Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Labour

Well a week has passed since the birth and its high time i told you what happened.
So last Monday I was sat at home in quite a bit of pain. My due date wasn't actually till the Thursday but i had a good idea that i had gone into labour. I was told I wouldn't be admitted to the hospital till I was 7cm dilated and so i braved it out at home. The pain was coming and going but it was bearable and that's why i wasn't rushing to hospital in a panic. I realised it was going to be a long process and since i was happy to ride it out at home i was sure i was quite a long way off from giving birth.

As Monday progressed the pain grew and came more frequently but it was still all over the place and not regular like they tell you contractions should be. I spent Monday night on the couch just breathing through them but by now the pain was less tolerable and i got no sleep whatsoever.
Tuesday morning i felt a little better. The pain was easing which was a little confusing. So i set my laptop up and started checking emails. Then suddenly POP. My waters broke. Uh oh this was really happening now. I rung the hospital and they asked me the colour of my waters. 'Brown' i told them. The nervous sounding midwife explained this could be a sign that the baby had pooed and i needed to get up to the hospital immediately and into the labour suite.

Well OMG i wasn't happy. I was terrified! My fears of travelling etc had to be brushed aside. No matter how i was feeling i had no choice but to do as I was told and get to hospital asap. I thought this meant that i would need a C Section and so i was even more frightened but more than anything i just wanted the baby to be ok so i rushed off to gather my things.

The drive to the hospital was fine although obviously my head was filled with negatives wondering how serious this was and would the baby be ok. When i got there they checked me over, confirmed the baby had pooed and took me straight to the labour suite. No slow labour for me I was put straight on a hormone drip which would speed the process up considerably. They wanted the baby out quick!

With Gerald by my side I begun my 'labour'. The hormones worked quicker than I imagined and before i knew it the contractions were regular, close together and OUCH painful! 'Remember your breathing' I told myself and i puffed and panted through each one. At this point i grew more frightened and one of the machines began to beep. My heart rate was up at 140 bpm.I dont know if this is very high but it was higher than they would have liked. But i explained it was anxiety and with some breathing i would be back to normal soon. Thankfully there was so much going on that I didn't really have a chance to get anxious. I had other work to do. Puff, pant. Deep breath in and long breath out. I kept going without any pain relief. I figured it was going to get much much worse and so i better wait till i REALLY needed it. Gas and Air never appealed to me. Being a control freak I didn't like the fact it apparently made you feel 'out of it'. Diamorphine sounded even worse to me. This makes you totally gone. High as a kite. On another planet. Plus it can make you sick and if your ill after the injection there is nothing you can do but just deal with it. Nope i didn't like the sound of that at all. And then there was an epidural. Well this is the one where apparently you are left with no feeling in your legs. For someone with agoraphobia who likes to make a quick exit should things get scary, this was not an option for me either.
And so the best of a bad bunch looked to me to be the gas and air. I had heard of women who had given birth using this only and i hoped i could be one of them. I avoided it as long as possible but eventually I asked for the tube. As i bounced on an exercise ball and hunched over the bed i sucked the life from the tube. 'OH PLEASE WORK'. So many people had told me, 'The Gas is great, you feel drunk and it really helps the pain' SUCK SUCK SUCK. I was feeling drunk yeh but pain wise, it did nothing at all. Ok i was starting to get worried. I was told I was 4cm dilated and i had come to the conclusion the gas and air was rubbish. It literally didn't help ease the contractions in the slightest. Its amazing how what works for some can be hopeless with others, but with me it wasn't happening at all.

I battled on for another few hours with Gerry rubbing my back or helping with heat packs but by now nothing was helping. I felt very very sick. And very hot. I grabbed a sick bowl but mid contraction i was so all over the place i was using it as a fan. Nope I had enough, this was not my cup of tea EPIDURAL PLEASE.
But what about the numb legs Lynn? Well i couldn't have cared less. Numb me from the neck down just make this stop!
Quick as i asked for it there was an anaesthetist there armed with the equipment. It didn't take long to do and after 20 minutes i felt AMAZING. I was very very lucky. I got a fantastic epidural. Yes I have heard the horror stories about them, and i know people who have had them and they just haven't worked. but for me it worked perfectly AND i still had full movement of my legs. I wouldn't have been able to walk very well (or at all). But i could move on the bed ok and the pain disappeared completely. Well this epidural was my new best friend. I spent the next few hours lying trying to nap as i hadn't slept since the Sunday night. I couldn't sleep but was happy just dozing with no pain. It was really weird actually. I was lying there just as i would have been at home reading a book or watching tv. Meanwhile my contractions were even stronger but i was blissfully unaware.
The next time i was examined I was told I was fully dilated and i could start to push now. 'What'???Its that time. Time to start pushing already and this is where you see women, on tv or in movies, screaming the place down in agony. And here I am sitting quite happily, texting people etc. Weird! Well i did as I was told and pushed and pushed and pushed. But nothing happened. And so i pushed and pushed and pushed some more. I was examined again. My little baby was facing the wrong way AND had his head in the wrong position. Ah that's ok I thought ill just push and push and see how it goes. Wrong...

'Sorry Lynn but it looks like we are going to have to perform a C Section'. Oh no no no no this is just what i don't want! Lying on an operating table, wide awake while someone does that to you.No no no not for me thank you. But really in my head I knew i had no choice and had to do whatever was necessary. And so i signed the consent forms and told myself everything would be ok.

I had more waiting around to do as there was a queue for theatre. Gerry got given his scrubs to put on. It was now about 10pm and I was told my baby would be born before midnight. It still didn't seem real. I never really could get my head around the fact a baby would come out of me. I was given more epidural. Apparently the amount i had was enough for a normal labour but not enough for a section.
In theatre we were surrounded by about 10 other people. Maybe more. Everyone was doing their job and i was put on the table. The doctor had made a decision. He was going to use forceps to try and turn the baby and if it was successful we would try a forceps delivery. If that failed we would have the section. I had heard forceps were meant to be very painful but i was delighted that i might be able to avoid a section.

It was over so quickly. Forceps in. 'the baby has turned', 'ok push'. A little push and i was told the head was out. The doctor said hello to baby who must have been facing him. He told me i would need to push once more and baby would be out. No need in the end ' oh oh wait hes... hes... here's your baby' and he was placed on my chest!
It was that easy! He was placed on my chest and i just shouted Oh my god! It was so wonderful and soooo weird! What an amazing event for anyone to go through or witness. How on earth had i made this little bundle! Baby was checked over and given the thumbs up. He was looking great and no sign of downs syndrome which i told was a possibility.
And so i had survived and brought the most gorgeous little boy into the world. Who would have thought it. I certainly couldn't have predicted this a few years ago. But this was only the beginning. It was to be much harder over the next few days .......


doggoneopinions said...

just read your ordeal at the hospital. it sounded like you held up just fine. i am glad everything went ok.but i had to laugh when you said bring on the epideral.i can not resite to the pain of having a baby, but my mother says it is the worst pain you will ever have but the easiest to days having a baby is almost painless. you have a pretty baby.for him you will find you are stronger than you think.

jenlovestim8 said...

Wow - you sure are a trooper, Lynn! Congrats again on your little sweetheart! I'm glad that you made it through the experience despite things not going as planned. I know how anxiety makes me into a control freak so I was getting anxious as you explained the changes at the hospital, but you did it - that is AWESOME! And now you left us with a cliffhanger so I hope you write more soon! Take care of yourself! Jen :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Lynn! You did a really great job! I never had children due to my anxiety and agoraphobia, and I regret that decision. I guess there is hope for me yet! Sharing your story made me feel like I could get through it too!

M said...

well congratulations lynn! he's absolutely gorgeous. so glad to read you made it through all that with such relatively little thought to agoraphobia/anxiety, and your thoughts were overrun with the present situation. really happy to hear you had a good epidural and it got easier for you.

i've been reading your pregnancy posts closely and wondering how you were doing it, and if i could it too. i'd love to do this one day but i've never heard from an agoraphobic/highly anxious person going through it. thank you so so much for sharing all this, it gives me some more courage to do what i want in life and to know i'll figure out how to get through it as i go. the thought of giving birth terrifies me, but reading how brave and present you were gives me a lot of hope.

enjoy your new beautiful baby lynn, you did an awesome thing lady! and merry christmas!

Joanne said...

Well done Lynn!! Your baby boy is beautiful and I'm sure he was worth everything you had to go through. I can't wait to read the next installment!!

Anonymous said...

You are my hero.

io... said...

Come ti capisco !! Anch'io quando ho avuto il mio primo bambino è stato tutto cosi sofferto..poi gli altri parti ( ho 4 bambini) sono andati decisamente meglio..Da noi in italia non si usa spesso il gas, l'epidurale solo in ospedali attrazzati. Però si pratica il parto indolore e naturale..è bellissimo credimi ...Auguri e in bocca al lupo a te e al tuo piccolino .. Nicoletta