Thursday, December 13, 2012

Birth story, part deux

At this point, the last bits of the morphine were wearing off and I was starting to feel some intense pain. I tried sitting on a birthing ball but it did not make things better and was just making me tired from balancing. The only thing that helped with the contractions was the laughing gas. Oh, how I love the laughing gas! It did not take the pain away, but it made me high enough to not care as much. I stayed on the laughing gas for too long though, because after a while it was making me so drowsy that I was basically asleep between each contraction and all I was consciously experiencing was the pain.

This is where things got rough. First, they broke my water because somehow after a full day of contractions it was still intact. The contractions got even more intense after that, and I was using the gas less and less so there was even less pain relief.

When the midwife checked me I was allllllmost fully dilated so the midwife did this trick where she goes in and pushes the remaining bit of cervix past the baby's head. She did it in just a few seconds and it did not hurt at all = mad skills.

I hadn't peed in a really long time and the midwife suggested a catheter to empty my bladder to make more room for the baby to exit. I knew it would be uncomfortable but I had no idea how insanely painful it would be when coupled with the pain of transition. Holy crap, that was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life and I was crying hysterically. Fortunately, as soon as they took out the catheter I felt so much better.

At that point I started feeling the urge to push so we tried a few pushes. They kept telling me to wait until the next contraction to push, but by this time I was 30 hours into this ordeal and I just wanted the baby OUT so I totally cheated and pushed almost non-stop. The dreaded "ring of fire" was felt, but it was not as painful for me as the previous days of labour pains. It only took 40 minutes or so of pushing for her to come out screaming.

They put her right on my chest and she calmed down while they patched me up. I did tear but not where you'd expect. My perineum was totally fine, but I needed one stitch on each side of the vajayjay. It has now completely healed and you would never guess this baby's head came through that hole.

After dad cut the cord, they quickly cleaned her up and returned to me for her first feed. She found the food source right away and has been an eating champ ever since. I had some pain from her latching on at the wrong angle (nipple not high/far enough into her mouth), but we've been able to fix that problem by shoving my boob aggressively into her face, mwahahaha.

Since baby was perfect and I was doing well and did not have to thaw from an epidural, they let us go home that night. It was definitely nice to sleep in our own bed, especially since I hadn't actually slept the two previous nights. But in retrospect, we should have stayed the night just to get more breastfeeding support for the first few times. I think it would have made it a lot easier and less painful afterwards.

So that's how it happened. I know I am now seeing things through rose coloured glasses, but I feel like my labour was a very positive experience considering everything. All I really wanted was to have a vaginal birth with minimal tearing, and I got that, plus it was almost entirely drug-free except for the morphine shot in early labour. I am so thankful to have had such a great birth experience after a very difficult road to a viable pregnancy.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Without further ado, the birth story

It has been a whole month since the little kitten was born and I am finally starting to get some free time here and there. The first month was pretty tough feeding-wise and I've essentially been a dairy cow 24/7. But now I better write this down before I forget everything.

First, here are some quick stats:

  • K was born at 11:55am on November 11, 2012. 
  • We took her home at 6:30pm that day (yes, that WAS crazy!)
  • She weighed 3.025 Kg (6 lbs 10 oz) and was 47 cm long.
  • Labour lasted a total of 33 hours from when I woke up with real contractions. The early labour lasted about 24 hours until the contractions became regular and I was admitted to the hospital. 
  • It hurt like hell
  • I would do it all over again

Now, the long story:

On Friday, November 9th I was feeling pretty good. I drove hubbs to a hockey game at around 7pm and on the way home was feeling some very mild contractions, which was no different from the weeks before. I went to bed as usual.

At 2am (Saturday) I woke up with stronger contractions but they were very far apart so I tried to watch some TV and go back to sleep. The contractions started getting more painful and I could not go back to sleep, but they were very sporadic so I waited til 5am to wake up hubbs (mainly to tell him to get his work done for the day so he would be free in case this was the real thing). At around 9am I called the midwife to give her a heads up that I was feeling what appeared to be real labour.

[At this point, I was 38w4d pregnant so it was not too surprising, but honestly I wish I had more time to myself to get things done. I only had one week off work and was hoping for a few more days to just bum around the house and collect my strength - strength which I would desperately need to deliver the babe.]

The midwife told me that my contractions were too far apart (7-12 mins apart) to be active labour, but I should call back that night to figure out what to do next. By about 8pm, the contractions were still getting more painful but not very close together. The midwife came over and advised that I was not close to having the baby and I should get some sleep. There was no way I could sleep through the contractions, so we went to the hospital to get a morphine shot.

At the hospital, they made me do an NST before giving the morphine, but there was something wrong with the machine readout so it was almost midnight before I got the shot. Almost 24 hours into it and I was still only 2cm dilated and we got punted back home for the night. By this point I was pretty exhausted and in a lot of pain without any prospect of it ending, so I was happy to get the drugs. Unfortunately, the shot only gave me 3 hours of reprieve and I was up again at 3am.

By 5am I noticed that I was not feeling any fetal movement and I got a bit concerned so I called the midwife. She said it's probably the morphine in my system that's making the baby sleep for so long, but we should get it checked out so off to the hospital we went again. We got there at around 6am and got the baby checked out. There was also talk of possible petocin if I had not progressed and I was starting to get really discouraged. But as it turned out, baby was fine AND I was 7cm dilated! The midwife figured that the morphine had allowed me to relax enough to get things going. Off we went to the delivery room.

To be continued...