On Wednesday the 29th of June I’d had two days rest and enough of being pregnant. Walking was increasingly difficult, as was getting up and doing anything for myself as pretty much any heavily pregnant woman can tell you. That night we had Mr. Wolff’s quiz night, I dragged myself along in the hope that it would encourage bub to come out. We had a great night and walking back to the train contractions seemed to begin.
Thursday 30th June
Contractions still coming, I alternately rested, slept and walked in the hope of jolting them in to something more. By the evening I decided to try the induction trifecta that had worked with my previous pregnancies. We went for a walk and then ordered an extra hot curry for dinner finishing with an introduction of natural prostoglandins.
Friday 1st of July
Serving me right for thinking that I had a fool proof method for kick starting labour and proving that every pregnancy is different, my trick not only failed to help but seemed to have stopped labour altogether.
Saturday 2nd of July
Still nothing except for the news that our fabulous best man Bob was on his way tomorrow to stay the week in the hope that bub would arrive while he was visiting. We made a trip to the market where I found I had no patience or desire to be anywhere near people and started cleaning the house and preparing for guests. A few niggles started at dinner time but I decided to ignore them given that they’d gotten nowhere so far. More curry, walking and prostoglandins were tried just in case. I also worked on letting go of the fear I was holding regarding the position that squiggle was in thanks to the ever lovely and reassuring Desert Darling. I figured if anything would stop our bub from arriving a fear of labour was going to be high on the list. That and all the optimal positioning in the world wasn’t going to turn her if she didn’t want to. It was time to let go.
Sunday 3rd July
A fairly uneventful day where I slept and made a list of other natural induction methods to try with a little more cleaning thrown in. Mr. Wolff was sent to the supermarket for evening primrose oil and snacks for labour.
At 6pm Super Best Man Bob arrived from Melbourne to spend the week with us.
Shortly after contractions started arriving in a more regular pattern. We had a lovely roast dinner cooked by Mr. Wolff and by the time I had eaten I was pretty sure these contractions were actually progressing. I went to bed early hoping to sleep as much as possible before the real deal happened.
11.30pm No sleep was to be found and I had Mr Wolff ring the midwives, contractions were 3 mins apart and a min long. The midwives advised that we should hold off until I couldn’t talk through the contractions.
We decided to keep trying to nap / rest while things got more serious.
Monday 4th July
3.30am We rang the midwives again and let them know we were coming in. I trundled to the car and awkwardly positioned myself in the passenger seat. I thoroughly sympathised with Desert Darlings’ recollection of Bays’ birth and was pleased that all we had to negotiate were traffic lights and roadworks and not speed bumps like they had.
We nearly got every green light on the way. The last set of lights were red and in time for a very uncomfortable contraction, and the 25k an hour stretch through roadworks, which Mr. Wolff kindly ignored seeing there was no actual work going on.
We arrived at the hospital at around 4.15am and were checked in and observed. I was given the option of returning home once we found I was only at two centimetres. I couldn’t bear the thought of two more car trips so I declined the offer.
After a couple of hours the contractions had intensified and all my plans for using massage to help went out the window as I couldn’t bear to be touched. I stayed on the bed which surprised me, but standing was agony with all the weight in my pelvis, I fared better using the pillows to prop myself into a position similar to Childs pose, with my butt higher in the air.
During the contractions my caesar scar started to pull, after a few more contractions the pain continued in between and as my panic grew the contractions dropped off. I began to feel like a trapped animal and was positive that the scar was tearing and we’d be off to theatre to have a caesar. My distress grew as I remembered the horror story I had stupidly read about a still birth following a rupture. The midwife amazingly kept me somewhat calm while we waited for a doctor to be available to check on me. If it wasn’t for the staff every step of the way onwards I would never have been able to get through the labour. After what felt like an eon the doctor arrived with an ultrasound machine and had a chat with me while she checked my scar. She explained that the scar was definitely in tact and that the pain was more than likely due to the over a decade break between pregnancies which meant the scar had some stretching to do. The scan showed that Miss was still facing up, so that may have had some impact on the scar pain.
I then consented to continuous monitoring and a bung placed into my hand in case of emergency. During the pregnancy I had been determined not to be continuously monitored due to lack of mobility, but after my panic I didn’t care anymore I just wanted baby to be safe and with the monitor I could hear that she was fine for myself. Even better the midwives had listened to my wishes and had gotten the only waterproof telemetry unit so I only had the bands around my belly and no cords tying me down. Even with the doctors reassurance and the monitoring my fear levels were high and slowing everything down. I was offered panadiene forte but because I’d been throwing up I decided that wasn’t going to be much help and opted for pethidiene instead, something I was also set against originally.
The pethidiene was perfect, I slept between contractions and they quickly reestablished without my panic the scar ceased to hurt and dilation moved along.
The fuzziness from the peth. was worn off and I found that rocking and squirming and breathing did little to take the edge off the contractions. Mr. Wolff tried his hardest to comfort me and keep my fluids up, but it wasn’t easy for him seeing I still had no desire to be touched. I asked about the bath but was told I had to wait until 10am due to the peth. I opted for gas again something I was initially against but knowing that if I started to panic again the labour would probably stall again I felt it was the smarter choice.
9.50am The midwife examined me and found I was at 9cm with waters still in tact. She got the bath running and told me that she’d break my waters if I wanted once the bath was ready. The next 20mins were some of the longest in my life as I waited for the bath to be ready. I had started feeling like I was pushing, not actively but my body taking over and gently pushing. I didn’t say anything as I desperately wanted to get in the bath. The midwife could tell though as she commented on it as I waddled to the bath.
10.20am sliding into that bath was one of the most pleasurable moments I have ever had. A bath has always been my sanctuary when sore, unwell or needing a destress. While the contractions were increasingly painful I would say that while not exactly lowering the pain level the water distracted me and took an amazing amount of pressure out of my pelvis. For the next 30 mins or so I pushed tentatively and couldn’t really feel Miss descending at all. My waters still had not broken but I was assured by the midwives that she was getting very close. Eventually my waters broke with a pop and sent a jet stream in to the bath, there was a little meconium but the midwives were not concerned as misses’ heartbeat was perfect the entire time. With each contraction rocking in the water helped me focus and distract myself from the pain, gas ensured that I kept breathing through the pushing.
Two series of grunting primal pushes later, I was getting about 3 good noise filled pushes per contraction, and the top of her head could now be unmistakably seen, dark thick hair and to my surprise face down. I have to admit with the pain searing through me I was adrift mentally and asked if someone could just pull her out. I know how stupid that is but it was the way my brain was dealing with the pain. Thankfully there were probably only four more series of pushes to get her out with a small break in between where I could actually feel her squirming inside me, which is possibly the most simultaneously amazing and revolting thing I have ever felt. I couldn’t process the fact that she would be moving while she was coming out.
Once her head was out that was it, one involuntary push later and Eve slid into the world through the water and was placed on my chest black/purple squealing and perfect.