Labour – part ii
19th March – sometime in the evening
By this point I had totally lost track of time, and just willing it to all be over.
Have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel are in the hospital and all those other couples come and go while they are still waiting for something to happen? Well we felt exactly the same at this point! We’d already got through about 4 different shifts of midwives and in the other rooms we could hear various crying babies and wondered exactly when ours would make an appearance!
I think it was during the diamorphine induced grogginess that I had my waters broken for me, as they were just not budging!
On further examination I hadn’t dilated much further than earlier that morning – apparently my uterus wasn’t contracting strongly enough to make anything happen quickly so they decided to hook me up to the drip that they use to induce labour which would hopefully speed things up a bit!
It was at this point that I also decided to go all out and ask for an epidural. They told me that on the drip the contractions would feel much worse than they already did and although the diamorphine helped to take the edge off, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through the rest of labour without something much stronger!
I felt like I was wired up to almost everything… I had the drip in my right arm, blood pressure monitor on my left, contraction and heartbeat monitor on my body and now the epidural rigged up in my back. I also had a slight raise in temperature so I was given antibiotics intrevanously through the drip too – I really did have everything possible!!
I had previous reservations about epidurals as I’d heard that they could lead to loss of feeling in the legs and that I may not be able to stay as active as I wanted to however after having one, I would totally recommend it to anyone! My epidural wasn’t quite as effective as it could have been – according to the anaesthetist I have a rather deep back which meant he couldn’t quite get the epidural in the right position, so instead of completely numbing my lower half, I probably had around 30-40% feeling.
20th March – early hours
The epidural worked okay for the next few hours but after that I think my body just became immune to the effects and I had to control my pain with gas and air as well. The midwives were concerned that the epidural was pretty much useless now so they decided to give me another shot of diamorphine (half the earlier dosage) as they knew I’d need something to help with the pushing.
At around 7.20am I was now dilated enough to start pushing. I don’t remember pushing for that long but it took a good hour and half before I finally got baby E out! It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done and although I was drugged up with the diamorphine, it still felt like a pretty traumatic experience. After I’d been pushing for a while and nothing seemed to be happening, a doctor was summoned into the room and I learnt afterwards that they were taking precautions as they thought that I was likely to need a forceps birth. As it was, I was duly determined to get the baby out without any intervention and after a few final, horrificly painful pushes – 25 hours after labour officially started – baby E arrived at 08.54am!
Relief and a million other emotions
Baby E was put straight on my chest after delivery – blood, goop and all – but I wasn’t complaining – she was perfect!!
At this point I was also conscious of the fact that my husband J was pretty much recovering from a panic attack – I could hear noisy breathing and crying and he was telling me that he had pins and needles in his face, which he didn’t think was possible!
Seeing what I had just been through in the last two hours must have been a pretty traumatic experience for him – although I was the one experiencing it, I don’t think I’d like to watch it, so I have every ounce of respect for him to have gone through that – and not faint at the sight!!
J was absolutely brilliant throughout the whole labour – I am so glad he was there to support me and I’ll be forever grateful to him for holding my hand at the worst moments. And apparently I didn’t even swear at him and tell him that this was all his fault – he’s counting himself very lucky!!
Last minute emergency
Unfortunately after baby E arrived the drama wasn’t completely over. Following the delivery I had the injection to safely deliver the placenta but because of the very long labour I continued to have quite a lot of blood loss. As quick as she was placed on my chest, E was taken away, I heard someone say ‘push the red button’ and a siren sounded in the room. Before I could work out what was going on, the room had filled with around 15 people, all swarming around me. I didn’t really know what was going on but it was pretty scary. I was still groggy from the diamorphine and combined with post labour exhaustion I was in my own little world. Turning my head I was conscious that E was now wrapped in a towel and had been handed to J. They looked so lovely together and I’m so glad it have me something to focus on.
The ’emergency’ seemed to go on forever but in reality it was probably about 5 or 10 mins and all the people in the room dispersed just as quick as they’d appeared!
Thankfully the blood loss had been stopped and I was on the road to recovery!
The only other thing I needed was a couple of stitches and I could now concentrate on my beautiful daughter and our brand new little family!