Boy, it’s been a crazy week….
A month or so before the big due date, I was granted an induction date. I know, I know – induction is frowned upon. Wait until your body is ready. I know all this. But the stress of organising care for Jovie & Jasper, possibly at last minute (because I was still taking care of both kids right up until the end), knowing that I had a super quick birth the last time, knowing that Regan could possibly miss the birth altogether, having low fetal movements for months… there was just a whole bunch of things that worried me, and was alleviated by planning a date to go in to have the baby. (Please don’t leave a comment about how silly inductions are, I’m not asking for an opinion… thank you).
So back to the story. There’s going to be medical terms and lady parts discussed, so be warned. lol. It’s a long story …
Saturday morning, my induction date has arrived and we’re asked to come in at 9am to start the Prostin gel. (This is because my cervix was still closed and I was 0cm dilated). 10am it goes in and I’m monitored for an hour before being allowed to go home, and to come back at 4pm to be checked. Having Prostin inside you feels like being punched in the vagina with a porcupine, I say as we walk out of the hospital. We go back to my parents house to have lunch with the kids and have a snooze.
4pm we’re back and there’s no movement at the station. Bummer. I am having regular ‘tightenings’ which I was calling Braxton Hicks for months, so they send us to walk the halls of the hospital for an hour to see if anything eventuates. Regan and I have a lovely tour of every single artwork in the hospital, there’s only 1 or 2 that we like…
Back at 5.30pm and nothing has progressed, so I have another round of Prostin, and the first of the blandest meals I’ll eat that week. Regan can’t stay the night, so he goes back to my parents where the kids are staying and I’m taken up to the maternity ward with another lady who is being induced also. It’s her first and she’s very nervous.
Somewhere between midnight and 2am, the other lady is moaning in agony – she’s gone into labour and has her baby back up in the maternity ward before 6am. Wow. Me? I’m searching for breakfast.
The midwives expected me to go into labour overnight, but nothing. I’m taken down to the birthing suites at 9am, canula put in, blood test taken and I’m checked internally – still 0cm and only slightly more favourable. Regan is there, and I cry. I’m all ready to go mentally, but my body is saying NOPE. We want to still give it some time, so we’re sent back up to the ward to chill out and bounce around.
Back down to the birthing unit at 3pm, and nothing is happening so they want to put in a foley cathedar. Essentially it’s a small balloon that once inserted, will encourage your cervix to open up like a coconut. Ok not like a coconut, but it will get you somewhere, I’m told. Right as my legs are in stirrups and the dr is going in, my sister & her fiance Josh knock and try to enter the room. Our midwife Agatha (who I LOVE by the way), screams at them to go away, lol. They would not want to see what happens next anyway. Regan is with me, I made him stay, as she tries 3 times to get that thing up in my cervix. This, at the time, was the most painful procedure I’ve had – pap smears will forever seem like a TICKLE compared to this.
Thankfully, I can use my hynobirthing techniques to calm my mind & body down and I get to a place where I’m sort of meditating through it, rather than freaking out about having whole hands and things in there.
Cathedar is in, and after 15 minutes, my visitors come in and I eat some dinner. We joke and I update my sister about what is going on. It’s really good to get some extra support after 2 days of being in the hospital now. After a little while, I gingerly get up and dressed (with the cathedar tube taped to my inner thigh, how lady like!) and I’m walked back up to my maternity ward bed. Sort of like a ‘failure to progress’ walk of shame, there are a billion people still hanging about for visiting hours. As soon as they’re gone, I’m crying my eyes out until a midwife comes in and calms me down. I just want to sleep and wake up with my baby in my arms.
During the night, I manage an hour of sleep here and there, before once again the midwife greets me at 7am to take me back down to the birthing suite. As we pass the maternity ward desk, all the ladies wish me luck and I’m telling them that I’m not coming back without a baby so they better get ready.
I’ve texted Regan to come in asap, because once I’m down in my room (birthing room 8 – my favourite number!) my midwife Agatha, who has swapped her shift so she could birth my baby, checks me, I’m 3cm and they’ve already broken my waters! Things are going to happen today and THIS IS IT. 8am, I’m up on the bed, paddling around in my warm amniotic fluid when Regan comes in. All systems go! I’m put on a drip with Syntocin, which will make my contractions regular & stronger and the ctg monitors bub’s heartbeat and contractions. The tightenings are okay for the first couple of hours, so I’m happy and I get up to go to the bathroom.
On the way back, I decide that I want to stand up and walk around to stay as active as I could. Totally fine until the third hour when the back labour really starts. The baby had been posterior for months beforehand, and nothing I did would turn him. Now in active labour, he’s descending and is still in a crap position. Have you ever experienced back labour? It’s like someone is grinding spikes into your lower back, while shoving a giant rock up your vagina. It’s nothing like the contractions I had with Jasper & Jovie – they were managable. I’ll never be able to properly describe it to you, but back labour is absolute crap. I have the TENS machine on but I’m already ramping up the power all the way and starting to vocalise my discomfort… uh oh. It’s here that I don’t be a hero, and request the epidural. The anesthesiologist will be here in 15 minutes, and I’m looking forward to it like a kid looks forward to Christmas.
The fourth hour starts (already??) and the midwives want to check my progress because I’m contracting every 2 minutes now, so I’m back up on the bed and I’m 5cm. 2cms in 4 hours, which is not ‘great’ for a 3rd labour and on a drip and being active… The anesthesiologist comes in and it’s love at first sight, until he tells me to take off my TENS machine. You’re going to hate me for the next 15 minutes, he says. He’s right. But all is forgiven after I’ve curled into an impossible ball and receive the sweet sweet medicinal relief. It brings the pain down to about a 3 on the scale, I can still feel them but they don’t make me moo like a cow and swear like a drunk uncle at Thanksgiving.
I’m upright on the bed as the epidural kicks in, but the midwives are worried about some decelerations in the baby’s heartbeat, it goes down but recovers, but happens too many times to just leave him. They turn the syntocin off as I’m still contracting regularly but with no progress. I consent to having a monitor put on his head, and a blood test taken. Regan is brave enough to take a peek, he can spot a whole bunch of hair on the baby’s head through the toilet roll thing they’ve got up my lady parts. Yay for hair! Nay for things you can’t unsee…
The blood test comes back within a minute and baby is still happy in there, but the dr isn’t. I’m rolled over to my side to help, but it’s obvious on the monitor that the bub is not tolerating anything we’re doing. It goes down again and the dr is frank with me – we can go on, but baby can continue to go into distress, which is not want I wanted at all. She mentions going for the csection – and I agree pretty much straight away. Regan and I had already discussed it, I’d discussed it with my parents (because they’d be the ones to help me out at home if I had one) and I had come to terms with the ‘cascade of intervention’ that can happen when you go in for an induction. All I wanted was my baby to come out happy and healthy, so there was no regrets or hesitation. It’s also at this time, that I request a tubal ligation – because it’s something I would of definately done within the following year anyway. We were completely happy with having 3 children, can’t take hormonal contraception and I wanted to concentrate on my 3 gorgeous kids and heading back to work in the next year or so. There are discussions to check my cervix again before the csection, if I’m 10cm they will try a forceps or vacuum delivery.
They bring in the papers for me to sign, as the anesthesiologist tops up my epidural to the highest level. He’s testing my reactions with a glove filled with ice – the epidural will dull your sense of pain & temperature (did you know that?) but not the sensation of pressure. A lady comes in with a nice little drink for me to help stop acids rising from my stomach & a razor. Do you need a shave? she asks, and I tell her she could be the judge. I did, lol. The drugs are working and within another 10 minutes I’m wheeled down the hall into the operating theatre.
The room is SO BRIGHT! I’m rolled onto the table from my bed, and I’m mostly naked and numb under this HUGE LIGHT. The drs are all buzzing around getting ready and they’re double checking my epidural is working when Regan comes in. He’s pretty chuffed to be dressed in scrubs… oh, and to meet his son. (ha haa).
The anesthesiologist is still up by my head and reassuring me that he has the stuff to knock me out or cure any queasiness. Thank god for him. I’m checked, still only 5cms. It’s only a few minutes after I feel a fingernail raking over my bikini area when suddenly there’s a few people pressing down on my body and I can’t breathe (this is the WORST part, it felt like zombies attacking my corpse), until I hear the sweet screams of my baby boy, Miles, filling the room (and the hallway and recovery room…). SO THANKFUL HE’S HERE. 3.16pm Monday 10th June 2013. Healthy and loudly.
He’s cleaned up and placed on me for skin to skin time – which is awesome because I didn’t know whether that was possible with a csection. He’s so tiny and warm, and calms down as soon as he’s with me. Amazing.
We cuddle for a few minutes before he goes off with Regan to be checked over. I’m in bliss and over the rest of the procedure I focus on that good energy to get me through. Having a csection is weird, you can’t move and you know things are going on down there but you don’t care to know. The anesthesiologist keeps asking me whether I’m okay – maybe I’m way too relaxed but he gives me oxygen through a mask and I try not to think about anything after they’ve double checked I wanted my tubes tied.
After 45 minutes in the theatre, I spend another 45 in the recovery room where I’m cleaned up and checked over. Everything is good so I’m wheeled back up to the maternity ward and the midwives are excited to see me. I’m in Room 21, and so happy to see Regan with our baby. It’s so wonderful to see my husband be the total natural dad to our children and I’m relieved that it’s all over and our next adventure can begin.
Miles Leo Hoyng
Monday June 10th 2013, 3:16pm at 39 weeks 2 days
Weight – 3.66kg
Length – 50cm
Head circum – 37.5cm (big, i’m told!)
Apgars – 9 and 9
So that is the birth story of our baby Miles. It was a long one, but despite all the intervention, I am have no regrets and am grateful for all the support from the staff at the hospital.
I’ve been through a bit of everything when it comes to labours – induction, spontaenous, spontaenous with augmentation. Fast, slow. Epidural, drug free, csection. What’s the same though is a happy healthy baby and mum.
I’ll write something seperate about recovering from a csection, especially when it’s an emergency csection like mine (so no prep time whatsoever).
Phew! Gold star for you if you read that whole story 😉