Thought I would finally get around to writing my birth story (It's nearly DD's first birthday but I wanted to write it down so I don't forget). Needless to say that my pregnancy was not what a person dreams of. At 20 weeks DH and I were given the scary diagnosis that our daughter had a serious and complex heart condition. Basically she only had half a heart. We feared that she may not make full term in the pregnancy, and hoped and prayed that one day we would get to meet our little girl, to hear her laugh and giggle.
So, after plenty of growth scans and echocardiograms (scans on her heart) nearly every 2-3 weeks, an induction was booked at 39+1. I wasn't for the induction, but she had started to show some disproportionate measurements so my OB thought it was best.
So DH and I headed to the hospital an hour away on the Sunday night. In typical fashion, I was ready to leave, but DH took his time, so we didn't end up getting to stop for dinner. We grabbed some noodle box to eat later but of course I was too nervous to eat.
At 630pm I was hooked up to monitoring and the nurse administered the gel. She was very gentle! I lay there for the next 30 minutes while being monitored hoping the gel would work overnight! I also lay there thinking that I really needed to pee but wasn't allowed to get up!
At about 7pm we moved up to the ward, I had a cup of tea and was told to get some rest. My DH looked at the 'bed' for him and made a few sly comments. Of course he managed to fall asleep while I lay there getting very nervous and anxious about having something happen! During the night I felt the odd niggle but nothing substantial.
At 7am the next morning they took me down to a birth suite and my OB came in to do a check. I was 1cm. Very depressing! He did an ARM and they hooked me up the drip and got things started.
Because of bub's heart condition I had to be on constant monitoring which was very uncomfortable. I couldn't move around much, but the midwife was really helpful in trying to do whatever she could. I was very nervous, and always had in the back of my mind that while I was pregnant my body was doing all the work for her, and once she was on the 'outside' her heart and lungs had to kick in to gear! So I was doubly nervous about that.
By about 9am, this is where I lost track of time pretty much (so my times might be a bit out!), but I was told I was in established labour. The syntocin drip was doing its work. I was getting regular cramping but was doing okay.
Not long after my OB came in to check on us again, I was 3cm. I was feeling anxious but excited things were progressing.
Time seemed to be dragging but my contractions were increasing and I was feeling pressure. At about 11am I asked if maybe I could have an epidural, I thought this might help to relax me a bit too. I also had a cup of tea.
The anaethetist came in and administered the epidural at around 1200. The hardest part was sitting still hunched over on the bed while experiencing a contraction. DH was great and held my hand and helped me concentrate.
At about 130 my OB popped back in and did another check. Still only 3cm. No progress had been made since the last check even though they had pumped the syntocin up to the highest dose. I also knew the drs were keen to have my baby out before it got late at night, as they needed the neonatology team and cardiologist on standby for immediate transfer to NICU, depending on her condition after the birth. I was keen for things to keep moving along, but now I had the epidural I couldn't move.
Unfortunately for me the epidural was not working everywhere, I had a little 'window' on the right hand side where I was feeling every contraction. The midwife told me that there wasn't a lot we could do because I'd already been the given the maximum dose of drugs. We tried with me lying on my side but baby didn't like it so I had lie on my back.
She did say that it looked like on the monitor my contractions were coming strong and fast and that progress was being made. Another check an hour later and I was 4cm.
By about 5pm, so about 4 hours after my last check, my OB came in and said he hoped things had moved along. (He had popped in at some other time but I really don't remember what happened!) At this point they had pumped the syntocin up higher than normal. And I was very uncomfortable. I said to him, "please tell me I'm more than 4cm or just lie!" After he checked me, he looked at me and said, "I could lie but I'm afraid it isn't good news."
ARGH! by this time I was still only 4cm. I absolutely broke down. I was getting very stressed and worried, and I didn't want my baby to be born at 1am when the important team of doctors might not be around. My OB told me they could do a c section now, and that he thought that would be best. He did say we could continue with the labour as bub wasn't distressed, but he was very worried about me, and the time of day that baby was born. My Ob also said that bub was posterior so she was having a harder time moving down, he wasn't entirely sure that bub was going to come anytime soon and he didn't want her to get distressed. We decided for everyone's sanity, mostly mine, that we would go with a c section.
At this point I had pretty much had the shakes for 12 hours, I was told labour and an epi could cause this of which I had no idea. I also was getting some high blood pressure readings so everyone was getting a little concerned about me! My little heart baby however, no problem at all. She was doing fine. I guess she didn't want to leave.
After all the prepping in the theatre, my DH was given scrubs to wear, which were too big and fell down! Nice..so he had rush out and get some more.
I was crying and very nervous, but at 5:41pm on the 26 November 2012 Chloe was born! Absolutely screaming! She weighed 2.965kgs, was 45cm long. My first words were, 'Is she okay? Is she okay?' I was a bit panicky, well, a lot panicky, so the anaethetist offered me a sedative to help calm me down. I don't remember saying yes, but I'm sure I did! Chloe had apgars of 8 and 9... you would never have known there was anything wrong. DH had a quick cuddle, I got to see her and then she was taken to NICU with the doctors and DH. A very lovely midwife held my hand and talked me through everything and sat with me in recovery. I had a hard time not crying. I was desperate to see her.
At about 9pm I finally got wheeled down to NICU and we had to wait over an hour as the cardiologist was doing an echocardiogram on her heart. Only minutes old really and having her first heart scan on the outside! She was also being monitored for sugars as I had GD. While we waited the nurses were getting worried about my temperature (It was spiking and it was very hot in NICU) and also they were expecting me upstairs on the ward. But DH was adamant that I get to hold Chloe so we waited in the hallway til the tests were over. Finally I got cuddles, and skin to skin. It was precious. She also tried her first breastfeed.
It was very traumatic for me, but I was so pleased and blessed that Chloe arrived very safe, and healthy... she was breathing on her own and was very pink (we were expecting a blue tinge). As I write this she is 11 months, we are nearly at her first birthday, such a huge milestone for us as we have had multiple surgeries and visits to hospital, but she is thriving! She's a real treasure!
Thanks for reading...sorry it got a bit long!