I've been blogging for quite a while now, and it seems there's been a bit of interest in my birth story. I'm not sure how or why I'm about to tell you how I pushed a human being out of my vagina, but here we are. So, buckle up, we're about to get personal!
I've touched on how hideous my pregnancy was. In the last 10 weeks, I was admitted to FMAU (fetal maternal assessment unit) with reduced movements from the baby. It was decided that I would be induced at 38+3.
Now, it was actually quite handy to know that once we'd leave for the hospital, that we would be for sure coming home with a small person. Daddy and I were able to clean the house from top to bottom and make sure that everything was prepared for us to step over the threshold as a family of three. Blah blah boring, I know. You're all waiting for the juicy bit!
On Monday the 16th of February, I had to prepare myself for induction. For those that aren't familiar with the procedure, it's basically where a midwife shoves her whole arm (okay, I'm exaggerating!) up your fanny to place what can only be described as a small, hormone filled tampon behind your cervix to try and get it to open and ready for labour.
Things started to happen, and it was all very exciting and slightly uncomfortable. But, that's as far as it went with that part of the induction. The pains were irregular and not actually that painful looking back on it. All it did was make me quite cross and sweary. I couldn't sleep, so naturally, I didn't let Daddy sleep either. We spent that first night just wandering the corridors of the maternity unit whilst I moaned how fat I was and how unimpressed that there wasn't a baby here already.
After a night of no sleep and with me becoming increasingly more sweary, the lovely midwives of Exeter decided to break my waters for me and stick me on a drip of pitocin. This is where it all became very painful. The pitocin had me from 0-100 in about twenty minutes. I swore at a (probably very lovely) student nurse who questioned my sky high contraction chart, and asked if I was actually having a contraction. Apparently the student nurses that I said were allowed in pre-pitocin were caught on the end of my labour fuelled rage… and I didn't see much of them after that. I feel a bit bad for that, but I can't apologise for what happened during childbirth. I had lost my inhibitions.
During labour, I mooed like a cow, I cried for my mum, I told Daddy to fuck off… then to immediately come back. I wanted to bounce on the ball, I hated the ball. The list was endless. I was a mess. That shit is not for the feint hearted. Anyway, after about two hours on the gas and air (great stuff by the way), I needed something a bit stronger.
About ten seconds after having a pethidine injection, I begged for an epidural. Now, here's where I made my fatal error. Understandably by the time the anaesthetists got to me, the morphine was beginning to take effect. I felt like I had drank about 3 bottles of wine and couldn't sit up right (which is really important to do!) for the needle to go into my back. I remember people talking to me but I couldn't hear what they were saying, and it sounded like my ears were under water.
The midwives managed to lie me back and I had lost the ability to talk and to even open my eyes. Just before I went into a big pissed up sleep, I heard the midwife say "yep, she's gone" and I immediately thought I was dead and having an out of body experience. Obviously this was just the drugs that had sent me off. The next eight or nine hours were just filled with me sleeping and waking up to vomit.
I never imagined the worst part of labour to be the sickness. I had all sorts of anti sickness but just I was still pregnant after all, and instead of it being a bloodbath, it was just filled with my vomit. If N hadn't arrived when he had, I can almost be certain that I would have puked up a kidney.
After the morphine wore off, the epidural did too, and it was time to push at midnight. I can't really tell you what pushing an 8 pound baby out of your foof is like, but I can tell you it is only slightly like taking the biggest shit of your life. I pushed so hard I was sick. I pushed so hard that afterwards, my anus 100% looked like a bowl of grapes. I didn't believe the midwives or daddy when they said that the baby was coming. I was in complete denial until I put my hand down and felt a head between my legs. A very strange and scary feeling.
I demanded gaviscon of all things whilst I was pushing. I refused to push anymore until I had some. Apparently, birthing a baby's head can make you request some strange, strange things. I got my gaviscon, gave a few more pushes and out popped baby N at 12.59am on Wednesday the 18th of February.
He did some damage on the way out, with a nice second degree tear and a lot of 'grazing'. I was back on the gas and air whilst the lovely midwives stitched me up and then whisked off to the maternity ward.
Now, why was the epidural the fatal error, I hear you ask? Where I couldn't sit up straight not only affected the effectiveness of it, but has caused permanent nerve damage and it still very tedious to this day. I 'put my back out' several times a year and now have sciatica as a result of it.
If and when I have another little one, if I can help it, I would try and avoid induction and an epidural. I am pleased with how my labour went, and how it went without any hitches. I have heard many horror stories from my friends and othe brave ladies but I am so happy to report that through out the pain and the swearing, it was such an intimate experience for me and Daddy… But next time, I'd really like to not have a mind block from the drugs.