I wasn't lying when I said this was long. It's four thousandish words. Good luck. Don't say you weren't warned.
The birth of A
As those of you who know me are aware, to get to the birth of A was a long and heartbreaking journey. Multiple Miscarriages, an ovarian Ectopic, Toxoplasmosis, Cytomegalovirus and Glandular Fever all made for a long and emotional ride. But you can find all that in my TTC diary.
Because of all this it took me a very long time to ‘get into’ my pregnancy. I was repeatedly asked if I was excited. I wasn’t really, I was scared witless. 12 weeks passed but that wasn’t enough to ease my mind. Movement was delayed due to an anterior placenta, so I didn’t have that for reassurance. It wasn’t until about 30 weeks that I finally accepted that we were going to actually have a baby this time. I didn’t buy one baby item until 30 weeks, I had learnt my lesson from previous times (and had a hidden box of baby goods from previous pregnancies, but no baby).
My pregnancy was relatively easy with only Hip pain and third trimester swelling to complain about. I was never sick, there were never any concerns with the baby, and I only had a couple of tiny bouts of spotting to stress me out. All in all it was a great pregnancy. I was doing so well I worked fulltime up until 37 ½ weeks. The only reason I stopped then was because I wanted to ensure I had at least a little time to myself, as everyone was convinced id go early (I thought I’d go over). Those 3 weeks at home were BORING. The first few days were great, I relaxed, watched tv, watched movies, did morning tea with people etc. Then I got stuck into doing the house thoroughly room by room. Although we live in a decent sized 3 bedroom house, there is just no storage space, so I went through each room to see what could be thrown out or donated. I did a room a day, and that’s what kept me occupied for the rest of the time I was at home.
I had no inklings of labour at all prior to A’s due date. Then at lunch time on her due date (23/02/2011) I had two mild contractions. I said to DP that we should just have something light for lunch in case something is happening. I had mild sporadic contractions for the rest of the afternoon. Went and did laps of the park. Lap after lap after lap after lap. As soon as the sun went down the contractions ramped up. Straight to 3 contractions in 12 minutes lasting 1 – 2 minutes. I told DP to go to bed so he was refreshed and ready for when we needed to go to hospital. I laboured all over the house, unable to really get comfortable. Twice through the night there was a fifteen minute break in contractions and I took 2 naps. At 6am I rang the birthing suite assuming that because they’d been consistent and strong all night, that they’d want me to come in. NOPE, I was told to come in when they were occurring 3 in ten minutes, and the pain was coming from the top of my tummy and down to my pelvis. I’d only had pain very very low down, it was like it was coming from under my belly (hard to explain). They told me it was pre-labour and to take panadol and go to sleep. SURE!!!! I took two panadol and laid down, one contraction later and I was up on my feet – lying down was not an option, it was way too painful. Sitting was painful also as I couldn’t handle any pressure on my bits. So I either sat right on the edge of the bed, or I was up leaning on things. When the sun came up the contractions tapered off. They were now down to one every 15 minutes and lasting about 90 seconds. This went on ALL. FREAKING. DAY. I laid down to rest but couldn’t sleep as I was trying to anticipate the next one so I could get myself standing before it hit. At lunch time I was laying on the bed and DP was just laying there staring at me. It was driving me nuts. We were both just waiting, waiting, waiting for something to happen. Him staring at me was becoming annoying and I felt like the watched pot that never boils. It was Thursday lunch time and I’d been awake since the previous morning, and had also had a horrid sleep the night before. I was already cruising on 4 hours sleep in 2 days, I was easily irritated. I pleaded with him to go to work, or the shops or to wash the car. Just go somewhere and stop staring at me. He said if he left and something happened I’d never forgive him…. I had to give him that one. So we got up and went for a walk around and around and around the park, to try and get things moving. Again nothing. And this was how we spent Thursday, either walking or sitting and having contractions every fifteen minutes all day long.
I wanted something light for dinner in case labour was near (my biggest fear though was that pre-labour was going to go on for a week). So I just had chicken and sweet corn soup. As soon as the sun went down my contractions ramped up again. Straight back to 3 in 12 minutes lasting 60 – 100 seconds, I figured we were getting somewhere.DP supported me for a couple of hours, then I sent him to bed to rest. About 10.00pm I rang the hospital again to see what they wanted me to do, I’d been having contractions for 36 hours by this stage. Well 3 in 12 is NOT 3 in 10 and I was to stay home until they got to 3 in 10, or my waters broke. They suggested taking two panadeine forte and getting some sleep as this was obviously pre-labour and could last for another week (NOOOOOOOO). Well I didn’t have any panadeine forte, so I rang my mum who thankfully did have some, and she said she’d be right over. Once she got there I had a contraction, and she told me I need to relax, don’t tense up and breathe through them. SHH SHHS SHH STOP TALKING I grunted out. I’d been having contraction for ages, I was aware of what to do, I was tense because I was sitting on the side of the lounge trying to talk to her.. Thanks for the panadeine mum, now OUT. So slightly defeated I took my panadeine forte and tried to get into bed. Have you ever tried to sleep when every fibre in your body screams at you to STAND UP, STAND UP, STAND UP when you have a contraction? Needless to say sleep did not descend. But I had an idea! I placed all our pillows at the top of the bed, trailing up the wall. I then dragged over the bedside table and put it close to the side of the bed. I then sat right on the very very edge of the bed, so my bits weren’t actually on the bed, just the very back part of my bum was. I then wedged my knees up against the bedside table, and rested my head on the pillows that were now up the wall. It didn’t work. As soon as there was a contraction I had to sit upright or forward, I couldn’t rest through them.
Frustrated to the absolute extreme I decided to get in the bath, unsure of whether it would help or not because effectively I’d be lying down and my body didn’t like that! So upstairs I went and jumped in a pretty hot, but not boiling bath. It took me about half an hour to get into a comfortable rhythm to try and manage the pain. Once a contraction would come I’d splash the water over my belly for the entire contraction and breathe through it. I’d top the hot water up every half an hour. I laboured like this on my own from 1am until 5am, monitoring the length and frequency of my contractions on my iphone. I was in a position where I could manage each contraction by the position I was in, with the water splashing and the breathing. Over the four hours I’d managed to get the procedure down pat. But now, now I was too scared to move an inch in case I screwed up my comfortable position, and I was getting cold! There was no way I could sit up and turn on that hot water anymore. So I started calling for DP - repeatedly. Nothing. So a bit louder - repeatedly. Still nothing. DP was downstairs in bed with the fan on in our room, he couldn’t hear anything. I called out for ten minutes to no avail. So I tried a new tactic. I started calling the dog J even she didn’t hear me. I started knocking on the wall, like I was knocking on a door. Well that sprung the old girl into action, and I could hear her get up, run to the front door and start barking! So I called her upstairs. Dogs sense when you’re in labour? Pfft not my dog. She was pi55ed, looking all cranky because she’d been woken from her sleep. Baby or no baby she was sleeping. So here I am at 5.15am pleading with the dog to go get Daddy. Nope. The dog decided to camp out with me and laid down on the bath matt and went to sleep………. Thankfully DP had stirred when the dog barked and responded to my next call. He came up and topped up my hot water and sat in the bathroom (with the dog still asleep on the floor) to keep me company. Another half an hour I decided I was over it, and dragged my large large belly up and out of the bath.
Again sitting and putting any pressure down there was a nightmare, so I just sat on the toilet. There was so so much pressure down below that I’d do a teeny tiny push towards the end of each contraction, hoping my waters would break. It didn’t work. I laboured here for another hour. Then once the sun had been up for an hour or so the contractions dropped back to 1 in ten minutes. I was absolutely gutted. It was Friday morning, and I hadn’t slept since Tuesday night, I was exhausted. So I rang the hospital. They told me to stay home, contractions had dropped off, no point coming in, and again I was told this could go on for another week. DP walked in and I just started crying. I could not do this for another week. No chance, no way. The pain was manageable, after all it stopped after 90 seconds each time, the exhaustion not so much. I just wanted sleep. I decided to ring my OB at home on his mobile. He was eating breakfast, I apologised for disturbing him, to which he replied this was his job and not to worry, god bless him. I gave him the run down. Contractions since lunchtime Wednesday. No sleep since lunch time Wednesday, which was not even an hour. Each night contractions coming 3 in 12 minutes lasting 60 – 100 seconds, then tapering off to 1 every 10 minutes once the sun comes up. He agreed with the midwives and said it was prelabour L He asked what I wanted to do. I just wanted sleep. So he said if I come to the hospital he’ll do an internal, if I’m even 1cm dilated he’d break my waters, put up the drip and we’d be off. Or if there was no movement with my cervix then he’d give me some morphine which would allow me to sleep and then send me home once I was rested. Either option sounded great to me. I did a sneaky cervix check and figured that although my cervix was low and soft, it wasn’t dilated. Boo. But at least I’d be getting some Morphine induced sleep.
DP and I even debated at this stage whether I should take the hospital bag, figuring I’d be sent home again in a few hours!
So at 9.30am on Friday the 25th February we jumped in the car to make the 15minute drive to the Private hospital where we planned to have our baby. Traffic was fine, but all of a sudden my 1 in 10 cntractions turned into 6 blardy contractions on the trip there. So so so many different ways I could tell you how not fun that was! But once we got to the hospital, the dropped back to 1 in ten.