It was a usual Friday night for me. I went to bed about midnight, and woke up at 3.30am having to go to the toilet (as you do when you are 8 months pregnant). I lay in bed thinking ‘I can’t be bothered getting up’ when all of a sudden, I felt what felt like a bubble pop in my nether region! My automatic response was ‘that was weird’ and then ‘oh! I’m wet! Did I just wet myself or did my waters just break??!!’ I couldn’t tell, even after I had got up, but as the early hours of the morning progressed and I kept leaking, I decided, yup, that was my waters! I tried to continue sleeping as I knew I would need my energy, but kinda difficult when you’re a bit excited, and you keep leaking!~~~~~
I told Rob about 7am that I was pretty sure my waters had broken, but I didn’t have any contractions yet, and he took the news pretty calmly. He later told me that he didn’t realise that that meant baby was on the way – he thought they could break a couple of weeks early! No wonder the calm response! Hehe!~~~~~~~
So in we trundled to the hospital. It was indeed my waters that had broken, and due to the fact that I had written a birth plan, I was allowed to go home to try and get labour to start of its own accord. If I had not written the plan, they would have induced me then and there on the spot! So, they gave me until 8am Monday morning for labour to start all on its own – 52 ½ hours after my water had broken.~~~~~
So my contractions started 11am on Saturday. They were spaced anywhere between 3 minutes and 15 minutes, and lasted from 30 seconds to 90 seconds. Probably spaced 7 minutes apart on average, and they stayed like that for the next few days. So I didn’t get much sleep!~~~~~
I wasn't coping with contractions, so 3:30 Monday morning we trundled into the hospital again, 48 hours since my waters broke. Man I was tired. But they were really nice, hooked me up to the monitors, and let us stay there. Rob was able to sleep on the couch in the room – he said it was the best 3 hours sleep he’d had in days. I was able to relax a bit more inclined on the bed, and again, sleep between the contractions. ~~~~~
But still, they didn’t become more regular!!! Stupid contractions. ~~~~~
So at 10:30am I was induced. They hooked me up to the Syntocinon and checked out how dilated I was. 1cm. One lousy centimetre after having contractions for 2 days straight. I was not happy. ~~~~~
One thing I did not realise about being induced is that once you’re hooked up, they have to monitor the baby’s heart rate constantly. I think this was the think I was most upset / annoyed about. I wanted to use all these natural pain relief methods (bath, shower, massage, birthing ball etc) as well as use things like walking to help when in labour, but all of a sudden these options were basically taken away. I was stuck lying on my back in bed. The one way that I did NOT want to spend my labour. ~~~~~
Anyway, there I was, on the Syntocinon, and now my contractions were about every 3 minutes. And more intense. And I was exhausted. Still. I was sleeping in between most of my contractions, even though they were so close together. ~~~~~
Next check was at 1:45pm. Ok, I thought things have got to be going well now, these contractions and all the visualisation of opening and widening have got to have made a decent dent in that necessary 10cm… 2cm. You can imagine how that went down. I was so tired and all I could think was, it took me 3 hours to dilate another 1cm, I’m still going to be in labour days from now. This little one won’t be born till Wednesday. ~~~~~
I finally decided I was too tired to cope with the contractions myself, I wanted some help dealing with them so I went for the gas. This was ok, except that coz I was so tired and was sleeping between contractions, I’d actually miss the beginning of each contraction – and hence started sucking on the gas a bit too late for it to work properly for the peak of the contraction! I used it for a while, and then decided it was too hard. So I laid off the gas for a couple of hours. ~~~~~
So anyway, nothing was happening… still… and it was about 4.30. My hubby decided that he would go home and get some lunch (we only live 10 minutes from the hospital) and would ring my mum and tell her to stop calling him, me and / or the hospital to get updates on how labour was going. Ever since I went into labour she had started ringing every 2 hours to get an update. It was soooo frustrating. (She later told me that she had seriously thought about how often to ring, and decided that she would leave it 2 hourly, as that wouldn’t be too often… All I could do was shake my head and roll my eyes at the phone). ~~~~~
So, while Rob was gone, and I asked the midwife what sort of options were open to me coz I was just sooooo tired. I was so tired I just didn’t know how long I could go on. I even seriously thought about having a c/s just so it would end and I could sleep. Her response was that my next check was at 6pm, and we’d just see how things were then. I could then go the morphine that would help me sleep between contractions, or the epidural. All I could think was ‘6pm? That’s an hour and a half away!’ ~~~~~
At about 5:30, while Rob was still away, I was just breathing through my contractions (big slow breath in (counting to 20 fast or just to 5 slowly) while pushing out my tummy as far as it would go, big slow breath out (same time length) while kinda pushing my diaphragm down). All of a sudden my body started pushing! This completely and utterly freaked me out coz you’re not supposed to push until they tell you to, and I sure didn’t want to risk having an even longer labour coz I’d damaged / swollen my inside bits by pushing too early! I remember saying over and over ‘I’m trying not to push, I’m trying not to push. My body keeps pushing! I’m trying not to. I don’t want to.’ It was just insane! It was like I had completely lost control! Rob turned up in the middle of all this - Thank goodness!!! The midwife was about to ring him. ~~~~~
My next check wasn’t meant to be until 6pm, but the registrar was walking past at 5:45 so she grabbed him and said ‘she’s got this really strong urge to push. Can you check how dilated she is now?’ He had a look and said ‘well that’s why… there’s the head!!!’ ~~~~~
So, I was told, next contraction I should push, so I did! I really couldn’t hear what the midwives were saying down there, I was kinda, well, I have no idea where I was, but my hubby was up near my head, and he was the only one getting through to me. All I did was kinda push with my breathing – kinda breathing down and out, without long drawn-out strain of holding of the breath. Apparently it was ‘perfect pushing’! Yay! Something going right! ~~~~~
It was so weird though – the noises you make when pushing!!! All I could think was ‘oh my goodness! Where is that noise coming from?!! I can’t believe I’m making that noise! People can hear me! People could hear me in the corridor! People will think giving birth is much, much harder than it actually is! It’s not THAT bad!’!! Yes, those were my actual thoughts! ~~~~~
So I started pushing at 5:45, and at 6:00 the midwives decided that the best course of action was an episiotomy. Rob went into bat for me (sorry, cricket terminology) and said ‘she really didn’t want one of those, can you just give her one more contraction to push?’ and they said ‘no, the baby’s heart rate is too low. We’ve got to get bub out’. So next contraction, at 6:02 I was given a 3cm episiotomy by one of the midwives, as they didn’t feel they had time to wait for the registrar to come and do it. Apparently I screamed, which I vaguely remember, as I had no idea what was going on at this stage. I think that I thought I just tore or something. ~~~~~
The cord was wrapped quite tightly around bub’s neck, so they had to cut it before he was even out. As soon as the cord was cut (and he wasn’t even out yet) the midwife pushed the emergency button. ~~~~~
He was born at 6:04pm and about 8 people rushed into the room and the baby was taken over to the other side of the room. This was the first time I realised anything was wrong. I just asked ‘is the baby ok?’ and the midwife said ‘yes, I saw him take a breath’. I then relaxed again, going half into that brainless world I’d spent the last half hour in. ~~~~~
A couple of minutes later they said ‘it’s a boy’ and I realised that I’d forgotten to ask, or to even care what we’d had! He was breathing and that was enough for me. ~~~~~
So that’s round about the end of my part of the story, now I will switch to Gabe’s. I didn’t find out this information until after he was a couple of days old, but this was how his life on the outside started. ~~~~~
His APGAR score when he was born was 4. He got a 1 for his heart rate which according to the chart means it was less than 100, and he got a 1 for his respiration which means it was just irregular gasps. They pumped oxygen into him for 3 minutes, and he started breathing more regularly. They said that if he had not picked up after 4 minutes they would have started working on his heart. ~~~~~
Tell you what, it was such a blessing to hear that first cry. It took him 5 minutes to be healthy enough to cry. And all it did was make my hubby and I have such great big smiles on our faces. ~~~~~
I still didn’t realise what troubles Gabe had had breathing. I was kind-of occupied with them getting the placenta out and that kind-of thing. He was placed on my chest for about 5 minutes for skin to skin contact, and then had to go down to the NICU coz his breathing was still not good. He spent his first night in a humidicrib, and then was just in a normal cot thing for the next 1 night and 2 days he spent down there. We went down there about 2 hours after birth and then found out he was 2.954kg (6.8lb), 48cm long with a 34.5cm head. ~~~~~
Due to his rather stressful time at birth, he had quite a few feeding issues to start with. He’s always had a good suck (I call him my excellent little sucker) but just had an exaggerated gag reflex, which meant he only wanted to ‘nipple feed’ rather than ‘breast feed’. This has improved a lot, but he still doesn’t always get it right! Practice makes perfect though. ~~~~~
We have an absolutely gorgeous, healthy, content baby, and feel so blessed. The biggest word I can use to describe my labour is exhausting. If I wasn’t so darn tired for the whole thing, and hadn’t had to be stuck labouring on the bed, I wonder what it would have been like. But even as it was, it was fine, and I would totally go back and do it again. People keep telling me how well I’m doing and how good I’m looking seeing as I gave birth not long ago! I think I blame it on the 2 most influential books I read during my pregnancy ‘Gentle Birth Method’ and ‘Hypnobirthing’. I think these really made a difference in my labour. ~~~~~
So there you go! The birth story of Gabriel Thomas Sykes, born 1st December 2008, 2.954kg (6.8lb), 48cm length, 34.5cm head, totally gorgeous baby! ~~~~~
Oh, and the parking ticked Rob bought to place in the car windscreen expired 1 minute after Gabe was born (it was after hours, so no fine). How’s that for timing!
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Hey there-- I've seen you around the July boards for awhile, but just realized you were also a Dec 08 mommy! Anyways- hope all is well with you! Take care!
PRETTY.STIXX 11/27/2009 11:32:43 PM
Hey! Thanks for the comment. That's really exciting that we're on the same due date team! :)
BRITNEY0886 5/21/2009 10:57:53 AM
Hey! Yes, I am on facebook... Look me up: Britney Jacobs Warner. That's the only thing I check daily. =) I'm doing really well. Jason goes back to work next week, so I'm a little nervous about being on my own with Lincoln all the time. J has been working from home for 4 weeks & only going to the office 1 or 2x per week. It's been SO nice, but it's almost over now. =( How are you & Gabe doing?
-MYSY- 4/8/2009 12:20:22 PM
Just remember up to 14 days over is considered fine! you can always tell them that you don't want to be induced before then. Don't forget the sex, hot curries, walking, and if you felt like it, you could always go acupuncture. God bless!
BRITNEY0886 4/8/2009 11:06:45 AM
I'm 10 days past my due date today... Just drank 2 oz of castor oil as recommended by my midwife. She said it's worth a shot since they'll be inducing me tomorrow or Friday if I don't go into labor before then. I'm praying this works! This pregnancy has been great until these past few weeks... found out I have group b strep, I've had days worth of consistent pre-labor contractions with no dilation, found out Lincoln is posterior, and now I'm REALLY over due. I'm SO ready to be done with it all and have my little boy!
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