And so to complete the tale of my second pregnancy, I want to share with you the day that changed my life . . . .
Monday 20th September 2010 was the due date for my second baby (a boy), a date that had been etched on my mind from the day we saw our little Beanie baby on the sonographer’s screen. Little Bean had arrived nearly 2 weeks late so I wasn’t really expecting to go into labour on my due date. I wanted to, I was desperate to – but I didn’t expect it.
When Monday 20th September 2010 arrived I actually wrote a blog post Where are you baby? because I was so sure that nothing was going to happen. Literally minutes after I published that post, my hind waters broke! I wrote a quick post “I’m in labour!!” and so it all began. We headed off to hospital upon their orders to confirm that my waters had actually gone (because I didn’t have a gush – just a trickle). By the time we arrived at the hospital I started to have more twinges, I was examined by a midwife who confirmed that my hind waters had gone but my fore waters were still in tact. I was strapped up to a monitor to track baby’s heartbeat and my contractions for 20 minutes before being told to go home and return after 48 hours to be induced if nothing else had happened. We went to my Mother-in-law’s to collect Little Bean and take her for a walk in the hope that it would move things along. The walk soon became really uncomfortable so we decided to take Little Bean home to settle her in for the night – tonight was going to be the night we would meet our little boy – I just knew it!
On the journey home, contractions came thick and fast – finally we were on our way. We put Little Bean to bed and waited for the contractions to become close enough that we could head over to the hospital. But it wasn’t to be, as I relaxed on the sofa everything stopped!!!! Feeling totally frustrated and disappointed we headed off to bed.
Around midnight, I woke up feeling restless! Was this it? For the next 2 hours I paced the house, up and down the stairs, on and off the toilet – contractions started coming every 3-4 minutes – this was it!! I called the Delivery Suite who told me to make my way in at our earliest opportunity so I called my Mum and asked her to come over to stay with Little Bean. Suddenly the nerves set in, i was in labour, I was about to experience hours of pain BUT it meant I was also about to meet my little boy. I could do this, I had to!!!
The journey over to the hospital was only 10-15 minutes but it was enough to make me feel very uncomfortable, by the time we arrived at the hospital I was barely able to walk across the car park for the pains when they came. I was shown into a delivery room and waited to be examined by a midwife.
I remember saying to Hubby, I hope I’m at least 4cm dilated, it was my aim! But when I was examined, to my shock I was actually 6cm already – fantastic I thought, at this rate I would be done and dusted by breakfast and back home in time for tea!!! Really I should learn not to go racing ahead . . .
The Midwife wanted to hook me up to the monitor for 20 minutes or so to see what was happening. I hated it, I hated being stuck in the bed as this was where my contractions were the most painful, I just wanted to get off the bed and walk, stand, squat – anything but sit on the bed. I’m not really sure what happened next or WHY it happened but I had a panic attack, I could barely breathe, I cried and hung onto the entonox pipe for dear life. Hubby did everything he could to calm me down but my temperature rocketed and I went into meltdown. After 15 minutes or so I returned to earth and wondered what I was playing at. I was taken off the monitor and allowed down from my bed. I paced the room for a while, rocked on my heels, danced to the radio and eventually came to rest on a birthing ball.
At 6.00am my Midwife came to say goodbye as it was the end of her shift, she told me that another Midwife would be watching over me for the next hour until the end of her shift and then I would get another new Midwife? What? How many changes?!?!?!? Just like that, my contractions stopped!!! For the whole hour with the second Midwife I didn’t have one contraction and she didn’t seem bothered – pretty much the story of my pregnancy where midwives were concerned. I heard a woman across the corridor screaming with her labour pains and I remember saying “I’m actually quite jealous of her!”.
And then at 7.00am my third Midwife came and introduced herself to me, Lisa, she was lovely, I liked her and with that the contractions came back!? When Lisa examined me, I had gone from 6cm dilated to 5cm, I had some ground to make up. Thankfully (well you know what I mean!) the contractions came back thick and fast, they were beyond painful and started to get me a bit panicky again but Hubby was great, he talked me down and made me relax again and take each contraction as they came. Things progressed well for the next hour, contractions were regular – I was a big girl and handled them well. In between contractions I managed conversations with Hubby and Lisa.
At 9.00am another Midwife popped in to see how Lisa was doing, my baby would be Lisa’s first delivery as a qualified Midwife so she was just supporting her. I don’t know if her popping in unsettled me, I don’t understand why but again the contractions just stopped and I fell asleep for half an hour.
When I woke up I felt really frustrated, my first labour had been 8.5 hours from start to finish, I thought second labours were supposed to be quicker? Clearly this baby hadn’t read the Rule Book!!! Lisa hooked me back up to the monitor again to see what was happening, it would appear my lazy boy had gone back to sleep too so he gave him a push and a prod. He still wasn’t fully engaged so she couldn’t break my waters, I just had to wait it out. The push and prod seemed to do the trick though, it was like someone jump started my engine because BANG the contractions were back and more fierce than ever. I suddenly had visions in my mind of how bad my labour got towards the end with Little Bean and I knew I couldn’t do it again. The pain was immense, the TENS machine just wasn’t working for me anymore and neither was the entonox so I asked for an epidural. Lisa replied with “let’s discuss your pain management options”. My response, “erm no, actually let’s not! The TENS isn’t working, the gas and air isn’t working, I don’t like pethidine, I WANT an epidural"!”. I said the dreaded word, WANT! What is it us mothers say? I WANT, DOESN’T GET! Well I didn’t so that should teach me. I asked for it 5 times in total to 3 different Midwives but they had no intention of giving it to me.
Suddenly at 11.20am I felt the urge to push and the panic set in again, “I want to push” I said, “but I’m not going to”. So how exactly did I think I was getting this baby out? Hubby looked at me in pretty much the same strain and so I started pushing. I had managed to get myself up onto my knees facing the back of the bed, from here I could also see baby’s heart monitor, I just focused on that and tried to connect with my baby boy. This might have been a good idea, were it not for the fact that baby’s heart rate just stayed at a very steady low rate – Lisa had to call in a senior who talked quietly to Lisa at the side of me. Being busy as I was in labour, I didn’t catch the whole conversation so I made up my own version of it which was there was something wrong with my baby. The tears started flowing and I felt like my world was going dark, I thought I was going to lose my baby. The next time I looked at the monitor baby’s heart rate had dropped even lower and mine began to race. As it turns out, the monitor on my stomach had worked its way loose during my contractions, hence the drop and the senior midwife was just saying that I needed to get more fluids into me. Thankfully I have a wonderful Hubby who handed me drink after drink and calmed me down enough to regain focus. This was it, I was going to meet my baby. I began pushing with all my might and within 18 minutes, there he was laid on the bed beneath me!!
The placenta wasn’t quite so easy, that took another 35 minutes and then came the news that I had a third degree tear – ooops! I was carted off to theatre where I had to be stitched up under a spinal block (finally I got my epidural!). That was the strangest sensation ever, seeing someone putting my legs into stirrups yet not actually being able to feel it? After the surgery I felt awful, so cold and shivery – I have low blood pressure anyway but this sent my blood pressure plummeting and I kept setting off all the alarms, well I like a bit of excitement!
It was a tough labour, in some ways better than my first but in others worst, the one thing that remained the same though – I would do it all again tomorrow for my little boy, no matter what the pain – they are worth it!