Tuesday Birth Story – Don’t tell the in-laws!
December 06th. 2016 | Leave a comment
So this was my second pregnancy, and I had delivered by C-Section with my first child 17 months previously. My obstetrician was hopeful that I would be able to deliver myself this time round, so fingers and toes were crossed it would work out that way.
I woke at 3am on Sunday morning, half asleep, wondering if that pain in my tummy was really there or was I dreaming. A little while later that pain returned and I started to wake up a bit more becoming increasingly aware of that recurring pain. The pain was returning every 15-20 minutes, and ‘the show’ made its appearance not long after. So I tried to go back to sleep, knowing I’d need my energy later on, but with no luck. After 8am the pains seemed to subside, so I figured it must have been a false start, and so at 12pm we left the house to go have dinner with the in-laws.
By the time we had driven the ten minute journey to the restaurant the contractions were back with gusto, ten minutes apart. I had warned my husband not to say I was in labour, because I knew we could be in for a long haul, and I knew that they would only be awake all night worrying! So I struggled through dinner (which was a complete waste of energy, because apparently they knew well that I was in labour). At 5pm my contractions were 5 minutes apart and strong so we dropped off the little fella at the child minder and headed for the hospital. I put the TENS machine on at this point, and found it great.
After check in, I was found to be only 1cm dilated! I was disappointed, but figured things would pick up now that the contractions were coming more frequently. So we headed up to the ward to wait it out. I found the TENs was a great distraction and gave me something to concentrate on. I tried a few different positions, leaning forward over the tray table, and over the bed raised up to waist height, and tried to keep up and moving as much as I could. I wasn’t allowed use by therapy ball in the hospital unfortunately due to local policy against them.
At 3am, I was exhausted and asked for some pain relief. After a chat with our exceptional midwife I decided on pethidine, however this required another internal examination and trace to make sure I wasn’t too close to delivery as it may have an effect on the baby. She told me I was still only 1cm dilated. This was definitely the low point of my labour experience! I couldn’t believe it! All those contractions five minutes apart getting me nowhere. The midwife explained that pethidine would give me the chance to rest and might also help with the dilatation. By the time the doctor on call had come to chart it, it was 4.30am and I was worn out. I received the injection and sent the hubby out to the car to get some rest, as I made myself comfortable and settled in for a rest. After 20 minutes of waiting and hoping for the pain to ease I called the midwife, who told me that pethidine doesn’t work for pain relief in a small percentage of people. There was absolutely no relief whatsoever! I was gutted!! So I decided I wanted to proceed to the epidural. I phoned my husband and he met us in the labour ward. At this point I was gone loopy on the pethidine and then I was given the gas and air which sent me over the edge completely, much to the amusement of my husband! I kept telling him not to let me talk nonsense, and then proceed to talk jiberish! It was like I’d drank five bottles of wine. The poor midwives must have been withered with me!
It took another 2 hours before the epidural was administered and had taken effect. At this time I was 3cm dilated, but an hour later at 7.30am I was fully dilated. I was told we’d need to wait an hour before starting to push, which we began at 8.30am. It was difficult to push when I couldn’t feel what or where I was pushing, so the epidural was turned down so that I could get a better sense of what I was doing. I was told all along that she was ‘facing the door’ rather than upwards. After an hour of pushing, my obstetrician told me that because of the way she was facing, she wasn’t able to get any further without some help. So our little woman was born at 9.30am with the help of suction and episiotomy. Needless to say I was delighted to have had the epidural for all this, but mostly just delighted that our little girl had arrived safe and sound, and that I had been able to avoid C-Section. The placenta delivered without any issue and we were back on the ward before we knew it. We were both delighted with the care we received throughout and have only good things to say about the staff, but the midwife we met on the ward was truly excellent. She advocated strongly on my behalf at all times, respecting my wishes and supporting the choices I made.
Thankfully the next few days and weeks passed uneventfully and I made a full recovery. I have to say that if I was to have any more children I would gladly labour and deliver myself rather than have another C-Section! So for anyone who thinks the C-Section is the easy route, I couldn’t disagree more!!