After a couple of years TTC, and a hysteroscopy and D&C to deal with months worth of bleeding and irregular periods, my gynaecologist prescribed me Clomid – a 50 mg dose, for 5 days after my period started. As he farewelled me, he told me to plan to come back next month for an adjustment to the dose. I got a referral for a blood test to see if it sparked ovulation. I thought of it as just an experiment to see what affect hormones would have on my body, and did not raise my own hopes even a tiny bit.
When it was due, I had no period-like symptoms, nothing at all. Just no sign of my period. My anxiety increased, and knowing what I am like my partner would not let me do a pregnancy test till I was two weeks ‘overdue’. Well, at 10 days, I caved. I grabbed the pregnancy test out of an ovulation prediction kit that had sat there unused for months, and proceeded to do the test. Within seconds, I had the answer. I yelled out to him, half amazed, half crying. I was pregnant.
At the 8 week appointment, we saw the tiny embryo and heartbeat on the ultrasound. Amazingly, there was a baby inside me! It really didn’t feel real at that point – I had no symptoms other than a failure to get my period. Work had been very good about all my absences up to this point, but I couldn’t hold back from telling people any more. I told three or four colleagues who were all extremely excited for me – we just had to wait till the 12 week marks and the first proper ultrasound to get a bit more of an all clear before announcements went out everywhere. DP told his parents, who were a bit surprised but reservedly happy for us. I didn’t want to tell my parents till I knew everything was OK – plus, they didn’t exactly know about DP at that point...
From about 11 weeks, I started getting a symptom of pregnancy that normally arrives a bit sooner – morning sickness! I had to give up hot drinks of any kind – plus, every time I set foot in the shower or approached my mouth with a toothbrush, I would retch everywhere and end up vomiting. Not terribly pleasant, but reassuring at first since this was the first real sign I had, other than very sensitive boobs.
At the twelve week ultrasound, we got good news. Baby looked very healthy, and there was absolutely nothing for us to worry about. At this point, I could relax and tell everyone. The main people that had to be told were Mum and Dad. I took the couple of print-outs from the ultrasound, and prepared to give them the news. I drove down to their house, and asked them to sit down while I gave them the news, first about the baby, and then about DP. Their response was lovely – they cried with me, and expressed their happiness.
From this point onwards, things progressed remarkably well. At about 13 weeks, lower back pain commenced. No big surprise, although the relief from any neck pain was one good bonus. I eventually sought out a physiotherapist, who helped me heaps with my back right through pregnancy. The vomiting and nausea continued, but wasn’t unmanageable. My blood pressure, which has always been an issue, stayed under control. I was tested a couple of times for gestational diabetes and found to be fine.
The morphology scan had more good news for us. Baby was all in one piece, and importantly, we found out that he was a boy. I had been ambivalent at finding out, but as DP said, its nice to know. I was eventually really loved knowing that I was growing a little boy inside – I think it helped me to bond with him after DP chose his first name – Zachary, and I chose his second name – Stuart. It meant that every time I touched him, or felt him move, I could refer to him as Zac, and he felt a lot more real to me.
So, everything continued, normal normal normal. I had another scan at 32 weeks which showed that we had a quite a ‘large’ baby on board, but I was suspicious that it was just his leg size that made him look big. However, there was some talk of induction and early delivery due to size, so I decided to stop work at 35 weeks. My back and legs thanked me for this decision.
I spent the last five weeks of pregnancy going through a series of visits to doctors, scanners and physiotherapy, it seemed. I continued being healthy, but was having a lot more trouble moving around, and there was still some talk about him being as big as 9 ½ pounds, so there was a bit of debate still about when we would deliver. Additionally, my usual doctor was going to be away at the time of my due date. This meant that I was seeing his locum for the last two weeks of my pregnancy.
I had also gotten a bit despondent at this point as I wanted the baby to arrive in time for my brother to meet him. My brother and his wife would be in Melbourne till the day after my due date...or the due date that I was working from anyway.
The last appointment I had with the locum obstetrician was on Wednesday 14 March. She had a good feel, and commiserated with me that baby would not be arriving for another 10-14 days – not much chance my brother would get to meet him. I was pretty upset, but realised there was not a lot I could do – I should just be grateful that we were both still in very good health. DPs parents were down in Melbourne, staying about 80km from our house. We agreed to go over to their place for tea that night, I thought that getting out and about should keep my mind off things.
We got to the pub to have tea. I couldn’t really get comfortable, and felt generally quite cranky. His two young sisters, aged 12 and 16, decided to come back and stay the night with us. We drove home, with a 10.30pm stop at the supermarket for a carton of Coke and a couple of other random things like chocolate mousse. I insisted on going into the supermarket alone, and ended up almost in tears as nobody would let the 40 week pregnant lady in front of their enormous trollies. Eventually a male staff member took pity on me and helped me get out of there. I came back to the car and ranted and raged – I think the girls thought I had a screw loose.
We got home, DP and the girls played on the Wii and Xbox till about 2.30am, at which point I got a bit stroppy again and said I wanted to go to bed. I think they were a bit put out, but the baby had been kicking the hell out of me, and I just didn’t feel ‘right’. I think we drifted off to sleep at about 3am.
5.30am on Thursday 15 March– bang, I’m awake. Period Pain. Oo. I lay there to see what would happen. After about 15 minutes, I got really uncomfortable in my back and had to move. Gush. I jumped out of bed and ran to the ensuite. Stuff is dripping down my legs at this point. I called out ‘Honey, umm, I think its the baby thing’. DP woke up. I sat on the toilet and felt water gush out of me. He came in, and I told him, I think this is happening. At this point it was about 6am. While I made my way from the toilet into the shower, DP started to plan!
Of course, being superstitious, I had not packed anything. He had to go and retrieve suitcases from the room where his sisters were sleeping, and start gathering things from the baby's room and my things to bring to the hospital. I just stayed in the shower, which was helping with my discomfort and the disconcerting sensation of water pouring out of me. We decided to ring the hospital at about 7 – they told us to come in, as I had tested positive to Group B strep they wanted me to be on antibiotics.
DP finished packing, I finished in the shower and we got into the car at about 8, for the 15 minute drive to the hospital. WRONG!! For whatever reason, we had the worst traffic in the world this morning of all mornings. I had a couple of contractions – they were about every 15 minutes or so – and having a contraction while trapped in a car was just dreadful. It ended up taking us just over an hour to get to the hospital, where I was admitted at about 9.30am.
So, finally in the birth suite, I was examined and found, indeed, to have ruptured my membranes. The midwives contacted the locum obstetrician, who came down as quickly as she could. She put a canula in my hand, and they hooked me up for some antibiotics and some syntocin to get labour more established. For a couple of hours, the syntocin started to do its thing. I felt some discomfort, but contractions continued at about 8 minutes apart.
By about midday, labour had really set it. They had cranked up the drip, and I was contracting every five minutes or so. It had started to really hurt so we got out the gas. The midwives had a shift change, and the new middie gave me the gas pipe and told me to suck really hard when the contraction was beginning. I sucked and sucked, but nothing! O dear, I was thinking to myself, that asthma has played such havoc with my ability to breathe, I am failing at gas. After several more attempts, fortunately the middie realised she had not actually switched the gas on...much hilarity ensued.
I kept labouring ‘happily’ with the gas for a couple more hours. At that point, things were really starting to get sore. I had an internal examination –I had got to 4cm dilated. I resolved to continue, but was starting to be really sick. I threw up a couple of times, and was given a shot to help with nausea. At around 4, I asked for and was given Pethidine – hooray for hard drugs! This helped me to sleep between contractions. I would pass out, then wake up a couple of minutes later, suck on the gas, moan and groan then pass out again. Poor DP just had to sit there and wait patiently.
Hours and hours more of labour ensued. During this time, I asked for an epidural, but the obstetrician and midwives told me that it was unlikely to help me feel any better, so I was pretty much talked out of it! I think they were right – I really appreciated being able to move around the room later on.
At one stage my parents dropped in, as we had asked them to come and grab the house keys so they could put the bin out for us. Mum was completely horrified by seeing me in labour - I think she was upset seeing me in pain and discomfort. I was high as a kite from the gas, so didn't mind them seeing me all dishevelled.
At about 8.30pm I got my second (and final) jab of Pethidine. Another internal, I’m not sure what time, and I’d got to 8cm dilated, so things were going in the right direction. I started to feel a lot of pressure, and asked to be allowed to go and sit on the toilet. Baby had a monitor on his scalp by this stage, so we all proceeded over to the bathroom and hooked me back up to the machine. I’m not sure quite how long I was there for, but at about 11 it was time for me to go back to the bed.
I’d been having trouble finding any comfortable positions – none of the positions leaning over had helped me feel any better, the only thing that worked was lying on my side in a fetal position. I had to give that up now, though, as a check showed that I was fully dilated and ready to push. This is when the real pain started. I had thrown away the gas at this point, and pethidine was wearing off, so I was on my own with the pain, and tried to get into a focused zone. I was conscious of trying not to make too much noise, and for some crazy reason I was apologising to everyone in sight – the two phrases coming out of me ‘owww, it hurts’ and ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’. No idea where the desire to apologise came from.
I pushed and pushed and pushed. Chin down, grunting, trying to breathe correctly, but I was getting very exhausted. The obstetrician told me that she could see the baby’s head, and he had a lot of hair. A great incentive, but just not quite enough. I was losing strength in my legs and arms at this point, and my own heartrate kept plummeting during contractions. Fortunately, baby was holding up just fine and they didn’t have to worry about him at all.
The OB decided that the best way to get him out was going to be using forceps. She gave me a lovely local anaesthetic then did some cutting. I was completely in the zone, and was not phased by the forceps at all. I just saw it as the next step we had to go through. I baulked a little at being made to urinate, but didn’t have a choice! I felt the forceps being pushed into me, a strange grinding sensation, and I worried a bit about it hurting his head. Then, she began to tug. Fortunately, she didn’t brace against me or the bed and pull with all her weight, but there was some serious traction going on there.
I think this was when I really let loose with a couple of decent screams. DP tells me that I was pretty quiet the whole time, but I’m sure that process of getting him unstuck required a yell or two.
After what felt like an eternity, I felt a huge sense of relief, and movement, and all of a sudden there was a baby with what looked like a million limbs plonked on my chest. They wrapped him in a towel, and left his cord attached while I got a shot to help the placenta out.
The midwives took him for a sec and did his Agpars – 8 and then 9. The OB started stitching me up, and we ended up having a totally surreal discussion about having attended the same school in Perth, and our very unique Social Studies teacher from year 8. I couldn’t feel anything, but the flight part of my fight or flight instinct was in full swing, and I kept instinctively shuffling up the bed and away from her needle, and practically closing my legs in her face. I had to be persuaded down from that mountain a couple of times.
So, my membranes ruptured at 6am. I was in active labour from midday on Thursday 15th and I was pushing from 11pm through till Zachary arrived at 1.05am on Friday 16th March 2012. I had gas and two shots of pethidine for pain relief, and a local anaesthetic at the end to enable the use of forceps and stitching. I didn’t ask how many stitches went in, working on the basis that the less I knew about them the better.
At around three, DP went with the midwife to weigh and measure the baby, and put him in some proper clothes. He came in at 3645g, 52cm long. They didn’t measure head circumference due to the use of forceps. They dressed our gorgeous little boy, brought him back to say goodnight, and then hooked me up for the final dose of antibiotics. DP went home to sleep, and I snoozed for a couple of hours. Woke up, had the best shower ever and then went back to my room, where they brought my beautiful baby to room in with me.
Edited by Tarantara, 01 March 2016 - 10:15 AM.