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birth story

September 13, 2011

grammatically poor but emotionally strong?

My birth story: 4 hours from nothing much, to waters breaking, contractions 2 minutes apart, to birth.

Wednesday 24th August the midwife appointment I’d hoped not to reach, I was now ten days overdue: A very gentle sweep was done (cervix was still too high and posterior for more) and I got booked in for induction on the Friday. Still hoped something would happen before then, especially as the midwife got confirmation that induction and midwife led birthing unit don’t combine 😦

Friday 26th morning: Day of induction. Unit was v busy so had to head in later than the 8.30 start we’d planned. Arrived to find I’d been allocated a large side room to myself-HUGE bathroom. Eventually started the induction process (monitoring first and then the prostaglandin) mid afternoon. Got given a Bishop’s score of 1!!! Nothing happened that day, except that mum and I re-lived sitting in a hospital room together, getting the giggles and not being able to shut up.

Second lot of prostaglandin got postponed ‘til morning as I needed some sleep/rest at least.

6am Saturday 27th. Got my and bump’s obs taken and hooked up to the heartbeat (bump’s) monitor again. I asked what the green numbers relate to and got told they are the contraction monitors and are set at a baseline of 20. I lay back and let the machine do its thing. With nothing to do but watch the monitor, I noticed the uterus activity graph peaking and the “green numbers” going up to 90. They appeared to coincide with mild increasing of period pains that I’d had through the night (v mild, had asked if ward had a hotwaterbottle, but snuck 2  paracetemol when they didn’t). Midwife came to unhook me and did the internal exam. Cervix was still very high and posterior, but no longer closed, she could’ve broken my waters!! Instead she yanked (good!) cervix forward and gave me a sweep. She said she’d let the delivery unit know and they’d break my waters later and probably have to start syntocin before anything happened as contractions were obviously not really doing much (as not painful). I hadn’t realised that that’s how the cookie crumbled. I’d hoped that cervix sorting itself out, might mean waiting for natural labour to start. I got up and started  getting bits together and thinking about the shower and breakfast she’d recommended. In the shower, the “show” started  😀 Dressed, I phone hubby to ask him to bring me some alternative going home trousers as I wasn’t sure dungarees would be ok by then (no idea what made me think this!). I’d just put the phone down (7.20) and sat in my wheelchair to go and get breakfast when my waters WENT. Wow so messy. Rang the bell, texted hubby and mum and sat there giggling (possibly because in my thoughts of labour, waters breaking on expensive foam wheelchair cushion seemed the worst place)! I got brought some inco pads to sit on and got changed into yesterday’s knickers (I hadn’t hung on to my clothes bag as “nothing would happen” and hubby was due in at 8). I also got brought breakfast.

Went through several inco pads (big waffled flat sheets that sit on the bed) whilst trying to eat my breakfast-think I managed half a slice of toast. Spoke to mum in the middle of this, again, can’t remember why. I decided to move to the bathroom as my waters continually breaking was annoying me (going through pad, running off bed…pretty?). Stood in shower (over bath) and hung on to the rails for comfort, the period pains were pretty strong now. Got so sweaty as bathroom was v hot. Eventually managed to get to the loo, then back to bed to grab mobile and leave bathroom door wide open to let some air in. Went back to sitting on the loo. Notice mum and Simon are waiting at the ward door, waiting to be buzzed in (text, 7.55)-otherwise would have considered pulling call cord. They got there and I got my head hugged to mum’s chest and felt v reassured. Also got stripped out of sweaty tshirt and bra and fed water,  I couldn’t bear to put clothes back on. Simon started mopping up the room, but got told to press the call button as my contractions were coming 2 minutes apart! When (new) midwife arrived after Chinese whisper, I had to defend that that is all we said and not that I had a pushing urge! I also got frustrated with joke that the pull cords aren’t for labouring women, they’re for “real” emergencies. Via a couple of contractions on the bathroom floor, a few more on the room floor, I made it into bed and contracted kneeling up, hands on thighs. Midwife returned at 8.35 to say delivery unit would be ready for us in 20 minutes and to pack everything up ready. Simon somehow managed to do this, stopping for each contraction as any movement/noise was too distracting through the pain (1 minute contraction, 1 minute rest?). I get asked if I’d use my wheelchair or walk down to the delivery unit and that I’d want to cover up. Managed to get them to get a second person (Simon not allowed to) to push bed down as there was no way I’d get there otherwise. Had to lie down on my side though for safety, someone also tied a sheet around me (I couldn’t have cared less!). With my eyes shut, focussing on breathing I got wheeled down to delivery unit. (8.55) Love the sensation of the moving bed, really helped my breathing and relaxed state for some time even after the move down.

Continued to labour on my side, deep ins and deeper outs breathing-coached throughout by mum. (9.10) between contractions focus on midwife for first time and ask her to repeat her name. She’s surprised I’m smiling. Get fed water (straws were the cleverest thing to make it into the birthing bag) and hang on to Sy/mum sat next to me during the peak of contractions-which I feel in my bum-my legs bicycle at this moment and I tell myself that this is the peak and it’ll wear off soon. 9.20 First obs done. 9.40 violently sick out of nowhere, Sy and mum had just switched position, but somehow mum managed to dodge it! Internal done at this point and get told by midwife: “head’s just there, you can feel it if you want.” Mum: “hmm yes I thought she was in transition” Me: “Simon, have a look during the next contraction”. I can see “clean and dirty end” thoughts crossing his mind and call him a wimp. But he does look and runs with it from here on, fascinated.

Delivery pack got opened at 9.40 and at 9.50 midwife said “I’ve got a plan: go like this for another hour/10.30 (can’t remember which) then if you haven’t had the urge to push, we’ll get you to push”

10.20 active pushing started. The first few pushing urges left me with the biggest grin on my face. Had the back of the bed raked up and had my knees bent-a sitting squatting position. For each push I’d push down with my arms to anchor myself. Learnt quickly that my weak left leg needed to be stretched out and relaxed between pushing uges as it was shaking. The pushing urges had no build up like the contractions so I had longer to relax between them. The midwife did mention that she’d have preferred my pushing urges to last for longer, but that nothing could be done. At close to crowning, the second midwife got called in. 5 pushing urges before birth, episiotomy was mentioned as well as lignocaine round my vaginal opening to persuade baby out the last bit. The latter didn’t work and then there were a few issues finding baby’s heartbeat. So 2 pushing urges before baby was born the episiotomy was done, 2 more pushing clusters and out her head came. Think body took another two(?) pushes… Cord was wrapped round her neck twice (unlooped first one in head out position) and she’d pooh’d in utero at the last bit too… Cuddling my purple baby with meconium and blood is one of the best things I’ve ever felt though!! At this stage I was losing a fair amount of blood (1/2 pint at this stage more later) and midwife was looking concerned, my mum gave the go ahead to cut cord and use Syntocinon to deliver placenta (we’d discussed this eventuality before hand). Baby was pinking up. Photos were taken, and the biggest grins didn’t leave our faces.

Another midwife came in to stitch me up and asked if I’d used gas and air during delivery, if I had I may want to use it for the stitching. My midwife then said: “I forgot to even offer it!” (there’d been NO time and I was fine without, same goes for the stitching!)

The second midwife asked if we knew what “this one is going to be”. We replied, this is our first and no-she was shocked it was my first labour.

Other  comments  from midwife that happened somewhere in the haze :

“you’re doing this all by yourself, you really don’t need advice from me!”

“what sort of third stage would you like” (physiological was my reply-ie no drugs/pulling, cord left to pulsate before cutting)

Everyone was shocked when Jessica weighed in at 9lb 14oz. We had skin to skin in that room from 11.30 til close to 3-I got showered, got brought toast and tea and mum and Sy ate their sarnies (ok, I pinched half of mums). Back on the maternity ward I fought the system and got discharged (there was no doctors about to do baby check, but a midwife was found on the birthing unit who was qualified!)

I came home to bubbly, a home-made stew (thanks to dad for meals on wheels) and my own bed, with our not so little girl!

Since then my stitches have misbehaved a bit (gaping/popping) Jessica has oral thrush which caused a blocked duct in my breast (poor attachment) and I have an infection somewhere requiring antibiotics and a visit to a non-human out of hours GP. So there have been quite a few tears of frustration through the smiles of happiness. Here’s to a more settled second part of our babymoon-Simon is a natural!

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6 comments

  1. Congratulations, Jessica is beautiful! Great name too, my Jessica will be 19 in November. Cherish her as a baby, it goes very quick 🙂 x


  2. Congratulations!! Suddenly thought of you cruising through Ravelry this morning and remembered that you had your due date around this time of year, and I was (sort of) right… Such a sweet looking little person!


  3. Congrats again hon. Beautiful story, will make a nice memory reminder in years to come when it’s not so fresh. And randomly it helped me work out something unrelated that’s been bugging me since last Thursday. Lots of love xx


  4. Well done you ( and Simon ) and welcome to the world beautiful Jessica. What fun you’re all going to have together xx


  5. Congratulations again! Here’s hoping that things settle down a bit on the medical front, so you can concentrate on enjoying your beautiful daughter. 🙂 Much love xx


  6. Hello again! I just wanted to say sorry I haven’t been texting you. The local Vodafone mast has been down for three weeks, and I can’t get any signal at home. 😦 Ocassionally I’ll pick up one bar and a text will come through, but I’m never able to reply. It’s very frustrating. I do watch your blog for news though! xx



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