In my last post, my 38 week update, I mentioned that at my last midwife appointment there had been a few things that had unsettled me & reminded me of the latter stages of my pregnancy with Connor. My blood pressure this time was exactly the same as it had been just before I got told I had pre eclampsia last time – literally exactly the same. That appointment was the Wednesday and on the Thursday I started having what I thought were Braxton Hicks, this wasn’t unusual as I had them really bad & from really early on this time around. However, they didn’t go away – they started at around 10 mins apart & then got quite erratic, some every 2 mins, some were 15mins. I decided to phone triage at around 7.30pm just to see if they thought it could be labour, the midwife asked me a few questions about the contractions one of them being ‘so you’re in pain during the contractions, pain builds & then goes away and you’re pain free until the next one?’ It was then that I realised that although I was having contractions the pain wasn’t going away completely, I always had a dull aching feeling going right round from my back to underneath my bump. The midwife said that it sounded like it could be early labour but the fact that I was in constant pain caused her concern and she wanted me to get check out.
David was playing football so my Mum drove me to the hospital. Typically it was the night of the Super Moon so the place was absolutely heaving. We got there about 8.30pm and weren’t seen until after 10pm, by this point I couldn’t sit down & was getting what I thought were contractions very regularly. They hooked me up to the monitors to check on baby & took my blood pressure which surprise surprise wasn’t behaving. I was left on both monitors for half an hour and told that if my blood pressure hadn’t settled by then they would take bloods and see if anything was happening. Of course it didn’t settle & they sent away a few vials of blood to be tested for god knows what!
Fast forward to 1am and I finally get taken off all monitors and left to wait for a doctor to come & see me. Unfortunately all doctors were in the operating theatre but they would be with us as quickly as they could. At 4.30am othe doctor finally arrived. We discovered that there was protein in my urine, my blood pressure was also still raised, I had swelling in my hands and ankles & one of the blood tests had shown that my kidney function was slightly wonky. Basically if you had a preeclampsia checklist I was ticking every bloody box! I had 2 choices – I either went home and came back every couple of days to have my blood pressure monitored or I could be induced. Obviously induction was the preferable option because by this point I was well & truly fed up. By now it was 5am on Friday morning so I was given a sweep (absolutely horrific, I don’t recommend it!) and was booked in for an induction on the Saturday afternoon. I came home, did what I had to do and got organised to have a baby!
Given that my induction with Connor was 36hours from start to finish I braced myself for much the same this time around. David and I set off hospital after dropping Connor off at my Mums, we got settled, I was put on the monitor again for 15-20mins before I was checked to see what method of induction would be best. After having the sweep I’d been cramping all night but on further inspection I wasn’t dilated and my cervix was still really far back so they opted for the pessary. It was 3.30ish at this point and I was told that unless my water broke I wouldn’t be checked again until 24hours later, so we decided to go for a walk to see if that would get things moving. Within an hour I was getting contractions, again they were really erratic but I took it as a good sign that things were progressing. David left at around 9pm & I tried to get some sleep, by then the contractions were coming every 5minutes and they were getting stronger. Pain relief wise I’d been offered paracetamol and codeine all day but had refused it as I figured it would be better to wait but come 11pm I was fed up and gave in. Not that it did anything right enough so I didn’t bother asking for more. Sleep was basically impossible so I had a bath at 4am to see if that would help and strangely enough it did. It didn’t take the pain away but in the warmth of the water the contractions were definitely more bearable which confirms my belief that I would’ve liked a water birth – maybe next time eh?!
David came back at 11am, he’d tried to get in at 9 as we’d been told by a midwife the night before that was when the ward opened but she was wrong. The poor soul was raging and had to wait in the cafeteria until the ward finally opened at 11am. By now I was utterly fed up, the contractions were coming thick and fast now & every time I stood up they came quicker – obviously this made me want to lie down but I was told to try and stay upright. It didn’t help that everybody who was in the ward with me when David left the night before had all gone to labour ward to have their babies & I was still waiting. It was like that scene from Friends when Rachel’s having the baby!! I hadn’t had any pain relief since 11pm because it didn’t have any effect so I didn’t see the point in taking more but I was told by the morning midwife that I should take it regardless of the effect it was having (or lack of in my case) as it was a good base for any pain relief I’d want later on. I had paracetamol and codeine 4 hourly from that point. I had another bath just after David came in and again it helped somewhat but the walk to & from the bathroom was a killer. I spent the rest of the afternoon bouncing on my birthing ball & doing figure of 8s – I’d been told by Connors Water Babies instructor Wendy that this was a good way to help baby turn and come out the right way.
My Mum & sister came to visit at about half 2 & my sister started counting my contractions, they were roughly about 2-3 mins apart but my waters still hadn’t gone. I finally got rechecked at 4.30pm & it was so bloody sore, I literally could’ve cried. But thankfully I was now 3cm & could go to labour ward, woo!! By the time they came to take me round to have the baby it was 6.30pm. Our midwife, Angela was so lovely, she asked me how I wanted everything to go and what I wanted/didn’t want. I think I made it pretty clear that I wanted an epidural, I was so done with being in pain at that point I just wanted some relief. After Connors birth, I knew I didn’t want diamorphine – it had made me so sick and itchy as well as making me feel completely out of it -so I made sure I told David & the midwife that no matter what I didn’t want it. That was all fine & we headed round to labour ward, I was straight on the gas and air the minute I walked through the door & felt great for about 10 minutes. Angela rechecked me before breaking my waters and said I was 4cm stretching to 6cm and that after my waters went I should labour pretty well. She broke my waters at about 7.10pm and literally within minutes the pain was so intense that the gas and air had absolutely no effect. I asked for an epidural & was told that they needed to take blood before I could have one so they inserted a cannula into the side of my hand, took blood and off she went. What felt like hours later she came back and I asked again for the epidural, Angela told me it could take a while and that I was doing great – it really didn’t feel like it. I remember looking at David and saying to him – I need diamorphine. He was so good and said ‘remember you said you didn’t want it, it made you all itchy, you’ll get the epidural soon’ but by then I couldn’t take the pain anymore, my contractions were one on top of the other and I was getting absolutely no relief, as much as I knew I didn’t want diamorphine something had to take that pain away.
David buzzed for Angela and explained the situation, she also reminded me that I didn’t want diamorphine but when I told her I couldn’t stand the pain any longer she nodded & left the room to get it for me. Within a couple of minutes of her leaving I heard myself say to David ‘I need to push’, he got the fright of his life & immediately hit the buzzer. When Angela walked through the door he said ‘she says she needs to…’ and she said push before he did! She said ‘I was just saying to the girls out there, that’ll be Victoria to tell me she needs to push’. She had brought the diamorphine with her and said that I would be better to just have half a dose and then I wouldn’t be completely out of it after the birth. I remember saying to her ‘no, I want the whole thing & I want it now’!! She then said to me when you feel you can turn on your side & face David, this needs to go into the top of your leg. It took almost everything I had to even try and turn but just as I did she said ‘stop! Sorry Mrs, but this baby’s coming now, no time for diamorphine!’ So I just had to carry on with gas and air. Strangely enough pushing gave me a relief which I hadn’t expected & the ‘ring of fire’ wasn’t anywhere near as painful as I’d thought it would be.
I have no idea how many pushes it took but I know it wasn’t that long & our beautiful baby was here. A gorgeous baby boy. Born at 7.53pm a mere 43minutes after my waters were broken. He had his cord wrapped around his neck & his body three times, apparently if that hadn’t been the case then he would’ve been out much quicker! He weighed in at 7lb 4oz, pretty good for being 2weeks early & he looked exactly like his brother. If I hadn’t been there I would’ve said it was the same baby. I was in total shock because I’d been so convinced we were having a girl, this pregnancy was so different to Connors but there you go. It felt amazing to be so clear headed after the birth, compared with the last time when I’d had every type of pain relief possible. He ate basically as soon as he was born and didn’t stop for a few hours, just like his brother and then he slept from 1.30am til 6am. Because everything was fine & I was so desperate to get home to see Connor we got discharged at 9am.
The poor wee soul didn’t have a name for a good few days but we finally decided on
Mason Alexander Fisher
He was absolutely worth the terrible pregnancy and having to be induced, I really would do it again 10times over. His birth was so empowering. I never understood it when I heard other Mums say that but it really was. Actually being able to feel him enter the world was amazing – painful but amazing.