My Birth Story... And What Happened Next (PART ONE)
WARNING: This article contains information about childbirth that some readers may find distressing.
So the beginning of my labour started as I had thought it would, at 39 weeks and 3 days I started having contractions on and off which had become more frequent (and painful) as the hours went by. I remember thinking this was it, then all of a sudden they would stop and it was back to the waiting game.
I am an over thinker at the best of times and I would panic every time I felt my baby girl moving less than she usually did. Within the space of 4 days I had 3 visits to the maternity ward for monitoring due to reduced movement. On the third visit, Tuesday, we tried all of the usual tricks to get her moving, icy cold water, apple juice, lots of poking and prodding but she wasn’t co-operating and our obstetrician decided it was time to induce labour. I was 4cm dilated at that point but things were moving too slowly.
A few hours later I was in the birth suite and our midwife started me on a Pitocin drip and attempted to break my waters. It took 3 different staff and 5 or 6 attempts but eventually my waters broke and the contractions started to pick up. I felt so restricted with a drip in so I decided to get an epidural shortly after, I had always planned on getting an epidural if the pain got too hard to manage when labouring naturally but the induction had changed our plans.
The epidural hurt a lot more than expected, I don’t think that the local anaesthetic needle had a chance to start working properly and wow-ee I did not expect that pain. I have friends who have said it was relatively pain free process so I think I just got unlucky (or maybe I’m just a big ol’ sook).
Unfortunately for me, the epidural was only fully effective on half of my body so I could still feel about 90% of what was happening on one side which was a very bizarre feeling. When I reached about 7cm in dilation, one of the midwives said that I should try not to push the button that administers the epidural medication anymore so that I can feel when to push. Well, that was terrible advice. I found out a few hours later that they actually aren’t allowed to advise you not to do this as it is self-administered. I reached 9cm and after an hour passed with no progress, they said I can try for another hour and then I would need to have an emergency caesarean.
By this point I was in so much pain and absolutely panicking as I was terrified of how the birth would unfold. Towards the end of the second hour, I had blood in my urine (I had a catheter in) and my baby girl’s heart rate had dropped so our obstetrician came in with paperwork to sign authorising an emergency caesarean due to fetal distress. I remember saying no and yelling in pain through the contractions in between sentences. I honestly thought my back had broken. My husband Scott was by my side the entire time and was truly my rock.
After a few minutes (which felt like hours) of fighting it, I reluctantly signed the papers and about 6 different people rushed in and wheeled me down to theatre. Scott was given a surgical gown and came down with me too, thankfully he never left my side. Once we were in theatre, the OB explained that bub had moved down the birth canal and was wedged in an awkward position so they needed to gently push her back up before starting the surgery. Well, that was about as pleasant as it sounds.
My IV was topped up with medication for the spinal but when the first incision was made I felt a sharp sting like a really awful paper cut. I was definitely numbed from the medication but not 100% and I immediately started to panic. The anaesthetist said I had two options, general anesthetic which I would knock me out completely or an oxygen mask with some sort of gas (I’m not sure what it was exactly as it was all a bit of a blur). I opted for the gas as I didn’t want to miss the birth entirely. The gas pretty much knocked me out anyway and I remember feeling like I was awake but I couldn’t open my eyes no matter how hard I tried. Then all of a sudden I heard a baby cry, my baby girl.
The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery alone with no baby, no staff and no husband. About a minute later a midwife came in, she must have left the room just as I woke. She let me know that Scott had taken our baby girl to the ward and I would be taken up to meet them in about half an hour. I don’t really remember a whole lot about the first few hours after she was born as the medication still had me in a daze, but that didn’t matter. My baby was here, she was healthy and the 3 of us were a family.
Check out My Birth Story.. And What Happened Next (PART 2) to find out what happened in the days and weeks after the birth of my first daughter.