Here is the story of how little Koby came into the world. (Warning: long post, some gross bits!)
On the Thursday night we dropped Skye off to hubbys parents and headed in to hospital to start the inducement process. The plan was to insert the gel and leave it overnight to start to dilate the cervix, then go home and wait. If nothing happened overnight then I was to go in Friday morning to have my waters broken and possibly intravenous oxytocin to speed up the process.
When we got there, we were shown into a birthing suite and met the midwife, who hooked me up to the monitor to measure bubs heart rate and movements. Bub was being very sleepy as usual, but it was comforting to see the heart rate steady at around 150 bpm. I had been concerned, especially since bub had slowed down movements in the last few days. We were only meant to be hooked up to the machine for about 20 mins, but since they were busy it was more like 45mins. The first 20 mins bub didn’t move, but in the last 20 mins or so started to move around a bit. At one point hubby said that the sound of the heartbeat was like Rolf Harris’ wobble board, and for some reason that just tickled us, and we went into fits of hysterical laughter. We joked that bub didn’t want to come out because the wobble board was blocking its way. (Funny the things that just seem to tickle your funny bone, especially when everyone is a bit nervous!)
Then I had an internal exam and found that I was 4cms dilated anyway, so there was no need for the gel at all, since it would not get me any further than I already was. That was a bit of a relief actually, and we went home feeling positive and hopeful that the stretch and sweep that she also performed might make something happen.
Went to bed early, and actually got an ok nights sleep. I did wake up around 2am with more cramps, but they went away again. Waters hadn't broken naturally so we headed back to hospital for our 6am appointment.
When we got there we were told that it was crazy busy in birthing (it had been a stormy night, and they say its always busier in labour ward when its been storming!), and there was some doubt that they had a spare suite for me!! But there was, and we got settled in birth suite 1. We were warned though that we might be in for a bit of a wait, since all the midwives and doctors were busy with all the labouring ladies, and since nothing had happened with me I was a bit lower on their priorities list!
We waited for 1.5 hours, reading magazines, chatting… and listening to all the other ladies moaning and screaming LOL! I bounced on the birthing ball and tried not to panic about what was soon to happen. At 7.30am a midwife came in and decided that she could at least break my waters for me to get the ball rolling.
I changed into a gown and got on the bed. Had an internal – no change from the night before. Waters were broken – this was totally painless but I kept getting a gush of water when I moved – weird! I was strapped up to a monitor and again had to wait. After half an hour bub was still asleep (lazy little monkey!) so I was given some juice, and finally bub woke up and moved a bit so they could monitor him.
Another half an hour on the monitor, with baby movement this time (and more gushing ewww!) and I was finally able to get up, pants on, and move around. I had my first little contraction just before the straps came off – around 8.30am.
Then I sat on the birthing ball and bounced and rolled around on it, and started to get some very mild contractions. They lasted about 20 seconds and I could still talk through them no problems. I made sure I kept drinking water, and kept going to the loo – I didn’t want to get stuck with a full bladder that wouldn’t empty like last time!
I used a contraction timer app on my iphone to keep track of contractions. The midwves were amazed at the technology LOL!! From 8.45am I started to log them at around 8-10mins apart, lasting for 20-30 seconds each. By 9.30 they were about 5-6mins apart and lasting 30-40 seconds – I wasn’t able to talk through them by then and they were really taking my breath away. By 10am they were 3mins apart and 40-50 seconds long – and really painful. They stayed 3mins apart for a while – just increasing in intensity. I was still on the ball at this stage, but finally I got up and tried to walk around – bad idea. The pain was getting way too intense. I just wanted to grab metal bars and shut my eyes!
By 10.30am they were almost 2 mins apart and lasting 45-60 seconds. Hubby had taken over recording of the contractions by now, I couldn’t stay upright any longer and had to lie down on my left hand side on the bed. By 11am the contractions were 1-2 mins apart, and I was starting to really panic and hyperventilate with the pain.
The doctor came in and laughed that things were a bit more intense than when he’d come in a few hours ago. I was in too much agony to say anything but in the back of my mind I was swearing at him for making a joke of the situation. He asked if I wanted any pain relief, and I asked for gas. He said my next check up with him would be in 45 mins, so he’d see us then and left. (And I never saw him again, as the baby was out before my next review!)
By now with the contractions so close, I had started to sweat profusely. It was dripping off me and I just remember thinking that I was burning, I was so hot. Hubby started to fan me with a magazine and it felt heavenly. I was drenched in sweat, still wearing the purple hospital gown, bra and undies.
After a few goes on the gas, I started to panic even more – thinking that I had hours of this still ahead of me, and started demanding an epidural. Hubby did his best to dissuade me (since I had already pre-decided NOT to use it), but I was determined. I couldn’t take this pain anymore. He even asked the midwife to tell me all the negatives (I would have to sit still for the needle, it would take 40 mins for them to get it organized, I wouldn’t be able to walk around, I’d have to have a catheter etc) but I was not going to be deterred. Each contraction was worse than the one before it, and I could not imagine having to go through hours more pain like this. I was shrieking in agony each time a contraction hit, and I’m normally a very quiet person! I didn’t even make much noise when Skye was born, but this was just too quick and intense!
Then at the next contraction I felt like I had to push so I shouted “I need to push!!”. Midwife was a bit taken by surprise I think, so she asked me to roll onto my back so she could check me (I hadn't been checked since before my waters were broken). My undies/pad were completely saturated by this stage, so she had to peel them off me (I remember thinking in the back of my mind how sorry I felt for her, and how gross that would be!).
I then started babbling about how I cant push yet, its too soon, I’m not ready yet etc. I had to explain this by saying that I had the urge to push last time when I was only 8cms and was told I must not push under any circumstances (easier said than done when your body wants to do its thing). So I assumed the same thing had happened again.
Anyway she checked me and said “oh you sneaky thing you – you’re 10cms fully dilated and ready to go! That was quick! We’ll have this baby out very shortly!” And kept calling me “clever girl, sneaky girl etc etc” and all the while I was thinking “Yeah yeah I bet you say that to EVERYONE!”
So I had to slow things down and calm my breathing. Midwife asked me to listen very carefully, as she would be giving me instructions on how to push and it was really important that I do exactly as she said.
Funnily enough from this point on I don’t remember the pain of the contractions, as I had something to really focus on and a purpose to the pain.
After 2 contractions of pushing they could see the head. A couple more contractions and the head was almost out. The midwife warned me then about the ‘ring of fire’ – which actually wasn’t as bad as I’d thought (maybe all those practice sessions with the epi-no paid off). I had to do little pushes, stop, more little pushes, then stop etc, so that his head didn’t just shoot right out of me and cause tearing!
And then his head was out, and he was face down – NOT posterior!! Phew! And then, according to my birth plan, Hubby took some photos of the head being out! I’m so glad he did that, I’m fascinated by those photos and the wonder of just HOW on earth that head could fit through there!
I then slowly slowly pushed out his body with the next couple of pushes.
Scott got bub immediately and placed him on my chest and told me we had a little boy! And I instantly panted “told you it was going to be a boy!”
I felt a huge surge of relief that the worst was over, and the next thing I said was “Thank God I never have to do that again!!”
I was shaking for a while afterwards, in shock. I had the injection in my leg to speed up the birth of the placenta, which came out whole. I did have to push that out too, but it was nothing after pushing out a baby. We both had a good look at the placenta too - quite fascinating really. The midwife was great at explaining how it all worked.
I was quite pleased with myself that I had done it all with just a few puffs of gas (maybe 10 mins worth) and that I had no tearing, no episiotomy, and no stitches – just a very small graze. The midwife also said that I’d had an almost bloodless birth too!
I was amazed at how I was much more lucid this time around - I guess because it was so much shorter in duration I didn't have time to get fatigued and fuzzy-headed. Big advantage not having pethidene either, last time I was pretty spaced out between contractions, but this time I was much more aware of my surroundings, what people were saying and doing. It was like I was going through this horrendous pain, but I still had this under-layer of conciousness that was thinking clearly and normally, enough to be annoyed at the doctors comments or to have total understanding of the midwifes instructions or whatever.
The cord had been wrapped loosely around his neck once, but he was fine. A grand total of 3 hours in labour, and only 10 mins of pushing!
After all that excitement I felt really cold and shivery for a while, so hubby covered me up in blankets. We then spent the next couple of hours just gazing at our son, and talking about the experience, and trying to decide on a name!
In hindsight, I’m glad that I had to be induced – if my waters had broken naturally and I’d waited until the contractions were close enough together before going to hospital, perhaps we wouldn’t have made it in time! Who knows, I’m just grateful that it all went smoothly and we have a beautiful baby boy to add to our family!