Monday, 4 April 2011

At the Hospital - Part 2 of My Birth Story

Following on from Part 1 of My Birth Story :

I started on the Entenox around 9pm as soon as we got to the hospital and I was so relieved that I could try something else to help with the pain, nothing could help with how tired I was from no sleep for about 48 hours but at least I knew I was in the home straight. The OH was as tired as me and kept nodding off in the chair - never for long though as I made sure of that!

The hospital felt quite quiet and the lights in the room were nice and dim. I was also lucky because I had a midwife that I'd met through attending the diabetic clinic in the preceding weeks, and the familiarity was nice. I was all belted up and connected to the monitor which unfortunately makes you even more aware of the contractions as the digital monitor shows the numbers rising as the contraction builds. Not good. I couldn't stop my eyes from looking at it and I'm sure that every time I saw them going up my eyes would grow as big as saucers. 

After a couple of hours of gas and air I couldn't take anymore pain, and was offered Pethidine. I'd said in my birth plan that I didn't want that but it seemed to be the only thing being offered at the time as I think I wasn't being convincing enough about how much pain I was in (obviously doing the British Stiff Upper Lip thing!). One thing to remember if you haven't been through this before is that nothing will happen very quickly, when you ask for drugs, count on them taking at least 45 minutes before arriving in your room, then remember they don't work instantly! I found this all the more frustrating. It was at least 45 minutes before I got the Pethidine and then it takes up to 20 minutes to work. So you end up persevering for a lot longer than you want to with gas and air.

I can safely say I HATED PETHIDINE! For me it just made me feel off my head and out of control and not a feeling that I wanted to associate with having my baby. It works by altering the perception of pain, so it won't take pain away, but in between contractions it will take you off to a far away place, but then Boom! once another contraction comes, i was very much in the room again! It is meant to reduce the amount of pain you feel by inhibiting pain signals from the brain. When my OH describes how I was on it, with my eyes looking all weird, I really don't like to hear about it, makes me think I resembled the cast of Trainspotting!

So after a couple of hours of that, again I couldn't take anymore and asked for an epidural, but this time knowing that it would take ages (even longer for this as I'd have to wait for an anaesthetist) and I was looking at the clock and manically working out how long in my head before I thought I would be pain free. I think I was about 6 centimetres by this point. Finally he arrived and I got the epidural. It was described as a mobile epidural - but that didn't mean I could get up and move around, I was still restricted to the bed - no conga-ing for me! It just meant that I would still be able to feel when to push which was actually good. I had to be very still while they put it in my back (before having a baby, I was more scared about having this than actual childbirth!). I felt lots better after having it but it didn't work properly down one side, so I had to have a top up. I think before the night was out I had a further 2 top ups.

By 8am, I was told I was 10 centimetres and that I could get on with the pushing! I pushed, and pushed and pushed. All manner of nasties came out while I pushed - I'm not going to describe this, use your imagination.... I kept pushing and pushing and I was told over and over how well I was doing and how I was nearly there. Hmmm, then where was my baby? By 10am, 2 hours later, I still didn't have a baby and I was still being told how nearly there I was, and that they could see her head and I kept pushing. I was so tired. It was decided that I needed assistance and we waited for the Dr to come and tell us the next course of action. Obviously, all the while I'm still having to push even though it's not producing the desired result.

The chosen method of delivery was Ventouse and to say this was uncomfortable would be an understatement. Imagine, you've got a really big handbag and you're looking around for something right in the bottom of it with your hands, just scrabbling around, well that's what it felt like when the Dr was attaching the ventouse to the baby's head - I remember literally trying to edge my way up the bed away from his reach. Along with ventouse delivery comes a nice episiotomy. I'm obviously still pushing but now it feels like there's a tug of war going on down below. 3 hours and 15 minutes after I first started pushing Isla was born. The midwife I saw at my recent booking appointment was shocked at this timing and has put on my notes to keep a closer eye on my progress for the second birth.

I had a quick hold of my baby girl and then she was taken off to be weighed etc and I was stitched up.....Final part here