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<span style="color:#CC33CC">Gaby was due on October 12, 2006. I had a feeling I would go over due, because my original EDD, going by my LMP was October 19th, however it was moved forward at my first scan.
October 12th came and went with no signs of impending labour, as did October 19th. In the week after my due date, I spoke to my m/w about the possibility of arranging an induction, as I was beginning to suffer quite badly from anxiety, and spent a lot of my day crying, so worried that something was going to happen, and I would lose Gaby (much of this was brought on by the fact I'd had a miscarriage last year).
October 20th I had an appointment to be assessed for induction, it just so happened that that weekend was a public holiday here in New Zealand, so the doctor told me straight up, that they wouldn't be able to arrange for an induction to be done over the weekend - that Tuesday 24th October, would be the earliest date possible. The doctor checked the computer, and booked me in for the 24th October.
I felt relieved, I felt that finally, I had a date in sight - that at some stage on the 24th or 25th of October, my precious baby girl would be born.
October 24th I arrived at the hospital at 7.30 as planned, and met my midwife. I had to wait until 9.15am to see the doctor, and the first dose of prostin gel, was inserted at 9.30am. My midwife told me my cervix was still closed, and long, but was relatively soft - I was a bit disappointed that nothing had started happening, but hoped the prostin gel would give things a kick start.
3.30 my midwife came back to reasses me. Still no change. Another dose of gel. SURELY that must do something to help?
6.30 my midwife came in to reassess me again, and to work on a plan for that evening/following day... STILL no change. By this stage I was getting upset, but agreed that the best idea was for me to go up to the maternity ward, try to get a good nights sleep, then start the induction process again at 7.30am the following day. That evening I slept hardly at all, I maybe got 2 hours sleep over a 12 hour period.
8am the first lot of gel was inserted on the Wednesday (with still no change since the initial exam on the Tuesday morning!)... 2pm the midwife came back to reassess.... you guessed, STILL no change - so one more dose of gel it was.... 4pm the midwife came back... no need to write 'no change' is there?
It was at that stage that I started feeling like I was at the end of my tether, they were talking about sending me home that night, having a 'rest' day on Thursday, and then going back in on Friday morning to attempt the induction again. I asked vaguely about the possibility of me electing to have a caesarean - and my midwife told me that was an option. As soon as she said that, I decided that I was going to ask to have a caesarean. My emotional & mental state was going downhill, and I was getting even more scared about something happening to Gaby.
I told my midwife I wanted a caesarean, expecting a little bit of opposition, but she told me she felt it was the best option for me at that stage too, so she went and found the ob who was on duty - who came in and talked to me, and agreed to do an elective caesarean. After a few minutes of checking the schedule for the next couple of days, she came back and told me that I was booked in for the Thursday morning.
I was so relieved to know that my baby girl would DEFINATELY be born the next day. Rather than send me home, my midwife & the ob decided I could go back up to the maternity ward and stay overnight, so that I could be prepped as easily & quickly as possible, when it came time for me to have the caesarean.
5.00pm that evening, while my Dad was visiting, I went to the toilet, and noticed some weird discharge on the toilet paper. Being the paranoid person I am, I went back to the toilet every 5-10 minutes, each time finding a little more of the discharge... I wondered if it was the beginning of my mucous plug, but then dismissed the idea - there had been no change to my cervix an hour before, so why would there be any progress all of a sudden? 5.30pm I went to the toilet, and when I wiped I noticed a huge glob of discharge, with old & new blood in it. Wow, I'd had the infamous show!
About that time, I began getting mild period pain - it had happened the day before too, and I just put it down to all the vaginal exam's I'd had. My Dad left, and over the next 90 minutes things got a bit more painful, but still not terrible. Around 7.30pm my Mum & Dad arrived back - and by this time I was feeling very uncomfortable, I couldn't find a comfortable position to stick in, my whole pelvic area felt sore, and my stomach felt sore as well.. there was so much pressure, which I again put down to the vaginal exams, and the last part of pregnancy in general.
Stu (ex-DP, Gaby's Dad) arrived at 8pm, and my parents left soon after. By 8.30 I was in considerable pain at times, and found myself having to stand up, lean over a chair & breathe through some of the pains. I felt like a drama queen for doing so, but it just seemed to come naturally. At this stage, there was a lot of pain & pressure in my pelvis, it hurt to walk, it hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, and I was having to go to the toilet every 5 minutes, which was awful, considering the pain getting there & back!
The pains continued to get worse, the midwife on duty at the hospital told me it was probably due to the prostin gel, and all the vaginal exams.
9.28pm I hauled myself off the bed into a standing position, so I could make the trek to the toilet for the 100th time - and all of a sudden there was a huge gush from between my legs, it just kept coming and coming and coming. I looked at Stu in amazement and said "I think my waters have broken!".
I pushed the call button for the midwife, who came in and helped me to the bathroom, so we could check my pad, to make sure it had been my waters. It definately was my waters, but there was meconium present, which sent me into a massive panic, as I knew it could mean that my baby was in distress.
Everything from there is a bit of a blur. I was wheeled from my room, and taken down to the labour & delivery ward, my midwife arrived, as did my Mum, Aunty, Friend & Stu's Mum and Step-Dad. My pains were coming very regularly by that stage, so I figured I was actually in labour. I was hooked up to a CTG machine for 20 minutes, and my midwife looked at me sympathetically, as she told me "sorry Em, you aren't in labour....". The pains were infact 'prostin pains', which were due to the accumulation of gel in & around my cervix - which had all started working at once. Each pain got increasingly worse, and I was definately having to breathe through the pain by that stage - along with squeezing my Mum & Aunty's hands. I was writhing around in pain, and felt like I was going to die. I had NEVER experienced such pain before. My midwife gave me some paracetamol, and 10 minutes later the pain was gone.
My midwife said she thought I would go into labour pretty soon, and that we could attempt a vaginal delivery, but I pretty much threw a tantrum & said "NO I AM HAVING A CAESAREAN RIGHT NOW"... My midwife went to find the ob on call (same one I'd seen earlier that day), and they came back in and kicked everyone out so they could talk to me. It was decided pretty quickly that a caesarean would be the best way to go (considering my lack of motivation for a natural labour).
Everything happened quickly from there. I asked Stu to go into the theatre with me, the ob went away to prepare the theatre team, my midwife & Stu went and got into their scrubs - and next thing I knew, I was being wheeled away down the corridor, entering a door that said "theatre suite; no entry except authorised personnel"
I had to get off the bed to walk into the operating theatre, and when I got off the bed there was another huge gush of amniotic fluid, although I was in a bad state, I found this amusing!
It took a good 25 minutes to get my drip in & do other assorted jabbing & pricking that needed to be done... my veins had decided to run away that night, and the anaesthetist apologised profusely for all the trouble that I had to go through, for something that is usually so quick & easy! The epidural itself was pretty smooth sailing (from my non-medically-trained point of view!), and before I knew it, I could feel nothing below my ribs, and started to feel a little giddy.
I don't remember much of the first part of the caesarean, but one of the doctors stood up by my head, and told me what was happening at each stage, and when I would feel some pressure or pushing... He then informed me that my baby's head was out.. that her shoulders were out... her hips.... her legs...
My baby was born.
He explained that my midwife had taken Gaby to check her over & to suction all the gunk from her throat , this probably all took the space of 15 seconds, but it felt like forever... and then I heard it.
My baby was crying. My baby was crying.
I immediately burst into tears - and I think Stu probably had tears in his eyes as well, although he seemed more concentrated on me at that point, holding my hand & stroking my forehead. Whenever I heard Gaby crying, I would start crying.. then I would calm down.. and Gaby would start crying again - so I would start crying again!
My midwife brought Gaby over after the first apgar and held her up, then took her back to finish the assessment, and after about 5 minutes she brought Gaby over & gave Gaby to Stu, and he had his first cuddle with his daughter. The look on his face was one of total amazement, and admittedly a bit of fear! I tried to look at her, but because of the angle I was on, and she was on, I couldn't see past the blanket she was wrapped in.
Once I was all sewn up, they got me onto a bed to be wheeled through to recovery, and that is when I got the first cuddle of my baby girl... I held Gaby while we were wheeled through to the recovery room, and really didn't let her go again, until she was put in her bassinet to have a sleep, once we got back to my room, at 5am!
Stu stayed with us in the recovery room until 3.30am, and then my Mum came through and had her first cuddle with her Grandaughter............
That was by far the longest night of my life, but also the sweetest....
Gaby was born at 1.01am, October 26th 2006, weighing 8lb4oz, head circ 37cm & length 51cm.</span>