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101 Things in 1001 Days: Chronicle {of my first labour}

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chronicle {of my first labour}

Warning! This is a long read.

February 16, 2003 – 11ish O’clock at night

I am lying in bed when I hear this audible ‘pop’ and a sharp pain in the lower region of my belly. Thinking it is a bad case of gas, I lie and wait for the ‘emission’. After 2 minutes nothing has happened so I turn to settle into a more comfortable position when – wait, what’s that wet trickling between my legs? I reach down and feel gingerly – yes! It’s definitely wet, getting wetter by the second and showing no signs of slowing down either. I switch the lights on pronto and shake hubby awake saying at the same time ‘my waters have broken; I think my waters have broken’.
‘What waters?’ is the sleepy response.

The light finally dawns and he leaps out of bed – fairly calm- grabs his mobile phone and calls, after a bit of fumbling about with the numbers, our friend Boo and my Midwife. She asks if I am in any pain (yes), what time the waters broke (about 10 minutes ago), was I bleeding (yes, a little), how is the flow (heavy, I am lying in bed with a towel between my legs!). Fine sounds good she says (could have fooled me!!).

She tells hubby to tell me to go and have a shower and clean up, get ready and then go straight to the hospital. I do all this and shortly after Boo arrives and off we go.

Feburary 17, 2003
Midnight-ish – 3am

Arrive at the Hospital a little after midnight. I am put in one of the labour rooms and asked to change (would you like the hospital gown or did you bring something along?) into something ‘more comfortable’. So I change into my La Senza night shirt and a pair of warm socks and climb onto the bed where I am put in a ½ lying ½ sitting position, and hooked up to a machine which monitors my baby’s heart beat, my heartbeat and pulse rate, via two straps which are put around my belly and a finger clamp on my index finger. My blood pressure is also checked. The midwife palpates my belly (quite roughly) and examines me internally (even more roughly!!) and tells us that I am 3cm dilated. She would leave me on the monitor and come back and check on me in 30 minutes. She drapes me with a hospital blanket and leaves. I am still cold in spite of the blanket.

By this time the contractions are coming hard and I am in pain and hanging onto hubby’s hand for dear life and muttering ‘mummy, mummy’ (huh????). I keep telling him how much it hurts and he keeps stroking my head and saying ‘I know, I know sweetie’.

The midwife returns 30 minutes later, takes the straps off and inquires after the sort of pain relief I would like. Hubby and I look at each other for a second and opt for Gas and Air - with an epidural as a last resort.

She hooks up the Gas and Air machine and shows me how to use the inhaler bit and then hands it to me. I put it into my mouth and breathe deeply… nothing and then it hits. All I can say is this must be how drug addicts feel when they take their first hit. It is a very strange feeling. It doesn’t take the pain away but boy, does it make you feel high. I felt like I was floating and the pain was sort of in the background – like it was happening to someone else, not me. You hallucinate and just zonk out basically. The effect doesn’t last long though and wears off a few minutes after you stop inhaling. However, we become inseparable friends that inhaler and I.

About an hour (or more) later the midwife suggests that maybe I would like a warm bath as this would help relax me and ease the pain a bit. I gladly agree (anything to ease the pain) and off we go to the bathroom with hubby supporting me. The water is lovely and warm and does help the pain a little but not much. In between the breaks of pain, I chat with hubby but when the pain hits it is numbing and all I can do is moan.

It is at this point that my main midwife, D, arrives. She asks after my contractions, the pain and some other stuff which I cannot now remember. She also goes off to get my Gas and Air and soon I am high again. After about 30 minutes in the bath, I decide I have had enough and I am helped out, dried and dressed up again. I also decide that I need to wee – an attempt which takes absolutely ages. D leaves the tap running to help me along. Finally I do and we set off to the labour room, which D had swapped in the meantime for a smaller and much warmer one. She asks if I would prefer to lie on the bed or use ‘the chair’. Now, this chair is no ordinary chair. I will call it a birthing chair. It reclines and is soft and comfortable and just heaven. I settle in, clutching my inhaler for dear life and wait for the rest of the drama to unfold. I am so totally spaced out.

7:00am – 12:48pm

At 7:52 am, D examines me again. I am 7cm dilated. From experience, she explains, a woman dilates at the rate of approximately 1.5cm every hour and thinks that by 10:00am I should be having my baby. She then orders hubby off to go and have some breakfast in the hospital canteen.

At 10:00am D checks me again and this time I am fully dilated (10cm) and from this point forward it is action stations. Every contraction now is important and I am required to push with each one. I push and I push and I push …. By 12 noon still no baby. My contractions were are now happening further and further apart and I am getting higher and higher on my G & A and in la-la land.

By this time, the Consultant arrives and gives D a deadline of 1 hour to deliver me if not , she (the consultant) will give me a forceps delivery which D assured me in no uncertain terms, was a road I wouldn’t want to go down. So adamant was she that I wasn’t going to have a forceps delivery that she wouldn’t allow the consultant examine me and practically kicked her out of the delivery room.

By this time D had reached her limit with me. She put a catheter into my bladder to drain it ( in case this was one of the contributory factors for the baby not coming), turned me onto my side to encourage the contractions and see if I would be more willing to push – I wasn’t as the pain in this position was just unbelievable. Finally, with hubbys help, they both hurled me out of my comfortable chair because D said I had become too comfortable and lazy in that position and took away my G & A – this was the killer for me. I was put onto the bed with my legs in stirrups and given an ultimatum (in fact several)

1. If you don’t push with each contraction, you will be put on a drip which induces them; however, they will become 10 times more painful.
2. You can have your G & A back BUT you will have to lie on your side.
3. You cannot avoid the pain, so you can push hard now and deliver your baby. I believe you can do it.

I opt for number three.

The pain was horrendous!!! I pushed like I had never pushed before and suddenly I could hear hubby say ‘I can see the head. It has crowned’.

By now both D and hubby were yelling at me to PUUUUSSSSHHHHHHH PUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSHHHHHH YOU ARE ALMOST THERE – which I did and then D tells me to stop and just pant (the head was half way out by now) and then the head was out at 12:46pm. I was told not to push. A couple more pushes later and our darling daughter was born at 12:48pm. Hubby did the honours of cutting the umbilical cord. She was put on my chest straight away – gook and all – before being taken away to be cleaned.

About ½ hr later, I had a warm bath and was wheeled away to my recovery room.


And to think I will be doing this all over again come June!!

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Blogger Bongga Mom said...

I love your post! Every woman should chronicle her labor story because over time, the little details may slip away. I definitely want to do the same one of these days; thanks so much for the idea!

Saturday, January 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I was FEELING that post! Yowza...thanks for reminding me what that night was like...I think! ;)

Sunday, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

I am so in awe of any woman that goes through childbirth once, let alone multiple times! Congratulations and many prayers for your next delivery!

Sunday, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Liza's Eyeview said...

excellent topic for a chronicle. It's a pretty important event. Blessings on your next one.

Sunday, January 28, 2007  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Parts of this were painful to read - the memories! Hope your next birth goes smoothly.

Sunday, January 28, 2007  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

Awww! This is good, Evey females needs to write her experiences and every female should read this. My entry is so mundane compared to this!


Sunday, January 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOWOWOOWOW!!!! Thanks so much for sharing that!

I LOVE D!! LOL! Sounds like she had your back--at least with regards to the forceps delivery...

I have an older friend who just had a baby and she said she was SHOCKED by the amount of pain she felt. Women never mention it... and I'm glad you did!

Can't wait to read about your june delivery...

Sunday, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Janie Hickok Siess, Esq. said...

Well, you may not be doing it all over again in the sense that it may be a very different experience. Many women have widely varying experiences with more than 1 birth. I did. The first was long and quite painful because the kid was "sunny side up" (his skull was pushing on my spine) while the second was over quickly. He flew out! The second labor is usually shorter and easier than the first. Ask your doctor about that.

Sunday, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Tammy said...

How beautiful and you wrote it so well I was pushing with you. Congrats for June!

Sunday, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Calabar Gal said...

Awwwww!!!! A vivid picture of life in the delivery room. Best Wishes for June! May your delivery be short, sweet and swift!! That was a silly thing to say - Is any delivery ever sweet? (smile)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

I agree with Bongga mom. The details are slowly slipping away for me regarding the birth of my three young ones. I need to write them down. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful moment.

I have my Ferret Chronicles posted.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007  
Blogger luzie said...

What a great post, I enjoyed reading your chronicle even though it doesn't necessarily make me wanna go through the process of giving birth. ;)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007  

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