Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Miracle of Life

The Birth of Muffin.

It was just after 8pm on the evening of Thursday, 7th January 2010, I had just turned on the telly and cut myself a nice slice of strawberry cheesecake. I adjusted my preggo pillow to support my back, reclined my lounge and just started to get comfy when something didn’t feel quite right…I suppose I felt a bit ‘damp’ down there. It could’ve been nothing as I quite often got very sweaty in my fatter days of pregnancy but just to be sure I decided to go to the loo for a wee…just incase I found something funny on TV.

Immediately after I sat on the toilet a small trickle of water rushed out of me, not enough to be considered a wee but enough to arouse my suspicions… I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and then some more came right out. “Oh dear” I thought. “I’ve pissed on the floor!!”

I quickly rang Mr.J at work to tell him something wasn’t right and that I’d call him right back once I knew for sure what was happening.

After a chat with one of the emergency night staff at The San, I then knew for sure. My waters had broken. This is it! The moment we had been waiting for, finally arrived.

I called Mr.J back to tell him to get his but home straight away, called all the parents involved and as I was on the phone to dad, I went to stand up and walk somewhere when out came a really big gush of my waters breaking…oh dear! It really was messy. So after grabbing something to sit on (Mr.J’s shirts worked fine), I figured it was best if I just sat there doing nothing and Mr.J can finish getting ready for me when he gets home.

Once I had cleaned up and had a nice shower, Mr.J had all my things ready to go and we’d had another chat with the hospital, it was time to go in. We did think it was a bit too soon as Dr Paul had recommended not going in until my contractions were 5-7 minutes apart and I had not yet had one, but as the nurse explained, its best to come in once my waters have broken so they can keep a close eye on me and make sure everything is as it should be.

The delivery suite was so lovely, my bed, a lounge, bathroom with spa and shower, and my machines that would soon become almost a part of me.

Shortly after getting settled, my nurse for the night, Jo, came in and hooked me up to the machines.

Within minutes I started to feel a bit uncomfortable, I wasn’t sitting in a very comfy position and I think I was beginning to get contractions.
I wanted to walk around to try and ease the pain and distract myself, but wasn’t able to as I was hooked up to the machine.

After about an hour had passed the pain was so intense it was making me sick…from both ends. Once Jo disconnected me I was able to run to the bathroom to relieve myself. When I came back I asked her if there was anything I could do to make these contractions not feel so bad. She looked at the chart from my machines and said “I’m sorry but, you haven’t had any contractions yet”

Well then what the hell was all this pain??? Turns out it was “just cramps”. JUST CRAMPS?? Holy mother of god…this meant it was going to get worse!!

And get worse, it did!

I was not allowed to have a bath but I was allowed to have a shower and since I’d forgotten to pack my heat pack I thought the heat from the shower might help a little. It did seem to ease these horrid “cramps” for a while…they started breaking apart…only lasting for a minute or two. It wasn’t until after I’d nicely puked all over myself in the shower that I realised, these weren’t cramps any more. These were my contractions beginning and they were starting to hurt.

After jumping out of the shower and putting some underwear on, I tried to walk around to keep occupied but the pain I was going through was just too much for my legs to bear, I had to go back to my bed. Jo came and hooked me back up shortly after so we could monitor my contractions and the baby’s heartbeat and make sure all was going accordingly. Yes everything was happening as it should be, except that it was all happening very, VERY slowly. Except for the pain of course…that just got worse by the second.

Not allowed to lay on my back I was rolled up onto my side squeezing the life out of Mr.J’s hands and breathing like a mad woman every time the contractions hit…it seemed to be very frequently but it turns out that I still had these “cramps” in between so while the contractions may have eased off a bit, the pain was still far from over.

Two or so hours of this, plus added kicking, punching and screaming I was offered some gas. I had heard that it does sweet bugger all, and I believe that I had heard correct. All it succeeded in doing was preventing me from screaming, sometimes.
I think maybe an hour or two had passed again when Jo came back in and I spat out the gas and cried “You’ve gotta give me something more. I can’t do this. I can’t handle the pain!!”

So she said she would arrange for an epidural, “it will take about half an hour till you get it”. “WHY?!?!” “Because the doctor who does the epidural needs to come from home.” Oh good god, I thought. Another half hour or so of torture!!

As I fought the will to live, Dr Someone (was so not paying attention at the introductions) arrived 15 minutes early…Well who cares what his name is, to me right now I will just call you god. “Thank you god!!”

While I knew the epidural would help me out, it was still really hard to focus on that part at the time because actually receiving the epidural was a rather tough challenge. Mr.J and Jo helped me to sit up, they turned my legs around to hang off the bed and placed them firmly on a chair. A pillow was then shoved across my tummy and under my armpits. I had to press down on it, leaning forward with my head down, my elbows bent but NOT resting on my knees, and DO NOT MOVE. Um I’m sorry what? How the hell can I not move? First of all, this isn’t a comfortable position under normal circumstances but I'm having contractions that make me wanna explode! “That’s ok, when you get a contraction, just remember, DON’T MOVE!” shit!

20 minutes later it felt like he was finishing up. “Is it done now?” I asked with every ounce of hope in the world.
“Umm…not quite, sorry. I put it in the wrong spot.” Oh sure no worries cuz that doesn’t bother me. Please, spend another 20 minutes there, I’ll just sit here and die!

After what seemed like decades had passed, they were finally finished. Within about half an hour all the pain had gone…along with the feeling in my body from the tummy down…including the control of my bladder. By this stage, however, I didn’t give a shit about my bladder. I had been sitting there stewing in my own filth for the past 5 or so hours anyway, a little more mess wasn’t gunna make much difference.

Once the epidural had been functioning for over an hour, Jo came back to insert my catheda. Due to all the shitty gas I’d sucked, the minute her and Mr.J rolled me onto my back and sat me up a tiny bit, I got nauseous and started vomiting again. Oh what the hell…vomiting while a woman sticks a tube inside your urethra seems rather natural for 3 O’clock in the morning, don’t you think?

Mum and TJ arrived shortly after. Mum thought that since I’d just had the epidural the labour should continue for another 3 or so hours then the baby would be born early morning. Oh how I wished she was right. But alas, I was only dilated 3 centimetres. That’s like a centimetre every 2 hours. ARGH!!

Even though the pain from the contractions had faded away, I was still rather uncomfortable as I could only lay on my side but couldn’t feel my legs and by this stage, had lost all strength in the rest of my body so every half hour or so I needed Mr.J and Jo to flip me to the other side, like an egg. Unfortunately for me though, I had no ‘sunny side up’.

By about 8am Friday morning, the tiredness had well and truly taken over all of us and it just felt like the night was never going to end.

Dr Paul came to see me around 9am. If we were hoping for some kind of light at the end of this horrible tunnel, we were sure to be let down. I was only dilated 5 or 6 centimetres! And the baby still hadn’t dropped yet. So I was injected with yet another dripped that would intensify my contractions in the hopes to push bubs down into the cervix so we could do a natural birth. My epidural was also refilled as it had run out within the last 2 hours.
Dr Paul explained to us that bubs was posterior, and that if it dropped when he came back for his next check up in an hour or so, he would be able to manually turn the baby and we could do a natural birth. However, the possibility of a caesarean was still there as he was still concerned with the size of the baby against the size of my pelvis.

Just after 10am, Dr Paul checked me again. The intense contractions had been doing their job, bubs had dropped a lot more down into my pelvis and I was about 8 centimetres dilated. Things were finally starting to look up for me. He wanted to give me another hour to get fully dilated and then the birth would commence.
I was so overcome with joy as I really did not want to have a c section.

11am and we were getting ready to meet our baby. Dr Paul checks me out again, to make sure everything was as he needed it to be to begin the delivery. However, things were not looking up for me. The baby was stuck. My pelvis was too small for the size of its head and it could not get any further down. Trying to give birth naturally was out of the question as it would just cause too much stress on me and bubs and it was just not worth it.

As disappointing and scary as that was, I had been at this for 15 hours, even if the baby wasn’t stuck, I truly feel that I would not have had the strength to push anyway. I was over it. I was tired, and sore, and hungry and I just wanted it to be over and done with. So I was prepped for surgery and given my 3rd epidural top up.

Emotions were high for all of us but we had to do what needed to be done. As they wheeled me away, I said goodbye to mum, TJ and Chooky and Mr.J and I were taken into theatre.

Many different doctors and surgeons and midwives were there explaining how it will work and what will be happening to me.
The anesthetist explained that he gives me an injection into my epidural which will completely take away any pain I would feel during the surgery. Once they were sure I would feel no pain, they called Mr.J in and set to work.

I had Dr Paul, Dr Peter (another obstetrician) and a nurse working me from one end. I had Mr.J, two nurses and the anesthetist at the top end talking me through everything that was happening and there were about 5 or so other people in the room, doctors and nurses just observing and offering support for both myself and the doctors.

I have never been more scared in my life. EVER!

I was extremely worried I would feel pain. There was a lot of discomfort but no actual pain, thankfully. Each time the doctors did something, one of the support doctors would tell me what I should expect to feel so that I didn’t get a shock from anything. There was a lot of pushing and pulling movements and every now and then there would be pressure in certain places.

As scary as it was, every step of the way Dr Paul and Dr Peter (hehehe Peter and Paul lol) would walk me through what they were doing.

“We can see its head now”, said Dr Paul.

“It has brown hair”, said Dr Peter. “Do you know what you’re having?”

“No”, Mr.J and I both said in unison.

12:00 noon, Friday January 8, 2010 - “Mr.J, stand up and have a look at this” the doctors said…

“Mr.J, remember I am watching your face so be careful how you react!”

Mr.J stood up and peered over the sheet.

“Congratulations guys. You have a little baby girl!”

“Are you serious??”

“We sure are”

As soon as they took her out and I saw her, for a brief moment, time stood still. Nothing else mattered in the world. It was like being in a picture and it was a beautiful picture.

But then I was yanked back into reality as they started to look around inside my insides making sure everything went back to its correct location and that I was as healthy as can be, then they started stitching me up.

The c section itself took probably about 10 minutes but the stitching took about 20 or so as there were many layers for them to mend.

Once the nurses and Mr.J had her a bit cleaner and all wrapped up they placed her on my chest for a cuddle.

“Now guys, I have a small confession to admit to you” said Dr Paul. “Because she was stuck in your pelvis, I accidentally cut her a little bit on her cheek when we opened your uterus…”

Whoops. Oh well her first little scratch, had to happen sooner or later.

Once I was all stitched up and re dressed Mr.J and Muffin were sent off to go meet the world and I was sent to recovery for half an hour.

All in all it was a very tiring, scary and emotional experience but at the end of the day (after being awake for over almost 40 hours), Mr.J and I are now the proud parents of little baby girl Muffin.

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