Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Poppy's Birth Story

I saw the Birth-story carnival happening over at Sarcastic Mom. How could I pass up the chance to reminisce the arrival of my lil' Popstar? I also have Jaynie, Darcy & Cammie's birth story but Poppy's is the most recent and my only drug-free Birth (apart from 2 sucks of gas).

I had epidurals for the others. Why that counts I have no idea, how a child enters this World is completely irrelevant to me. I am so thankful that modern medicine lets us bring home babies (and mothers) that would not have survived in earlier times. But I realise that view isn't held by all. Anyway, onto my 'baby's' arrival, 13 months to the day after her 'big' brother:

I lost my mucous plug at 33 weeks and had pain on and off since. By 37 weeks I had truly had enough of lugging a big 12 month old up & down stairs and being in constant pain. Everyone got sick with a gastro and a couple of days later I copped it along with more contractions. I ended up in the Birth Suite for monitoring but it seemed to be more of the same irritable uterus contractions that I had been having for weeks.

I had a Midwife appointment at 38+ 5 and she booked me in to see the Doctors to discuss induction. We went in on the Thursday expecting to be told to wait it out as the hospital have a policy not to do ‘social’ inductions under 41 weeks. Michelle looked at me & said – how’s Tuesday for you? It sounded wonderful as I had been having 3-4 hour blocks of contractions at 3 minutes apart since my gastro session 2 weeks earlier. She did an internal and said I was 2 ½ cms dialated and did a stretch and sweep hoping to get things going. Seeing as I had never gone past 38 weeks before this was a new experience and not one I was enjoying!

I had bloody show for the whole weekend and hours & hours of contractions, but never constant enough to warrant heading into the hospital.

Tuesday morning came & by 7am we were in the car on the way to the hospital to finally meet our baby. Steven and I were both laughing that she was a stubborn little thing, determined to make a grand entrance when she was ready. I was so nervous, after having gone through this 3 times before I was well aware of what I was in for and just didn’t want to go through the pain. I was scared of the pain, scared of the epidural, scared of having a baby 13 months after my last one – just SCARED!

Having gone through the Birth Centre for my pregnancy I was bummed at having to go to the delivery suite but had been reassured that if it was at all possible, I would have a Birth Centre midwife to help during my labour. I had grown quite close to the Midwives, especially Virginia who had been a constant source of positive energy & reinforcement during my very difficult pregnancy. I was absolutely thrilled when I walked into room One to find Virginia waiting for me! I turned to Steven and said “everything’s going to be fine, it’s turning out the way it was meant to”. Virginia had been on holidays for the past 3 or so weeks leading up to my labour, so it really seemed like fate!

A Dr came in & try to insert a canula. Three attempts later we were having no joy – my veins had disappeared! I sat with my hands in warm water for 10 minutes and had a cup of tea while we waited for another Dr & some local anaestethic. I had freaked out while we were attempting the canula, it was so painful and I just felt so unready for this. Virginia told me I was fine, the baby was fine & she wouldn’t let anything bad happen. She just took total control & micro-managed everything, doctors included, she was wonderful. I made a conscious decision to hand the reins over to her and put my complete trust in her. Everything calmed down for me after that.

The canula finally got put in, had some monitoring then it was time to break my waters. Virginia announced me 3-4 cms and very stretchy and proceeded to break my waters at 8:30. She started the drip at the lowest amount and after a little bit more monitoring told us to go for a walk , get Steven some breakfast and come back in an hour. What a difference from Cameron’s Birth! We had been stuck on the bed on the monitor the entire time. We felt so funny sitting in the cafĂ©, knowing I had dripping waters and watching the World go about it’s business!

I had a few more contractions, enough to stop & breathe through them but nothing new compared to the last 3 weeks. We got back to the room at 9:40 after walking past the nurses’ station and having a chat to the Doctor about having to boot that drip up as I was still talking!

Virginia put the drip up one more increment & I looked at the clock - 9:50am. The student Dr Emma began asking us questions about our other Births when all of a sudden – WHAM. A huge contraction. “This is it” I said to Steven and proceeded to cry – it was so painful & I still had hours to go! Virginia set the fit ball up on the end of the bed and showed me how to lean over it and roll my hips. She got Steven to stand behind me to ensure I was doing enough as I just seemed to get stuck still, banging on the ball and moaning. I went from a do-able contraction every 4 minutes to one on top of the other, impossible pains!

Virginia ducked out & came back in to set up the gas – I was reluctant to use it as when I tried it with Jaynie I just felt sick but she told me I had to use it to slow down my breathing. I used it for 2 contractions. I can remember the noise of the machine & Steven telling me “listen to the noise, concentrate on the noise”. In the background I could hear Virginia “All’s fine, everything’s fine” in a low unhurried voice. Whenever I got a mini break between contractions she would tell Steven and I how well we were doing, we were having our baby and we were great.

All of a sudden I got so tired and needed to wee so bad. I announced “I can’t do this anymore, it’s too much, I need to wee”
Virginia got me to the toilet and I started crying & told her to organize an epidural please, I couldn’t do it anymore.

As soon as my bum hit the toilet seat I was overwhelmed and started begging for an epidural & I just couldn’t wee. She grabbed me in a big hug and told me it might be too late but hop on the bed and she’d check. I got quite hysterical at this point & started arguing that it was too soon, I wasn’t dialated enough & I couldn’t bear the pain for hours more.

I clung onto Steven for dear life as they raised the head end of the bed and he helped me get on to it & untangle the drip. We seemed to be completely connected, everything I thought I needed - he’d do. I’d think “I need to be held” and an instant later his arms would wrap around me or I’d think I need pressure on my lower back & his hand would be there before I could ask – it was amazing and a little freaky!

All of a sudden I was bearing down and Virginia said, “here she comes!” I lost all inhibition and was groaning so loud, apologizing for making so much noise, then groaning again. I had one contraction, felt a clunk, felt it ease a bit, then peak again when her head was delivered and then she just came flying out at 10:22am!

I remember leaning over the end of the bed exhausted, crying then Virginia telling me to turn around & meet my baby. I told her I couldn’t as I hadn’t had her yet! Eventually she manually turned me around and I saw my little girl. I think I said “Wow” then sat there in dumb silence for more than 20 minutes! I couldn’t believe it was over and there was my baby! I actually went into shock as it was so quick.

My established labour was 32 minutes from first “this is it” contraction to her being delivered. Transition to Birth is written as 11 minutes.

After I got my voice back, we sat discussing names. She was meant to be a Hayley Mae but just didn’t look like one – she looked like a Poppy so Poppy Mae she is!

3460gms or 7 lb 6 oz and 49cms long.

I was back in the ward by 12 and had the kids in by
1pm! Such a difference to my other labours: Anna-Jayne was 24 hours, Darcy 12 hours and Cameron 4 ½ hours, all with epidurals.


Kylie said...

Leah - you write so beautifully... What an amazing birth story - you might have to sleep at the hospital for #5!

Love K

Meggy said...

My babies are all big now, 16,13&10, but I also gave birth completely drug free, naturally and didn't need a stitch with any of them, 9lbs 1oz, 10lbs 8oz & 10lbs 10oz. I say go naturally all the way! It pays off and immediately after their births I would hop off the bed, have a shower and walk to my ward. Your story brought back memories...