Not The Biggest Loser

I just want to be…

Here’s the long, painful story…

I started feeling mild contractions around 1am Wed morning 5/8/2009. By 5am they’d gotten really bad and I was starting to get a bit scared. I noticed they were getting closer together and the pain was starting to scare me.  So at 5.20am I texted my Doula (Liz) who arrived about 35 minutes later.  As she arrived I burst into tears as I realised this was it and I was actually going to be meeting my baby in the very near future.  By the time she got here the contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting 60 seconds. By 6.15am they were 3 minutes apart. However after a few hours of sitting in the birth pool my husband  and Liz set up for me the contractions slowed to every 10 minutes but they were stronger. They continued throughout the day – anywhere between 8-10 minutes. I got out of the birthing pool at times when I got too hot and spent time on the fit ball, walking, sitting, laying, trying to rest in between contractions.  At 7pm they started to come every 5 minutes. We lit some candles and sat and talked in between contractions. I was in the birth pool at this point.  My husband  sat and played his guitar for awhile. We all commented on how peaceful it was and I truly did feel quite relaxed despite being in quite a lot of pain through the contractions. By 8.25pm my contractions were 3 minutes apart and 60 seconds long. I was shaky, sweating and crying. Liz felt for sure I was getting close to birthing the baby and we left for the hospital. Before we left Liz took me into the nursery to take a look at it and told me that next time I walked into this room it would be with my baby.  A very emotional moment.

The walk to the assessment unit was dreadful.  I had to stop every 3 minutes for a contraction…it’s a long walk when heavily pregnant anyway but that was the longest walk of my life! When I arrived I was shaky, sweating and crying and the midwife could see I was in a lot of pain so sent me straight to the birth suite. As we arrived at the birth suite another midwife there starting asking me all these questions…and guess what? My contractions starting getting further apart.  It was clear she didn’t think I was in ‘true’ labour and she wanted to do an exam on me. I didn’t want the exam but she pretty much insisted so told her that I didn’t want to know how much I was dilated so I didn’t get discouraged. But of course I knew if they sent me out of the birthing suite it would be bad news.  They sent me up to a private room in the ward and offered me a sleeping tablet…I found out later I was only 1cm dilated, 90% effaced, baby’s head well down. Liz was in shock as she knew I had been having really strong and regular contractions. So I took the sleeping tablet and slept in between contractions which were back to 5 minutes apart. Liz lay on the floor next to me and sat up to hold my hand in between every contraction. What an amazing woman. This continued throughout the night.

At 5.15am the next morning (Thursday) I was given another examination and I was still only 1cm. Liz suggested I might want some pethidine (something she would not do usually under any circumstances but she knew how much pain I was in and knew I needed to rest). At 5.30am I had the pethidine. I had beautiful sleep in between contractions but still woke up groaning in pain when each contraction arrived.  At 8.45am I was given another examination. Still 1cm dilated. Saw my obstetrician who told me I was in very early labour and this could continue for days. She suggested she booked me in the next morning to have my waters broken if nothing had progressed by then. I found it hard to believe that I would have to wait that long but agreed for her to book me in. We decided to go home again (I was longing for the birth pool again!) and got home about 1.45pm Thursday. I spent the afternoon trying to rest (no success as contractions were still 5-10cm apart) and in the birth pool. At 6pm I’d had enough and called the hospital as I was exhausted and was not handling the pain. I wanted to see if they could break my waters then rather than the next morning. They told me that all their birth suites were full and they couldn’t take me so I’d have to wait till the morning. They gave me the option to come and spend the night in the private room again with pethidine but I just wanted it to be over and I knew they’d give me an epidural once they’d broken my waters and I started dilating. (At this point I should remind you that I prior to going into labour I DID NOT want an epidural. It scared me more than the labour pain and was adamant I wouldn’t have one…but now I was begging them to give me one!) So you can imagine how distraught I was at them telling me I had to wait till the next morning. I didn’t know how I was going to cope but I had no choice. So it was back in the birth pool.

At 1.40am I could not cope anymore and we rang the hospital to tell them I was coming in even if all I could do was have some pethidine. So we went in and they did another exam on me and I was 2cm dilated. Oh the joy!  I was still in absolute agony. The midwife who checked me was really great and tried to get the obstetrician on duty to agree to give me an epidural or break my waters early but she refused (we saw her leaving to go home as we walked in…she clearly wanted to go home). But after making us wait a couple of hours she finally came in and gave us the good news that I was going to get an epidural immediately. I had heard her on the phone several times talking about me and how much pain I was in and how loud I was when having contractions that they could hear me at the front desk.

So finally around 3am I got an epidural and it was pure heaven. Finally I was out of pain…50 hours later…No complications and not painful for him to put it in. My concern was that because I am a bigger girl he’d have trouble finding the right spot but it was all fine thank goodness! Not without worry. He told me about the all the risks of epidurals and proceeded to tell me my risk was double for all those because of my weight. Awesome. Honestly though I needed to be out of pain so even though the risks worried me I had no choice but to go through with it.

My doctor arrived around 6am and broke my waters and put a Syntocinon drip on to get the labour really going (36mls per hour). By 10.30am I was 4cm dilated…apparently that was the hard bit getting to 4cm. Then around 1pm I started to feel a lot of pressure and a bit of pain again. The doctor wasn’t due for another hour or 2 but I asked for another exam as I really felt like the baby might be coming. Liz said she doubted the baby would be coming as it was a bit early and said we should be pleased if I was 5cm-6cm. I had an exam but the midwife wasn’t too confident and said she thought I was 6cm but wanted to get another opinion. So another midwife came in and said “There’s no cervix”. I asked what that meant and Liz said “You’re fully dilated” Hallelujah! The baby was at -1 station.  So they told me to wait for another hour to let the baby come down a little bit more and they the doctor would come for me to start pushing. At some point I had a top up of my epidural again as I really started to feel the contractions.

At 2.40pm my obstetrician came and the hard work began…the pushing…At this point she was at +1 station. She was born at 4.24pm. I honestly didn’t think I’d get through it. The first hour or so I didn’t make much progress in moving her out, and at that point I would’ve gratefully accepted a c-section to be honest. But about half way I started to make progress and I could hear everyone getting really excited and I could feel the pressure from her head…so it (kind of) got easier to keep pushing despite now having been in labour for 60+ hours with nothing more than 10 minutes sleep at a time.

And then she was here…They took her to the paediatrician’s table first as there had been meconium in my waters when they broke it  but they brought her over to me for me about 90 seconds later to see what sex she was…I said “It’s a little girl…I’m so happy…oh you beautiful little girl” and they put her on my chest and I cried. She looked up at me all slimy and with big wide eyes…she had SO much hair…it was all curly from the vernix and she was so big! She was 9 pounds. But I fell in love with this little slimy, wriggly, chubby little girl instantly. We just gazed at each other forever and I kept kissing her head. When Dale spoke to her she would look around to find where his voice was coming from. Such as special moment and I’d do it all again 40 times over for her…


2 Responsed To This Post

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Stephanie said, July 31st, 2010 at 1:44 am

Oooohhhh. I am crying! This is such a beautiful photo. What a special moment. You’ll never forget it. I have been readi ng bits of your blog here and there and it’s now 2 in the morning and I have laughed and cried so I am now going to bed! Miss Carys certainly made Mum and Dad wait for her arrival! Well done for hanging in the way you did though. I only had 4 and a half hours with Lachie (the other 3 were C Sections) and that 4 and a half was bad enough (no pain medication). Well done, sweetheart. And to think she’s nearly 1!

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