Monday, 22 June 2015

My Birth Story: The Induction

Well I've been putting off writing about the birth of my beautiful boy for a while now. I just didn't feel ready to re-live the whole thing but I'm feeling better about it now. It was what they call a 'traumatic' birth but I'm yet to hear of an 'ecstatic' birth. I'm a bit fuzzy on some of the details as I was pretty off my face on gas and air for the actual labour, so I thought the best way for me to write about this horrific traumatic experience my son's birth would be in a diary/bullet point style. I'm going to warn you, I can get pretty gross/graphic so if you have a weak stomach maybe this isnt the post for you. Here's a cute cat post instead.

I was induced at 12 days overdue and it was a long process so you might want to get a cuppa. 

Tuesday 3rd February.

06:30 I woke up after not getting much sleep at all due to being nervous. I was really excited to finally meet my son but also apprehensive as I knew nothing about the induction process and that I will be a Mum very soon. 

07:30 After showering, checking my bags for millionth time and shoving some cereal in my mouth I called the hospital to see if we were still ok to go, in as advised by the midwife (they said I may have to wait until Wednesday if they are too busy but to be ready to go just in case). They said to call back at half 8.

08:00 I received phone call to say they are ready for me and to come in as soon as we are ready. We check that we have put everything in the car, again and head off to the hospital. I felt like I was going to throw up on the spot with nerves. 

08:30 We arrived at the hospital, I was admitted to a labour ward and strapped to a monitor. The midwife explained that after half an hour of observation I will have an examination to see whats happening and then a pessary called a propress will be inserted to get things moving. She says this propress can stay in for a maximum of 24 hours. If it doesn't work then I have to have a stronger one that will stay in for 6 hours. She asks if I am nervous because my heart rate is really high, I am. 

09:00 The examination reveals nothing is going on and my cervix is still firm, back and thick, gags. The pessary (hormone tablet on a string, like a tampon) is inserted and it was not as bad as I had expected, just uncomfortable. It took a long time and Jimmy went beetroot red and stayed by my head so he didn't "see anything" lol, if only he knew! 

The Midwife mentioned that my heart rate had dropped loads and I must have calmed down. I say "I'm not sure what that really says about me after what you have just done!" We all have a good laugh and I think about how hilarious I am. 

I am put back on the monitor for observation until they are ready for me on the ward.

Lunch Time I get a jacket potato with tuna and cheese, I scoff it and feel bad that Jimmy has only got the snacks we brought with us. A poor woman is obviously struggling behind a curtain and we can hear painful moans. I am eating my yoghurt and Jimmy decides to play with my bed just as I put the last spoonful in my mouth. He scares the shit out of me and I choke spitting yoghurt out of both my mouth and nose. It is everywhere, we start giggling like kids as the poor woman painfully labours on across from us. I struggle to breathe because I am laughing so much and it takes us ages to calm down. 

I am put on an 'observation' ward which is a fucking laugh because I didn't see a soul until half 10pm when some snotty woman comes to take my obvs. It's about 1,00000 degrees and I'm bored shitless. I read my magazines while Jimmy gets some lunch. When he comes back we attempt to do the Closer puzzles and fail pretty spectacularly. We can't work out what one of the puzzles is, we don't even manage the spot the difference. 

Dinner Time I get given a manky looking tuna sarnie that the previous woman in my bed I'm in must have wanted. The lady serving takes one look at my face and offers me a jacket potato that she has spare. I have my 2nd jacket potato with tuna and cheese for the day. Jimmy eats the luke warm cheese sarnie, mmm. 

Evening Nothing happens and Jimmy goes home at 21:30, he tells me he's going to get a KFC on the way home. I call him a bastard. He leaves, I cry for about half an hour or maybe I was just sweating from my eyes because of the 'hotter than the sun' temperature. It's chuffing February! 

Some woman comes to do my obvs and she is a bit snotty and I am in no mood for her. I take an instant dislike to her and when she asks how I'm feeing she is not impressed with my deadpan "fantastic" response. A nice lady walks past and says she is going to try to find me a fan because my temp is high. I tell her my pessary is uncomfortable and think it's slipped down. She says she will get someone to come have a look for me. No fan comes no midwives come to check my pessary.

I have a very broken sleep I can hear various women coming in and out. Every time one gets moved up to the labour ward I hate her and wish I would go into labour already. All night I hear women moaning and think "lucky bitch"

Wednesday 4th February

07:00 Still nothing going on. I went for a shower and felt a bit more human. I have a bowl of cereal and a yoghurt wishing it was a bacon sarnie. I have my obvs done and I am told if nothing happens by 11 I will be sent up to the labour ward for the 2nd, stronger pessary. 'Pessary 2' is a tablet and it stays up 'there'. After 6 hours if nothing happens this process is repeated and I will be re-evaluated after another 6 hours.

11:15 Jimmy arrived and was stressing that he had to park in a private car park across from the hospital and it's costing £4 an hour. He says after I am seen by the Dr he will go and try to get a space in the hospital car park. I am not seen until gone 12 and he has to pay £8 to park for an hour and a half. 

When I am seen I am told that as soon as there is a bed available on the labour ward I will be taken up and I will stay there until I go into the birthing suite. I eat lunch of a jacket potato with tuna and cheese. I am sick of fucking jacket potatoes and I'm really tired.

2:30 I was taken up to the labour ward and had an internal examination, my cervix was still the same as before. 'Pessary 2' is inserted at the speed of light (I think it was coming to the end of the midwife's shift) and it bloody hurt, alot. After the midwife left I had a bit of a cry.

16:00 I asked for a birthing ball because I was sick to death of sitting in a bed, the midwife said she would go and try to find one for me. I never see her again. 

I went with Jimmy to try to find him something to eat and to try and start labour by walking. We walk around the hospital at a fast pace about 4 times. I lunge up and down the stairs while Jimmy shouts at me like I'm in a Rocky montage.

18:00 I was assigned another midwife and I told her about the birthing ball, she was furious and returned within minutes with one. I bounced on it for 2 hours solid. I saw a Dr and he said I will have the 'pessary 2' process again at about 21:00 and if that doesn't work then I will have to have cesarean. 

There was alot of confusion at that point and I had no idea what was going on. I eat the worlds most disgusting shepherds pie and wish I had ordered a jacket potato with tuna and cheese. 

19:00 I start to have some tightenings and some cramp like pains. I continue bouncing on the birthing ball. 

There is a big emergency in theatre and I don't see anyone until about 23:00. 

23:00 ish I saw a midwife and told her about my cramps, my tummy was hard so I was put on the monitor again. Baby's heart rate was all over the place and they couldn't find a baseline. My stomach was doing mexican waves and the baby was really wiggly. 

00:00 ish Baby's heart rate had settled down but the midwives kept me on the monitor just to keep an eye on him.

Jimmy pulled a couple of chairs together to try to sleep on, he looked really uncomfortable and I felt a bit sorry for him, just a bit though. I tried to sleep but I kept getting mild contractions/ cramps that woke me up.

01:15 The midwives were happy that baby was fine and I came off the monitor, I went to the loo and my WATERS FINALLY BROKE! I remember that it felt so warm, I told Jimmy it was like someone tipped a cup of tea out of me. I was so happy that things were finally starting to happen. I wobbled down to the nurses station and say "I'm really sorry, I know how busy you are but my waters just broke" They all laughed at me and I am escorted back to the ward and told to pop a pad on. They tell me that if I loose my mucus plug to keep the pad to show them, heave! 

03:00 ish I lost my mucus plug. WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD!
I went to loo again and I felt something wet and slimy on my pad I looked down and almost gagged. I saw a really gross jelly thing on my pad. I thought it looked like that blob fish that grosses everyone out. 

I Weeble wobbled my way back down to the nurses station pad in hand to show someone. I found a m/w to have a look, she frowned a bit and told me to keep it and the head m/w would come and have a look in a bit. She didn't come. 

Thursday 5th February
(I know it started technically at midnight but thats not how I see it in my head)

06:00 The head midwife came and didn't stop apologising about me not being seen very much. To be honest I didn't really mind, I didn't feel neglected but then again I didn't really feel anything. I was just knackered. I reckon I probably got about an hours sleep in total.

07:00 A young m/w came to see me and told me that I was being moved to the birthing suite "LET'S HAVE A BABY" she says perkily. I was told I will be put on a hormone drip to help speed up the process. I ate half a bowl of cereal and half a piece of toast, I felt sick but knew I'd need my energy. I had an examination and my cervix had still not budged. A student Dr comes in and awkwardly asks if i's alright if she observes my birth, I say "of course I hope I can give you a show"

09:00 I had a meeting with a Dr who told me that because of the intensity of the drip induction he would advise that I have an epidural as soon as I felt any pain I couldn't handle. He said I would have a painful labour as the entire duration would be as intense as the last few hours of a normal labour. He examined me (no.4 since Tuesday) and also attempted to perform a cervix sweep. He was so vigorous I had to ask him to stop. Jimmy said he could just see my entire body shaking like a puppet. 

10:00 I had the drip popped in and off we went. I started on a low dose and it would gradually get stronger. My midwife was lovely, she had graduated last year (2014) and we chatted away like old friends. She even gave Jimmy grief which I loved. She said that I would be re-examined at 16:00 and if nothing had happened I would have to have a cesarean. 

12:00 ish -15:00. Now shit gets hazy.
I began to have 3 contractions within 10 minutes but I couldn't feel any pain.

I had a contraction that felt a bit like severe trapped wind, and the next three got gradually more and more painful. It all happened very quickly. The drip was making me feel really sick.

My contractions were now pretty painful but I didn't want any gas and air because I felt so sick. I had 2 paracetamol, lol! Needless to say they didn't help one bit. 

I didn't feel like I could control the pain any more. I had some more painkillers that didn't work. I started on the gas and air. It's weird I can still taste the sickly sweet taste. Jimmy was coaching me through telling me to breathe slowly which helped so much. My plan was to wait until 16:00 to see how far dilated I was then ask for an epidural. 

15:00 ish -18:00
I asked for an epidural at around 15:00. My contractions seemed so close together, I felt like there was only a few seconds in-between them. The anaesthetist came and had a chat with me, he left me something to read. I didn't read it, I think I looked at it pretending to, but I couldn't focus. 

The baby's heart rate went wappy again but it felt a lot more serious this time. I had an examination (no 5) to see if my fore waters had gone or not. The m/w said she couldn't tell if they were still in tact or if my baby was bald. She had to get someone else to feel (no 6). 

They then couldn't distinguish baby's heart rate from my own so he had to have a thing attached to his head to read it. I had an examination (no 7) then they put on babies monitor (no 8). The volume of the babies heart monitor keeps cutting out and freaks me out, they have to check it's working a few times. 

My blood pressure went through the roof and I had suspected preeclamsia I had a blood test at some point. I was put on my side at one point and I hated it, it was excruciating, I was begging them to go back on my back but they said I couldn't because baby preferred that position. Gas and air was not cutting it.

16:00 I had an examination (no 9) as planned and I was 7cm dilated. I remember celebrating with my m/w. She called me the iron cervix and said they should test it and use similar material to build black boxes planes have!

Literally no idea what happened here.

17:30 My body has calmed down enough for me to have an epidural. I am a total mess by this point. I can't hold up my head because of the gas and air and I grab hold of Jimmy, look him in the eye and forcefully say "don't let them tell you it's too late for an epidural" 

The anaesthetist came to give me my epidural, he asks me my date of birth I get it wrong and have to correct myself a few times. He preps me, I sign something and he is about to put the needle in and he gets called away by an emergency alarm. I tell the m/w "you fucking pin that anaesthetist down next time you see him" she laughs, I don't.

18:00 I get my epidural. It's glorious. It's like nothing I could ever have imagined. I felt almost euphoric. The fog is lifted and everything becomes crystal clear. I went from being unable to give my DOB to telling Jimmy he should go and get something to eat. 

19:00 I have a an examination (no 10), although I feel nothing because of the miracle of epidural  and I am fully dilated, whoo! I'm told I will be left for an hour for baby to come down and then I will start to push. I got a new m/w who had a student nurse with her.

I push and push but the baby is not coming down quick enough, I can't feel any contractions so I have to have a m/w's hand on my stomach to tell me when to push. Jimmy actually shouts out me to push longer and harder. Saying things like "is that all you got? You can go longer than that!" I see a Dr who administers examination no 11 and he tells me he needs to take me to theatre. I completely panic and think I'm going to have to have C-section. He assures me that this is not the case but I will be having an assisted delivery. Forceps. I am relieved, little did I know. 

My room was dimly lit and calm, it is now swarming with people and very bright. Jimmy reckons there were about 15 people in total. A lady who tells me she is the boss I think she examines me but I can't be sure at this point. She tells me I will not be going to theatre but I will be staying in my room. She says this like she is doing me a favour, I still don't know why.

I am given a top up of my epidural and something else stronger by a lovely anaesthetist. I remember signing something but barely looking at it. I can hear the sound of the forceps on the trolly and have a flash back to being shown them in my anti natal classes. Jimmy covers my face with a wet flannel so I can't see them. I have an episiotomy, which I described as scissors cutting through thick cardboard.

The forceps go in and the first was didn't feel too bad, the second one was awful. They say you can't feel any pain just pressure but I think thats bollocks. The first pull is horrific the sensation was horrifying, I let out a scream for the first time. I am told "to save my breath for the push" and to not use my voice. At one point I am told "push, no don't push, sorry I meant don't push" I look at Jimmy wide eyed as if to say "is she fucking kidding?" 

21:38 Two more pulls later my baby arrives into the world at 21:38. He is placed on my chest and his bottom lip is sticking out. I love him so much already. He has sore red marks on his face and a big bruise on his head from the forceps. 

I suffered a third degree tear and after about 5 minutes I was wheeled off to theatre. I didn't understand the full extent of my tear until the next day really. The student Dr from 7am is still with me even though she was off shift at 19:00, she stays with me while I'm being stitched up. I natter to the anaesthetist about everything and anything to distract from the weird sensation of the stitching. I am in theatre for about half an hour. 

I finally get to feed and have cuddles with my beautiful Son and I'm starving and I'm told I'm not allowed to eat anything but the student m/w sneaks me in a hot chocolate. 

Friday 6th February 

I saw my Mum in the afternoon which was amazing and it was so nice to see her with Jake. I'm not really sure what else went on during that day. I know for lunch I got a tuna jacket fucking potato! I was hooked up to an ECG at one point!?

19:00 I am thrilled to be discharged after telling anyone who will listen all day that I want to go home. 

So there you have it, believe it or not that is the short version! So much of it is a blur and I should have probably had some kind of de-brief to make the details of what happened clear. I feel pretty ok about the whole thing now I had a few flash backs in the first few weeks afterwards but I can laugh about it now. Next time someone tells me they are going to 'rip me a new one' I can say go ahead, it's happened once before and I recovered pretty quickly!

A week after the 'event'