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Thread: Lila Marie- Almost Textbook

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Brisbane
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    Default Lila Marie- Almost Textbook

    I moved to Australia in late June 2007 to marry my 3-year long distance boyfriend I met while backpacking. Seven weeks after I arrived, just before the wedding, we discovered I was pregnant.

    Lila was born 7 April 2008, Monday's child. The Saturday night before I went to bed with intermittent period pains but I ignored them since I'd had pain like that off and on for the better part of three weeks. I'd had a touch of diarrhea that I chalked up to the chili I'd had the night before.

    DH and I woke up slowly on Sunday, lazily dozing and cuddling til well past midday. I'm so glad we did, I look back on that rather fondly as it was our last time together, "just us." I was having the same period pains and they didn't abate when I got up and started cleaning the house. Of course thanks to nesting instinct it was already pristine but I found ways to keep busy. The pains were easy to ignore so that's what I tried to do. I made a batch of bolognaise sauce for the freezer and a carrot cake.

    Late in the afternoon the pains intensified and started to come quicker, about 10-15 minutes between contraction. I couldn't ignore them anymore and would just stop and rock until it passed. My in-laws happened to be over, helping us hang curtains in the nursery and after a while we decided it was the real thing. MIL went home to get her things and came back later that evening, as she was one of my support people.

    A friend came over and cooked us apricot curry and we had a grand old time over dinner, I would just have to stop and rock every so often. When contractions were 5 minutes apart, around 10pm, we called the hospital and they said to come in when they were 3 minutes apart. So an hour later DH, MIL and I drove to the hospital. My contractions slowed once we got there and after an excruciating pelvic exam (why didn't anyone tell me about that??) they sent me home to "rest."

    I tried, I really tried to sleep but I was too excited and besides once at home my contractions intensified again. I labored at home until 4am, my DH apply hot towels to my back. I had an overwhelming need to be bent over, so I kneeled on the floor next to my bed and swayed.



    Again, we went to the hospital and the contractions slowed. They grudgingly admitted me, and DH and I walked up and down the birth suite trying to speed up the contractions. As I relaxed they started coming closer together, but I was pain-free between them and quite lucid. DH helped me poo and take a few wees. I lost my mucous plug on one of those bathroom trips. The midwife warned me that if I hadn't dilated to 2 cm by 8am I would be sent home again, so that was a mental incentive for me. I kept picturing my cervix opening, I focused hard on that and my breathing and relaxing.

    Sometime before dawn I started shaking. Up to that point I had been prowling around the room, pausing with every contraction. Once I started shaking I felt a need to go to bed, so I laid there and shook for about an hour. After that labor really started. My body told me to bend over, on all fours and rock. The midwife helped me get in that position, draped over the upright end of the hospital bed. I would rock back and forth through every contraction, MIL and midwife reminding me to breathe. I'd progressed enough by the 8am exam and the midwife asked permission to break my waters. I let her.

    The pain got progressively more intense, and aside from that I was so shocked at how intensely physical the process was. I have never been so aware of the power of my body. I felt like I could climb mountains or run a marathon, no problem. I vomited several times, DH holding the bag. He'd hold up a glass of water for me after every contraction and then every half hour or so I'd vomit it all back up. I peed on myself a few times because it would have been completely impossible to get off the bed.

    I had a third insanely painful pelvic exam at noon. The midwife had told me I had to be 8 cm by then, and couldn't push unless I was 10. I was quite tired by that time, and in a great deal of pain but I held on thinking I'd be able to push after the noon exam. By the time that exam came, I was sucking gas and howling in pain. It was a low sound, not screeching or high-pitched but loud and strong. There was no other way for me to express the pain, I had to howl and growl and I didn't care if it sounded strange. I held on to hoping that I'd be able to push soon. When she told me I was just at 8cm I started crying and bargaining. My MIL was sponging off my face while DH went out for a break and I started pleading with her to just take me home, to let me go home and sleep. I didn't know it at the time, but I made her cry and she secretly asked the midwife to do something for the pain. The midwife refused, I'm glad now, but I think its kind of sweet that MIL couldn't handle me in pain. I would have thought DH would ask for the drugs.

    For the next three hours I had to fight the urge to push. It was the hardest thing I have ever, ever done physically. I just remembered reading other people's birth stories, how the hardest part is just before its all over. I hung on to that. At one point I kept thinking "Somebody just give me a f**king knife and I'll cut this kid out myself." I'm glad I didn't lose it and start screaming that. I was mostly off in my own internal world by that time, I felt very little connection with the outside.

    Then around 3pm I was given the ok to push. I laid on my side, DH on one arm and MIL bracing the other and pushed for two hours. It was just such a relief to push, and the time passed like 10 minutes. At one point I slapped the midwife when she put the fetal heart monitor to my tummy, it triggered such uncontrollable contractions. I also inadvertently bit DH's hand but he learned to keep it out of my way.

    The problem had been that Lila was posterior the whole time, and the position I labored in was the best one to make her flip though I didn't know any of that at the time. She did turn right at the last minute. I felt that horrible ring of fire finally, and knowing it was almost all over gave me the ability to keep on going. Finally, finally, the midwife delivered the head and then the rest of her purple little body flopped out. Immediately all the pain and fatigue just stopped. I felt calm and relaxed. Lila laid on my tummy til her cord stopped pulsing, then it was cut and they left DH and me alone with our little girl. She fed a little and snuggled down, poking out her kitten tongue and looking all around.

    I tore in three places- my inner labia, near my "back passage," and a tiny but delicate one right on my urethra. I had a catheter for the first two days but it has all healed up now. After getting stitched up I demanded a whopper meal because I was starving for fat and sugar. Slept well that night and started to learn my baby.

    I was at the Royal Women's in Brisbane, and let me say I was so impressed with the quality of care. Maybe I'm just from the U.S. where med care is stuck in the dark ages, but wow. I had three midwives because my labor spanned three shifts. They never left me for a second, were sensitive to my labor choices, and were incredible birth support. I can't say enough how wonderful my midwives were. They even came to visit us in the maternity ward after the labor. I was always treated with the utmost of respect, not at all like a number or laboring livestock.
    Last edited by bellelass; May 23rd, 2008 at 08:15 PM. Reason: adding a few details

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Wow, you did a fantastic job, well done!

    Congratulations on your gorgeous baby girl!

    Thanks for sharing your story, it is so well written

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Perth
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    Gorgeous birth story

    I felt like i was there with you.

    You did so well

    CONGRATULATIONS

  4. #4

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    Reading parts of your birth story was like reliving some of mine! I too had the shakes at one stage and my daughter was posterior the whole time too.
    Congratulations on the birth of your little girl. I hope your tears healed quickly.

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