Happy Monday all! Today's My Story Monday is all about Abi from Mum in a Hurry and her two children. Enjoy!
I had my sweep on the Saturday. Then that afternoon I started getting contractions. First they were quite infrequent (every hour maybe) and then they started coming more regularly. By 9pm they were around every 4-5 minutes. So I rang the delivery suite and they told me to ring again later as the contractions were not that strong, but they carried on coming and when they were 2-3 mins apart we decided to go in. After being checked out it turned out I was still only one cm dilated and also my contractions went really irregular and slowed down pretty much as soon as we got to the maternity ward…so we were sent home.
We managed to get a few hours sleep (was gone 3am by the time we got home and I think we were up at 7 – or I was) before the contractions started again with avengence on Sunday. By the afternoon the contractions were very painful and getting closer together but still irregular – ie one would be 2 mins apart then another would be 10 mins then 4 then 3 then 6 etc. We went in but unfortunately I was still only 1.5cms dilated so we were sent home again. However, the contractions got worse and worse until I just couldnt cope with the pain anymore! So we went in and told them I needed pain relief. This was Sunday evening quite late by this point. After examining me I was 2-3 cm dilated so still not that far along (for those of you not familiar with childbirth terms you have to be 10cm dilated before baby will come out). I was allocated a room in the delivery suite and given gas and air to breathe and continued using my Tens machine (like a slendatone but plugs into your back and electric pulses (attempt) to block out the pain).
It was getting very late on Sunday night and my pains were getting very bad but I wasnt really getting anywhere so they said I could have some pethadin which would allow me to sleep and they sent Ben home for the night. The pethadin was great and totally blocked out the pain although (at least until I fell asleep) I could feel that they were happening but they didn't hurt anymore. I slept until about 5am when the pethadin started to wear off and I started to feel the contractions again. They were still very painful but less frequent than they had been before (between 5 and 20 mins apart – still irregular). Ben came back to the hospital that morning (around 8 or 9) and I was examined again and found to be still only about 2-3 cm dilated. I was told to keep taking the gas and air and that going for a little walk might bring the contractions on more regularly. So Ben and I went for a little walk around the hospital and boy did it work. It got to the point I could barely walk as I was doubled over in pain and I was crying as we got back to the delivery suite. I asked for more pain relief but because I was still only maximum 3cm dilated they couldnt give me pethadin (I'm not sure I'm remembering all the details correctly as it's all turning into a bit of a blur). So they suggested I have a bath which I did and it didn’t really help at all. I can’t remember the timings but later on I pretty much demanded an epidural. After that was in place everything stopped hurting. It was fabulous! However they didn’t get me the boost button within the 20 minutes (that’s how long the first dose is supposed to last) and so it started to wear off and even once the boost was in place it wasn’t having the desired effect (could feel pain in a small area of my back and started to feel the contractions again in my tummy). So they got the anaesthetist back to give me another boost and that seemed to resolve it.
Sometime that afternoon they examined me again (last time they checked I’d been about 2-3 cms dilated). To their surprise I was already 9cm dilated. But I was told that I wasn’t ready to start pushing yet as they had to wait for the head to descend. So that took a little longer! Never thought that labour would involve so much waiting around! Eventually it was time to start pushing. As I had the epidural in place they had to monitor my stomach so that they could tell me when the contractions were coming – although I could sometimes feel a slight tightening of the stomach when they happened – and I had to push down (like when you’re having a poo). It's very strange pushing when you can’t feel a thing down there. I likened it to trying to sing in tune when you can’t hear yourself. Still, I’d rather that than the pain! Thank god for epidurals! I was pushing for about an hour and a half when they decided that they should call the consultant and find out what to do. To be honest, at that stage I didn’t care what they did I was so exhausted!
They used forceps and had to give me an episiotomy. As with everything since I had the epidural, I didn’t feel a thing pain-wise. I could feel movement and stuff being done down there but no pain. At 19:56 my baby came out. They handed him straight to me but as my legs were still in stirrups and I started to feel faint, I had to hand him back to the midwives (and to Ben). They gave me an injection to get the placenta out and was told to give one more push. However, as the placenta came out I started bleeding profusely. Basically I had what is called Post Partum Haemorrhage. While they were all fussing about trying to work out where the bleeding was coming from and stop it, I could see Ben holding JJ who was crying and I was lying on the table with my legs up in stirrups feeling like I was invisible…Seemed like no-one would tell me what was going on. Felt like I’d done my part now, I was going to be ignored! Ridiculous really but I wasn’t really very with it! The staff were just busy trying to “fix” me and Ben was trying to comfort our new baby. I can’t remember what happened first – feeling sick or feeling sleepy. I think I was sick first. I said “I think I’m going to be sick” and everyone was too busy to get me one of those cardboard sick bucket things…Ben managed to get one in the end but I think only after I had started being sick on myself – all over my shoulder and hair and even when I managed to get it in the tray that Ben was holding for me, I filled that one up and another one and another one. It was horrible. Then I started feeling sleepy and everyone kept saying to Ben, don’t let her go to sleep! I remember them asking me if I felt dizzy and me just replying that I just wanted to go to sleep!
Apparently my blood pressure had shot right down (due to the blood loss – almost a litre and a half by all accounts) to 70 over almost nothing (not even sure what that means but it was very low) and so the midwives were scurrying round me trying to get a drip into me while the consultant and his people or person (there were at least 6 people in the room not including me and Ben) were busy stitching me up.
I can’t remember much after that. I slept for a while. I’m not sure when Ben left to go home. But I was woken up at about 10/10.30pm by my midwife Jackie who asked me if I wanted to breast feed or bottle feed. I said breast and she showed me how to latch JJ on. This was in fact the first time I’d held him since that first time and I had been worrying about bonding as I’d been separated from him for (what felt like) so long but I think the breast feeding really helped me feel close to him.
I stayed in the delivery suite Monday night and all of Tuesday while they monitored my blood pressure and gave me 3 units of blood and then I was transferred to the ward that night at around 9pm. Ben was allowed to stay long enough to help me get settled in with all my things and then was kicked out and I was left on my own. I struggled quite a lot as I still couldn’t get out of bed properly – the forceps bruised me front and back and it was incredibly painful to sit and get onto and off the bed and as I had to lie down to feed JJ it was quite tricky getting him out of his cot and onto the bed while lying down! And the midwives in the ward were (understandably) much busier and didn’t come for ages (if at all) when I rang the bell so I just had to manage. Suffice to say that by Wednesday morning I had well and truly had enough of that place and decided that I wanted to go home. I'd rather feel rubbish and have Ben’s and family’s support than be on my own in the maternity ward – for all those midwives and staff you are left pretty much on your own responsible for this new little creature you’ve created.
Labels: birth, labour, My story Monday