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The birth of Jenna Lauren - my spontaneous precipitate labour
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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:24 PM
The spontaneous precipitate birth of Jenna Lauren Wajnberg
Pregnancy with DD2 could hardly have been more different from my pregnancy with DD1, who arrived at 36 +4. Dd1's pregnancy had been dominated by episodes of bleeding from 14-32 weeks, a 2 week stay in hospital between 25 and 27 weeks, a diagnosis of placenta praevia, which was later withdrawn, and an induced labour that looked like heading down the well-worn cascade of intervention path. DD1 also had to be resuscitated at birth and eventually, once a working scale was found, sent to the special care nursery. After feeling that I hadn't been adequately supported or monitored at the birth I decided to change hospitals for DD2.
DD2's pregnancy was refreshingly boring: no bleeding, all check ups normal and I breathed a small sigh of relief when we passed 37 weeks.
The OB had warned me that my second labour would probably be quick, even without induction, given the first had only been 6 hours from starting the drip to baby in arms.
The Thursday before Easter was my 38 week appointment. All was looking good and baby was in a good position. I made my 39 week appointment but said I hoped I wouldn't need it. My parents were visiting from Perth and my Mum had said she hoped I went a bit early so she could maximise the time she had to help me. Some time that day I jokingly said to DD2, "Ok baby. If you could come tonight that would be really helpful as Daddy will be home for the long weekend."
That night DH wanted to watch footy so I went to bed early and tried to finish rereading my 'Birth Skills' book. I had started losing my plug the day before and had been getting some crampy feelings for a few days on and off, but they seemed to improve when I went to the toilet so I figured they were related to being a bit constipated.
I dozed for a few hours between toilet trips then just after midnight I shifted in bed and felt something flowing out. I said "crap" about 4 times and raced to the loo. There was a lot more fluid than with DD1 and it just kept coming! There was also brownish mucus on my panty liner. I went back to the bedroom and flipped on the light. DH knew there was only one reason I would do that without warning him first.
I called the hospital, and the midwife told me to take Panadol and try to go back to sleep, although she added, "you may want to put a towel down on the bed." Um, yeah, thanks. Don't think that's going to happen. Meanwhile, DH was calling my Mum to come over. With sleep not looking likely and not knowing what else to do, we put on an episode of 'Puberty Blues' that we'd recorded. I was starting to have more of those cramps. They weren't too bad and were only coming every 10-15 minutes and lasting about 30 seconds. I found that I couldn't sit down without feeling like another one was starting so I watch TV while leaning over the back of the couch.
After watching I called the hospital again, mainly to tell them that I couldn't sit down and that I was worried about the car ride over there and that by the time I was at a point where they said, "come in" the car trip would be unbearable. That didn't sway them. They said that listening to me on the phone it didn't sound like it was time to head in and that if I did come in I would be required to "perform". I was really second guessing myself because I did NOT want to hit transition in the car. The midwife suggested I try other positions like kneeling to give my legs a break. I tried lying down but that didn't help. Mum and Joe were strongly suggesting we head in. Contractions were getting stronger, if not closer together and I found myself starting to need to 'aahh' through them. I had one contraction that made my legs shake and decided that it was time to head in. I called the hospital a third time and told them we were on our way.
We got to the hospital and were met at the lift by my lovely midwife, Liz. We got into our labour room about 2 am. I was examined and was only 2 cm. Bummer. The CTG was hooked up. After my last labour I was hoping not to be on the monitors the whole time. I had avoided being induced, which was a good start, but unfortunately the CTG showed that the baby was having decelerations during contractions. The midwife wasn't alarmed by this per se but wanted to figure out why they were happening. I seemed to be labouring quite effectively so the question was whether the baby was not coping with the speed of the labour or whether some other factor was at play, such as the cord being around the baby's neck.
The midwife called my OB who arrived just before 4. By this stage I was 4 cm dilated. The OB was also concerned about the decels. If the baby was distressed then a Caesarian might be required but if the baby was not distressed they would probably be happy to let me keep going for another hour or two. So it was a kind of limbo. The OB decided to do a lactate test, which involved taking a sample of blood from the baby's head to check how stressed she was. He tried to do this in the position I was in at the time (on my side) but it was too difficult. The midwife gave me the gas, which really didn't do much for me. The OB decided to try getting the sample with me on my back. That's when all hell broke loose.
According to DH the thing the OB was trying to put up my hoo-ha to get the sample was a bit like a funnel. Well at this point I completely lost my sh*t. All of a sudden the pain became unbearable, as did the feeling of having something put UP me while something else was trying to get out. The OB and midwife were trying to get me to hold still and I started yelling, "I can't!" and "stop!" over and over. The midwife tried to put the gas mouthpiece back in my mouth, which just felt like she was trying to choke me. I thought they were still going with the lactate test. I started screaming like I've never screamed before in my life. It was almost an out-of-body experience as the rational part of my brain was observing my hysteria with a good deal of surprise. I may have levitated off the bed a bit. Then all of a sudden I felt the overwhelming pressure in my bum and yelled, "I NEED TO PUSH!!!" Then the OB was giving me instructions on how to push and I calmed down a bit. I think I was so surprised by the change of tac and the feeling (I must have still been a bit numb from the epi with DD1 so I didn't feel the second stage properly) that I kind of forgot what to do for a minute, but once I refocussed it all went pretty quickly. Jenna Lauren was born at 4:46 am about 4.5 hours after my waters broke. Like her big sister she did not cry and required a bit of a rub down to get her breathing properly but did not need oxygen. Her Apgars were 7 and 9. She was placed on my chest and quickly showed an interest in the boob and a very strong suck (unlike her sister). Despite going from 4 cm to 10
cm in about half an hour I did not tear and just ended up with a small graze. A couple of hours later I had the best shower ever. Jenna had managed to do a big poo on me and herself so I definitely needed it. Putting on fresh clothes felt fantastic too. DH couldn't believe how easily I was moving around so soon after giving birth.
The OB said that Jenna may have been posterior and that making me turn onto my back for the lactate test made her turn and sped things up. She weighed 2.72 kg or bang on 6 lb, so 1 lb bigger than her sister but smaller than we had been expecting. She didn't have to go into the special care nursery, which was great. I was feeling good enough that I didn't feel the need to stay the standard 4 nights and was able to take advantage of the early discharge package (including $200 Chadstone voucher).
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