciating but over quickly this time I took some gas and air and decided to try and remember the couple of chapters of the hypnobirthing book I actually read. I drifted out a bit was determined not to push as I didn’t want to tear so just relaxed and kind of went with it Jack 8lbs 2 pretty much delivered himself. No tears, no retained placenta, the knotted cord which had started causing some heart declarations didn’t get tighter. My DD number 1 also 8lbs 2, 2weeks overdue was non GD induction and not so good I panicked and was unprepared. ~ Sarah

I have an two inductions and although both were very pre-term (32 & 34 weeks) both my boys were born within 48 hours. Both times I had gels and waters were broken after 24 hours. Due to my gestation I had to be put straight onto the drip and my first was born 15 hours after waters were broken, my second arrived after 11 hours. The inductions were really positive experiences, my first they told me to have a walking epidural due to “induction being more painful” – which I did and regretted as it made things worse, with my second I stayed active throughout (no need to stay bed bound) despite having 3 drips, monitors, head clip and a bp cuff – I used all of the active birthing equipment and had my partner untangle me where needed. I would highly recommend it, I found my second a much easier birth and the pain more manageable – despite being on the same high infusion drip and this baby was even back to back and born that way as he never turned (OUCH!) and just gas & air. If they offer the epidural before induction I wouldn’t let them scare you into it, wait till labour is established and go from there. Every lady is different and its always best to go in with a clear, open mind and lots of positive thoughts ~ Nicole

With my first baby I was induced at 38+3 due to slowed growth and reduced fluid (signs of placental failure). Pessary was put in at 11am. Contractions started within the hour but very gentle. Gradually built up in intensity and frequency (all very ‘natural’ and gradual). Waters went by themselves at 11pm and that kicked things up a gear so had gas and air and moved to delivery suite. Had some codeine and then some pethidine on their advice as his heart rate was raised and they hoped that calming me down would also calm him. Baby arrived at 4am – 17 hours total including 5 hours of active labour. Only intervention was one pessary and an episiotomy at the end as he was coming out with one hand up by his face (argh!). Very smooth and easy! ~ Samantha

I had a lovely induction. The gel pessary didn’t work for me so after 24 hours and 2 doses of the gel (lots of hall pacing and ball rocking), they took me in and broke my waters and put me on the drip. Then I sat on a yoga ball and just rocked. I used visualisation and a tens machine to control contractions and just rocked my hips on the ball. Eventually I felt ready, so got onto the bed and he was born half an hour later after 2 pushes for the head and 1 for the shoulders. From the time the drip started to him being born was almost exactly 3 hours. I only used gas and air for the second push for the head ~ Michelle

Mine wasn’t a planned induction but had my 37 week check up Friday afternoon and baby’s heart rate was raised so my Dr examined me to find I was 4cm already. He did a sweep and contractions started straight away. I’m not in the UK, so was allowed to leave and buy the stuff we hadn’t packed and go for dinner – but wasn’t allowed to go home as too far away. Went back to the hospital at 9pm – heart rate was back to normal so didn’t need constant monitoring – and had a water birth at 6am. So all very natural. This was my third baby and I found the hardest bit was the boredom of being in hospital for most of my labour ~ Emma 

I was induced at 37 weeks due to growth slowing down. Was my first little one and was so scared. Pessary failed and so did gel. They was going to do a to foley catheter the next day but my waters broke during the night. By the time i got to delivery I was 7cm and Had epidural as the contractions were so intense with the drip. When it came to pushing my little man couldn’t get his head out so had to have episiotomy. Was born 6lb 6oz and perfectly healthy. He was born at 11 at night and I was able to walk fine by 7 the next day. Stitches healed completely fine and honestly felt like I had a very positive birth and induction ~ Rebecca

I did my research and just asked them to check whether my waters could just be broken instead of pessary – which they said that they would probably be able to break them. Broke them at 2.30 – and started to have regular tightening – contractions started about 4pm and baby born at 5. So I avoided the 24 hour pessary !(I also had pessary with my 1st- and that also was positive experience and was no more painful then any of my other labours) ~ Sarah

I was induced at 36and 6. Went in on Thursday for the pessary, waters were ready for breaking by Friday afternoon but ended up getting broken on the Friday night and I had her Saturday morning. I was in active lab our for ten hours but I had the epidural the same time as my waters were broken, slept through the labour, woke up and pushed for three minutes and there she was ~ Natalie

I was induced at 39 weeks. First baby. Pessary went in at 2pm on Sunday. He was born at 4am on Monday. Straight forward delivery with no interventions and I was only in active labour for 3 hours. Would have been even quicker but his hand was over his face ~ Abi

Induced at 39 weeks. Given the 24hr pessary about 9am, I wasn’t allowed home as fast birth first time so they wanted to keep an eye on me. Was allowed to walk around etc. My contractions pretty much started straight away by 5pm they were pretty frequent, the pessary came out on its own, midwife examined me said it didn’t need to go back in I could have my waters broken. No bed on delivery though so had to wait. My waters went on their own at half past midnight then rushed to delivery as meconium in the water baby born at 1.45am ~ Michelle

My third baby (previous two natural births) so was nervous about being induced at 37 weeks but all was okay. It just took its time to get started. 9am pessary on arrival. No change 6 hours later (3pm) so a second pessary. No change 6 hrs later (9pm) so broke my waters. 4 hrs later (1am) no change so put me on the drip. Contractions started to come and so they kept increasing the drip. Contractions started to become really painful by 4 hours later (5am) but I was only 3cm dilated so begged for epidural (just had gas and air for previous births) but knew my pain limit and figured if it was that bad at 3cm no chance I was going to make it all the way on gas and air. Right amount of pain relief meant I could feel enough to push and stay in control. My beautiful son was then born 9:59am ❤️6 months later and I have really positive memories about the birth ~ Laura

I had my first induction at 38 weeks with my 3rd baby 3 weeks ago. I went in and had a sweep and a double balloon catheter inserted at 11.45am and had irregular tightenings within 5mins which got worse as the day went on. At 8pm the balloon fell out and they then broke my waters and baby was born that night at 10.30pm. I was told they didn’t expect me to have had him until the next day as it can take 24hours for the balloon to work ~ Gemma

I was induced at 38+6. I went for a sweep with my midwife on the Thursday (booked for induction on the Monday) but to my surprise I was already 4cm and fully effaced….still made it to induction on Monday, but it meant they just sent me straight to delivery and broke my waters. Labour and delivery was 1.5hours total and she was back to back!! It was pretty intense but I felt so much better after than I did after my boys were born! They had told me she would be over 10lb so when they said she was back to back when they broke my waters I was terrified of how long and hard the labour would be. She was actually 7lb 9 ~ Poppy

I had the pessary put in at 430pm, contractions started at 9pm, I was due to be checked at 1130pm so didn’t inform anyone of my pains beforehand or it could of been sooner, moved to labour ward at midnight, midwife broke my waters at 213am and he was here at 245am. We both passed our sugars and was home for tea time ~ Kayleigh

My induction was really good. 1st ever induction – had to be there on my due date but nothing happened as the delivery ward was full. The Wednesday I went down at 10.30am they broke my waters and told me to go for a walk within a hour contractions started at 2pm they examined me I was 5cms dilated, went on the drip at about 5pm I had to then have a epidural as she turned back to back midwife done her change over at 7pm and I was 7cms within 10 mins of the new midwife starting she looked and I was 10cm few pushes and she was out born at 8.11pm ~ Gemma

My induction experience was good, very calm and controlled, escorted to a room and the process explained as we went. Took a while (first baby) from start to end but I wouldn’t mind having to do it again, compared to the chaos of the spontaneous quick birth I had with my second baby ~ Carolyn

My induced labour was a really positive experience, absolutely no more painful than my first. It was a lot quicker but I found that easier to handle, I went in at 11.30 and had my daughter at 5.57pm with only gas and air and I’d honestly love to relive it all as it was just lovely ~ Rachael 

I had an amazing induction. 24 hour pessary went in, had quite bad cramping for 24 hours. After the 24 hours I had an epidural as I was cramping badly, and then had my waters broken. After that I honestly didn’t feel a thing. I slept for ten hours, felt like I needed a poo so they told me to push, and 3 pushes later here she was ~ Natalie

I knew that I was going to be induced at 38 weeks (due to baby’s growth slowing – probably linked to me having GD). This was a similar gestation to my first who came spontaneously so I hoped that my body would be working towards getting ready. I had some reflexology and aromatherapy (with clary sage) about 4 days before and started to feel a few period type pains in the days before. I kept up with massaging the pressure points and applying the oil blend daily until induction. The night before I went to a relaxation session at the local yoga studio as I knew that being relaxed was important and I needed all the feel good chemicals I could get for my body to feel safe enough to go into labour.
We went in at about 10 o’clock on the Monday morning. Baby was monitored for a bit and I listened to some of the relaxation tracks that I had brought with me. Around 11:30 the pessary was put in. I couldn’t sit down at that point (as the pessary was working to set things off) so after a quick lunch that I ate standing up we started to walk the corridors of the hospital and round the grounds. I phoned my sister to occupy my mind.
I remember thinking that I would get too tired if I walked around all day so we headed back to the ward and I got one of the birth balls and rested over it. This really helped to calm things down and I rested a bit. I remember thinking that I needed to get some happy chemicals going so I changed my music to something more upbeat and bounced around on the ball and danced in the cubicle.
Around 5ish they wanted to examine me. At this point they needed to start monitoring baby and the only working wireless monitor was being used elsewhere so I opted for monitoring via a clip on baby’s head as this would allow me to be as mobile, upright and active as possible. I was a few centimetres dilated and while they were looking they broke my waters as they were bulging.
All vaginal examinations and interventions were done with gas and air as I knew this would be the most relaxing way for me to have them done. I wrote this in my birth plan as it was very important that this happened.
I can’t remember when surges started but I was now in the delivery suite and with everything progressing I started using the TENS machine and continued with UP breathing when each surge came.
At some stage I went on the syntocin drip as this was the next stage of induction. I was making progress and I remember being told that I had got to 4 cms.
Labour continued and I tried to stay as active as possible, mainly sitting on the ball and leaning against the bed. This continued into the night. As the drip delivered more syntocin, surges got more intense and I wanted some drugs. After a discussion with the midwives (using BRAIN) I opted for diamorphine over pethidine as I wanted to be able to feel when I needed to push.
I can’t remember if I was examined again but I think I was still around 4 cms and there was talk about not progressing much. Surges were more intense and so, thinking that I had hours to go, I opted for an epidural. The anaesthetist arrived and I knew I would have to sit very still for him to site the epidural. I was really struggling to move into the right position to sit on the bed.
We quickly found out why when the midwife said, “hang on everyone. I can see baby’s head.”
The doubts I had been having about being able to carry on were obviously because I had been in the transition phase but no one had noticed – probably because I was handling it better than they expected due to the hypnobirthing!
I flipped onto my knees on the bed and pushed two or three times and baby came tumbling out. The second stage was recorded as 1 minute in my notes! The relief was immense and it was so wonderful to meet our new baby, Finlay at 2:15 am. He weighed 6lb 2oz so his predicted weight was pretty spot on. Having a birth plan and being very clear with staff that I wanted an active birth (and my birth partner (husband) knowing my wishes made a huge difference in both births). I hope this has been a positive induction story that will inspire others to know it is possible to birth the way you want to even when there are certain medical things to work round. ~ Jenny

My induction birth stories – Jo, Author and Founder of Gestational Diabetes UK

I only know gestational diabetes; I only know induction and so I can’t say whether an induction is more painful etc as it is all I know. But I will share what my personal induction birth stories and experiences have been. Three gestational diabetes pregnancies with early diagnosis, despite losing 5 stone in weight, I still got diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 11 weeks in my second pregnancy and once again my levels shot up as soon as I fell pregnant with my third. I controlled my gestational diabetes each time with fairly high amounts of insulin, around 200 units a day in my first two and just over 400 units in my last pregnancy which I also suffered HG [hyperemesis gravidarum] with. I required more fast release insulin in my first pregnancy and more slow release in my second and third.

In my first pregnancy, I struggled more with post meal readings. I was testing at 2 hours’ post meals and followed poor dietary advice as advised by my dietician.

In my second and third pregnancies, I had researched gestational diabetes in depth, was learning lots about the condition, had set up the Facebook support group and website and was testing my levels before meals, at one hour post meals, before bed, plus additionally to test snacks and for spikes. My post meal levels were very well controlled following my own dietary advice, but I chased my fasting levels throughout, having to increase my night time insulin every couple of days.


With my first baby, I knew nothing about induction, it had not been mentioned at all. I had been told to expect a big baby due to gestational diabetes.

This was at the Rosie maternity hospital, Addenbrookes in Cambridge.

On the Tuesday, I went to my diabetes antenatal clinic as normal and when they measured the baby it showed he hadn’t grown and had actually lost a little bit of weight from the previous scan 2 weeks ago, so they decided it was best for me to be induced.  The consultant examined me and it showed that I was actually 2-3 cm dilated so she said she’d book me in for an induction on the Thursday. The only symptom of anything changing, was my blood sugar levels dropping to more ‘normal levels’ and a few more hypos. I had no other symptoms that anything was wrong what so ever and my placenta function showed fine on scans.

I was told I would be put on a sliding scale once in established labour. But up until then I was advised to eat and drink as normal, taking my normal insulin doses.

38+4 I was taken straight up to the delivery unit in the Rosie in our own room.  They examined me and put a hormone patch (propess pessary) behind my cervix, which looked like a small tea bag on a string or a flat tampon and they attached the cord to the inside of my leg.  It would induce my labour gently over 24 hours and they advised it was the most natural and kindest way to induce me because it would slowly build me up to the labour rather than throwing me in at the deep end.

Then came the boring bit – waiting.  We just had to walk around Addenbrookes until my waters broke or contractions started and I had to go back to my room every 4 hours to be monitored. I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital grounds. I was as active as possible, walking around, climbing stairs, bouncing on my birthing ball etc. non-stop.

I went to the toilet just before I had to be monitored and then realised I couldn’t find the cord. I’d lost the pessary down the toilet, how embarrassing!  But it was OK. They put a new pessary in and it gave them a chance to see that it had started working.

Up till 10pm I’d had two different midwives monitoring me and they were both really nice, then the night shift midwife came on duty. My baby was monitored at around 9pm but that was it, after that it was just my blood pressure and temperature that was checked once at 10pm, not monitoring every 4 hours like they originally told me.

I had period pain like cramp but started getting a really bad headache, but I didn’t really notice the contractions until about 2am.  I couldn’t lay down so I bounced on my birthing ball, listening to music on my iPod.  I was bouncing and singing then when I got a contraction I concentrated on breathing through it.

In the meantime, the woman next door had been absolutely howling and bellowing for hours, so much that Gavin was singing to me to take my mind off the fact that she was obviously in agony.  I went to make a cup of tea and 2 midwives outside her delivery room said that she was 3cm dilated… I couldn’t believe it, I was 3cm dilated on Tuesday & didn’t feel a thing?! I was backwards and forwards to the toilet needing to wee, even more so than normal being pregnant.

The pains started getting stronger so I tried out the TENS machine that we’d hired (an Elle Tens with a boost button for contractions), then I needed to get on the bed to lay down.  The pains got stronger and stronger, came faster and lasted longer. The TENS machine was fantastic and I was so pleased I’d hired one to use.

By about 4.30am I asked Gavin to get a midwife because I wanted to try some gas & air as it was getting really painful.  The midwife finally came, didn’t examine me but said I could have 2 paracetamols. She said she didn’t want to give me pain relief too early and that I needed to be in established labour.

By about 5.30am the pain was getting unbearable so Gavin called the midwife again and she said she’d be back at 6am to monitor me and baby.  6am came and went. By about 7am I felt like I was starting to lose control and couldn’t deal with the pain any longer.  I kept getting a pushing urge but my waters still hadn’t broken, plus I kept thinking I had ages to go because I hadn’t been put on the glucose & insulin drip (sliding scale) as they said I would. Being my first baby I didn’t know what to expect or how much worse the pain would get.

Then I felt a bit wet below so got Gavin to take a look.  When he did he went white as a ghost, said don’t move and called the midwife.  Gavin said at that point he thought he was going to have to deliver our baby.  Different midwives kept coming in saying they’d get my midwife to come to me ASAP but none of them actually done anything.  I had a pushing urge and thought I was going to deliver my baby at that point but was too scared as it was just me and Gavin on our own and so I fought the urge and sensations to push.

I was in a lot of pain and my contractions were rolling one into another without a break.  By about 8am finally a new midwife came in and examined me.  I was 7cm dilated.  She got Gavin to hook up the gas & air (we didn’t know it was in a cupboard behind us all along) and she told me the baby was going be here in the next 30 mins to hour!  Her and another midwife kept saying they couldn’t believe how fast I’d done it, how long I’d gone without pain relief and that I couldn’t be a first-time mum.

They asked to attach a clip to my baby’s head to monitor him which I agreed to.

The gas & air was fantastic! After no pain relief for so long it made such a difference, it gives you that merry drunk feeling!

Pushing the head out was difficult and it felt like I was going to pass out because I kept going dizzy.  It stung a bit but then all of a sudden it was a warm gushing feeling and they plopped this little bluey grey mini Gavin on my chest! Mackinley was so gorgeous, his eyes were open & all I kept thinking was it’s a mini Gavin with my big blue eyes.

Mackinley was born at 8.39am, 27th June 2008 weighing 7lb exactly. So much for having a huge baby due to gestational diabetes. He even needed tiny sized baby clothes!

Mackinley 7lb 0z

My waters didn’t break, they came when Mackinley was delivered. My labour was recorded as 15 mins long; it was longer but they had other emergencies they were dealing with and I presume that’s why my paperwork didn’t match my actual birth.

I was only pushing for 20 mins which apparently is great for a 1st time mum, usually at least an hour.  I had a small 2nd degree tear but nothing too awful and I was allowed gas & air while they stitched me up so it was OK.

Gavin was fantastic & I couldn’t have done it without him or with anyone else, he knew exactly what to say and do. He kept me focused.  How he managed to watch me go through pain like that for hours on end I don’t know and bless his heart, he stayed as calm as he could and made sure the midwives done what I wanted.

The midwife examining my placenta asked if I was a heavy smoker as my placenta was in such a bad condition. I didn’t smoke, my placenta had deteriorated because of the gestational diabetes.

Back then they didn’t have the same protocol for checking babies blood sugar levels after birth at my hospital at that time. He was fit and healthy. We spent one night in hospital and was allowed to go home the next day. So, a Thursday induction and allowed home Saturday afternoon.

They did not monitor or mention my gestational diabetes throughout my induction or birth. They did not check my levels whilst in their care at all and I was not advised to be tested for type 2 diabetes at any point.

The only problem we had later on was that he refused to feed, jaundice set in and we were rushed back to A&E due to this. Looking back now, I wish the hospital had checked better that we had established feeding as he even refused bottle feeds.


My second sugar baby (6 years later) was born in a totally different hospital, Hull Womens & Children’s hospital. We moved mid pregnancy to a different part of the country, but the plan from the start was to induce at 38 weeks as per the NICE guidelines recommended at that time and the hospital where I transferred to offered the same advice. I was happy with that, knowing what I did about my placenta deterioration from my last pregnancy.

One important thing to remember about induction is that there are different methods available, it doesn’t have to be chemical, it doesn’t have to be a drip where many say they feel ‘tied to the bed’ etc.

I was offered a choice of a propess 24-hour pessary induction like I’d had before, or a balloon catheter induction. A balloon catheter is a Foley catheter which is inserted into the vaginal passage and then a balloon at the end of the catheter is filled with saline to inflate it. It is a non-chemical way to induce as this can cause dilation. If I had the balloon catheter method I would be allowed to go home after having it inserted and then return within 24 hours if my waters didn’t break beforehand. *Please note, it is very rare that hospitals allow women with gestational diabetes to go home after starting the induction process. Hull and one other hospital are the only hospitals we’ve seen this mentioned in.

Knowing how fast my labour was last time and how well the pessary worked, plus my concerns over potential complications with gestational diabetes, I chose to be in hospital and have the propess pessary again.

At 38+2 I went in for my planned induction. This time I was told that there would be no need for a sliding scale and so once again I ate and drank as normal with my insulin. That said, my blood sugar levels had dropped again at 36 weeks and although I was on around 200 units of insulin a day, by the time my induction date arrived I only had a very small insulin dose with my lunch (compared to what I had been having) and that was all I had that day as my levels had normalised so much.

For this induction, I was on a ward with 6 beds in a bay (with all women being induced), rather than being in a delivery suite room like at Cambridge. I was also told that Gavin would not be able to stay past 9pm unless I was in labour, which worried me. I wasn’t keen to stay in hospital on my own and was worried that he may miss the birth if he was sent home.

Once in labour I would be transferred upstairs to the labour ward to give birth. I had harvested colostrum which I took in with me (despite my consultant looking shocked when I’d initially brought it up). My colostrum was taken by a midwife to be stored on the ward for after birth.

They monitored baby and I was examined and was 1-2cm dilated before they inserted the propess pessary at around 11.30am.

I was much better looked after with this induction and a midwife checked on me much more often. Once again I waddled around as much as possible and bounced on my ball. It was harder to stay as active during this induction as I suffered with SPD and so waddling around was very painful, but I knew it would help get things moving.

It was harder being on the ward with other ladies being induced as many of them were quite loud, partners were noisy and when some ladies were struggling with pain it wasn’t pleasant listening to other mothers trying to cope with the pains when you are in the same area.

I was backwards and forwards to the toilet a lot, something I remembered from my previous induction too and so I thought this was probably a good sign.

Many ladies were struggling with the pain and asking for help with pain relief and the midwife came to reassure me that although things were happening faster with the other ladies, not to worry as inductions can take a long time. I knew this and had prepared that they can take days for some ladies and may for me, but I was getting pains which I had breathing through and bouncing on my ball.

I lost track of time with this induction, but my waters broke whilst I was walking to the toilet in the middle of the corridor, but not in a big gush, just trickles. Which was a new experience as they hadn’t broken with Mackinley.

I went back to the bed and started having very strong contractions so got out my TENS machine. I have a big fear of needles (despite being on insulin since 13 weeks and fragmin blood thinning injections since 32 weeks) and so it was important to me to cope with the pain as best I could without needing any needles, cannulas or an epidural. Although I was happy to take pain relief if I needed it, I wanted to go for as long as I could by using breathing techniques and my TENS machine.

The midwife wanted to monitor baby, but my contractions started coming thick and fast and I couldn’t lay still enough for the monitors to be strapped around my belly. I got a bit of a telling off, but in a nice way, as I was on the ward and hadn’t mentioned that things were progressing as much as they had and so they had to call up to the delivery suite pretty quickly as when she examined me I was 7cm dilated.

They removed the pessary and asked if I wanted to walk or be wheeled up to the delivery suite. I didn’t want to sit down as I was coping better by standing up and so I walked very slowly holding a midwife’s hand with Gavin following behind with the bags. I nearly gave birth in the lift on the way up!

I just made it into the delivery suite, got on the bed, was given gas & air and they put a clip onto my baby’s head to monitor him as I still couldn’t lay still enough to attach straps around my belly. My body took over and I knew I needed to push, so I did. 3 pushes and Finlay was born at 2.44am 26th November 2014, weighing 7lb 9oz.

We had skin to skin straight away and after Finlay being weighed and I was stitched (once again I had a 2nd degree tear), he breast-fed for almost an hour. It was lovely to be given the time alone together, just the three of us while he breast-fed. Something that I wasn’t given the opportunity to do with my first baby.

Finlay’s blood sugar levels at Hull had to be monitored every 3 hours for 24 hours (as per their neonatal hypoglycaemia policy *Policies vary in different hospitals) and then there was an additional 24 hours of monitoring. Finlay passed all his blood sugar levels and so I did not need my colostrum for this purpose. We did however struggle with a good latch for breast feeding and so the midwives wanted me to express more colostrum. When they looked for my colostrum they couldn’t find it which was disappointing due to the number of hours I’d painstakingly harvested for. But I was thankful that he didn’t need it to raise his blood sugar levels.

We were in for 2 nights and allowed home the next day – so Tuesday induction and came home Friday morning.

Hull had tested my blood sugar levels about 4 times during my entire stay. After birth, they asked how my levels were and when I tested they were fine. They did not advise anything around being tested for type 2 diabetes following birth. However, as my pregnancy had started in Cambridge, Addenbrookes had already booked my follow up diabetes test when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This goes to show how different care can be across the country.

I booked a HbA1c blood test with my GP (which I had to fight the receptionist over to book) after 13 weeks’ post-partum, which came back normal. I will then be tested annually, but I have to book these appointments myself. No reminders are sent.

So maybe I’ve been lucky, maybe my body was ready both times at 38 weeks to have my babies, but there are two examples of good, positive induction experiences. The pessary being the only intervention. My intervention did not lead to a cascade of interventions and we had no complications. My births were not spontaneous, but they were very much natural births in every other aspect in my eyes.


Dec 2016 (2 years later) and It was a shock to fall pregnant so quickly after it taking 6 years previously between my other two children.

I’d not long had my annual HbA1c test, with a normal result suggesting I am not diabetic, or even classed as pre-diabetic!

But knowing that GD is HIGHLY likely again, I start recording my readings and straight away see that once again, my fasting levels are already elevated. Not only are they higher than ideal, they are rapidly increasing daily…Here’s my first 7 days fasting readings: 5.7, 6.2, 7.5. 7.0, 7.0, 7.5, 7.1

So I made an appointment with my GP as at this point I wasn’t even booked in with the midwifery team.

After explaining the situation to the GP, along with my test results, I ask for them to prescribe all my GD consumables (lancets, test strips, sharps bin, insulin needles and the two types of insulins I used in my previous pregnancies). The GP agrees and also gets me an appointment at my local hospital diabetes clinic for the next clinic that is running a few days later.

The consultant at my appointment believes that as the placenta has not yet developed, I must be type 2 diabetic and agrees that I should start taking my insulins.

The chasing game begins to try to get my blood sugar levels under control.

We move house from England to Scotland and at 13 weeks I get admitted to hospital and diagnosed with HG (severe sickness in pregnancy). This causes a very different pregnancy to my previous two and it’s a battle to stabilise my blood sugar levels, struggling with high fasting levels and hypos.

Since having Finlay in 2014, the NICE guidelines have changed to recommending IOL [induction of labour] at 40+6 for uncomplicated cases of GD.

I am in Scotland for this pregnancy (therefore they also follow the SIGN guidelines) and my consultant obstetrician is pushing for me to go as far as possible in this pregnancy which I find very worrying knowing that my placenta deteriorated with my first and I had signs of it happening with my second. The consultant diabetologist on the other hand is pushing for an earlier induction and so it is a bit of a disagreement as to what the plan will be. I personally would prefer to be induced at 38 weeks like with my previous two babies.

However, at 34 weeks I start suffering multiple hypos a day and after reduced movements at 35+6 I am monitored at hospital and they decide to admit me for an induction as they have concerns over my placenta function.

At Borders General Hospital induction is started on a ward with multiple cubicles, like in Hull and once again, Gavin is not allowed to stay past 9pm at night.

It’s Monday and they start with a sweep and inform me I am not dilated at all. They proceed with a the Prostaglandin gel. I had the Propess pessaries with my previous inductions and this is my first time having the gel.

The examination and gel makes me slightly uncomfortable and sore, but I carry on as normal and get walking, walking, walking.

Once again I have to return to the ward for monitoring of baby every few hours, but after monitoring I am free to walk the hospital grounds. The weather is nice and the surroundings are beautiful and so it’s the nicest hospital I’ve stayed in for an induction.

The first gel doesn’t seem to work and so they repeat the process again. Unfortunately the only thing the gel seems to do is give me an upset tummy and I am moved into a side room as I get diarrohea. The last thing you want if you are going into labour!!

After 3 failed attempts at trying induce me and after an ultrasound and lots of CTGs showing everything with baby and my uterus is looking OK, they decide to let me go home on the Wednesday to get a good nights sleep and a day of rest to come back on the Friday morning.

They try another gel on the Thursday, but once again this doesn’t work, but luckily I am no longer suffering with the side effect of diarrohea thank goodness!

They send an anaesthetist in to see to discuss having a cannula fitted and explain that due to my high BMI, that it is very important to have this done before I am in labour to make things easier as I will need a sliding scale.

It is on my birth plan that I do NOT want a cannula and will only consent to one if it actually needed ie. I will not have one fitted beforehand just for convenience in case it is needed during labour. I also do not want to be put onto a sliding scale unless my blood sugar levels raise above 7 mmol/L or go below 4 mmol/L during labour (as per the NICE guidelines). I remind them of my wishes and that I do not consent to one unless it is actually needed, despite them not being too happy with this, they leave me to it.

On the Friday, as I’m still struggling with hypos even though I’m rapidly reducing my insulin, they are still keen to try to deliver my baby and so we discuss what the options are and decide that we will attempt once more to try to induce, but if this doesn’t work then I will need to have a c-section.

Before the gel, I am given a stretch and sweep. This is the most painful and forceful sweep I have ever had and the consultant manages to touch the top of my baby’s head with the tip of her finger. It was painful, but I made it clear to them that was at the point of doing whatever it took to try to induce labour as I personally wanted to do anything possible to avoid having a c-section.

After having the sweep, they gave me another gel (so this was the 5th attempt to induce) and then I walked, walked, walked, up and down the hill at the back of hospital non stop!

I had some mild period type pains in the evening, but nothing more and Gavin went home to see the boys and get some rest. I was down to just 25 units of insulin, from needing just over 400 units daily previously!

11.45pm, I had been harvesting colostrum for over a week and was harvesting colostrum when I stood up and my waters broke.

After this point contractions started coming thick and fast and in between I was backwards and forwards to loo to pee every few minutes, just like in the early stages of my previous two labours… This was it!! This baby was finally ready to make an appearance!

Just like my previous labours, things went very fast from this point and within an hour I had called Gavin to come back to the hospital, had my TENS machine on, was breathing through my surges and was wheeled through to the delivery suite.

The midwife who greeted me and was there to deliver my baby was the lovely Rachel, who had looked after me lots on the ward when I’d been admitted with my HG and it was so lovely to see her friendly face.

I asked for some gas and air to help, which she gave me straight away and Rachel took my blood sugar levels which were a nice stable level (hoorah!) Rachel mentioned a sliding scale and then the contractions started rolling one into another. She asked to put a clip on the baby’s head to monitor and then before I knew it I was pushing.

I was very conscious that I really didn’t want to tear this time and so I really tried to focus on what Rachel was guiding me with… 3 pushes and Brodie was born. I knew straight away that he was smaller than my previous two babies and he was placed straight onto my breast to feed.

Unfortunately I had a very small tear again, but this is because Brodie has his hand by his face and his wee finger nail had cut me.

Rachel very carefully cleaned me and stitched me while I had more gas and air. The care, even when cleaning me and stitching me was so gentle compared to the previous times I’d been stitched and we had a good laugh and chuckle at the same time.

Thank you so much Rachel (at BHG) for being the wonderful midwife you are!

Brodie was born at bang on 37 weeks weighing 6lb 10.5oz at 2.45am 2nd September 2017.

Brodie fed really well and we had lots of skin to skin, but unfortunately we couldn’t get his blood sugar levels just over their target and so he needed my colostrum top ups. Once I was out of colostrum he was then breast feeding on demand and also having formula top ups by cup.

After a few formula top ups we managed to get his levels up and we headed home on the Monday.

Was my induction bad or horrible? No, it just took much longer than my previous ones, but I was being induced 2 weeks earlier than with those. Was my body ready? No and I think this is why it took 5 attempts to induce and I believe it was that, quite painful stretch and sweep that induced my labour, or at least kick started so the hormones in the gel could get to work. That said, the sweep was probably the worst part for me. Should I have been induced? I definitely think so. With my hypos increasing and getting worse and worse, along with the reduced movements, I believe that it was the best decision to deliver my baby earlier than planned. Did I have a good labour and birth? Yes, most definitely. I think this was my easiest birth of all 3 and I look back with very fond memories of my labour and birth.

. . .

Being on high amounts of insulin, having placenta deterioration with my first and researching gestational diabetes, I was happy to be induced in all my pregnancies and felt I made informed decisions which were best for my babies and myself at those times.

All 3 of my babies grew on the 50th centile and my first stopped growing, so it shows that despite the well-known fact that gestational diabetes causes excessive growth, my diabetes was well controlled and my babies did not suffer macrosomia as a result or any other GD related complications. Had Mackinley fed, I don’t believe he would had suffered jaundice either.

My gestational diabetes presents as soon as I am pregnant and my insulin resistance requires quite high amounts of insulin, strict diet and exercise to keep my babies growth ‘average’, but it goes to show that despite having early placenta deterioration due to gestational diabetes and high risk pregnancies, if controlled well, gestational diabetes can be managed.

I should also add that I am not (yet) diabetic, despite the consultant being adamant that I was, as my levels jumped so high from the start of my third pregnancy. It was Gestational Diabetes again, although I am super high risk at developing Type 2 diabetes.

Do you want to share gestational diabetes induction birth stories?

I will be adding lots more induction birth stories to the website soon. If you have a story you would like to share then please get in contact.

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