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Thread: The arrival of Luke Francis - 17 April 2008

  1. #1

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    Default The arrival of Luke Francis - 17 April 2008

    Well, here goes!!



    My EDD was the 22nd of April. My mother had gone 14 days over with both of her children so I anticipated a long wait for the arrival of my bubba. I was so confident of this I decided that I would work until 18 April. I accept now that I should have stopped work earlier, but with no paid maternity leave and being our primary income earner the options weren?t great!

    Along came 16 April, after waking at 4am and being unable to get back to sleep and then working all day my waters broke at 7pm. DH and I got pretty excited (although DH looked quite horrified as the waters gushed down my legs and all over the floor!) and I called the hospital to let them know. So far no pain. The hospital called back at about 10pm and asked me to come in to be monitored - if nothing was happening I would get to go home.

    DH and I trundled into the hospital, was monitored (which showed some light contractions) and at 11pm I was sent home and told to come back if things progressed and I couldn?t cope or alternatively at 7am in the morning. I made DH stop for ice cream on the way home.

    I went home and got about 2 hours sleep on the lounge room floor. At about 2am I was having period like pain that kept me awake so I sat on the fit ball and watched movies until 6am when I woke DH up.

    Trotted back to the hospital and called work on the way to tell them I wouldn?t be in.

    On arrival I was hooked up to the CTG machine and my obstetrician turned up shortly afterward. I had managed to have my water break the day that his holidays started. If he was to deliver the baby it needed to arrive before 4pm. Seemed like plenty of time?..

    At this stage all pain had stopped. The obstetrician examined me (which left me wanting to leap off the bed and go home) and told me that I was not dilated at all and was not effaced a little bit. The induction started at 8am.

    Interestingly the induction wasn?t really discussed with me - I was told that I was having it as they put the cannula in my arm. All through pregnancy I was determined that I wouldn?t be induced and here I was being induced without so much as a consultation about it. I knew that with my waters breaking and basically nothing happening that something needed to be done - but if I had known then that inductions done only with syntocin on an unfavourable cervix are more likely to fail I may have asked for more time.

    In any case, they started the syntocin on 50 and I was sent for walk around the hospital with instructions to return in 30 minutes for brief monitoring. 3 hours later I was still walking around the hospital but by this stage the syntocin was at 250 and then it was put to 300 and it stayed at that level.

    By 2pm I was having contractions every 2 - 3 minutes and they were lasting about 45 seconds. My doctor examined me at 2pm (which was no more pleasant an experience than the first time, in fact worse due to the contractions!) and I was informed that I had dilated a whole 1cm and was about 1cm effaced. I was somewhat disheartened by this news.

    At 4pm I started on the gas. DH asked to try it and I told him in no uncertain terms that ?it was my gas?. I was slightly more forceful though!! Found the gas to be ineffective to manage the pain. At this point my doctor left and the midwives changed shift. My lovely student midwife disappeared and was replaced by an older midwife who insisted I remained on the bed and hooked up to the CTG machine. This was my undoing. The baby turned onto my back and I was in agony. I started to invent excuses to not be on the machine, turns out you can really drag out a toilet break!! The trouble was that a very young girl was in labour next door and was being quite abusive to the midwives (we knew - we could hear everything she yelled at them). This went on all afternoon and she pretty much sucked everyone?s attention away from us. I think they wanted me monitored because they couldn?t spend the time with me. In hindsight I think this was a rather crap attitude and I am disappointed that I didn?t get better care at this point.

    The replacement obstetrician arrived at about 6pm. He pressed on my tummy and said ?Did Doctor X tell you you were having a big baby??. Ah no and not really the right time to be lumping me with that information! He then examined me and after an afternoon of intense pain I was 1.5cm dilated. I readily admit that I became quite distraught at this point and started to cry everywhere. My new doctor calmly said ?oh, does that upset you??. If I hadn?t been in so much pain I could have delivered a suitably scathing come back - at it was I just nodded and cried some more. It was at this point that I decided that I did not want to be a hero and I simply wanted the pain to stop. DH dealt with this by asking anyone who would stand still for a c-section (he was refused by a lot of people) I dealt with it by asking for an epidural and it was administered at about 7.30pm (although I am a little fuzzy on times here). The epidural was something that was not a part of my birth plan, but everything else had gone out the window by that point so there seemed to be very little point in worrying about it. It certainly removed the pain and helped me calm down a little.

    At 9.30pm the doctor returned and checked me - absolutely no change although the CTG was measuring good strong contractions. It had been 26 hours since my waters broke and I had managed a whole 1.5cms. The doctor was becoming concerned with how the baby was coping and I was wheeled off for the c-section.

    A really lovely anaesthetist came to speak to me and as soon as he upped the drugs, I started to throw up everywhere. Unfortunately I had been drinking red power aid - so me, my gown, my hair and the midwife that didn?t move quick enough were all pink? the vomiting continued all through the surgery - even with the stronger ?anti-vomit drug?. I have to say that the vomiting was awful, the drugs were so strong that I couldn?t really move anything from the neck down and each time I threw up it felt like I was going to drown. I kept telling the anaesthetist and he kept suctioning away the red spew?

    So at 10.48pm on 17 April 2008, 5 days before my due date and some 28 hours after my waters broke my son, Luke Francis came into the world. He weighed 4.26kg and was 51.5cm long. I got to see him briefly in the theatre and I met him properly at around 1am that evening.

    It turned out that Luke had the cord wrapped around his neck twice and was wedged into my pelvis - -apparently his head was angled funny and they had difficulty pulling him out. He had forcep marks on his face and head for a few days and a big ridge along the top of his head from head butting my pelvis for so long, but I thought he was perfect (and still do!).

    I was really disappointed at the end of it all that my baby?s birth went so badly. I felt as though I had failed in something that I should have been able to do. I still feel like that at times. I can?t help but wonder if I should have done things differently or whether I should have stuck out the pain better or make different decisions. I am really disappointed that I didn?t get to hold my son until he was 2 hours old. I am working through my feelings of disappointment and I am very thankful that after it all I ended up with a beautiful healthy baby.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Hi Shellbell! Thank you so much for sharing your birth story. and what a story! it sounds like you were treated rather unfairly by the hospital. birth can be a really isolating experience, and from what you have said, this was not helped by the lack of care from the staff.
    Dont beat up on yourself! After that kind of time in labour, there is very little reserve left for dealing with the constant contractions. both of you did awesomely!

    and Luke looks like the most gorgeous bub!

    Congratulations!

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    hi there
    Firstly congrats!!!! on your beautiful baby!!!.
    I have also had 2 births that definatly didnt go to plan, my first was induction early, didnt dialate just like you and had to have emergency c/section. The second i was adamant that i wanted to do it naturally, i went into labour the night before my c/section was booked ( i was 2 days over) and only got to 3cm dialated and decreasing after hours of labouring. so had another emergency c/sec. Its a hard thing to deal with as you hear all the other people saying it was so easy and everything went right. But do look on the bright side you do have a precious little man and that is the main thing here.
    So good luck with the future and enjoy this precious bundle you have

  4. #4

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    Sorry to hear things did not go to plan.

    Thanks for sharing your birth story.

    CONGRATULATIONS

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Hi Shellbell

    Thank you for sharing your birth story and congrats on ur baby boy Luke .

    I guess things don't always turn out the way you want them to in birth but you did an awesome job and now have a bautiful healthy baby boy

    Cheers

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