(I needed to actually make a start on this, but, there are still some gaps.)
We went out to dinner at a friend’s place on Saturday night. As we were leaving, someone wished me all the best for the next week (we were due today) and a speedy delivery… I said I hoped it wouldn’t be too speedy – around 12 hours sounded good.
Sunday morning I woke at about 4.45 with what I thought were gas pains. And half an hour later, and half an hour later… just before 8 I started to think that maybe it wasn’t gas after all! (I guess I shouldn’t be surprised… I had been having BH contractions for about a month before the doctor pointed out to me that’s what they were during an appointment, I had figured they were gas…)
We rang to let the hospital know, and were told we could come in if we wanted to. I decided to stay home, so we arranged to call back at 10.30. I thought I’d stop and read some mail for distraction, and at that point we had a blackout:-( It did come back on before too much time had passed, but by that stage I really wasn’t interested… I rocked a lot on the ball, and spent some time curled up on a beanbag and pillows. 10.30 we rang and were told to come in. Pad loaded the car and came to collect me. I got off the bed and my waters broke.
We got into hospital, went in and the doctor (my doctor had the weekend off, he’d told me at my appointment on Monday, then he was having no more time off until well clear of Puggle’s due date—of course he chose to arrive this weekend:-) ) examined me. I was 4cm dilated. He then made _sure_ that my waters had broken… that wasn’t fun:-(
I then had three hours to make real progress, or he wanted to speed things up and said in that case he’d push for an epidural as it would be too painful… – the challenge was on:-)
We had a great midwife! When she arrived, she apologised for being in her overalls. She’d come from an emergency caesar. She figured if she stopped and changed, that’s where we’d end up, if she didn’t, there’d be no need… We were quite happy with that logic:-)
I spent the next while walking around a bit, doing some bellydancing, sitting on the ball and generally continuing the way I had been at home. I held out for the shower as long as I could (although there’s a bath in one of the rooms, the hospital won’t let you use it once your waters have broken). When I eventually went to it, I suspected I wouldn’t last long before I was hanging out for something stronger…
But the shower was wonderful:-)
After a while, the deadline arrived. The exam was fairly unpleasant, but I was at 8cms. Everything else was going well, so I went back to the shower, and the midwife went to let the doctor know.
It was at this point I was reminded not to push. And to call the midwife if I felt the urge. It seemed like about two contractions later (but I believe it was a little longer) that I was calling out for her. I moved back to the bed to see what was happening, and given gas because the last exam had been so uncomfortable. The gas was good:-) I can remember a number of things I said, but the sequence of the rest of the afternoon is rather hazy.
At this point, seeing as I was most likely going to be staying on the bed, I was strapped to the monitors. It was rather cool hearing Puggle’s heartbeat as the rest of the labour progressed (although, I believe there was one point where it got scary for everyone else. He had had his back to the side, and he decided he should spin around [like a fighter pilot – I remember that comment:-) ]. It ended up good as he finished with his spine up, but there was a point where they lost his heartbeat or something and there were some anxious moments). As I said, my memory is rather hazy from here on in. My cervix was almost completely out of the way, just a little lip around the edge. I had some time concentrating on not pushing, and saying silly things:-) Then the doctor arrived and the pushing started. I have no idea how long any of that took. I did eventually have an episiotomy, and he was born almost exactly 12 hours after I started. Once the head was out, Pad was quite surprised that he had his hands grabbed, and he got to pull the rest of him out:-) He was put on my chest – which was a great distraction from the stitching and everything going on… And no forceps/vacuum used – which was great, I was somewhat paranoid about the possibility of forceps, so I was blissful:-)
Weight 3.245kg (7lb 3oz), length 48cm, head circumference 35cm.
All things considered, I was very pleased with my labour. I went with nothing stronger than gas, which given the hospital has an 80ish% epidural rate (it’s a private hospital in a professional/yuppie area) got me the congratulations of most of the midwives. This of course was due in part to the fact it was a reasonable length – I don’t think I would have been able to carry on much longer… But I got to attempt labour myself – and did it without epidural… what I’d hoped for, but had kind of not expected to succeed in:-)
So he’s here:-) Slightly jaundiced, currently with a sticky eye (although, that’s clearing as we speak), and _possibly_ with a CDH – although, I suspect that’s mostly paranoia due to my history. We have an ultrasound in 6 weeks to check it out. He’s feeding well (although, I have been feeling like I’m having attachment issues, but the midwife with me this morning – the day I left hospital – was a lactation consultant, so she watched me and worked with me and things are getting better), but he has been sucking strongly and had put on almost all the weight he’d lost since birth – 40g different.
The blues kicked in early evening on day three – and made a mess of me for about 48 hours. I’m still not very ‘stable’ – although I’m assured that’s also tiredness…
Physically, I’m recovering far more quickly than I expected I would. You’d never know that I was due to give birth today:-) The brain is an amazing thing… I have memories of being in a great deal of pain, but I can’t actually remember any of the pain at all. I have been writing the details over the last few days, but each time I go back to it, I realise that my memory is becoming even more vague. At this point, it’s kind of like a series of photographs:-)
Anyway, we’re home now and he’s asleep in the bassinet that his father used (new mattress of course). He’s beautiful and I’m tired, and sleep calls.
Pad is doting over him, and I’m loving watching the two of them together:-)
And home in time for Mother’s Day.