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/