On Wednesday, 7th December 2011 I was officially 38 weeks pregnant. The day started off really normal, I got my usual sleep in and I got up at around 10am and started to get breakfast ready in the kitchen. It was then I felt a gush of water trickle down my legs.. oh. That felt weird. A few minutes later, another gush, and then another warm gush of water.
Calmly, I rang my husband to let him know I’ve definitely felt THREE distinct gushes of water flow uncontrollably down my legs. I wasn’t having any contractions though, so I wasn’t in any pain. He said I should give my midwife a call so I did. My midwife Heather was at another lady’s house who is actually going through labour when I called. She told me to put a pad on, and then call her back in 30 minutes if water is still gushing and the pad is wet.
So that’s what I did… and in my heart I knew my water just broke so I decided I should finish packing up my bags just in case this was it. I was 2 weeks early, but I have always known it would happen early anyway. Just how early? That was the question…
30 minutes later, I rang Heather back and said “Yep.. it’s definitely wet.. and still gushing as we speak!” So Heather said I should go into the hospital and she will organise for someone at the hospital to do some check ups. I rang hubby to tell him it’s time to come home and drive me to the hospital, and whilst I waited for him I took a warm shower to freshen up and continued packing.
We got into the hospital at around 11.30am. The nurse / midwife there examined the fluid and confirmed that yes indeed my water has broke and I had a pre-labour ruptured membrane. They hooked me up to a CTG scan machine and monitored baby’s heart rate as well as my uterus activity. I was probably hooked onto that machine for a couple of hours. Baby’s heart rate was a bit on the high side, so they kept monitoring. Mine was too, but eventually things started to calm down just enough for them to send us back home but will need to continue to be monitored daily for the next few days unless I go into labour of course. They talked about giving me 14 hours to go into labour naturally which will be considered “safe” and then if not, I would need to be given antibiotics and baby too, and if I don’t go into labour by Saturday they might need to induce me, etc etc. It was all a blur to me right now, as they were so many standard procedures concerning pre-labour ruptured membranes and making sure baby’s OK and does not develop an infection, etc.
To cut the story short, we got home at about 2.30pm and I sat down and had some lunch quite comfortably. And then at 3.30pm I felt what I thought was my first contraction. About 10, maybe 15 minutes later it came back. So we started timing. Over time, it became a lot more intense and by 4.00pm I was onto the TENS machine to try and relief the pain. The TENS machine worked beautifully in the beginning, and then by 5.00pm we started aromatherapy (ClarySage) which is known to also help during labour. By 6.30pm nothing was doing anything – TENS was useless, aromatherapy did nothing and I just got really distressed and started screaming through the painful contractions. It all happened so quickly, the gaps were just minutes apart by now. So we called Heather again.
Because it had technically only been 3 hours since my first contraction, Heather probably initially thought we could stay at home a bit longer. Then she heard my distressed screams and I told her I felt a need to push during those contractions (which I was holding on to, making sure I DON’T push) so she said to hubby that maybe we should go to the hospital.
We went to the hospital, the midwives thought I looked distressed so they did their “magic” and kept chanting really soothing “take deep breaths…” and that seemed to calm me down. Unfortunately our caseload midwife Heather whom we’ve been seeing throughout the entire pregnancy was at another labour so she couldn’t actually be there for us, but her replacement Jess came in and just made me feel comfortable immediately. Midwives are amazing people I must say. They work so hard and they are the most soothing people, the midwives, nurses and doctors who were all involved during my labour at Casey Hospital were so incredible I was really well looked after.
Anyway, throughout the night we tried different things to “pass time” as my labour progresses. We started off lying sideways in bed because my lower back was in pain as well, and hubby did such a wonderful job supporting me and keeping me calm and encouraging me to breathe, and so did Jess of course. The room was dimly lit and Jess put on some soothing music and created a soothing environment throughout the night.
Then we tried a warm shower and boy, did I love that. That really helped me calm down significantly. Even as the contractions were coming I got through them a lot easier whilst in the shower. I probably stayed in the shower for close to an hour, sitting on the fit ball, and getting through one contraction at a time, when finally it was time to rest on the bed again.
Moving from one place to another, one position to another, eventually got so much harder as the contractions got more and more intense and the breaks became so short they don’t even count as breaks because I couldn’t help feeling anxious about the next pain I was going to feel! Baby’s heartrate and my heartrate was continually being monitored and because my heartrate was a bit high, I wasn’t really allowed to go into the bath sooner plus the bath could also slow down the labour process.
EVENTUALLY, and finally I was able to hop in the bath for my planned water birth. The good thing about the bath is that it took the pressure off my lower back so that was one less problem to worry about. I could easily float around the bath and adjust myself without worrying too much about back pains unlike when I was in bed, just rolling over and moving was sooooo much hard work and pain! It was whilst I was in the bath I started feeling the “pushing” sensation and I probably started pushing sooner than I should. Time was ticking away.. it was 1am and I remembered thinking “WHY IS THIS NOT OVER YET?!!” I started feeling really frustrated and really just wanted it to be over. That was probably why as soon as I felt the pushing sensation, I started pushing hard and probably too hard that I wasn’t reserving my energy for when it really counts. It wasn’t long after that, when the flashlight was out and a few midwives “took a look” and decided yes, it was time to start pushing.
It was also whilst I was in the bath that Jess suggested the gas. Initially I thought, I can’t be bothered giving gas a go because I’m just so distracted by the pain and the whole thing was keeping me so busy I don’t want to move, I don’t want to try anything, I just want the baby OUT! But hubby asked again if I wanted to try gas, and then I said OK. Whilst I was on the gas, I knew it wasn’t going to take the pain away, but it was just a distraction to keep me going and to help me survive the next few sets of contractions. I said to hubby “the midwives just offered me gas to keep me quiet…” because I was screaming before and it was late at night so I was probably being too noisy! By then, the “breaks” in between contractions were no longer considered breaks as the pressure I felt really low down my pelvis as baby’s head starts to move down really, really hurts. So even in between those most intense contractions I had no breaks in between because the pressure was still there. I started crying. Everyone tried to be soothing, but there was not much they could do. We could just wait and get through each contraction and each push the best we could.. or the best I could anyway.
Unfortunately, as Jess took my temperature and it started to get too high – I had to hop out of the bath. I was not going to get my water birth. I dreaded changing positions. I especially dreaded moving! But I had to.. I don’t know how I managed to, but I managed to change positions and I managed to move back to the other room. By this time, I have already been pushing at least an hour in the bath. I was so exhausted. I was in constant pain from the contractions and the pressure of baby’s head down so low. I really have no idea how I managed to even move.
Back in the room, back in bed, we tried all different positions. I kept pushing really hard each time I had my contractions which were only 2-3 minutes apart. I was getting more and more exhausted, I really thought I was going to pass out. I kept saying “Just suck this baby out of me already…” but again, standard procedure is to keep pushing for a maximum for 2 hours before getting help.
Towards the end, I was making better progress but just not enough. They could see the baby’s head but just not enough for me to push him out myself, not when I only had 5 minutes before the “2-Hour Time” is up anyway. It was however, such good progress towards the end that it was enough to call the doctor in and get me some help with the vacuum extraction.
I am going to fast forward through this bit because it is the most traumatizing stage of my labour and I just want to skip to the beautiful part of this.. so basically, after the “time is up” and I was just running too low on fuel and the doctor came in, gave me some local anaesthetic, and told me that during my next contraction, to just give it MY ALL because I still needed to push while she pulls and she will also need to snip me – I was so terrified but I stayed strong just knowing the end is VERY near, in fact I only had one more set of contractions to put up with, to survive through, so I was getting ready. I calmed down and collected as much strength as I could during those last few minutes of waiting for my last few contractions. When it happened, and I can still remember everything, I gave it ONE big push, then TWO big push, felt a snip and another snip, and felt a pull, then THREE BIG push, snip sinp, felt THE BABY coming through.. and by this time the contractions were gone but I still had to find some inner strength to KEEP PUSHING… so BIG PUSH NUMBER FOUR, and then one LAST BIG PUSH NUMBER FIVE and the baby was completely out. OHHH THE SIGGHHH OF RELIEF!!!
And then it was just the blurry moment of this warm miracle, I knew hubby was crying. They took him, gave him a quick clean and then placed this little man on my bare chest. I couldn’t take a good look at him because I was lying flat on my back facing the ceiling! So all I could do was hold him, and feel him squirming around my chest. Hubby was overwhelmed with emotions I’m sure, but I was fully aware of what the doctor is STILL doing to me that I knew it wasn’t quite over yet. She was trying to deliver my placenta and then she had to work with another doctor to quickly stitch me up. “Quickly” wasn’t quickly enough, but I laid still and they administered some gas to help me cope with the stitching process. I actually got really high on gas this time around and started saying funny, embarassing things. At some stage, as I was breathing the gas in and out – I called the sound of my breathing “techno music”. I also kept saying I was drunk, lol. I really WAS drunk! They must’ve upped the gas levels, it worked like magic but I could still feel every single stitching movement as the doctor worked on me. I also heard the doctors and midwives say I am losing a lot of blood and someone said “THAT IS AN OVER 1KG PLACENTA!” which I think is larger than the usual?
Anyway, eventually the whole traumatizing experience was over and I was holding our precious little bundle of joy. I am still traumatized, and I still remember the whole thing so clearly… but each time I look at my baby boy, I knew it was worth it.
Micah Solomon Peterson was born at 4.59AM on Thursday, 8th December 2011. His birth weight was 3.97kg, length 53.5cm and head circ 37cm.
We could’ve stayed in hospital for 2 nights but decided to go home after the 1st night as we thought home was more comfortable and we had a shared room at the hospital which meant hubby couldn’t stay overnight. Both Micah and I were continually monitored while we were in the hospital, and Heather visits our home to do routine follow up check ups, etc. So we have sufficient support, plus the hospital’s only 5 minutes away if we needed anything.
We are doing really well so far, Micah has jaundice (you know, the whole skin turning yellow thing) but nothing to worry about I just need to keep feeding him and let him flush those toxins out. Milk has well and truly come in and he’s feeding very well. He gets very unsettled at night, and keeps up awake, but during the day he is an angel. So we need to somehow turn that around? I’m recovering well from those stitches and just getting as much rest as possible (except today I decided I must write this blog post and document my experience before I forget!).
And finally… here are some photos 🙂
|Our first family portrait – Enoch’s a very proud dad, and he has been the most amazing support person I couldn’t have done this without him. So much love exploding in all direction!|
|Amazing angels / midwives Heather (right) and Jess|
|Micah doing his hearing test|
|Micah’s first bath at the hospital – he didn’t like it at all, probably because the hospital room was a bit chilly, but we had a bath today at home and he loved it!|
|Little sleepy playtime with daddy|
|Sunshine time for his jaundice|
|All dressed in clean clothes|
|Wide awake in the middle of his first night at the hospital|
|Just after a feed, so content and sleepy|
|In the pram, again very content (we only take content photos, lol no grumpy face!)|
|Having a wiggle and a cuddle|