I am happy to let you all know that on the 17/10/2012 our little baby boy was born at 3:36am. After a long awaited gestation period, we thought our bundle would decide to come on his own, however we were not so fortunate. Instead, we had to rely on the expertise of the staff that helped us initiate our labour. I had 4 stretch and sweeps and he had been engaged for days. At the first stretch and sweep I was already 1 cm dilated with a soft cervix and not much left of it either. At the next stretch and sweep, 2 days later I was already 2 cm and the cervix was low and the waters could have been broken. At the third there was about a 1.5 cm left of my cervix and still 2-3cm dilated. At the fourth and final stretch and sweep on the day of induction I was already 3cm dilated, but the cervix had moved up as the head of my baby had almost fully engaged. It was odd that I had not gone into labour as the cervix was very soft and could easily stretch by a lot.
I then had to patiently wait with my husband, my dear friend and my mother in law for a spot to open up in the delivery suite. The nursing staff were great and offered me a spot at about 3:15pm. I had already come into the hospital at about 9am to get things going. I knew it was really important that I deliver this baby as soon as possible, as my condition was beginning to flare. In the last 3 weeks of pregnancy I was experiencing a lot of discomfort, I was scratching and being itchy when this had never really been the case once I had actively changed my diet and also on medication. I had to up the dosage and also to ensure that the last 2 months I was on vitamin K daily to reduce the risk of blood clotting problems.
My waters were broken at about 5pm, thereafter I became extremely hungry and decided to take a long walk to the restaurant. I was having irregular contractions and they were lasting about a minute. However, they were maximum 3 minutes apart, so after a couple of hours my body just could not cope with the strain. They became very strong and I was only 4cm dilated by that stage. The nursing staff were saying the labour would last another 7 hours and I would have to put on a syntocinon drip to get the contraction to regulate. However, syntocinon also increases your pain and I was already asking for different pain relief options.
I went into the hospital adamant that I would not have much more than just gas and air and use the tens machine, however I ended up with an epidural. At about 5 hours of labour I realized that my body had gone into shock and that I would not be able to cope. I asked for paracetamol, they offered me cocodamol, as they were doing this I was told that I would probably not really last like this. I realized quickly that it would be better to go for pethadine, knowing the risks involved, and given that I was going to labour more than 4 hours I was happy to take the risk. I was told however that this would only take the edge off and it would get much worse for me so it was important to consider the last option “self administered epidural”. In the end I was begging for it. A very good consultant anaesthetist friend of my dads who works at the hospital got out of bed to come and administer this. The minute that kicked in, I was so much more relaxed. My body was still going through shock and labour, but at least I was not uncomfortable and was able to let my body deal with this. I laboured as we expected for many more hours after.
I topped up the epidural only once every hour and I had a saline for my really low blood pressure. I also spiked a small fever but nothing drastic, as it was only a flush. When we got to stage two labour they said i need to start pushing, as I was fully dilated and I could feel the head really low down. I stopped administering the epidural and began my 1 hour and 2o minute second stage labour. Lots of pushing and hard work later ended up with catching my beautiful baby boy.
I had a hematoma and a small internal tear, but that will hopefully heal soon and I have just to be thankful that me and him are alive and well. Baby got an apgar score of 9 in the first minute and he was slightly smaller than expected (46cm and 2.68kg). I didn’t bleed heavily due to the syntocinon drip. Also my placenta was the shape of a little heart which was really cute to see.
I am not at all disappointed to have opted for the use of an epidural, you can still have a natural birth and feel everything if you can administer it yourself. I am so proud to say that I laboured well and that baby is fine. No one gives you a medal at the end, you just have your little family and that’s what matters.
We are now facing the challenges of breastfeeding etc. but we have learned to latch on well and hopefully things will be less bumpy.
Don’t forget to burp your babies, or you may end up awake all night with the poor little felas in tears because of colic.
Lastly, I just want to thank my dear friend and husband for supporting me through a very drawn out labour and also to my family for being there. It means so much!
- Dulling the Pain of Labor | Epidurals, Labor Pain Medications | BabyZone (babyzone.com)
- Natural childbirth vs. epidurals: the Babble.com dispatch. | Babble (babble.com)
- 12 Things to Know About an Epidural | Babble (babble.com)