I had planned to write down Milla’s birth story from right after she was born, but it was such a hard time with an unsettled baby who didn’t like feeding or sleeping, that the idea just got pushed to the back of my mind (also I’m a procrastinator). It’s already pretty hazy in my memory (although Miles says he remembers every minute – poor boy) but I’m going to attempt to get it all down.
I had my last midwife appointment on Wednesday 2nd September. I’d had a second stretch and sweep (fun!) to try and get labour happening as I was so over being pregnant.
I should say here that from as far back as about 20 weeks, the baby had been measuring small for her weeks. I’d had about 3 growth scans from 28 weeks to 36 weeks to keep an eye on her growth. On my last midwife appointment (at 39 weeks, 1 day), she was measuring about 5 weeks behind and they were about to book me in for another growth scan but the obstetrician said we should just induce to get her fattened up on the outside.
So I was booked in for induction on Friday morning 4th September. I went back to Caba with my parents and had lunch at the local beach café. I then spent the afternoon trying to get my head around it all and prepare myself mentally for what was to come. And many many hours spent bouncing on a fit ball!
Around 6am on Thursday 3rd the hospital called and said they had no inductions booked for that day and did I want to come in a day early? Argh! I had not had enough time to stress out about it! But really, I figured I should just get in and do it, instead of spending one more day feeling nervous. I took my time getting ready, we probably didn’t make it into the hospital till after 9am.
So I’m really not good with needles when they are going into veins. The whole idea of it grosses me out. The midwives had just started using some new needles for cannulas and had some trouble getting it in the first time. Of course this made me feel queasy and faint, and my blood pressure dropped – making the baby’s blood pressure drop too. It was almost all called off but we recovered quickly and the induction continued!
The drip started about 10am and it all felt pretty slow to begin with. Miles and I sat there talking with our midwife for hours about kids and travel and lord knows what else. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but they broke my water which was less than pleasant. A lot of what I know about the timing of things is based on the hospital report, but I was classified as in active labour from 2pm when contractions were strong and frequent (lasting a minute and 4-5 contractions every 10 minutes).
In the months leading up to labour, I’d been reading “Birth Skills” by Juju Sundin which was recommended by my sister-in-law. Such a good book to make you feel empowered, confident and strong. Lots of techniques for pain management like vocalisations, movement, visualisations, mantras and actions that are meant to distract your brain from what is actually going on and focus it on something else.
Anyway so I spent the afternoon bouncing on the fitball, moving around as best I could while they kept a monitor on me and making lots of noise. The monitor kept dropping out and they decided to attach one to the scalp of bubba. She was pretty distressed with each contraction as they were so strong and frequent (and as it turns out, the cord was around her neck so her heartbeat dropped with each contraction). I think if things hadn’t progressed as quickly as they did, they would have been whipping me in for an emergency c-section.
I went into labour saying I could do it without drugs, but sometime in the late arvo I tried to ask Miles if it was too late for the drugs – but a contraction took hold and I couldn’t get my sentence out. It seems I was in transition and there was not much longer to go. And around 5:30pm I felt the urge to push.
(Note: I wrote this a little while ago and re-reading it, it seems like I’ve missed out describing what 4 hours of strong contractions was like. It’s because I really can’t even remember it. Being induced is such a crazy and intense experience. I was just in my pain zone, working through my mantras and vocalisations. So you’ll just have to believe it was fucking painful but totally do-able).
Pushing was exhausting but by far and away the worst bit in my memory was crowning. Holy mother of.. I wished I was on drugs at that point. So thanks to my hospital report, I know I was pushing for 30 minutes and little Milla Plum was born at 6:02pm!
I think I cried – I couldn’t believe I had done it and that she was here. Such an amazing feeling that first moment your baby is out.
What they don’t tell you is how bad third stage labour is. Well perhaps just for me – the placenta just did not want to come out. I had about 4 midwives try in vain to pull it out of me to no avail. Some time after 7pm, the doctor showed up. I’d seen her earlier in the day and she apparently was in a bad mood all day. Sorry you’re having a bad day at work love, but a human just came out of my lady bits so maybe you could perk up and stop being a bitch? Ha yeah I don’t remember her very kindly, but at least she did finally manage to pull the placenta out. Then proceeded to bash on my stomach to expel all the blood that had collected in the uterus in the 1.5 hours I’d been lying there waiting to be stitched up. Some drugs would have gone down pretty well at that point but no one offered them, and I didn’t even think of it. I was in shock and shivering like I never have before.
Anyway I guess that is basically it. The mean doctor left (after finally stitching me up – a second degree tear ouch) and the beautiful midwives cleaned me up and looked after me so well. I was so wired I could not sleep. Around 10pm they made Miles leave and I could not believe they were leaving me alone with this baby. I’d gotten through labour but I think the hardest time was yet to come. That’s a story for another post.
Needless to say, some experiences that day were pretty awful but I had a beautiful baby girl, who was small (2.53kg) but perfect in every way.
I’m hoping to not be induced for my next baby. I really want to experience going into labour naturally. And I will definitely be requesting the gas as soon as I get into the room. I’ve done it drug-free once, but I feel like accepting some help might actually make the experience a bit more peaceful and less crazy. Although a natural labour with no induction will hopefully make the most difference. Who knows though? Every labour is different. I’m hoping it’s quick again, but mostly I’m praying the placenta gets the hell out asap after the baby!
And perhaps I’ll actually try and write little boy’s birth story sooner than 18 months after he’s born?? 🙂