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E’s birth story

27th December 2013

Well, it all started fairly innocently.

(Warning: long story with frank discussion of birth, blood and female body parts.)

You know that cold D had? He passed it to me and I felt absolutely rotten for days. I’d started to feel what I thought were reduced movements from that point (or before, but specifically that point was significant for me) and I went along to the hospital to check everything was ok on Friday 20th after feeling very little that day. Everything was fine, but baby was indeed rather quiet. A cold glass of water sorted that out and off we went.

We had a routine appointment at the hospital a few days later. It said to prepare for 60 minutes on site but we were fairly sure it had been issued in error because of our recent relocation (looked exactly like a booking-in/12 week appt to me), and we wouldn’t be spending nearly that long there.

When there, my bump was measured as per the usual protocol. My bump’s always been small and measuring slightly behind as far as dates go but this time the doctor was very concerned – I was measuring 34 weeks at 39+2, when I’d measured 36 2 weeks before. She noted the continued quiet movements as per my comments and sent us off for an emergency growth scan. The scan showed that baby was fine and on target size wise… BUT there were little or no waters around it. My waters had gone or had been leaking and I had not noticed.

We were sent back to the MAU where we were on the 20th and they assessed the situation after more tests and checks, and they recommended that we induce labour. No one could be sure how long baby had been without waters and the risk of infection was high as a result.

I agreed to the induction. Not because I wanted to, but because I knew I would worry incessantly about the situation if I didn’t. A pessary was administered at 5pm with a view to labour starting in the next 24 hours. I was already at 1cm dilated by then so it was thought that this might happen quickly. That of course came and went and there was no labour – a few semi-painful contractions but nothing else. I’d only gone up to 2cm. All the while I’d been hooked up to CTG monitoring machines which showed that baby, like D, was having problems with my contractions. A decision to proceed as high risk was made; baby needed to be here within 24 hours. And then the pessary came out and contractions stopped. Baby was happy again, so the second stage of induction was postponed.

That eventually happened 24 hours later. We’d been promised a move all evening of the previous day but there weren’t adequate resources to deal with us, what with it being Christmas and all. Anyway yes: I’d gone up to 3cm so my remaining waters were broken and I had a hormone drip fitted to force contractions to start. The drip was started at a low dose in order to let my body try and do things on its own, but alas it had other ideas. The hormone drip was increased… And contractions started getting serious immediately :S This was about 10:50am. I gave in to gas & air after an hour or so and started getting pushy urges not too long afterwards. I was checked and found to be only 5cm :( More unbearable contractions, a bit of diamorphine and more worries over baby’s level of distress and finally I got to 10cm and was allowed to push. Now I’d never had that urge with D. It made all the sense in the world to do it when I did, but he was back to back and it just wasn’t the same. This baby however was the correct way round and I immediately knew what I had to do and how to do it. A few strong pushes and I felt it crowning; a couple of carefully guided soft pushes to get the head out slowly and then one large push for the shoulders – and it was over, just before 2pm. Phew! Baby was immediately passed to me for skin to skin and gender identification – it was a girl! She weighed slightly heavier than D and had a full head of hair. We had immense difficulty trying to get her feeding though – the painkillers I’d been given were messing with her and she refused to latch.

I had a few more pushes to go to get the placenta out – the managed third stage didn’t quite work as well as it should have – then was stitched up (almost-2nd degree tear on the inside :( nothing external this time though!) and that was that.

All in all, I’m pleased with how it went. No, it wasn’t the water birth I’d hoped for (again), and it was an induction I didn’t want, but I got my natural delivery, which I never got for D. So combining the two births, that’ll do me fine :P

Unfortunately though, blood tests came back showing that E (new baby) and I had suffered as a result of the water loss, and we both had high infection markers. I’d been given constant IV antibiotics since Tuesday night to prevent this, but it seems we need to continue that a bit more. Both she and I have cannulas (looks so big on her tiny arm :( ) – I even have two – and have to have 6-hourly doses of ABs for the next 2-5 days, which means we’re not going to leave this hospital until at least then. We’re also still having latching issues – she’s not a natural like D was (well, his needed perfecting, but he knew what to do immediately whereas E doesn’t seem to). Ah well. She is is perfect and beautiful and I’m glad she got here safely :)