It's time -she's on her way!
It’s go time. I’m now in my room in the labour ward, with Jake (my husband) and my mum. Wondering around, excited as ever. Opening cupboards, having a nosey. It was all fun and games until I saw the epidural in one of the cupboards. I already wanted to avoid having an epidural, as I had been so excited for so long to experience labour pains. I wanted to try without, but when I saw that needle in the cupboard, it really solidified the fact that I did not want that epidural! It was huge!!! I had been in the hospital for so long with so many cannulas at this point, that the doctors were finding it hard to find my veins. Trusting that the doctor was one of the most qualified to do this, the doctor went to put a cannula in the top of my hand. They numbed my hand first, which I thought was a bit odd... They’ve never done that before. How big could it really be? The doctor pulled out the cannula to put in and oh. My. God. IT WAS THE SIZE OF A MACCAS STRAW! He then informed me that it is the largest cannula that they have in the hospital and I’m sure it was!! I’ve never believed someone so fast. In went, this huge cannula, into my vein. And…….Out the other side of my vein, it went. Instantly my hand was swollen, bleeding internally. My hand was filling with blood, and fast. They numbed my hand I said? Let me tell you, I felt every moment of that cannula blowing out inside my hand. I certainly didn’t feel the pain of it going in, but sure did feel the pain after a few minutes of the numbing waring off. “I will try again on another vein” the doctor said….you can guarantee that wasn’t an option! Not after that. I was petrified. I had that many needles and cannulas while in hospital, without a worry in the world. Now, I have every worry in the world over this 1 cannula!! The anesthetist came in, with the ultrasound machine and promised they wouldn’t miss the vein as they would watch through the ultrasound. Still not happy about it, but allowing them to do it. They informed me the reason for needing this huge cannula in, is in case a blood transfusion is needed. It is big enough to get a bag of blood into me, quick! (And of course, after everything it would be my luck that I would need a blood transfusion). In it went, and it worked out just fine. Despite my other hand being so swollen I couldn’t use it and it's now turning black. But that’s okay. I'm sure it could have been worse, right? It’s now 7 pm on Saturday the 23rd of November and I’m officially being induced. With the vision in my head of labour that would look similar to the movies –walking around, bouncing on the exercise ball. You know the vibe I'm referring to, right?
Well it was the complete opposite from the very start. This girl was bed bound. Due to everything that was going on, with the pre-eclampsia, my autoimmune disease, and being induced. I was on a magnesium infusion (which mind you, makes you feel like your insides are burning and is meant to be administered in ICU as it is a muscle relaxant. It can relax your heart too much and send you into cardiac arrest, but this hospital didn’t have an ICU ward, therefore I needed a midwife with me at all times). I had monitors connected to ensure my babies heart rate didn’t do anything crazy. I had fluids running. I had a normal catheter in as I was bed-bound and unable to get up and therefore couldn’t go to the toilet! And now I have a catheter in my cervix to induce me. Being told by my midwife (Hannah) that most people ask for an epidural when being induced, she got the gas for me just in case. After never having it before and hearing that it can make people nauseous. Feeling nauseous was the last thing that I wanted (after 16 weeks of being nauseous from morning sickness), but also assuming that this was going to be super painful if people ask for an epidural at this stage!? So I had the gas… I won't say much more about how I reacted to the gas, but what I will do is I’ll leave a video just below for you to witness it yourself.
So here I am been induced, already 1cm dilated. Feeling like my insides are on fire from the magnesium infusion. While laying in bed as I have so many things attached, and I can't get out. Feeling like a period pain feeling every now and then. Pft this isn’t that bad yet, but as nervous as ever about the pain that is to come. Hours pass and the night shift midwife comes on (Rosemary). Good old Rosemary….I can't say she was very useful, but what I can say is, do your research. Know what you want, what you agree to and what you don’t agree to. Don’t be pressured into doing something you don’t want to do because a midwife wants to take the easy way out. Unhappy as she was that she had to sit in my room all night, she did it anyway (of course). The contractions are now much stronger and more consistent. Every 3 minutes and lasting for 1 minute each time. Uncomfortable as ever this is getting, but it is still very bearable. No pain relief yet, as the first thing the midwife did when she came in, took the gas away. When asked for pain relief she gave me panadol and informed me I wouldn’t be getting anything else. “It is too soon for anything stronger, you have at least another 12 hours before you’ll start dilating”. She told me this without checking how far I was already dilated. Despite Jake and mum watching the contractions on the monitor and they were tripling. So we knew I was already dilating despite her comment. Around 12:30 am, she gave me an injection in my thigh. In that was Phenergan. Which if I could change now, I would refuse. It knocked me out well and truly. But only for 3 minutes at a time, then I was awake having a contraction for 1 minute, then back to sleep for 3 minutes. And it goes on and on, the entire night. Each contraction I got, I was concentrating on the pain. Watching the clock. Unable to move, get up, or walk around. It became a mental game more than a physical. Aside from the physical side of being hotter than ever each time I had a contraction (as the magnesium infusion was still running and the pain was getting real), Jake wet face washers and put them in the fridge. Each contraction I got, Jake would take my current face washer and swap it for a cold one! He turned the fridge up to make them colder, which was an awesome idea!!! Until….it froze all the face washers into hard rock balls... Mid contraction as Jake goes to throw a face washer to me, realising he was about to knock me out with an ice ball. We couldn’t help but laugh… Let me tell you though, Rosemary was not laughing. Awfully angry about what Jake had done, actually. Which in turn, made us laugh more. Make the best of a bad situation, right?
Each 1-minute contraction that came around every 3 minutes, felt like the longest 1 minute of my life…. The first 15 seconds, it wasn’t too bad. Getting worse as the minute goes on, the next 30 seconds, at its peak! Concentrating more than ever, until the last 15 seconds of the 1 minute where it started to ease off again. Experiencing the labour pains were the best, most exciting part of this whole experience. Despite feeling uncomfortable. It was the best kind of uncomfortable. It's now 7 am, and Hannah, my original midwife comes back on and takes over from Rosemary. She checked how far I've dilated and I'm halfway! (Thanks Rosie……). Continuing on with my trusty panadol, it's still bearable. I'm convinced I can go the whole way with no epidural at this point. Hannah telling us that I'm so far dilated that if I were to get up and walk around (although I can't) my waters would break naturally, but because I can't get up she's going to break my waters for me. She checks and our baby girls head is in my cervix, ready to go. 45 minutes later she goes to break my waters, ensures her head is still in my cervix, but it's not…….. Her arm is now in my cervix. The panic on Hannah’s face starts to set in. She doesn’t break my waters and pages the doctors instead. 6 doctors come running in, quite promptly shall I say? They check my cervix and confirm it's her arm. She is now 34 weeks and 4 days. Still has so much room inside me to flip and move around. So that’s exactly what she has done. The doctor informing me to not move, not by the slightest. If my waters break naturally by accident, her arm will engage in my cervix and when I have to start pushing it will “snap her in half”. So as I lay still, the doctors are discussing and making their decision.
When and how will our baby girl be born……
Speak soon, when our baby girl is born!