Happy Monday everyone!
For those of you on holiday already, I hope you’re enjoying them. For those of you still at work, I hope it’s going as pleasantly as possible.
So today’s post is pretty self-explanatory.. it’s all about the Rem’s birth. I used to love reading birth stories when I was pregnant, so I’m hoping that at least a handful of you find this somewhat interesting. It’s obviously been just over a year since her birth, but I thought this would be a good way to start off the official blogging process.
I never had a set birth plan. I wanted to try natural birth, purely because of the recovery involved with a C-section, but I wasn’t opposed to a C-section, especially if my obstetrician recommended one. One thing that I did have in my mental “birth plan” was that if I did have a natural birth, I definitely would not be against an epidural and would get one if I couldn’t handle the pain.
At 39 weeks I had a checkup with my obstetrician and he could see that my amniotic fluid was running a bit low. This would be something we would have to monitor if I hadn’t yet delivered baby by my next visit at 40 weeks. For the next week I drank more water than I had ever drank in my life before, in the hopes that it would help increase my amniotic fluid volume. The 14th November 2016 came around (my due date) and still no baby had appeared, so I had to have another check up. On the ultrasound we could see that my amniotic fluid levels had pretty much stayed the same, and my placenta had started calcifying. At this stage, my cervix was between 1-2cm dilated and my Dr performed a cervical sweep to try encourage further dilation. He recommended that we induce labour as it wasn’t doing baby any good to stay in longer, and as I was an “ideal” candidate for induction. With all the hormones running wild in my body and after reading many failed induction stories, I let my Dr know that this wasn’t my plan (yes, now all of a sudden I had a plan). Looking back, I can just see myself as coming acorss in a child-like fashion, with my brilliant comebacks of “no, I don’t want it”. Eventually, my Dr took of his glasses and looked at me with such exasperation and asked me if I fell pregnant to go into labour naturally or to have a baby. That was one of those moments that will stay with me forever. I wanted my baby girl to be healthy and I had chosen the best gynae/obstetrician for my needs and he had always looked out for me. So, somewhat embarrassed, I agreed to the induction. My Dr’s whole demeanour changed – with a huge smile he asked if we could book it for the next day. I still wanted to give baby girl some opportunity to come by herself, so we chose the latest date possible, the 17th Novmebr 2016.
On the 17th my husband and I arrived at the hospital in such an excited state. I checked in to my room and put on my gown, and then I heard my Dr’s cheerful voice coming down the passage, and I burst into tears. I was overwhelmed and couldn’t believe this was all happening. My Dr was very matter-of-fact in getting the induction underway, and this helped calm my nerves as I had to focus on what he was telling me to do. My induction was done at 07H30, prior to this I was still about 2cm dilated. I got set up on the machine used to monitor my contractions and baby’s heart rate, and my Dr advised he would be leaving me with the midwife and would see me again in 4 hours. As he left, he made a joke that we would have this baby here by lunchtime. Literally 5 minutes later my contractions started. They weren’t intense but they were definitely there. After about 2 hours they started getting more intense, and I started vomiting as my body’s was of dealing with the pain. It was still completely manageable and I was so surprised at how well I was coping. At 11H30 my Dr checked up on me and I was close to 4cm dilated. He broke my waters to further encourage the process and they advised me that my contractions would become more intense, so I requested an epidural.
Literally a minute later I started experiencing extremely intense contractions. I couldn’t believe the difference in intensity between what I was experiencing now and what I had just been experiencing. How naïve had I been to think that this would be so relatively pain-free? I’ve heard people describe labour pains as severe back pains or period pains, but for me it felt like I was being skewered on a metal rod. Not to scare anyone off, this was just how it felt for me. Obviously you have a bit of a reprieve between contractions, and this moment is just amazing. Your body naturally relaxes and prepares you for the next contraction. Very quickly it felt like my contractions were coming on top of each other, and my body started naturally wanting to push. You would think having a bit of a medical background I would question this, but I thought I just wasn’t coping as well as some others. I had often seen women wanting to push at around 6cm, so based on this I decided that I was probably around there at this point.
The anaesthetist still hadn’t arrived to administer my epidural and I was starting to get a bit despondent. They’re not too keen to administer epidurals too late in labour, and I didn’t want to miss the boat! Finally, after declaring that I couldn’t do it anymore, the anaesthetist arrived. Just knowing that I was about to get the pain relief helped calm me down.Straight after receiving the epidiral, the midwife checked to see how far I was dilated.. I was pretty much fully dilated. In that moment, everything became a bit surreal. The anaesthetist informed me that unfortunately the epidural would not work so late in the process, and then my Dr arrived and got me ready to push. I always wondered how it would feel to know when to push, but it was honestly the most natural feeling in the world. Emily was pretty keen to come out at this stage, and was out in 2 pushes. And then there she was, at 12H36 on the 17th November 2016.. lunchtime, just like my Dr had joked.No longer an object on an ultrasound, now a living, breathing (and crying) creature! Seeing her and holding her for the first time is something I will never, ever forget.
Without going into too many gruesome details, I had a partially retained placenta and had to go to theatre to have it removed afterwards. This was the only complication I experienced, and considering my labour was 5 hours, I count myself lucky.
If you’re expecting a baby soon, or considering having one in the future, I wish you all the best in whichever way you choose to bring your baby into this world. Never let anyone tell you your choices are wrong, and always consider your baby and their health.