My birth story continues below (read part 1 in yesterday's post)...
However after a couple of hours the painful contractions were back, with a vengeance. It was pretty late at night now and I was making some level of noise thanks to the pain. I was very conscious because the other three women in the room weren't in any pain and just trying to get a good nights sleep before their c-sections. I asked the midwife if there was somewhere else I could go, so I didn't disturb everyone, but she said that it was an induction ward and noise was to be expected. I felt so bad for those poor women! The pain was increasing and I didn't have any other avenues of pain relief, other than two paracetamol. After a lot of begging the midwife finally agreed to give me half a dose pethidine, unfortunately this time it didn't do much and in fact made me sick three times. Being sick in between contractions wasn't the most pleasant of times!
At around 4am on Friday 3rd April 2015 the midwife did another examination and I was 5cm dilated - woohoo! That was my ticket to the labour ward, which meant pain relief!!! I asked how I was getting to the labour ward and the midwife said I'd be walking, to use gravity to help. I seriously don't know how I walked down to the labour ward, I was holding on to the rails screaming in pain. Everyone knew it when I entered the labour ward! It then becomes a bit of a blur - I remember demanding gas and air and an epidural. In what seemed like no time at all they had the epidural in my back and I was puffing away on the gas and air. The relief from the pain was heaven, I was completely exhausted. We now hadn't properly slept in over 48 hours.
Finally, we were in the last leg of labour - I think I slept for a bit of time, took a lot of gas and air because the epidural didn't really work on my left hand side and spoke about a lot of random things. I was surprised because despite having an epidural I could still move my feet and lift both of my legs, it wasn't half as debilitating as I thought it would be. During my time in the labour room my contractions were starting to go away again, so they had to hook me up to an oxytocin drip to induce labour. Despite having contractions on and off for over 50 hours, my body still didn't want to give birth. If my waters hadn't broken there's no way I would have gone into labour naturally during those couple of days, she would have almost certainly been born past her due date.
After 10 hours in the labour room the midwife said that I was fully dilated and that she was going to leave me another hour, for the head to come down even further. I used the opportunity to put some make up on - madness I know but after so long without any sleep I wanted to look kind of presentable in photo's when our daughter finally arrived. The strangest part of labour was when the midwife said that I could start pushing - without any feelings I needed to push this was a strange feeling. I wasn't allowed to use the gas and air anymore, because I needed to concentrate on pushing, but I didn't let anyone take it off me!! I was told that I had one hour to push her out before doctors got involved. I was determined to not let the doctors get involved, I'd done so long I just wanted to give birth to her myself. However after what felt like 10 minutes, but was actually 1.5 hours, the midwife got the doctor in to examine me. She said that I was pushing really well but the baby was coming down at the wrong angle -towards the bed rather than out. They said that I would have to go to theatre, at which point I completely broke down. I had wanted a peaceful water birth in the birth centre, not theatre! I was given a small amount of time to really get our baby pushed down before they'd take me to theatre - at which point I became VERY determined. I pushed and pushed and pushed, it wasn't enough to give birth but it was enough to not have to go to theatre. The doctor set up in the room and told me she was going to have to use forceps, as I was never going to push our baby out on my own. Luckily throughout all of this our baby's heartbeat was fine and she didn't become distressed at any point.
Due to having forceps I also had to have an episiotomy (cue another break down when they told me that). Of course, I couldn't feel anything and was pretty unaware of what was going on 'down there'. Ignorance is bliss. After a lot of tugging, pulling and pushing a baby was placed on my tummy, our baby. That moment was the most surreal moment of my life, my husband and I looked at each other, then at our daughter, then at each other again. We weren't sure what to do, it was complete shell shock. She came out crying, so we knew she had a healthy pair of lungs on her. The paediatrician checked over her, which is standard procedure for assisted delivery, and all was fine. Within 20 minutes of giving birth I was breastfeeding her, I've been very lucky regarding breastfeeding as she's taken to it really well.
The doctor then stitched me up and seemed to be 'working on me' for what felt like a long time, I had my legs in stirrups which wasn't the most comfortable of things. There was quite a lot of blood involved, I think I lost 700ml overall. I'm told that's a fair amount but not ridiculous, however as a result I did end up becoming anaemic.
Our daughter, Isabella, arrived into the world at 4.15pm and it wasn't until 9pm we were released to go to the post labour ward. Unfortunately visiting hours were from 9.30am - 9.30pm, so my husband had to leave almost straight away. This was pretty scary - I was left with our baby and I was pretty uncomfortable thanks to all of the damage 'down there'. I fed her, set an alarm to feed her again in 3 hours and tried to get some sleep. Isabella had other ideas and was pretty teary - probably due to a headache from the forceps. After a forceps delivery babies can often have a bad headache, poor little thing! The midwives were available throughout the night, which was such a comfort and they were fantastic. Especially when I was changing her nappy on my lap (because it was too uncomfortable to keep getting up and down) and she started pooing everywhere - I was getting into a pretty big mess but the midwife helped me sort myself and Isabella out.
9.30am on Saturday 4th April couldn't come quick enough, as it was when my husband could return. We then spent the rest of Saturday going through the hospital formalities before being allowed home. Isabella went to the baby clinic to have some standard checks, she had a hearing test, the bounty people came around and took our photo's and I had all the checks I needed to have. They also briefed us about going home, covering topics like sleeping safely with a newborn and various other safety tips. By 7pm we were ready to go home, the journey home was a nerve wracking one as Isabella was crying and I obviously couldn't feed her while we were driving. We also hadn't worked out how to put the car seat in the car properly, so we had to work that out in the hospital car park. I'd recommend knowing how to put the car seat in and out before your baby is born, save the stress!
That's it, my very long birth story.
How long was your labour?
Feel free to leave me a comment :)