After Labour Story – The thoughts of a First Time Mum Immediately After a Traumatic Labour & Delivery

Note: This blog was written about 3 hours after I gave birth. I haven’t altered it in any way other than fixing up spelling and grammar errors (I’m a crazy person when it comes to writing haha). This is me, all of my thoughts at my most vulnerable..

As a first time mum, no matter how much research you do, no matter how much advice you seek and no matter how many books you read, you will never be prepared for how you feel after giving birth. If you have read my labor & delivery story (that’s if I have posted it yet, not 100% sure I want to relive it in detail) you will know I had an extremely traumatic birth, not only that but I also had a preemie bub, therefor you should take this blog with a grain of salt and remember that everyone’s experience is totally different. But generally if you gave birth naturally and had a graze or needed stitches this blog will most likely relate to you in some way. Alright, I’ll stop with the disclaimers and warnings now and get on with it. The first hour after my birth I spent in quite a bit of pain, but not the sort of pain I had expected (sh*t just realised I didn’t prewarn you in all that rambling that this blog is going to be beyond TMI, mind you, you should already know that if you’ve been following my journey. If not you’re in for a real treat!). Most of my pain was in my bum, mostly in my perineum (the space between your hoo-ha and your, well, there’s no other way to put it, your bum) as that’s where I had an episiotomy (basically they cut you to get bub out if you don’t stretch on your own), but also felt like my tailbone was incredibly bruised, which it very well could be due to the pressure from bub. I felt very “out of it” like a bit loopy – from the gas I was huffing on whilst getting stitches (and also through the first 3 hours of labor, and off and on towards the end). The second hour I was incredibly shocked to realise that it was only 10.40pm, thinking it must have been 3am (funnily enough I am writing this and it’s still not even 3am, yep you’re getting the freshest of the fresh of my after labor thoughts). I managed to have a cup of tea and a piece of toast to try and get my glucose back up so I’d be able to get up and see my son in the SCN soon. Most of the pain was numbed due to a frozen pad (whoever thought of this seriously deserves a Nobel Prize) and some Panadol/Voltaren, so that was nice. The pediatrician also came in and saw us, and explained Hunter’s situation. From what I remember (still groggy at this point) he said that our little man was doing extremely well, breathing room air on his own in the humidicrib (something we had seriously prayed for this whole time). He explained he would be in the Special Care Nursery (SCN) for a few weeks due to him being too young to suck correctly yet, which was something we had been prepared for by the amazing midwives during my long stay in hospital (something I will forever be extremely grateful for having done), so it wasn’t such a shock when he told us that. He told us a whole bunch of other things as well but I’m sure that will be in another post at some point (this is the first one I’m writing). The third hour after birth was actually pretty damn good considering. I managed to get up and have a shower (in other words my beyond amazing, couldn’t live without her, Mother showered me) and they wheeled me to finally see my son. I was extremely nervous to see him as I was still feeling a bit out of sorts and low on blood sugar (weak and shakey). The midwives explained bub’s situation (again should be in another post in the near future, if not already) but most of it went straight over my head, all I know is he’s doing really well and they think he’s really cute (obviously haha). I got to have my first proper cuddles (other than the immediate after delivery ones that lasted all of 2 minutes if that) of my beautiful son, that was such an amazing (and admittedly nerve wracking) experience. Mum got a few photos of all of us and then bub was handed to Jamie while I was milked like a cow. Literally. I’m really not joking one single bit. The midwife hand expressed my golden boobie milk into a syringe. It was about as painful as I had expected, so wasn’t too bad and luckily I’ve known this midwife since the day after I had the stitch put in, so it wasn’t awkward or Uncomfortable. After a good 15 minutes of the milking and watching hubby gaze at our newborn son, oozing with love and pride (yes I had to include some mushy stuff seeing as the rest is pretty blunt, as per my usual writing style haha) we had managed to get a whole 1ml of the golden liquid known as colostrum. Apparently not a bad effort considering, so I was pretty damn proud of myself. Bub was then put back in his temperature-controlled crib and I was wheeled back to my room where Mum made me a cup of tea and I started an attempt on a banana. Mum left shortly after & Jamie and I announced the birth of our little man on Facebook (don’t worry, all the important people had already been contacted by either phone or txt by Jamie or mum). Jamie was keen to go home and rest but I managed to persuade him to stay just a little longer with me (managed to squeeze a good 20 minutes out of him). The fourth hour after birth was pretty difficult for me emotionally. I felt extremely anxious and beyond miserable. I had just given birth and both of my biggest supports had left to get some much deserved rest, so I was feeling very very alone. I kept having flashbacks of the birth and literally panicking about it. Every time I would think about it I would start shaking with adrenaline (still am now actually) and had to talk myself out of it and remind myself that while it was an extremely stressful experience, it’s over and you don’t ever, ever, (EVER) have to do that again. Unfortunately this didn’t work too well and I found myself in tears a few times. Luckily I managed to vent to some (what I class as) very special friends of mine that I have “met” through YouTube, TwoBabyMamas. These girls have been there for me throughout my entire pregnancy (they were the first people I told when I found out I was pregnant, even before hubby and mum) and have always been such a fantastic support. I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through some of my hardest days during pregnancy without them. Sharna hasn’t read my message yet, but I already know she will understand and not judge me on how I’m feeling, and I am so so grateful for that. After that I spent the next 20 or so minutes contemplating something I think all women do after giving birth and having stitches…having to wee. So in the 5th hour I finally decided enough was enough and I had to suck it up and go. I was so terrified of it stinging, but also of seeing a ton of blood. Unfortunately the last time I saw a lot of my own blood (what I thought was my own blood, turned out to be betadine wash, which they really shouldn’t make the same colour as blood for this reason) I passed out (almost, hubby managed to catch me before I hit the floor) so I was really frightened I would just pass out completely. So I buzzed my amazing midwife and asked her if she could help me go, which she was more than happy too (these women are seriously saints). Peeing wasn’t anywhere near as painful as I had anticipated the first time would be (thank goodness) and the midwife changed all of my stuff so I didn’t have to see anything, which made the world of difference. I had a chat to her whilst sitting on the toilet (something I never thought I’d do, luckily I’ve known her for weeks) and explained how I was feeling and asked if it was normal. Of course being the amazing woman she is she told me not to feel guilty and that what I am feeling is 100% normal, especially in my situation. I managed to get back into bed, had some more Panadol and a zantac (apparently giving birth doesn’t rid you of the disgusting 3rd trimester acid reflux) and had my Obs done (blood pressure, temp, pulse etc. – all normal and my blood pressure was finally above 110, was actually 125 I think which is such a difference to the 98 I usually have due to the nifedipine). That’s pretty much it. I’ve spent the 6th hour after birth writing this. Something I forced myself to do to distract myself from having more flashbacks. I write these blogs as a healthy way to release my anxiety, it’s pretty damn hard to have a panic attack or cry yourself Silly when you’re concentrating on a blog. So I want to say thank you for allowing me to pour my heart and soul out to you without receiving judgment. If I didn’t have a way to share these blogs, or so many to share them with, I doubt I would bother writing them, so by reading this you are giving me a release and helping me immensely, more than you will know. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading my blogs and hopefully they aren’t too blunt for you (if they are don’t bother continuing to read them, I can’t change who I am or my writing style). I try and keep a bit of humor in there so it’s not so intense. If you do have any suggestions though, your more than welcome to send me a message on my Facebook page (will be linked somewhere on this page I’m sure, probably at the bottom or right side). Feel free to share these blogs with anyone you think might benefit from them, as another reason I write these is in the hopes other women can relate somewhat and not feel so alone (that’s actually why I started writing them, the anxiety release was something that came later when I realized I write most of these at times of high emotion – happiness, sadness, anxiety in general or even frustration). Anyway I have babbled on way too long! Again thank you so much for reading and if you want to keep updated make sure you hit that subscribe button so you receive an email notification whenever I post a new blog. If you want to see pictures and keep even more updated make sure you like my Facebook page & Subscribe on YouTube, the links should be either at the bottom or right side of the page. Lots of love! Kimberly xxox

 

 

 

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Labour & Delivery Story {33 Week Premmie} Part 2

Part 2

If you haven’t already read Part 1 of my labour and delivery story, here is the link: https://kimberlyroseblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/labour-delivery-story-33-week-premmie/

At around 7.30pm I had the urge to push. The midwife took the gas off of me as it apparently hinders the ability to push effectively. I tried a few different positions; flat on my back, which wasn’t possible for long due to the severe bruising from the epidural, squatting at the end of the bed with the aid of a bar and finally on my side holding my leg up, this was the only position that was comfortable enough. After pushing for an hour and 20 minutes I became extremely exhausted and begged the midwives to help me. They called the OB in and as soon as I saw him I begged him to use the vacuum or forceps because I couldn’t do it anymore. He said that bub was still too high up for forceps and a vacuum isn’t an option for preemie babies. After examining me he told the midwives to call the anaesthetist immediately to arrange a spinal block (at the time I didn’t know why, but afterwards one of my midwives, Tracey, explained I would have been wheeled into theatre, presumably to cut all the way through to get the baby out) and told me to push as hard as I possibly could with the next contraction. Mum then lent into me and whispered to me that if I didn’t push really hard and bring bub down further, things were going to become very serious or in her words “you need to push really hard, you don’t want to know what they’re going to do to you if you can’t get bub down”. So at the next contraction I did the 2 biggest pushes I could and managed to move bub down far enough for forceps. My OB told the midwives to call the anaesthetist back and tell him not to come in, to which I begged him to let me have a spinal block as I couldn’t deal with the pain anymore. He told me a spinal block would no longer work due to bub now being too far down.

 

They then asked me to move onto my back. This is where things became very serious and very, very painful. This next paragraph will be EXTREMELY TMI (this is the yucky, scary part) so if you’d like to skip this paragraph then do so. My OB asked me to push again and whilst doing so, discovered bub was well and truly stuck. The only way there would be enough room to get bub out safely was to..wait for it… empty my bowel and bladder completely. I’m not going to go into details on how they did that but I’d say it’s exactly how you’d imagine. It was beyond excruciating and I actually thought I was going to die at this point (and so did my poor mother). I screamed so loud that they had to close all of the doors to the maternity ward so I didn’t frighten the other patients. Once this was done they gave me the gas back and performed and episiotomy with the aid of a local anaesthetic (an incision to prevent tearing), whilst the OB was doing this he was saying to the midwives that I have a very short perineum and sounded very concerned. At this point I was pretty much out of it from sucking on the gas profusely. The midwife then told me to push when the forceps go in to help bring bub out. The OB then inserted the forceps, which was very, very painful, and proceeded to pull bubs head out, then he stopped. I think I was in shock by then as in my head I was screaming “what’s going on!!! Get this baby out of me I can’t do this anymore!!!” but couldn’t even muster up a groan. He then removed the forceps from bubs head and pulled bub the rest of the way out by the shoulders.

 

Once born, the OB cut bub’s umbilical cord and wrapped him in a blanket and placed him directly on my chest. I was still so out of it that I had my eyes closed and hadn’t realised bub was laying on me. My Mum and Jamie kept saying to me “open your eyes! Your baby is here!” and as I opened my eyes the first thing I saw was both of them crying and leaning over me looking at the baby. When I looked down and saw that my beautiful boy was breathing all on his own I started crying too, I will never forget that feeling and the first few moments of relief that my son was okay. I was then given a needle in my leg to deliver the placenta and bub was taken to be cleaned up and checked over. The paediatrician decided the baby was doing well enough for me to have another quick cuddle before being taken to the SCN. This is the first time we saw him open his beautiful blue eyes. I remember being so amazed at how tiny he was, but how healthy he looked. He didn’t look skinny like all of the premmies I’d seen photos of online. I cherished those first few cuddles as I knew I wouldn’t get many more for a while. After only a few very short minutes, which seriously felt like seconds, bub was taken down to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and I had something to eat and then got up and had a shower (thankfully my beautiful Mum helped me do this). Shortly after, the midwife came in and asked if we had a name for him yet, I forgot to mention that after the birth they asked for a name and I said we didn’t have one yet. I was desperate to call him Max, but we had his name picked for years, long before we even started trying to conceive, so when the midwife came back to ask for the name I looked at my Mum and Jamie and they both said “come on, you have had this name picked for years, you’ll regret it if you don’t use it” so I replied “Hunter Raymond”, Raymond being his Great Grandfather’s name (the only grandfather I have ever known). Hunter Raymond was born at 9.05pm on 7th September 2014 weighing 2200g and measuring 46cm long.

 

So that’s it! My entire labour and delivery story! I will be writing a blog about Hunter’s stay in the NICU and SCN hopefully in the near future. Thank you so much for all of your continued support!

 

Lots of love,

Kimberly xo

Labour & Delivery Story {33 Week Premmie}

{Part 1}

So I am FINALLY getting around to writing about my labour and delivery story with Hunter. I made a YouTube video about it when Hunter was about 8 weeks old however I feel like it was just a brief overview of what happened, and it was all over the place as I was still quite traumatised by the whole experience. Hunter is now 14 ½ weeks old and I feel like I have come to terms with the experience to relive it in detail. Now before I dive into it, this will be a LONG blog and very detailed. I won’t be leaving anything out so here is your TMI WARNING! I had a very traumatic and putting it bluntly, a pretty disgusting birthing experience so if you are frightened of childbirth, squeamish or are due to give birth soon, I suggest you may want to avert your eyes now. In saying that, I will try not to be too descriptive..

 

The week before Hunter was born was quite eventful. Things started happening when I was 33 weeks and 3 days, I started spotting red blood so they gave me my last anti-d injection (other than the one post-birth) and kept a close eye on me, one of my midwives, Wendy, said she had a “feeling” I would have bub soon, turns out she was right. The following night I was having a shower and felt strange “down there” and discovered I had lost my mucus plug. My Braxton hicks became a lot stronger and very consistent that night, coming every 5-6 minutes and continued on throughout Saturday. I lost my appetite on Saturday night and just thought it was due to lack of sleep. On Sunday morning, 7th September 2014 I woke up early still feeling queasy and barely ate my breakfast. I decided to take another nap and after waking from that I felt immense pressure in my pelvis, I got up and tried to have a shower but felt so uncomfortable that I immediately got out, got dressed and laid down straight away. Hubby showed up a short time later and noticed I was different, I was snappy, miserable and just felt like something wasn’t right. I buzzed the midwife who gave me Panadol and told me to give it an hour or so to kick in and to let them know if it doesn’t work. Sure enough, at about 1.30pm, 2 hours later I was still feeling the same, if not more crampy. I thought it was nothing but Jamie (my husband) was very concerned so he buzzed the midwife, who actually turned out to be Wendy, the same midwife I’d had just a few days prior. I explained my symptoms and she immediately phoned my OB who instructed her to wheel my down to delivery right away. I was very hesitant, as I knew I most likely wouldn’t be taken back to my room without delivery the baby first. Once down at L&D (around 2pm) they put the CTG monitor on me which showed irregular, but frequent and strong contractions. The midwives told me they weren’t too concerned and would only call the OB in if they thought I was definitely in labour, however they had to call him regarding another patient so mentioned my CTG results to him (I wasn’t aware of this at the time). At 2.30pm my OB came racing into the room in his casual Sunday clothes (the only time I’d actually seen him out of a suit and tie) actually puffing, which worried me that he’d raced to the hospital to see me. He said he wanted to do an internal check to make sure the stitch wasn’t tearing, which wasn’t unusual as I had many examinations during my long hospital stay, however, this time he wanted to perform the examination in an actual delivery room, which had never been done before. It’s safe to say I began to get very nervous at this point but still thought it was probably going to be nothing. They wheeled me into the delivery room and put me on the bed and set up the stirrups. The doctor used a speculum and had a very concerned look on his face whilst examining me but didn’t say a word. After what felt like forever (but more likely probably only a minute or 2) my OB looked up at me and said “You’re going to have a baby today”. I immediately started crying hysterically saying “it’s too soon, he’s not ready yet”, the OB replied “I’m sorry darlin’ but there’s nothing else I can do, your waters are coming through the stitch so we have to remove it.” He then explained that they anaesthetist would come in shortly and give me an epidural so they could remove the stitch (this was the original birth plan we had discussed) and went on to insert a cannula into my hand, this took a good 3-4 attempts as my veins are very small. I should have known then that things weren’t going to go well.

 

Fast forward to 3.30pm and the anaesthetist arrived ready to give me an epidural. They had me lean over a pillow on the edge of the bed and hold my husband’s hand. They gave me a local anaesthetic into my back and began to attempt inserting the epidural. After about 5 minutes the anaesthetist became very frustrated as he couldn’t get the epidural in. He gave me another local and made another attempt that was extremely painful, I was crying out in pain and flinching. The anaesthetist began yelling at me not to move and I kept saying it really hurt, my poor husband repeatedly asked him if it’s supposed to hurt to which the anaesthetist replied “it’s not hurting her, it’s just uncomfortable.” He then threatened to walk out and not give me an epidural if I couldn’t still. Flash forward 25 minutes, 2 more locals and several attempts by the anaesthetist, they gave up and said I am unable to have an epidural do to my spine being too small. I was devastated and once again hysterical. I had no idea what to do now as I “knew” (or at least I thought I knew) I couldn’t give birth naturally without an epidural. I asked whether a C-section would be possible but the anaesthetist advised he wouldn’t recommend it due to bub being a premmie (apparently it can cause extra breathing problems for premmies born via C-section). I asked to see my OB and asked him to make the decision for me, which of course he couldn’t. I ended up calling my Mum (who was on her way to the hospital) and asking her what I should do. She said I should definitely try delivering naturally for the sake of bub and my husband strongly agreed. So we called the OB back in and told him the decision we’d made.

At 4pm I was wheeled down to theatre to have the stitch removed. They decided to sedate me to get the stitch out.

By 4.45pm I was wheeled back into the delivery room and told my waters had broken and that I was already 6cm dilated. The midwife offered me gas, which I explained I didn’t want to use due to others’ bad experiences I’d heard about but she insisted I just learn how to breathe it in properly just in case I needed it later. Funnily enough I didn’t give the gas back.

At around 6pm my Mum arrived. She was so shocked at how well I was doing, I was chatting away and using the gas during contractions but wasn’t moaning or anything at that stage. Turns out the sedating meds they used earlier hadn’t worn off and had a calming effect, hence my relaxed state. By about 7pm I started to struggle with the contractions, moaning through them and biting down on the gas tube. I was advised by the midwife that I should soon feel the sensation to push.

Click here for Part 2 of my Labour and Delivery story: https://kimberlyroseblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/labour-delivery-story-33-week-premmie-part-2/