Sunday, 31 January 2010
Not surprisingly, things didn’t go as planned, but you already know that I didn’t plan on being 42 + 5 weeks pregnant when she arrived. Yes, I had hoped for a home birth; this was no longer an option after 42 weeks through the NHS. I hoped my body would commence labor unassisted; in the end, I was induced due to elevated blood pressure at my daily monitoring appointment on Tuesday afternoon.
But none of that matters. As my expectations and anticipations of labor faded into reality, conviction and flexibility proved not crashing boars but my stepping stones for bringing the little lady into the world.
The good doctor met with me on Tuesday afternoon following my daily monitoring session and decided to admit me for induction there and then. Though I had prepared myself that induction could be on the cards and had my hospital bag packed in the car, I didn’t expect an immediate admission. Chris and I had just been discussing Mexican for dinner. Everything suddenly seemed surreal, overwhelming, scary.
I spent Tuesday evening in the hospital without any “action,” as my uterus appeared to be contracting, yet I didn’t feel anything getting longer/stronger. The doctors decided to wait until the morning to re-evaluate my progress and how to commence my induction. There was talk of first a pessary, then another, then an oxytocin drip depending on my progress. The doctors suggested I consider an epidural as a therapeutic measure for my raised blood pressure. I said I hoped to avoid this but would keep an open mind. My “birth plan” faded to gray. I barely slept a wink.
Wednesday morning I moved to the labor ward. The doctor administered a pessary gel and left me with a midwife to be examined in 6 hours. As it turned out, this pessary was all my body needed to kick-start labor and no other steps of induction were needed. Within 2 hours I had dilated to 6cm and from there, things moved quickly, so much so that at first I thought I was constipated!
Constipated you ask? For me the contractions were not the intense period pains I had expected but rather a massive, unforgiving wave of downwards pressure that would culminate in an urge to push. Since I was induced they kept me on an electronic fetal monitor most of the time but let me move a bit and kneel on the bed positioned as an L and rock my hips. While you usually can’t shut me up, throughout the experience I went into myself, used my yoga breathing to get through contractions and closed my eyes in between them. Chris was amazing; he rubbed my back and stayed by my side the whole time. I didn’t have an epidural, entonox or any other form of pain relief.
Then it was time to push...the baby was still high in my pelvis when I began but after about an hour her head was visible. Though my contractions had eased, the unforgiving pressure against which I pushed felt impregnable. I now had two midwives and a doctor with me, all of whom kept telling me to push, push, push, harder, longer, stronger! I was like "I need to breathe!" Near the end I felt an immense burn and stretch but they kept yelling to push so I did as I was told. In the last minutes, LLC’s heart rate started to drop so the doctor decided to “get her out now" with a ventouse. She did an episiotomy, hooked on the ventouse, I pushed and she pulled and out she came within under a minute. I could not feel the cut.
Chris said the cord had gotten wrapped around her head but they got it off immediately and put her on me. Everything burst into color.