Thought to write about what happened so I can finally get over it lol. Seriously! I keep replaying the whole thing in my mind because it’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to me since I found out to be excpecting.
As you may know, I was really overdue with Emin. Once October 28th rolled around I was in this mellow state of expectance that I was going to go into labour, slowly but surely, and have a nice drive to the hospital once I was in established labour. Well, the 28th came and went. And then some. Then it got to be the eve before I was 2 weeks over due when I had to go in to hospital to be induced.
The specialist had examined me the day before and confirmed that all appeared to be well, Emin was still functioning wonderfully as was I and there were no worries. My cervix was still quite thick so given that and being very late, the next morning I was going in and Emin was going to be coming out whether he wanted to or not.
Tuesday (10th Nov) morning, upon arrival I was whisked into one of Northshore Hospital’s Birthing Suites. It only slept four expecting mothers and equipped with fetal heart monitors (amongst the various other necessities in case of an emergency) it was private enough. I was immediately given a quick rundown with what would be happening that day whilst having my belly strapped up for the fetal heart monitor to begin doing its thing. First thing was first, they wanted to know how Emin was getting on... And he was doing fine. Sleeping, but fine.
Then came the gel application to soften and thin my cervix. The midwife estimated that I should be in established labour after about 3 applications of it (at 6 hour intervals) to which got me excited!! Once it was administered and the FHM had recorded enough to show Emin asleep and active, it was time to get moving. I was told to go on a hike by one of the midwives and Lewis had left to come home for a rest period whilst we were still going to be playing the waiting game.
I went for a walk for a couple of hours around and outside the hospital grounds. It was a really pleasant day, the kind where one really would need sunscreen and sunglasses. After a while of walking and munching on an icecream, I sat on a bench near a bus stop and just read some of the things my mum had sent me. That’s when I began to feel the tightening begin in my abdomen so I made my way back to the hospital to have a lay down and let them listen into what’s going on.
Sure enough, these tightenings were coming around half an hour intervals and so it had begun! Lewis joined me at the hospital again in the evening and my tightenings started to become stronger and more recognisable as contractions. Once Lewis went home that night and lights were out, I managed to fall asleep despite the discomfort of the contractions only waking up every so often if it was stronger than the last one. It was around early morning when I felt them intensify (or so I thought! They felt intense because I was awake when I was getting them) that I called for the midwife. She strapped on the FHM again and monitored me for about 45mins before telling me that I was still in the very early stages of labour, go back to sleep and to call her if my waters break. Turns out, they were stronger contractions but only at 20min intervals and I’d fall asleep in those 20mins thinking the contractions were still going on when they were only coming back after 20mins lol.
In the morning the charge midwife was making the rounds and decided to see how I was getting on. Upon examination she told me that I’d dilated to about 3cm in the night and it was time to break my waters. Don’t need to tell me twice! So away she went with it and then I was moved to a delivery room. There they IV’d me up to man’s answer to Oxytocin (the hormone that gets the cervix to dilate and therefore causes contractions) called Syntocinon. They would begin to increase the drip every 15mins in order to get me into established labour which did start happening.
Once I was in established labour one of my midwives arrived. I was experiencing stronger more frequent contractions by this point and felt determined to keep away from pain relief. Lewis was sorting out what was happening with Olivia so didn’t see him until around 3:30pm at which point I did begin using their gas & air thing. It’s really nothing special at all and just tasted funny to me after a few sucks on it. I was examined and told that I’d dilated to 6cm which was good... Only 4 more to go and I can push! The pain was only just bearable so I stuck it out, squeezing Lewis’ hand and just trying to control my breathing whilst meditating the thoughts “my insides are not going to burst, it’s just my cervix expanding...”
Lewis was wonderfully patient with me, hardly saying anything other than soothing comments during the peaks of my contractions. I’d been going for so long that eventually decided to give the next step in pain relief a go. Pethidine was next so I took a shot. It didn’t do the job entirely but did help to take the edge off and perhaps I could’ve done with making do with it but then upon the next examination (which showed I hadn’t dilated further) I’d had enough so asked for an epidural. The anaesthetist arrived around 30mins later and tried to insert the epidural... CORRECTLY. Tried being the operative word since he had a couple of goes of what felt like he was taking a dagger to my back and twisting it into my sciatic nerve in my left leg. That and having big contractions at the same time was excrutiatingly painful, my tears and sweat were one and the same. I had to stop as I couldn't take anymore of the pain and just continued with meditating thoughts as the pethidine had worn off. I ended up with a second shot of that which didn’t seem to make a difference by then.
Then my second midwife arrived and swapped with the other one. She’d examined me and said that I still remained dilated at 6 and that it was time to up our game to get Emin out by increasing the hormone drip drastically. That’s when I realised there is a such thing as more pain and tried to keep as quiet as possible to conserve what little energy I had left for the optimistic natural delivery I was still hoping for. The fetal heart monitor began to lose track of his heart beat by being strapped to so they had to attach one to his head instead so he could be monitored at all times.
Being that the limits were pushed, it didn’t take much longer after that for Emin to become distressed and in doing so, the doctor was called to check us out and it was then decided that an emergency caesarean was where we were headed. In my exhausted/drugged up state I was adamant that I didn’t want an epidural and would have preferred to go under general anaesthetic, this didn’t sit well with my midwife because of the big risks of taking GA for baby and I. She managed to convince me to let the consultant have a go administering the epidural and that we’d give it one go to have it done. Thankfully, he managed to hook me up in one go and it wasn’t as bad as the first couple of attempts done by the previous guy.
Once the epidural began to work I was able to hold a conversation and relax a little. It all seems a bit of a blur as everything happened so quickly after that. I was prepped for theatre and Lewis scrubbed in too to be by my side. The anaesthetist was testing to see if I had gone numb by spraying something on me which felt really cold where I wasn’t numbed which consequently made me shiver, like teeth clattering shivering!
Everything happened so quickly after that, Emin was pulled out @ 01:43 blue as a smurf unable to breathe for the meconium he had swallowed. I couldn’t see a thing but from the sounds of my midwife and Emin’s lack of voice, I knew it wasn’t good. A few minutes later I heard a faint noise from him which was a relief as he took his first gasp of breath. My medical notes say that this occurred 3mins after he was born and that in the meantime he had been o2 bagged and given the heart massage too.
He was quickly presented to me after being cleaned up, his eyes open, I gave him kisses on his beautiful warm cheek whilst I lay on the table being stitched up in 4 layers. He was whisked away after that to the Special Care Baby Unit for he’d had a high temp and low blood sugar level.
About an hour after I’d come out of surgery I was wheeled to SCBU to see Emin. He lay in an incubator totally calm and just looking at me with his big dark eyes. I wanted to hold him so bad but wasn’t allowed to and had to wait until later in the day to give him his first cuddle and feed from me.
As we grew long into the day, I was slowly coming to terms with what had happened to me and how limited I was in movement. Confined to the bed for another 24 hours was very difficult for me but it was a must. I was still hooked up on the epidural, to some sort of battery pack that dispenses a dose of pain killer for me at the click of a button. I can’t recall when the midwives started me on morphine and tremadol but it never felt too long had passed before I was given something to take. My appetite was shot though I did make effort to eat the hospital food which was ok really.
They would have to wheel me to SCBU to give Emin a feed every few hours though it was hardly anything at all as my milk hadn’t come through and he is one big baby! It was very worrying but I persisted with the feeds, especially cluster feeding him, which left me quite sore at first.
I managed to come off the epidural but they kept me on morphine and tramadol. I still felt woozy on my feet but at least I didn’t have to carry the battery pack with me to the toilet once my catheter bag was disconnected. All in all I was quite out of it really, sleeping at odd times and trying to keep awake whilst feeding Emin. It hadn’t occurred to me how the medications could be affecting him too and they did so I requested to come off them asap.
During our stay in North Shore hospital, I’d contracted an infection and so was put on a course of antibiotics. This delayed my transfer to Waitakere hospital where I was to have my post-natal time.
I’d also worried that we’d come off at a bad start, the fact that we didn’t have skin to skin once he was born and I couldn’t feed him until hours later after his birth. Despite the concerns I still gave it a go and it was wonderful to have him sleeping on my chest for a couple of nights just him and I. That way I didn’t have to buzz for a midwife to help me take him out and put him back in his cot or assist with nappy changing. I know they’re small things but I wanted to do it without being interfered with, God knows how much interference we already endured.
On my last day at North Shore, the usual midwives I’d come to get to know weren’t on shift and I had someone else. I found her to be quite harsh but ignored the attitude nevertheless. I still felt quite weak on my feet when I buzzed for her earlier on in the day to have my bed sheets changed. She disappeared for a few hours and so I buzzed for her again about my bed, to which she brought me clean sheets and told me I’d have to change the bed myself. Nice eh? Two days after major abdominal surgery, 10” scar btw... I didn’t have the energy to argue so I got on with it.
Despite the fact that I still had a high temp, quickened pulse and still on antibiotics, I was given the go ahead to be transferred to Waitakere hospital to finish out my post natal dates. I met a really wonderful midwife there, Shirley, who’d been a midwife for 45 years. She was a hoot to get along with and really helped with breastfeeding advice/techniques. I also met the other midwives, Maria and Rochelle. They were a bit kooky for my liking... For instance Maria was full of all sorts of baby trivia and was fascinated with my emigrating to NZ story. She also noticed that Emin has a ‘tongue-tie’ and insisted that we should get it cut so he wouldn’t have problems feeding/speaking later on. I was actually beginning to feel convinced that we should do it until I met Rochelle and she told me that her daughter had the same thing and she never had a problem with feeding or speaking. She showed me that Emin’s tongue could reach his lips easy enough and that was enough of an indication that he could breastfeed fine. Rochelle was kooky because one minute I’m talking about breastfeeding Emin and she’s more interested in my tattoos! Other than that she was really lovely and even managed to make my stay more comfortable by taking the end of the bed board off so I could stretch my legs properly. Small things, people, make ALL the difference.
I managed 2 days and 1 night in Waitakere before I discharged myself. All because Emin was quite grizzly with me and I was having trouble with him latching on to my breast (which was really sore by this point as I had done it wrong whilst I was in NS) so I buzzed for a midwife. Whoever it was who turned up, I hope she got a reprimand for her attitude, she managed to reduce me to tears all for asking her for help in getting Emin to feed. She barked at me first of all for having Emin wrapped up in his swaddle, a big NO NO apparently, and then she left the room to go get a piece of paper titled “The Breastfeeding Checklist”. She shoved it in my face and shouted “do you know what this is!? Read it!” before she chucked it on the seat next to me and stormed off. That was enough for me, time to go home and so I called Lewis and asked him to come and collect us. He turned up whilst I was still in tears, explaining what had happened to Shirley. She was gutted because she was looking forward to seeing me on her shift and there I was demanding to go home. Fortunately, I’d finished my course of antibiotics, was no longer dependent on strong painkillers like the morphine and tramadol, my temperature and pulse had come back to normal and I didn’t need any more Clexane injections. There was nothing medically wrong or dependent for me to stay and so I signed myself out, grabbed the paracetamol, and the three of us came home.
Alhamdulillah for that night, so still and cool. Lewis and I arm in arm as he carried Emin in his car seat over the threshold. It was actually really nice to be met with peace and quiet and get showered in the comfort of our own home in the still of the night.
So there you have it, the kick start to my motherhood! For those of you who are yet to become mothers of your first or the next one, I hope you have a more fortunate experience than I.
May Allah keep you all safe. xxxxx
Created: Nov 27, 2009Document Media