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My due date was October 12th. October 12th came and went... October 19th came and went...
October 20th I went and had an appointment at the induction clinic at the hospital, and they scheduled me in to begin being induced on Tuesday October 24th at 7.30am. Finally an end was in sight. I figured that by Wednesday night at the latest, my baby girl would finally have arrived!
Tuesday October 24th rolled around, we arrived at the hospital on time, met my midwife and she explained the procedure for the day. 9.00am my midwife did a vaginal exam, which showed my cervix was closed, long - but very soft. Not what I had hoped for, but a start. At 9.10am I was hooked up to the CTG machine, to check that bub's was okay, and then at 9.30am was given my first lot of prostin gel. Another half hour on the CTG machine showed that Gaby was coping well, so my midwife left and said she'd be back at 3.30pm to check my progress.
3.30pm rolls around and we do the 20 minutes on the CTG, another vaginal exam, which showed NO CHANGE to my cervix... 2nd lot of prostin gel was applied, and another 30 minutes on the CTG, which again showed Gaby was coping fine. My midwife said she'd be back at 6pm to reasses where things were at.
I began getting period type cramping around 4.30pm, so hoped it was the start of things. My midwife showed up at 6pm, and another vaginal exam showed (once again) no change. On the CTG machine I wasn't showing any evidence of having contractions, so it was decided that I would go up to the maternity ward for the night, and then start again at 7.30am the next morning. I had a double room, and was sharing with a lady called Megan, who was 34w pregnant, and had the worst form of placenta previa - I felt so sorry for her, I could see how upset she was, and I felt slightly guilty for being in there, knowing that my bub was good and healthy, and my delivery would be relatively simple.
The period pain continued all night, and got rather uncomfortable, I was sure something was happening! 3am I got up for the umpteenth time to go to the toilet - and realised the cramping had stopped.
Morning rolls around, I meet my midwife again, we repeat the assessment procedure from the day before hand. Still no real change to the cervix, but it was softer. It was quite disheartening as I was sure that I would have started dilating by then! CTG/prostin gel/CTG routine repeated again, as usual showing nothing out of the ordinary. My midwife told me she'd be back in 6 hours.
Nothing happened that morning, no pain at all... If I hadn't had visitors often, I would have been toward the end of my tether by the time the midwife got back at 2pm! 2nd vaginal exam of day two (yet again) showed no change to my cervix. As usual the CTG showed nothing to worry about, the 2nd dose of prostin gel was applied, CTG repeated, everything fine... midwife would be back at 4pm to reassess again!
No cramping at all that afternoon. My sister and friend were visiting, and i'm sure if they hadn't been there, I would have been in tears the whole afternoon. It was so frustrating knowing that I could have been in labour by then, that Gaby could even have arrived by then - and instead I was lying, bored in hospital, feeling upset, frustrated and sad.
When my midwife came back and checked everything (no surprise that there was no change!), we began discussing 'other' options - basically the options were:
- go home that night, have a rest day, come back Friday to begin again
- stay in hospital and 'let things happen'
- have a c/section
... as much as I wanted a natural birth, the two days of failedi induction had taken it out of me physically, mentally & emotionally, and I opted for the c/section. My midwife backed my decision, and went and found the ob registrar, so I could speak to them and they could discuss the c/section with me.
The ob agreed that a c/section wasn't a bad idea (particularly due to the fact that Gaby was breech, and that she was big - for my frame, and also due to my anxiety issues of the last month of pregnancy).... She went away to see if there were any openings in the next day - and BINGO! Thursday morning they had a slot available!
I couldn't believe it - the very next day I would be having my baby girl! They decided to keep me in over night, so that I could get ready at a moments notice, rather than having to get from home to hospital, and go through the ordeal of getting admitted to hospital again. I was fine with this, if I had been told to go home, I would have been asking rather nicely if I could just stay in hospital. I was so tired, I just wanted to sleep.
My midwife came up to the room with me, and then my Aunty arrived with my cousins - and shortly after my Dad arrived. My midwife left, and told me she'd see me bright and early the next day, to meet the much awaited for Ms Gaby! My Aunty left around 5pm and I went to the toilet, and noticed that there were tiny bits of weird looking tissue on the toilet paper. I figured it was just something to do with the toilet paper itself. 10 minutes later I was back in the toilet, with more weird tissue and discharge on the toilet paper. I didn't think too much of it. Thought maybe it was my plug SLOWLY starting to come away. About time too!
5.30pm I went to the toilet... and was greeted by my mucous plug, there in all it's glory! I couldn't believe it. The long awaited for mucous plug had made it's presence known! I knew that this mean labour would happen soonish - but it didn't really mean much to me, seeing as I knew I was having a c/section the following morning. I told my Dad and he said it was a good sign, and maybe things were going to start happening that night. I literally laughed in his face. But laughing hurt....
My whole lower tummy felt SO heavy, and like there was a bowling ball in my pelvis. It hurt to walk, it hurt to sit, it hurt to lie down. I was so uncomfortable. It didn't help I was going to the toilet every 10 minutes, so getting even partly comfortable was an impossibility. Soon after the mucous plug arrival, I noticed I was starting to get those period pains again. I hoped this meant my cervix was finally starting to dilate... and then I remembered it didn't matter anyway!
As the night went on, Mum and Stu both arrived to see me, the period cramping got a bit more intense, the discomfort increased a lot, and by the time my parents left at 8.30, I was needing to breathe through the pain at times. Sitting on the bed made it worse so I had to stand up and walk around, or lean over a chair. I started thinking maybe labour was beginning, and had no idea what that'd mean as far as an elective c/section went...
The one time I got comfortable was when Stu was cuddling me from behind on the bed, I wished he could stay the whole time! About 9pm he said he was going to leave, and I started sulking and crying, so he said he'd stay as long as I wanted him to.
At 9.30pm I needed to go to the toilet really bad. I managed to haul myself off the bed, in about 15 different movements. The moment my feet touched the ground and I was standing up, I felt a HUGE gush of warm liquid, that just wouldn't stop coming. I was wearing black pj pants, and it was dark in the room so Stu couldn't really see anything, but asked why I was saying "uh oh" over and over.... I reached for the buzzer to call the nurse, she came in and I told her that my waters had broken... I made it to the toilet so the nurse could check that it was my waters - and it was indeed! However there was a lot of meconium present, and that was where I lost it, because I knew that could mean Gaby was in distress.
I can't really remember much of what happened next... I text a few people and told them my water had broken - and begged them to come up to be with me (I was a very needy pregnant lady!)... Soon after I was taken down to the labour and delivery floor, they put me on the CTG machine, everything looked okay, but I wasn't having ANY contractions! By this stage I was in a lot of pain, and definately had to breathe through the pains. I thought for sure they were contractions, but my midwife explained they were 'prostin pains', from all the prostin gel I had had over the past two days - the gel which had refused to work had decided to work all at once! It was VERY intense and the pains were pretty much one on top of the other. People arrived to be with me, Stu's Mum rang and asked if she wanted me to be there - and I thought it would be nice if she could feel part of the whole experience, so said it was fine.
My midwife was talking about a natural birth and I burst into tears, and was close to throwing a tantrum, the prostin pains were so awful that there was no way I could cope with 'real' labour. I had never experienced a pain so awful as that, and told my midwife I wanted a c/section, that I really did not want to have to go through labour. Everyone left the room and me and my midwife spoke about it, she told me that whatever I wanted, she would back me up, and left to get the ob registrar.
Half an hour or so later, they were waiting for an operating theatre to become available so I could have a c/section!!!! By then my family/friends were back in with me. My Mum and Aunty were holding my hands, helping me get through my 'contractions', and my midwife was WONDERFUL encouraging me to breathe, and telling me that I was doing great. I was given some panadol a little earlier and it FINALLY kicked in, and the pains started to subside. They didn't disappear, but were a lot more bearable.
I really do not remember much about the last while before I went into the operating theatre... Stu and Emma (midwife) went and got dressed into their scrubs, a whole bunch of people came in and wheeled me out of the room... and next thing I knew I was outside the operating theatre!!!!
I had to get off the bed to walk into the theatre, and once again, once my two feet were on the ground there was another big gush of amniotic fluid all over the floor. I was too nervous/excited/scared/overwhelmed to be embarassed!
It took a LONG time for them to get all my drips in, and for them to take the necessary bloods etc - they didn't get any drip/needle in first go - most it took about 4 goes! I think it took about 25 minutes just to get that all sorted! The epidural wasn't as sore as I imagined, and once I was lying down, and things were getting started, I realised that I was going to be a Mum within a matter of minutes!
One of the doctors stayed down my head end of the bed, and explained what was happening, what I would be feeling etc etc...... It was crazy thinking I was having an operation, and couldn't feel it, yet was very much awake!
The doctor suddenly told me that the head was out! Then the shoulders were............ then my baby girl was born! I didn't know whether to believe him or not, because it was such an out of this world feeling/experience.... but 30 seconds later, I heard my baby's first cries...... and it all came crashing in on me. Gaby was here. I was a Mum. I began bawling my eyes out - happy tears of course. I would manage to stop crying, and she would let out another big wail, and it'd set me off again. I don't think I could explain to anyone what it was like, to hear my baby crying.... to know that only my baby sounded like that.
My midwife brought Gaby over once she'd been checked over, and Stu was given the first hold. He was able to hold her right until the procedure was over and done with, and I think it was very beneficial for him, as far as bonding went! They put me onto a hospital bed, and I was given my first snuggle with Gaby, as they wheeled us through to the recovery room.
I don't remember much from the recovery room. We got in there about 1.40am probably, and at 3am my Mum came down and took over from Stu, who had almost been up for 24 hours by that stage! Mum got her first cuddle with Gaby, and shed a few tears.. as one would expect!
Around 5am, Gaby and I were taken up to our room on the 5th floor again. I had a bit of a chuckle when I saw they had cleaned up my amniotic fluid mess! I really don't remember anything of what happened next, I guess we both slept!
At 8am my Dad came in to meet his Grandbaby for the first time, sadly I don't remember much of that meeting either, because by this point I was on a morphine drip, and was pretty out of it!
That day everyone came up to meet Gaby.. It was a really emotional day for all of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gaby was born at 1.01am, Thursday 26th October. She weighed 8lb4oz/3730g, was 51cm long and had a head circumference of 37cm!
Sunday 29th October we came home from hospital... It was such a relief to get home, and back into my own surroundings!