Reading birth stories during my pregnancy helped me prepare so I thought I'd share mine:
After all those months I was so excited that bub could arrive anytime, but my due date came & went with only a few hours of braxton hicks that didn’t eventuate into anything! I had a monitoring appointment that day & all was well, bubs heartrate & movement were fine and they checked my fluid levels too. It was cute as we saw bub sucking away on her hand, in position & ready to go!
DF’s brother was staying with us so I had some company & help if I needed during the day when DF was at work. My due date was Friday 9/9/11 so he went home the next day as nothing was happening & DF didn’t work weekends. Saturday passed with no action & we went to bed wondering how long bub would make us wait.
Not long, as I thought when I woke at 1am on Sunday 11/9/11 with cramp like tightenings. They were about 12mins apart at this point so I stayed in bed for an hour but since I couldn’t sleep I eventually got up & played on the computer until DF got up. The cramps were every 5-6 mins at this point & I happily told DF I didn’t think he would be going to work the next day. By mid-morning the tightenings were 3mins apart & whilst not really painful, DF insisted we go in to hospital.
So off we went. It was absolute bedlam at the hospital – we were waiting in the hall for over half an hour before an examination room in the maternity wing was free. I was monitored for a bit & then a midwife gave me a check to see what was happening. We were disappointed to hear I was only 2cms at this point. The midwife did a stretch & sweep but all it seemed to do was loosen my mucus plug. Everything had slowed down & I wasn’t really getting the cramps/tightenings anymore but they were reluctant to let me go as my blood pressure was higher than they liked. Eventually, after lunch time, an OB came in & saw me. She checked things & said that given my BP had been constant for the past 5 weeks it would be best if I went home to rest & see if things started again. So they gave me some panadein forte & told me to ‘try to get some sleep’. Lol.
Back home & I went to bed whilst DF & his brother (who had come back over that day to ‘hold the fort’ whilst we were in hospital) played on the PS3. I couldn’t sleep as the tightenings started again, just rested in bed until early evening when they were painful enough that I couldn’t lie down anymore. At this point (about 6-6:30pm) I realised that I had bled through a pad which really worried me. So I called the hospital & they said to come in to check it out. And off we went again. DF asked me a few times if I was sure as he was grumpy that we got sent home before & didn’t want it happening again.
Back at the hospital it was still busy (Full moon!) but we got seen fairly fast this time. Got strapped up for monitoring again & bub was ok thankfully. They weren’t sure about what was causing the bleeding though. I walked about as much as I could & swayed whilst holding onto DF during the contractions. I was determined to do this with as little drugs as possible. I had listed I did not want to be offered pethidine at all & only would have an epidural if necessary. The gas I was ok with, if I asked for it.
After a while (my perception of time from here on in is patchy) the midwives had come in for a check. It was good timing because at this point I got the shakes & threw up the orange juice I had had prior to coming in. It was funny because the midwives didn’t think I was far along at all until I started shaking (I have a high pain threshold & was engaging my stiff upper lip lol). This got thier attention fast & they checked the monitors. These weren’t really showing much – it only really showed up when I pressed them into my abdomen. So they decided that it might be better to do internal monitoring. I got moved to another room closer to the midwife station & one of the midwives then checked me. To thier suprise I was nearly fully dilated with bulging waters.
It took the midwife a few goes to break my waters because the sac was thick. Felt so weird when she did it & all this warm water gushed out. They hooked up the monitor to bubs scalp & not long after this I asked for the gas as the contractions ramped up & I wanted some relief.
The gas was really good! It didn’t take the pain away but it blunted the worst. And it helped me regulate my breathing too. The midwives settled in and told me to let them know when I felt like pushing. When it came it was incredible how it just took over!
DF was a gem throughout this, holding my water cup & my hand (although he refused to offer me his whole hand, only 2 fingers to hang onto) which he said later saved his hand from being crushed. I think I was pushing for a while, first on my back but then bubs heartrate dived so the midwives rolled me onto my side which helped. I think I stopped breathing until bubs heartrate came back up, it was too scary. I pushed on my side for some more but bub wasn’t really descending. Then the midwives saw that her heartrate kept going down after the contractions, which indicated she was getting distressed. So I was handed back the gas & told to try to stop pushing for a bit. Dear me that was hard, the gas helped but it was so hard fighting the urge to push.
I came out of my gassy fog and realised that my audience had increased from one midwife to two, plus three chaps in scrubs who turned out to be an OB, his registrar and a neonatal paediatrician. Although I hadn’t know it, there was some meconium in the waters so they brought in an infant resuscitation trolley. After assessing things the OB sat down & told us that bub was stuck behind a bit of lip & some of the sac which was preventing her from descending. He said that although he thought I could push bub out myself in another 30-45mins, because her heartrate was going down he didn’t know if bub had that time in her. So, as he said, it was time to intervein & get her out now.
So I got set up in the stirrups & the registrar (under the OB’s gaze) gave me an episiotomy in preparation (which I felt, but disregarded pretty much straight away as I got another pushing urge). Putting in the forceps was really uncomfortable, but I was really tired & worried so just breathed through it. On my next push bubs head came down & out... the ring of fire is an apt description!! One more push & bub slid out with a rush which was a huge physical relief & they popped her on my tummy. DF later said it was amazing how one minute I was exhausted & pushing then I was half sitting up reaching for my baby!
So at 1:43am on the 12/9/2011, weighing 7lb 10oz & 49.5cms, my baby girl Isobel arrived. She didn’t cry, just quietly looked around with big blue eyes. The paed didn’t need to do anything, DD was fine – Apgars of 8 & 9!! DF cut the cord & I didn’t notice the shot to speed up the placenta, or it coming out! We had skin-on-skin cuddles whilst the registrar (who was very good looking) stitched me up, and DD wriggled up to my chest which was beautiful. She could already lift her head some too!
6months on & DD is a happy, healthy, beautiful little girl who amazes her adoring parents every day!
Thanks for reading!