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Baby Ewan is here
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Posted 26 June 2015 - 12:40 PM
My second labour and birth were in many ways the opposite of my first. My first I had a very healthy and stress free pregnancy. This time although I had no significant medical problems I suffered a lot of stress and general exhaustion. I spent the first trimester not knowing if I still had a job, the second trimester I suffered pubic symphasitis which meant 2-3 days I week I was in agonising pain, barely able to walk, luckily this subsided by the third trimester in which I was just exhausted, miserable and over it. Added to this we moved house and I now had a 1.5hr commute to work, a 40min+ drive to my hospital and I had a challenging 2.5yo to boot.
My first pregnancy I had a stretch and sweep at 39+3 and went into labour 48hrs later. This time I had a stretch and sweep at 38+6 and the MW said “I was ready to go with a favourable cervix and already 2cm dilated”. I was very hopeful and went home, that evening I had a stack of crampy contractions every 7.5min, but they petered out after a couple of hours and a lot of gloopy discharge (sorry TMI). About 2am I had intermittent back pain (similar to how my first labour started) which lasted a couple of hours and did nothing but keep me awake. This 2-4am wake up continued every night until I finally gave birth. I was determined that I didn’t want to go to 40weeks and as my daughter was born 2 days early I felt surely this one would be earlier. I tried every thing, raspberry leaf tea, walking, sex, curry – nothing worked.
At 39+6 I went back for my next MW appointment. She did another stretch and sweep and said the same thing as the previous MW. She and a med student also measured my fundal height and both said it had decreased from 37 the previous week to 34-35. I was a bit dubious as to the accuracy of the measurement but I agreed to go for an ultrasound the next day. My husband took the day off and came with me the ultrasound appt. Baby was a good size and healthy, however my amniotic fluid level was just under the acceptable cut off so I was sent to the pregnancy day stay centre for monitoring. A CTG showed bubs heart rate was fine and you could see tiny little contractions that barely measured a blip on the chart and I couldn’t even feel them. Had to wait to see Dr who then came and said she had to call her boss to see what to do, but gave me another stretch and sweep in the hope it would get things moving. I have no problem with getting a S&S and would like to get things moving as much as anything, but this was my 3rd in a week and I have to say they are not the most comfortable and I was starting to feel a bit over having random people rummage around my bits. After 5hrs of waiting the Dr finally came back and said that the fluid level was a concern and they would book an induction. Yah – if nothing else I finally had an eviction date – only induction was for 5 days later!!
That night I was most depressed and despondent that I had to wait another 5 days. Went to bed only to be woken ay 3.30am (as usual) by back pain. This time it seemed to be getting worse and not going away, by 4am it was regular and about 5min apart. I got a hot pack and walked up and down for a while, but it didn’t seem to be going away like I was expecting. At 5.30am my husbands alarm for work went off and I told him he wasn’t going to work. I had a hot shower and although it made things more bearable, contractions didnt go away. Hubby called the hospital and they said to come in. At 6am we called my aunt who was coming to look after our 2yo. At 6.30am we headed for the hospital.
In normal traffic it takes about 40min, on a week day morning - a lot longer. Now that we were on our way I was a bit calmer and concentrated on counting though the contractions, a 1hr trip - I only had to survive 12 contractions right. I took almost exactly an hour. At 7.30am we arrived at the hospital and headed up to the delivery suites.
My first labour I arrived after my waters had broken, and spent the next several hours arguing for an epidural that the MW seemed determined not to give me one. I finally got it and ended up with a relatively calm civilised delivery after a total of 18hr labour. This time was different.
I was hooked up to the CTG for about 20min after which the MW did an internal and said I was having regular contractions (3 in 10min) and was already 4-5cm dilated. I asked if I could get an epidural now? MW said “sure” and went off to contact the anaesthetist. At this stage I was breathing though contractions and counting, pain was about equally in my belly and back. Last labour they were purely in my back, I am not sure if they were more or less painful but this time I just seemed better able to cope – and the fact that my epidural was on its way made me feel a lot calmer and in control. The MW joked I was having stealth contractions as I was completely silent as I breathed though them. Sam the anaesthetist arrived in less than 10min and started to insert my epidural – it took him 3 or more tries and over 30min to finally get it in.
I lay down and could feel the epidural working on one side, so I rolled onto the other side, just as I did I felt a pop and my water breaking. Almost simultaneously I felt a massive pressure and pain in my cervix and urge to push. They said the epidural takes 20min to work and had only been in 5min. I wasn’t silent anymore. The pressure was unbearable, I asked if I could press the blue epidural button again – they said no Id already had that dose – I screamed “it’s not working”, the MW may have laughed. Its hard to describe, but it wasn’t the ring of fire pain from crowning that hurt , but more the feeling that my insides were about to explode out. The MW tried to guide my pushing, but there was little point trying to control anything, even though I was trying not to push at all. After only 5hrs of labour and less than 10min pushing Ewan Thomas was born at 9.15 am
I am all for personal choice and a slower 1hr second stage may be a lot different experience , but I have no F%^& idea why anyone would voluntarily choose to do that without an epidural. I guess the moral of this story is that no matter how in control of things you think you are when it comes to labour and birth - you never are. The anaesthetist popped his head back in to find me sitting holding a baby and asked did the epidural work, I said “no it was too late”. He said “I thought that might be the case, sorry about that” and left. Being mid morning on a week day, it was also prime teaching time, so I had 3 Drs come to do my many stitches. I had a 2nd degree perineal tear (ie skin & muscle). Having someone describe your torn bits as lovely and beautiful is slightly off putting, but I assume they meant my tear was a textbook case – I just hope they didn’t stuff up the stitches. They were very nice, but if I find out which Dr forgot to write pain meds on my chart so that I didn’t have any pain relief for 24hrs – I will hunt you down.
When i finally went back to the postnatal ward I was lucky enough to get a single room as it was the only one available at the time. Again this was a totally different experience than my first where I stayed 4 days, had horrible trouble breast feeding and had 14 different midwives. This time I had the lovely Dom during the day and a different MW at night for the 2 nights I was there. Ewan seemed to just get the whole BF thing and although it’s still painful for me it wasn’t nearly as bad as last time and I had no one manhandling my nipples.
Despite having done this parenting gig for over 2 years now, I still worried I wouldn’t bond with the baby, but when everything is quiet and he is staring up at me making his little old man faces I know I don’t have to worry anymore.
Posted 26 June 2015 - 01:39 PM
Congratulations on your little Man.
I am all for personal choice and a slower 1hr second stage may be a lot different experience , but I have no F%^& idea why anyone would voluntarily choose to do that without an epidural.
^^ this made me chuckle. Im attempting a VBAC and just finished telling a co worker that i'd rather do it without an Epi. Now, Im not so sure lol
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