I haven’t written anything for months, I just haven’t found the time and I have to say I have missed it. I think I said that at the start of my last post too.
Before I start to write regularly about life with Ted, I want to share my birth story. I hope it helps me to move forward from it. After an awful pregnancy that seemed to consume me with anxiety every waking minute of every day for 9 months, I finally reached full term. I can’t say that it brought any relief or reduced my anxiety levels about something going wrong, because it didn’t. I hadn’t really thought about the actual giving birth part, just getting to that point seemed like it would never happen. Even the antenatal classes didn’t make it seem real.
37 +4 and my hands and feet started to itch. And when I say itch, I mean nothing would get rid of it itch. I thought it was normal, another pregnancy symptom that I would just have to put up with. For anyone that has followed me over from Strength Through Infertility you will know that Dr Google is not my best friend. I did Google itching in pregnancy and I ignored what it was telling me.
37+6 we did a tour of the hospital where I would give birth. Still not real. I was booked in to be induced at 39+5 because of my anxiety and I didn’t want to go over 40 weeks. So just 2 weeks to go.
38 weeks – early morning I was in hospital with reduced movement. I hadn’t experienced it before. As soon as I called the unit they told me to go in. Monitoring showed everything was fine and we were about to be let out when I mentioned the itching. Now I needed urgent blood tests, we weren’t going anywhere until they had checked to make sure I didn’t have obstetric cholestasis . Both of us started to urgently Google what that would mean. A few hours later the results were in, the junior doctor said one level was high, the other was ok so I could go home and take Piriton to stop the itching but I was to come back in 2 days for a scan and more bloods. I then happened to mention that my urine output had significantly dropped. Junior doctor disappeared and half an hour later came back again. He explained that he hadn’t realised the limits were lower for pregnancy, so both my levels were over the required level and I did indeed have obstetric cholestasis. They wanted to see me the next day for repeat bloods and a scan. I told him I wasn’t happy to go home, I’d had it, I couldn’t take any more. What was the point of coming back tomorrow when they knew something was wrong with me today. He disappeared and came back half an hour later with someone more senior. She explained that there was a high risk of still birth with the condition and they wanted to check my level again tomorrow and then make a plan. No, no, no this wasn’t happening. There was a problem now, I wanted him out, safely and quickly. She asked if I would be happy to be induced before 40 weeks, as apparently most people don’t. I said I was more than happy for him to come, I just needed him here safely. Off they both went and half an hour later they returned. They had spoken to the consultant, reviewed my notes and history…I needed to be induced urgently. Waiting wasn’t an option.
How we went from take Piriton to needing to be induced urgently in the space of a few hours I will never know. But it was scary to yet again be put in a position to have to push for something to happen. They explained they couldn’t induce me that day (even though the place seemed empty), so I was booked in for the day after. I didn’t have time to think about it, it was probably best that way.
We drove home, one more day until we met our baby. I remember saying to my bump that we just had to get through one more night together and that we were both strong enough to make it through the next 12 hours. It felt like me and the little guy had already been through so much and yet here I was, not really sure I was ready to meet him, but at the same time I just wanted him here with us. I was so ready to meet him and to get on with life again.
38+1 we walked into the hospital knowing it was probably going to be a long process. We had been told many times that being induced with your first baby can take hours and hours and often ends up with a c-section. So we were prepared for the long wait. They had done a cervical sweep the day before – oh my life that hurt a lot but necessary apparently! I was monitored for a while and then at 11.30am they inserted the first pessary. The midwife explained that I would likely need 3 of them, spaced 6 hours apart so I was in it for the long haul. She told me to walk about but we weren’t now allowed to leave the hospital grounds. It was a snowy February morning, I wasn’t going anywhere. They monitored me some more and nothing was happening apparently. I was 2 cm dilated so they didn’t think anything was going to happen anytime soon.
About 90 minutes later I got my first pain. It hurt, like period pain. I can’t say it was any worse than period pain to start with but it did get more painful. 30 minutes later my waters broke and the pain started to go up a notch. I asked for pain relief, the midwife came back with 2 paracetamol. I knew it wasn’t going to help but took it anyway. The pain was getting worse, much worse and I thought it was getting more regular. Apparently not, I was contracting twice every 10 minutes, I wouldn’t have been told to come in until 3 every 10 minutes if I’d gone into labour naturally.
As the pain got worse I started to struggle. The midwife reassured me that it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. She gave me some co-codamol, I think to shut me up. It didn’t work. I was sick straight away and then with every contraction I was sick some more. My language at this point became quite choice, hubby telling to breathe through the pain wasn’t helping at all. In fact, I told him to shut the f*** up a few times. I was still on the monitoring ward. At 5pm, with my contractions still apparently 2 every 10 minutes, they decided to move me to a labour room. I don’t think they liked the language I was using, albeit under my breath, just to get through each wave of pain. As I waddled down the corridor the midwife said she would check how dilated I was at 6pm. I asked when I got the good pain relief, she said she didn’t think I needed it yet. Whatever.
They gave me a ball to bounce up and down on, not sure what its supposed to do but it didn’t help me at all. Uncomfortable and pain…and then it changed. The pain changed and I felt like I needed to push. But, I’d been told I was nowhere near that stage so I just thought it was normal and didn’t say anything. Over the next 30 minutes, the need to push became more with each wave of pain. Eventually I said to hubby that I know I’m not at that stage but I feel like I need to push. He went to fetch the midwife who told him I couldn’t be at that stage yet but she put the monitors on me and told me to get on the bed. She checked me and I was 9.5cm dilated…she told me to start pushing as she hit the emergency button.
To be continued…