So, as per my previous post about the pregnancy “An Unexpected Shock”, the labour needed to be induced due to sudden onset, and rapidly worsening, Pre-eclampsia. I had to have 2 lots of 24 hour pessary before I was favourable for my waters to be broken. And after removal of the 2nd pessary at 8pm (and mild contractions) I had to wait for a space to become available for me to be taken to delivery. I joked to the night shift midwife that I’d like to be her emergency delivery that night, and we made a pact that I’d allow her to have her “lunch” break and not get anything underway before 3am. I put up my red fairy lights and sought to get whatever rest I could. At 3:30am she came in and woke me “delivery are here to take you down… and guess what the time is?” Well… to say everyone had a good giggle at that one was an understatement.
I called Bruce before I left antenatal as we live a while out, and told him to head down. I then went across to delivery with the midwives. They got me signed in, did my “You’re now in delivery suite so lucky you, you get more covid swabs and obs done! Woo!” checks done. He still hadn’t arrived so I called to see how far he’d got “I’m just leaving now!” was the response I got. Wow! Just wow! Not even the birth of his own son can make him move with haste of a morning.
Anyhow, he eventually arrived, someone attempted to break the waters, but his head was right up against the membranes meaning it was very difficult to get the hook caught to break them. So they to call in the person I call “Magic Hands!”; if you are a difficult person, like me, you will know magic hands. They are the only person who can get blood out of you, the only person to fit a canula, the only person to break your membranes… you know. Well, even Magic Hands found it difficult. But, after a few goes she got it. It was around this point, with her extended fiddling around I began to wonder at what point I became comfortable with a stranger having their hand up my vagina.
Anyhow, waters broken, 4cm dilated, contractions began coming quicker and more intensely. But they didn’t feel things were progressing quickly enough on their own and wanted me to be aided with oxytocin. So in went the drip. We had a game of drip on, drip off, turn it up, turn it down over the course of 8 hours before conceding to gas and air. They gave me a hour to progress enough (if I recall correctly, 7cm) or else it was time for a C section. The 12 hour mark arrived, I was dilated enough to avoid the section, I was exhausted “will an epidural allow me to feel more rested?” – the response was yes.
Not quite so simple
Being intolerant to opioid based medicines meant I couldn’t have a straight forward epidural or spinal tap, the anaesthetic used is combined (premixed) with fantasy, so I had to have pure anaesthetic which is not kept on ward, but I theatre only. So I’m sat on the edge of the bed being prepped for epidural. I could feel baby descending and they had bits missing in the first kit, and the second. They had to send for 3 kits whilst I sat on what I could feel of him descending. I kept saying I could feel him coming down and like I wanted to push. I was told it was normal to feel like that, but not actually what was happening. It was uncomfortable to say the least and probably the most difficult part of the journey I had.
With the epidural, eventually, in they could see I was still exceedingly uncomfortable when I lay down. At this point it felt like my body was trying to push and so now I was fighting against myself with each contraction. So checked and yes, indeed, I had gone from 7 to 10cm in that space of time. But I had to wait an hour having just had the epidural fitted. *eyeroll*
Then the pushing began, I was given 2 hours to get him out. However, there was meconium present and his heart rate kept dipping. It was discovered that the cord was wrapped around his neck and so cue episiotomy (but there’s a twist, the epidural had failed so I could still feel everything) and forceps an hour into this allocated window. I still had a second degree tear. But the clincher was a 2 litre blood loss during a post partum hemorrhage that stole our golden hour. Thankfully, they had some of my antenatally harvested colostrum to give him. But each time he was placed on my chest, I guess milk production was stimulated which triggered a drop in blood pressure (which was dropping due to the hemorrhage anyhow) and when combined with the fact I had sky high pressure from Pre-eclampsia the drops were felt massively and I kept going to pass out.
My preferences were all deviated from, all the way through. But all the way through (with every change) I clung to that golden hour, skin to skin, the first feed. It didn’t happen and it took a few weeks for me to be able to talk about it without crying. I know, I know… I could talk quite factually and safely about all the trauma. But get me to say we had our golden hour, skin to skin and first feed removed and I’d be a mess. In fact, it’s still something that bothers me. I just am able to cope with it now.
But anyhow, he made his entrance into the world known. Good job he’s cute!