Today marks a week from when I gave birth to my beautiful son, Nathan William. Here is my birth story (it's a long one)...
I phoned the hospital around 2am on Friday morning and was advised to continue taking baths, sleeping if I could and keeping an eye on the contractions. For the next 3 hours some of my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and some 15 minutes apart. Although they were irregular, I was struggling with the pain so we called the hospital again and asked if we could come in to be examined.
The midwife examined me at 5.30am Friday morning and I was 1cm. She gave me a sweep and sent me home at 6am. I was to come back if my contractions became regular and 4 minutes apart or less or if my waters broke. I was feeling very upset about this because 6 hours had passed and I was only 1 cm. I was scared about how long this was going to go on for.
Once I got home I did everything I could to just get through each contraction. I used the TENS machine, which was strange and didn't seem to help much. I took about 100 baths, tried to rest and listen to my yoga music, rocked on my birth ball. The contractions were increasing in intensity but still weren't regular. By 6.30pm on Friday evening I noticed that the baby's movements had slowed down a bit, I was also exhausted and wanted more pain relief so called the hospital and begged to come in. I had been labouring for over 18 hours and needed a break.
The midwife examined me around 8pm Friday. She said my membranes were bulging and that I was 4-5cm! I was thrilled because this meant they could admit me onto the ward, that things were progressing and I could get more pain relief! The midwife showed me to my room which was huge and had a bed for me and a sofa for Nick to rest on. I was given a birth ball and the midwife made me some toast - she thought I needed to eat and drink lots of water as I really hadn't eaten or drank anything for the last day and I needed energy to get me through this birth.
I started on the gas and air and it felt amazing but also made me a little nauseous. After about 30 minutes using the gas and air I vomited, a LOT! I have never been so sick in my life and this is where things went down hill and get a bit fuzzy in my memory; my energy levels plummeted and I needed to lie down. I didn't feel like I could get off the bed because I felt so weak with each contraction. I continued to use the gas and air though because it helped with the pain really well.
At midnight Friday night my waters broke. I rang the buzzer and the midwife came in and checked my waters were clear, which they were. I was examined around 12.30am and I was only 1-2cm! I couldn't believe what I was hearing, I was going backwards!! She said the bulging water bag must have been temporarily dilating my cervix and that when it broke the cervix bounced back to nearly closed. This freaked me out completely and I immediately requested an epidural, but they said I needed to get to 4cm before they would give me one. I agreed to a dose of Pethidine (opiate) instead and just struggled along with this and the gas and air, hoping things would progress but at 3.30am I was examined again, I was still 1-2cm.
Hours passed. Friday night turned into Saturday morning. The midwives changed shifts and I asked the new midwife for an epidural again, but I was still 1-2cm. My contractions were very irregular and the new midwife thought my uterus was shutting down because I was so dehydrated. She wanted me to get fluids through an IV and to be more closely monitored, so I was transferred to the consultant ward around 9am.
On the consultant ward, I was given an IV, strapped to the fetal monitors, given Syntocinon (induction hormone) and closely watched by my new midwife. I had now been in labour for over 34 hours and she wanted to make sure the baby wasn't getting distressed. I was examined again at 10am and I was 3-4cm so I was finally booked in for the epidural, but the anesthetist was in surgery so I had to wait until around 12.30pm when I finally got it put in. It was such a relief! By this point my waters started to get darker and the baby's heart rate was dipping with each contraction and not recovering quickly enough. I was given more Syntocinon to try and get me to dilate quicker, but this only made the baby more stressed with each intense contraction. The consultant came in at 1.30pm to examine me and decided I needed an emergency C-Section due to the distress on baby. I was rolled to the operating room and little Nathan was born at 2.10pm weighing 6 pounds 12 ounces.
Unfortunately the story didn't quite end there. Nathan was wedged into my pelvis and the surgeons had to yank him out very aggressively. In doing so they tore an artery and I lost a large amount of blood. The epidural was wearing out at this point and it was going to take a while to repair the tear, so they put me under a general anesthetic in order to focus on the surgical procedure. I had to have 2 litre blood transfusion. Needless to say I struggled to come back around after the procedure and Nathan was getting sick, not feeding and they suspected he had sepsis so they took him away to the Special Care Baby Unit for monitoring! He was in there for 4 days before getting the all clear to come home Wednesday 25th July.
We have been back home now for a few days and it hasn't been easy to adjust but we are getting there slowly. He is a very loved little boy and has been through a lot already in his life.