Months ago I sat with my Obstetrician and wrote a birth plan. May I please have a mostly pain-free vaginal birth. But if the baby's life is even slightly at risk, please feel free to slice me open like a fish. Thank you.
When I saw the Ob on Monday August 3rd, two days past my due date, he said he doubted that I would go into labour on my own so booked me in for an induction on Sunday August 9th.
5am Tuesday August 4th I woke in our swanky inner city apartment and felt the need to pace. I had what felt like menstrual pains that came and went, but mostly I just felt "weird", sort of agitated and hyper. DH got up around 7am and got ready to go to work, but, being the smart guy he is, decided to hang around for a while. By 8.30 the pains were coming every 15 mins or so and I had started spotting so we rang the Obstetrician but he was in surgery. A hospital midwife said to call back if the pains got worse or were coming every 5 minutes.
We started timing the contractions at about 11am, sometimes they were 10 minutes apart, sometimes only 3 or 4 minutes. We rang the Ob again around 12.30pm and when I could not talk through a contraction he decided we should make our way to the hospital.
Time at the hospital has become a bit of a blur but it didn't seem long after we arrived in the labour suite that the contractions really intensified. The midwives changed shifts at 3pm so I think it was around 4 or 5pm that I asked for the gas. The Ob came in around this time and said I was about 3cm dilated. WTF! only 3cm! I was devastated. They predicted that I would labour all through the night. The Ob offered to break my waters but I said no (Don't ask me why - I have no idea).
I think it was about 8pm when the Ob came in again, this time I was 8cm dilated. During the examination my waters broke and an insane amount of fluid gushed all over the bed and the floor. I was becoming pretty distressed with the pain by now and the gas was not helping at all. I said to the Ob "May I please have an epidural now?". Strange what pain does to you - some women become psychotic during labour, I became Little Miss Polite.
What seemed like a VERY LONG time later, an anesthetist came to administer the epidural. The midwife said "in about 15 minutes you will be in love with this man". Many, many, long minutes and 2 top-ups later I HATED that man. The pain was unbearable and the epidural was not working. At some point another examination must have happened because they suddenly started talking about the baby having turned and being in the wrong position and I would have to have a c-section.
They let my mum in to see me but I couldn't talk, I couldn't even cry even though I was so scared. I didn't really understand what was wrong, but suddenly everyone was moving and talking much faster than before. The need to push was overwhelming and although they told me not to, I believe that I did push once or twice.
In theatre they discovered that the epidural catheter had dislodged. They inserted a spinal block and the pain finally stopped. The anesthetist was suddenly very apologetic and friendly, giving us a running commentary all through the procedure. As bub's head emerged he held a mirror up for us to see. All I saw was a fat little blue face sticking out of my belly, but poor hubby told me later he saw more than he'd bargained for. "I've seen your gizzards and I still love you" will go down in our history as one of the most romantic things he's ever said to me ;-)
It seemed a very long time before I heard Kayla cry. The pediatrician later told us it took her two minutes to get Kayla to breathe on her own. Her first APGAR score was a measly 2 points. When she was first shown to me she was absolutely covered in meconium so it was a good thing she didn't breathe any of it into her lungs. Hubby went with them as they took her away to be cleaned and weighed then he took her to see my mum and dad.
We were moved up to the maternity ward about midnight I think. DH was given a terrible fold-out bed to sleep on which somehow he did, but despite feeling totally exhausted I could not sleep. It didn't help that a midwife kept coming in to check my blood pressure every 30 minutes and that Kayla spent the night in the nursery being fed formula because her temperature was too low. I have a vague memory of Kayla being put to my breast at one point but that may have been the next morning. So many thoughts were loose in my head and I couldn't quite believe what had happened. I'd just had a baby! A real, live baby!