The birth of Dylan Charles
Due to having Gestational Diabetes requiring insulin, and borderline Pre Eclampsia, it was decided that I would be induced early at 38 weeks pregnant. Bub was measuring average size on ultrasound so there was no worry of him being too big. I was booked in, my induction would start on Tuesday 21st May.
That morning I was booked in to see my chiro as I wanted my pelvis to be in the right position for bub to come out, and make the labour easier on him. I was having a sleep in when I got a call from the hospital asking me to come in that morning rather than that night. I told them I would be there as soon as I could, but had an appointment to go to first. Seeing the chiro first was good, I felt much better after that. I gathered my things and headed in to the hospital for cervadil to open my cervix.
When I arrived at the hospital they put me on the monitor to get a baseline of bub’s heartbeat to see how he would react after the cervadil. After 20 minutes on the CTG they were happy with him, and they did an internal examination to assess whether I needed the cervadil or prostin, or whether my cervix would be open enough to just break my waters the next morning. I was expecting it to be firmly closed, but they told me it had dilated 1-2cm, and thinned out to 1-2cm thick. They sent me home to come in at 7am the next morning to break my waters. I went out to lunch with my friend afterwards, and sat at home having mild tightenings for the rest of the night.
The next morning I was so nervous getting ready to go to the hospital. I kept double checking that I had everything, sure I would have forgotten something! We were a bit late getting to the hospital, but it didn’t really matter. Mum and I arrived at 7:15am, and met my student midwife Annabelle at the front door. She was going to be support person along with my mum. We got up to the maternity ward and met Megan. She was going to be my midwife for the day. I’m so glad for Megan, she was absolutely lovely, and such an amazing support throughout my labour. It was about 9am before anything started. We were waiting for someone to come cannulate me. I have terrible veins, and a few midwives stabbed me before failing. Once that was in, I got put on the monitor for 20 minutes to get a baseline for bub, so we could make sure he was coping alright with labour. Once that was done, the doctor was called in to break my waters.
They were broken at 10am, and it felt disgusting! Then the drip was put up.
It was about 11am before I started getting real contractions. I was having 3 in 10mins, and they lasted about 45 seconds at a time. The monitor wasn’t very good at picking up my contractions, or Dylan’s heartrate! It was incredibly annoying as it meant I had to basically lie in the one position the whole time. The contractions were horrible. Mum found it incredibly weird, as when I had the contractions I internalised them. I curled up in a ball, held my breath, and scrunched up my face. The only way they could tell I had a contraction is because I went silent. I was able to talk in between them. I lasted until about 1pm before trying the gas. I gave it a shot through about 3 contractions and hated it. I couldn’t breathe deeply enough for it to have an effect, and hated trying to breathe through my mouth.
It was then I asked if I could be checked again, as I thought I might like an epidural. I was found to be 3cm dilated, and 50% effaced. They were happy with my progress, and said I could have the epi if I wanted it. So the anaesthetist was called. The epidural went in at about 2pm. It was weird when he was putting it in, as I was trying very hard to concentrate on keeping in the right position, concentrate on breathing through contractions, and reply to people asking me questions. I was also trying to visualise in my head what he was doing. I’m allergic to Fentanyl, so I had to have a slightly altered epidural, but it seemed to work well. It took about 15 minutes to kick in, and was just wonderful. It was then I decided to get on my phone and text people, and update them on how things were going. I also asked my friend Kara who is a midwife to come to the hospital as well, as I really wanted her to be there. At about 3pm Megan left as it was the end of her shift, and we were introduced to Deb.
At about 5pm they checked me again and I was 5cm dilated, but fully effaced. They wanted to keep putting the syntocinon up despite it being at the highest it could be. They agreed to let me keep going, even though I wasn’t progressing well, and said they would check me again in 4 hours to give me more of a chance before talking about a caesarean section. Little did I know that they had already decided I was going to be their 3rd caesarean of the night. Unfortunately Kara and mum overheard them talking just outside the room, and were livid. Poor Kara had the job of telling me what they said, but I was determined to get my natural birth, so I wanted to do everything I could to get it.
At about 7pm the syntocinon drip ran out. It took the bloody midwife Deb over an hour to get me a new one and put it up. I ended up essentially going from about 7pm-9pm without contractions. I was so mad, they’d only given me til 9pm to progress more, so a lack of contractions was really detrimental to this! Deb was reluctant to do another internal examination, so we waited until the doctor came back around. I was so sure there was going to be good news. I was getting that feeling that I just wanted to go home, and I knew that ladies typically get that feeling when they’re in transition. So I was hoping I would be at least 7cm. Much to my dismay I was only 5cm. No change. It was decided I was to have a caesarean. I was so exhausted that I agreed. I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I tried my bloody hardest, but my body had failed me.
I was prepped very quickly. I already had the epidural and catheter in, all I needed to do was paperwork and remove jewellery. Unfortunately another person was taken in to surgery as I was being prepped, so I had to wait. I was finally taken down at about 11:15pm. Mum came with me. I was really scared for my section, having studied midwifery I knew what they were going to do, and it was terrifying! It was funny when they moved me from the bed to the operating table. I had no feeling in my legs so I couldn’t help them even if I tried. I was cold but I couldn’t have any blankets. They did the ice test to make sure I was numb enough. I remember saying to the anaesthetist that there was once patch that I could still feel, but he said that often women have that sensation but they can’t actually feel anything. The doctors were then given the all clear to begin.
I was rather stressed, trying not to visualise what they were doing. I had asked to be updated with what they were doing, I wanted to be talked through the surgery so I could be mentally prepared. Instead I was given updates of “you will feel some pressure here”. I heard them suctioning amniotic fluid and I knew it would be only moments until bub was born. I was then told there would be a whole lot of pressure in my upper abdomen, and it would only be quick, and then he would be out.
The moment I saw him lifted above the curtain I cried. He was here, my beautiful son was here! I heard him cry and he was taken to the resus cot to be checked over. Someone called out that he was born at 11:48pm. We had made it! He was born 11:48pm on May 22nd. That was the minute I became a mummy! I was so elated!
Unfortunately things then turned pear shaped. I started feeling pain, and a lot of it! It felt like the most intense contraction imaginable, and some severe stabbing pains in my abdomen. I started freaking out. I told the anaesthetist and he poured more and more local anaesthetic into my epidural but the pain just wouldn’t go. I was screaming and crying, and I started vomiting. The doctors wouldn’t stop what they were doing, and the anaesthetist kept asking them to stop as I was in pain. Poor mum had to hold the vomit bucket for me as the anaesthetists were too busy trying to get the pain under control.
While this was happening bub started having issues with his breathing and was given some suction and oxygen. He had apgars of 9 and 9, but was having issues with his breathing.
The anaesthetist asked me if I wanted to be put to sleep as a last resort, as they couldn’t control my pain. I was crying hysterically at this stage and begged, yes, please take it away. The last thing I heard before I went under was the paed saying that they needed to stabilise bub.
I have very little memory of waking up briefly in recovery. I know I couldn’t talk, but I knew there was people talking to me. I react incredibly badly to anaesthetics, and was pretty dopy still. The next thing I remember is someone from special care nursery coming to update me on bub’s progress. This was about 2am. He had some issues breathing, and had some oxygen. He was in an incubator, and had fluid on the lungs. They asked me if they could give him a little bit of formula… They had already given him formula that my mother consented to shortly after his birth. The next time I woke was 8am.
I checked my phone and mum had sent me some pictures of my son. I had a son! Dylan Charles was 3.112kg (6lb13oz), 48.5cm long, and HC 33cm. He was little, and perfect! My heart broke when I saw him in the incubator. My dad came in to visit me at about 9am, and I sent him over to the nursery with my phone to take more photos. He was so cute. I couldn’t wait to meet him!
My midwife came in to get me out of bed at about 11:30am. I had a short shower and went over to the nursery to finally meet my beautiful boy. I finally got to meet him at about 12:30pm. He was already 12 hours old! He was handed to me and I got to cuddle him. I put him on the breast and he sucked like a trooper for 20mins. He was a champ!
Unfortunately Dylan spent 8 days in the nursery for fluid on the lungs, blood sugar monitoring, and because he liked to hold his breath after crying. The separation from him was horrible, and I got the baby blues rather badly. We also never got to establish a good breastfeeding relationship. My milk never properly came in, and the nurses in the nursery didn’t do anything to try help me. As he was discharged the paediatrician told me not to even bother trying to breastfeed as I had nothing there. I was disappointed at the care I was given. I was treated as an incubator, not a mother.
Dylan is now 7 weeks old, 4.66kg, 56cm long, and HC 37.5cm. I’m still trying my hardest to breastfeed, but only make about 40mls maximum, so Dylan is on formula as well.
Dylan’s birth was both the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. I am so traumatised by the experience that I spent the entire time writing this in tears, feeling like I might vomit. I am also appalled at the care I was given by the staff looking after me. Everyone except for Megan was more concerned with themselves than making sure I was supported to transition into motherhood smoothly. To this day I am still feeling an incredible amount of regret. I was not given the experience I should have been.
Dylan is just amazing. I am so blessed to be his mummy, and I cannot wait to watch him grow into a beautiful boy.