Matthew's Birth – February 2005

I woke up Monday morning at 2am with a contraction and then was up the rest of the morning as they were coming every 10 mins or so. I thought that this was the start of it. I had them mainly in my back and were pretty painful at the time, looking back though, they weren't really! Rang the midwives at the hospital, just to see what they said and she said that it definitely sounds like the start and to ring back if they get closer together, last longer and are more painful.

I lasted till about 4pm and then I thought the contractions were getting closer together, so we rang the hospital and they said to come in – so we did. Got there and they put the monitor on me and I didn't hardly have any contractions at all!! Boy did I feel stupid! The midwife did an internal and I haven't even dilated any yet! God, I was depressed and she suggested I went home, but she gave me the option of staying there, I chose to go home.

Luckily I did as the next day Tuesday, was much of the same, contractions every 10 mins or so and pretty painful. Couldn't sleep as if I did, a contraction would wake me up. Lots of showers, lots of walking and lots of resting got me through that day. My husband, Pete, stayed home with me, thank goodness, he was a great support.

Wednesday Pete rang the hospital as he was getting concerned that it was taking so long. I was getting a bit frustrated as well and was teary and emotional alot, being tired didn't help. The midwife suggested going in to the hospital or going to see my ob. I rang the ob and made an appointment for later that day.

That day was the same as Tuesday and we went to see the ob. He was concerned about the long time the contractions were taking to get things going and he did an internal as well. I don't think I had started dilating yet? Can't remember that part – but he checked my blood pressure and it was high, he wasn't happy about that either. He called the hospital right there and said I was coming in. He wanted gel to be inserted and to see what happened overnight.

Ended up getting into the hospital at 8pm, gel inserted at 8.30pm. They gave me sleeping tablets and panadine to get some sleep, but that didn't work? Pete was allowed to stay with me, which was great, we just lied in bed and watched telly. I kept waking up and having contractions, same as usual, until about 5.30am when they were getting more painful.

OB came in and saw me at 7.45am, decided to break my waters and insert the drip. That was fine but I was now restricted, I couldn't move from the bed which was annoying. The contractions started coming closer together and getting more painful and I was breathing through them okay. It was good for a little while, had nice music playing, oils burning. It was great knowing that bubs was on his way. He was doing okay as well. I was thinking, I can do this.

Then about 11.00am, the pain just started getting worse, got onto the gas and that did nothing. Just made me feel ill. At 11.30am I asked for an epidural (didn't want pethidine). Midwife did an internal and agreed with me as I was 3cm or so. Took an hour of agony before the anaesthetist to come and put the blasted thing in. It is so hard to curl up to get him to stick this thing in your spine while having contractions every minute – but once it started working it was bliss. I could feel the contractions happen but not the pain. My legs felt tingling but it was all good. Also at this time they kept losing contact with bubs heartbeat so they got the ob to insert a foetal scapal monitor, so I had all these things coming out of me in all sorts of places. He also wasn't happy that I hadn't progressed very far, especially with the contractions being so painful and close together. He mentioned that if things didn't progress that afternoon, he would think about doing a ceasar.

Then about 4.00pm. I started feeling the contractions again. Mainly in my back. They were getting more painful and I asked the midwife if this was normal. She upped the epidural but it just wasn't doing it anymore. I was in agony again and was screaming the hospital down it was that bad. I pleaded for Pete to do something, I just couldn't handle the pain. Poor thing felt helpless, just watching me go through this. The midwife rang the ob and got him in to examine me to see what they could do. He didn't get there until 5.30pm — seemed like forever. He checked me and I was fully dilated and asked me if I had the urge to push. I hadn't had the urge but did so through each contraction. This would have to be the hardest thing I have ever done, it is so painful. He was coming down the birth canal — apparently — but after each push I felt like I was going to pass out from the pain, I also felt really sick — at this stage I was having no pain relief at all. The ob come back in to check me at 6.30pm and I told him I couldn't do it. Bubs' heart rate started to go down then and that made the ob take action. He told me that he wanted to do a forceps delivery and that we could do it in theatre with me having a spinal block. That way if things weren't going well or he wasn't coming out then he would be able to do a ceaser. I was in that much pain, I just wanted him out so I agreed with that.

It took half an hour to get into theatre and it was the most painful 30 minutes of my life. As they were wheeling me down, I was still having contractions of course and I was screaming in pain. I got in there and they prepped me, I crushed all the nurses hands during each contraction and the aesthetic made me throw up, so I threw up all over another one. I was glad they were all there as they were fantastic. The midwife was there too and a paediatrician, they were great, they all were a great support. The hardest thing was Pete couldn't be there, he was getting changed into surgical gowns and was told to wait until my spinal block kicked in, before he could come and be with me. When the spinal block went in, the relief was instantaneous, I couldn't feel anything from about breast level down. The ob went to work and I couldn't really feel anything, just a little pulling, he asked me to push, I thought that I wouldn't be able too, but I managed to do 3 pushes and then I heard a cry. Our bubs was out at 7.11pm and he was crying! Such a relief to hear that sound. They showed him over the screen to us and his eyes were open and he was crying. He was so beautiful! I started crying myself as soon as I heard his cry, the relief he was out and was okay was amazing. They whisked him away to clean him up a little and do the agpar score (which he got 9, then 10), then they bought him back and DH got to hold him while they stitched me up – I ended up having to be cut. Once I was all ready, I had to go into recovery for 45 minutes, while Pete had Matthew back in my room. He ended up weighing 8lbs 2ozs and was 51 cms long.

So that's the birth story, recovery has taken a while but I am on the way back, slowly getting my body back (if you ever do!). It was a long and painful labour and I am not sure I ever want to do that again, unless I have an epidural straight up. However, Matthew is the most gorgeous baby we have ever seen, and yes we are biased! He came out very alert and has light brown hair and apparently looks like his daddy!

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