I have been meaning to write this post pretty much since I gave birth six months ago but for some reason or other, I always just end up writing about a different topic. As my little baby is now 6 months (bittersweet as usual) I wondered whether there was even any point in writing about this anymore and I came to the conclusion that there is! I personally love reading about and watching other mothers talk about their birth stories and I wanna be that mum too, dammit!!
I’ve previously spoken about my crappy preganny experience, more specifically suffering from gestational diabetes which I wrote about in one of my posts. Because the insulin causes the baby to grow bigger than what is deemed ‘normal’, almost all women with this condition are induced as it is not recommended they they go on to 40/42 weeks or more commonly known as ‘full-term’.
When I first found out about my GD and told I’d probably be induced, I was upset because I wanted my baby to come out when she was ready and not forced to leave her home (get it?!). This feeling only lasted until about 32 weeks when I started getting super uncomfortable just being alive and literally spent most of my time in the toilet. I later found out that I’d be induced at 38 weeks and 5 days. A pregnancy is considered full term from 37 weeks so I wasn’t worried about my baby would being premature at this point. Also, I was so fed up with life, bored of pricking myself with a needle numerous times a day to test my sugar levels and just wanting to meet my baby at that point that I started seeing the silver lining.
I was booked in on a Monday and told to call the labour ward at around 8am on the day so they could let me know when to come in and they told me to come in at 10am sharp. The night before, hubby and I went to dinner and then to the cinema for the very last time as just us because we’re soppy like that! I think I spent that evening having to go to the toilet so much that I don’t even remember the movie.
I wasn’t at all nervous though. I was Just excited. I remember leaving my flat that morning thinking that the next time I’m home , I’ll be a mother (eeeek)! So, we get to the hospital and typically, I’m told to wait, and wait and wait ( they really need to sort out the staff shortages, damn!)!
Eventually, I’m taken to a room, strapped down in machines to monitor bubba’s heartbeat and left to it. All the while I’m hearing women screaming and crying like it’s the end of the world but because I didn’t feel the pain yet, I just laughed ( of course I found out soon enough karma is a b****) A midwife comes in around 2pm to do a cervical sweep on me to bring about labour. I think the procedure is a basic sweep of their finger around your cervix but when I tell you this woman literally had her whole hand up inside of me. The pain I felt let me know ‘ish’ was getting real!
A pessary was then inserted up in me to trigger contractions and get the show on the road as far as labour. I was told that the pessary takes around 24 hours to work and so I shouldn’t expect anything for a while. WRONG. I don’t know if it was the hand violation or whatever else but almost immediately after putting it in, I started feeling very uncomfortable (moderate pain) and started getting contractions. Though manageable, they were coming on literally every minute from the get go so I was in constant pain with very little time to rest in between.
The contractions carried on and got stronger as the hours went by and eventually the doctor in charge instructed that the pessary be removed as I was overreacting to it (common with some women). At this point I was extremely tired and my moans started turning into groans. I had read somewhere that a bath helps with the pain so with the midwives permission, hubby ran me a bath. I cant say the bath helped but whatever! Nothing is really much of a help when you feel like bones are crushing, is it!
Around 11pm, I was checked and informed that I was only 2cm dilated. What the bloody heck?! From 2pm to almost midnight and I’m only 2cm dilated! Eventually my waters brok but the midwife said not to expect anything until Wednesday as I was still 2cm dilated. To help with the pain she gave me gas and air. It helped initially but then I started vomiting green stuff (tmi) and my life started flashing before my eyes. I was actually told that induced labours are usually more painful than natural labour and though I don’t have anything to compare it with, I can say I believe that!
I had said in my birth plan that I wanted epidural on standby because although I was going to try my womanly best give birth without one, if push came to shove I wasn’t gonna try and be a hero and prove a point either. I mean I’m the one feeling the pain! Things got very blurry very quickly but around maybe 2am I was checked again and I had dilated 4cm. This meant that I was ready for the delivery room, Yay!
In the delivery room, I literally started crying because the pain became unbearable. As I said, I can only describe it as someone crushing all my bones- all 206 of them at the same damn time with tremendous force. At that point I was begging for epidural because I seriously thought I’d die. I also remember asking to die because all of a sudden death became very appealing. My family and hubby didn’t want me taking epidural because of the alleged back pain it causes but I can honestly say at that point, I didn’t care about back pains. I wished all I had at that point was back bloody pain!
The anaesthetist was busy administering someone else (just my luck) so I had to wait for what felt like an additional nine months, I kid not. My speech was incoherent, my vision was blurred, I forgot every mantra I had recited to myself earlier. I REGRETTED being pregnant. Yes, I remember wishing I’d never gotten pregnant because labour sucks. Of course I didn’t mean it…well I didn’t then but you get my point.
Twelve years later (slight exaggeration) , the guy came in for my epidural but then spent another five years getting himself ready ( I exaggerate not). The guy was slower than a snail….a newborn snail at that. He finally did it and it was the best thing ever because I could actually rest. Though I wasn’t at all numb from the feet down like most women, I still felt relieved. The epidural didn’t really work well for me because I could still feel my contractions but it was so much better than before and I was grateful.
Around 5am I was checked again and the doctor couldn’t believe that I was fully dilated. So much for expect nothing until Wednesday!! She was wrong and I didn’t have to wait until bloody Wednesday – thank God. I was told I’d be ready to push in about an hour or so.
Two hours later and it was time to push so I pushed, and pushed, and pushed some more. A total of TWO hours to be exact and nothing. To say I was exhausted is an understatement but let’s just say I was exhausted! The doctors then decided to give me a hand and used a ventouse to get the baby’s head out. Now, let me tell you that I loved the epidural until then. Unfortunately, the labour gods wouldn’t let me be great and I felt what I can only describe as a ring of fire around my lady bits as the baby’s head was crowning. The film the Exorcist comes to mind when I think of the way I was screaming and the way my body was doing acrobatics.
Another contractions and I officially became a mum on 8th November 2016, at 8:57am. I believe in God but if I had any doubt that He existed before, I now know that it can only take a God to create something as beautiful as childbirth. One minute I was just me and the next I had this amazing miracle in my hand.
I cried, no longer because I was in pain but now because I was experiencing the most overwhelming feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life. I suddenly knew my purpose in life. Everything suddenly made sense. I was a mum and I knew then that this is what I was created for and I loved and still love every aspect of that it!
Pessary – an elastic or rigid device that is inserted into the vagina to support the uterus and trigger contractions/labour.
Cervical Sweep – Before inducing labour, women offered a “membrane sweep”, also known as a “cervical sweep”, to bring on labour. The midwife or doctor sweeps their finger around your cervix. This action should separate the membranes of the amniotic sac surrounding your baby from your cervix.
Ventouse – also known as vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery or vacuum extraction (VE), is a method to assist delivery of a baby using a vacuum device.