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Labour and Birth


[Week Thirty Seven]
Wednesday 23rd June

I was woken up at about 6am this morning by a midwife standing over me with a torch. She gave me about half an hour to go to the toilet and freshen up and said she'd be back to do a CTG before administoring some more gels. In the mean time, a woman starting screaming in the room next door to me. It was so bad that I put my TV on and but the speaker right next to my ear to block it out. She continued screaming for about 20 minutes and then stopped. It sounded horrible and really frightened me about what was to come. At 6.30 the midwife returned and apologised for the delay, she said that the woman next door was on her way to the Womens and Childrens and wasn't going to make it, so had to stop here. So it had sent all the midwives into a mad panic. They hooked me up to the CTG and monitored that until 7pm when they administored another set of gels after doing a lovely vaginal exam (which I love so much).

DH arrived at about 8.15 and I was still in bed being monitored by the CTG. They served me breakfast at 8.30am, which was two Weetbix, bread and jam and a cup of tea. The CTG was fine, so I was able to get out of bed. We decided to go for a walk outside the hospital. I stayed in my PJ's and just wore my dressing gown. We walked out the front and across the road of the hospital for about an hour and a half. I started to feel some contractions during the walk, they felt exactly like period pain and I felt them in the exact same spot as I would've if it'd been period pain. They seemed to come every two or so minutes, but would only last about 10-15 seconds. They were fairly strong as I would have to stop walking while I had one. Definately stronger than period pain. I started to get tired from the walking, so sat down at a park bench for a few minutes. This made the contractions completely stop. We then returned to the hospital room as it was getting close to 1pm, which was breaking the waters time.

At 13.50, Amy the midwife did a VE to see how much I had dilated and if she could break the waters. She said I was only at 1cm and didn't think she could break them, she thought I'd need another lot of gels but went to ask the doctor for their opinion. The doctor came in and did another VE. These hurt like hell as they have to reach right in around the back of the cervix. The doctor thought she could break the waters, so up she went again! This caused me more pain and I was clenching the bed in agony. She finally broke them and it all came gushing out all over the bed like a giant flood. It was very warm fluid. I was still recovering from the pain and shock of having multiple VE's so wasn't in any mood to joke with everyone else about how much fluid was coming out. The fluid continued to dribble out all the time so they gave me some pads to put on. After this I was hooked up to a wireless CTG monitor so I didn't have to stay in bed. I walked around the room a bit and the contractions started coming on a bit stronger. I couldn't move an inch when I was having one as if I did the pain increased. I was starting to get tired and wanted to sit down for a while, but when I did the CTG monitor would move on my belly and lose the baby's heartbeat. The midwife was happy with the regularity of the contractions, which meant that I wouldn't need the syntocin drip. DH hooked me up to the Tens Machine that I had hired. Everytime I felt a contraction I would press the button and it would provide its tingly sensation that helped to mask the pain of the contractions.


Helen, my Doula arrived at about 4.30pm. She had come straight from another hospital where one of her other clients had already gone into labour. Her labour was slow, so Helen popped in to pay me a visit. At around 5.30pm my contractions slowed. Amy went to speak to the doctor and came back with the news that they were starting me on the Syntocin drip. She put the drip into my IV and turned it onto 12. She said that they would increase the drip by 12 every 45 minutes. I wasn't happy about the drip and was scared about the consequences of it...c-section. The contractions soon started to come on a lot stronger. The Doula suggested I sit on a fit ball and lean on a bean bag on the bed. This helped me to rest, but kept me upright. It was a great idea. Helen had to leave to attend to her other client, but she had rung up a backup Doula called Kat. I was a bit hesitant at wanting Kat there as I had never met her before, but she was fantastic and I don't think that I could have survived without her. She immediately started helping me with hot packs, massage and lots of positive comments. I remember saying "I can't do this anymore" and she would always say "But you are doing it". I was still using my tens machine with every contraction. I would often drop the button and would scream "Button, Button" as a contraction came on, which someone was scrambling to put it back in my hand.

By 7.30pm the pain was unbareable. It's like period pain but one hundred times worse. Kat asked if I wanted to try the shower and I said "But then I'll get wet", everyone laughed and Kat found it funny that I hadn't lost my sense of humour. But all I meant was that I wouldn't be able to move to get in the shower and what a hassle to get dry and dressed again. I think I remember her suggesting other things like massage but all I would say was "I don't know". I just couldn't think because the contractions were making me zone out. I knew that I couldn't cope with the pain much longer and asked the midwife how long until the next VE as I wanted to find out how much I was dilated. I can't believe that I actually wanted a VE as they hurt so much, but I desperately needed to know how much longer the labour would be as I couldn't stand the pain any longer. Unfortuantely she said that she wouldn't do another VE for a few hours. I then gave up, the pain was too much to bare. I asked the midwife if I could have an epidural as I couldn't stand the pain. She said that it wasn't a good idea and asked if I wanted to try a shot of pethadine as it would help to take the edge off the contractions. I'd always said in my birth plan that I definately didn't want pethadine as it transfers to the baby. But as I'd only been in labour for about an hour and a half I thought that by the time I gave birth the pethadine would have worn off the baby. So I agreed to it. About 10 painful minutes later she arrived with the injection and administered it into my right thigh. A minute or so later my head was dizzy and my eyes were closed. I felt like I was stoned and like I could fall asleep. The contractions were still coming in full force, I don't really think that the pethadine helped to rid me of any pain. I knew that it was a bad thing to do but I really needed to lie on the bed for a few minutes to rest. I crawled onto the bed and had only been there for about 10 minutes when my contractions changed. With every contractions there came a huge bearing down force towards my bum. It was exactly like everyone says "the urge to poo". I knew that when you felt like you needed to poo it meant that the baby was coming soon. I said to the midwife that "somethings wrong with my bum" and "I need to poo, but it's too early for that". No one responded to my comments so I was getting confused. With every contractions the feeling was coming stronger and I was making these barbaric grunting noises. Finally after about five or so of these contractions I heard the midwife say some thing about 'grunting' and that they should take my pants off. At this stage I stopped using the tens machine as the pushing sensation was too intense and I couldn't push the button.

At 8.50pm the midwife finally did the vaginal exam and said that I was fully dilated and that she could feel the babies head. I then got onto an all fours position and leaned up against some pillows on the bed head. I was there for a little while and using the stress balls in both hands as each contractions and the pushing urge came. It didn't really hurt anymore it was just my body convulsion with every contraction. I heard someone else enter the room and it seemed that Amy was giving her a run down on what had happened so far. I asked DH who it was and he said it was another midwife. It turned out that Amy's shift had changed and a new midwife called Jennifer had taken her place. She was horrible, she was so forceful and rough and didn't seem to have a compassionate bone in her body. She made me roll onto my side as she thought that the all fours position wasn't working. For me to move at all was agony, so I didn't want to move onto my side. She said something like "this baby has to come out now. It's already been two hours. I have doctors standing outside the door waiting to come in". Her threats weren't helping in the slightest and just increased my hatred of her. The doula asked us if we wanted to change midwives, we probably should have but I didn't want to make more of a fuss. At this stage because of her threats I was too scared that they were about to wheel me away for a c-section, so I didn't want to rock the boat. So I was rolled onto my side and Jennifer made DH hold my leg up in the air during each contraction. She didn't seem to care if it hurt me, or that we'd told her of my sore pelvis. I was getting more and more upset as time went on and my leg being lifted into the air was not helping.

At around 10.30pm I got onto all fours again, leaning against the bed head. I nearly couldn't make it into this position as I couldn't move when I was having a contraction and the contractions were happening all the time. Kat the Doula tried to push me up whilst I has having a contraction (not that she would have known) and I think I snapped at her a bit. Sorry Kat! Everyone was telling me to push and I was pushing with all my might. By this stage I was absolutely exhausted. The midwife kept telling me to push and push. I was so tired that I really couldn't push any more. I would often pretend that the contraction had finished just so that I could have a break from the pushing. I knew that if I let them know that I was tired and couldn't do it any more then I would be wheeled away, and I didn't want this to happen. The midwife then made me get onto my back, she wanted me to hold onto my thighs as I pushed. She didn't tell me why and I found it to be a ridiculos position, I just wanted to squeeze my stress balls. She kept touching me and trying to move me around. The doula told the midwife that I didn't like being touched and in the end I just screamed "Don't touch me". I'd had enough of her roughly moving me around. I felt like I was going insane, I wasn't with it anymore. It's so hard to explain. It felt like I was being tortured and was at my wits end.

At 23.00 the doctor came in and out came the stirrups. Jennifer put a stirrup in totally the wrong way and started to jam my leg into it. All I could think was that my pelvis was going to split open. The doctor did a VE, which lead to more pain and agony for me. She said that the baby wasn't moving and my pushing wasn't doing anything. I think that I wasn't pushing properly. The babys head was also turned in the wrong position. The doctor decided that they would have to use the Ventouse. She asked when I'd been to the toilet last and the others told her it wasn't long ago. Jennifer piped in and said that I hadn't been at all, which was totally crap. Kat tried telling the Doctor that I had been, but of course she'd only listen to the Midwife. So the inserted a catheter, which was more pain. Apparently they only drained the smallest amount of urine. Stupid midwife. The Doctor gave me a local anesthetic in my 'nether region' and inserted the ventouse. I had Kat on one side of me and DH on the other. They were both holding onto my hands. I didn't want to squeeze Kats hand too tightly as I thought I'd break it. DH was right in my ear telling me to Puuussshhh. This really helped and encouraged me and I would push longer when he said it. The Doctor kept telling me to keep my bum on the bed when I pushed. She was also barking harsh, nasty commands at me. I remember looking at her and her big black earrings, and I hated her as well. She told me to "stop making noise", as by this time I was making a whole packet of noises, whaling like someone that is being tortured. She said I needed to focus all my energy in pushing so I needed to let go of the others hands and clasp my thighs. Which is what Jennifer wanted me to do....but without any explanation as to why. Then the doctor said that she was going to make a 'small cut', which I knew was an episiotomy, something I never wanted but of course I now had no choice. I remember asking "is the head out yet?" as it really felt that it was, but everyone chorused "no".

At 23.21 after a few more long pushes the baby was out. I was relieved that it was all over. I remember the doctor saying a few moments later that the placenta was out, I think they gave me the oxytocin injection after the placenta was delivered. I saw the placenta out of the corner of my eye. They asked us if we wanted to keep it, but we said no. I was still in a bit of a delusional trance when the baby was dumped on my chest. She was covered in vernix and one eye was closed. DH said to me "She is a girl". I hadn't even looked! DH told me later that he had said to everyone "Don't tell Briony, but I think she's only got one eye". He was deadly serious and concerned that I'd get upset over my one eyed baby. LOL. I didn't know what to do with the baby that was upon me, I was still too traumatised to feel anything but shock over the whole second stage of labour. They took her off me and weighed her and did their other stuff. I saw that DH had taken his shirt off and was holding her for some skin to skin contact. This was all happening whilst the evil doctor sewed me back up. My doula later told me that the midwife had cranked up the syntocin to 64 during the pushing stage.

At 00.45 she was weighed at 2.45 kg (but they later changed it to 2.48kg) and measured 47cm. She was given her Vitamin K injection as well. We decided to allow this vaccination due to the Cholestasis, as they recommend it with this condition. At 01.00 Callan went to the nursery with Majandra while I was allowed up to have a shower. Kat changed into her bathers and helped me to shower. After that the midwife and Kat packed up all our belongings and wheeled me to the post-natal ward. Whilst DH was in the nursery the pediatritian told him that they were keeping her overnight in the neo-natal ward as she was under 2.5kg. DH says that I went to the neo-natal ward that night, but I have no recognition of this and there is no photo evidence. I'm sure that I was just wheeled straight up to my room.


At 03.00 we finally went to sleep.


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