After childbirth, everyone wants to hear your birth story. What you expected, what you experienced and of course what pain medication you had.
My number one goal for the birth of my daughter was to avoid a cesarean. The next goal was to avoid an induced labour. But I was given an induction date at my 40-week appointment. Which was 12 days after my due date. I honestly didn’t try to interfere too much but I felt confident that I could avoid being induced. I had two ‘stretch and sweeps’, the second being a bit more vigorous than the first. Approximately 50 hours later, I thought I was going into labour. I got up to go to the toilet while watching a movie in bed when a glob of something landed on the floor. It looked like the inside of an egg. A runny outer bit with a darker coloured glob in the middle.
To the hospital, we go
Since I wasn’t sure what to do, I called the hospital. The hospital said they would probably send me home, but I should come in for a checkup.
My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 11 pm Friday night. I was monitored and appeared to be having very mild contractions. But the baby had not yet dropped into position. She was still sitting quite high. The nurses decided that I would be kept in overnight for observation. It was then that I knew I would not be going home until I had my baby. My induction scheduled for the next morning.
I got very little sleep that night due to the increasing contractions and extreme back pain. The back pain only got worse. My Saturday was spent being monitored and walking around the ward, stopping every so often when the pain took my attention.
At 8 pm I was connected to a machine again. But I was so uncomfortable and felt like I needed to go to the toilet. I buzzed for the nurse to unhook me but after waiting about five minutes I couldn’t wait any longer. Feeling impatient, I decided I would try to go to the toilet and I wouldn’t go back to bed until I had urinated.
That was when my waters broke.
The most accurate way for me to describe my waters breaking was a tsunami. As I was on the toilet, a gush of water laned in the toilet with such force it bounced back out, all over the floor. I felt immediate relief from what I had been feeling but I knew I would be meeting my baby very soon.
Into a wheelchair and off to a labour suite. I spent a lot of time swearing until my midwife told me how best to direct my energy. She also told me the best way to hold my legs.
My mum appeared at my side not long after I arrived in the labour room. I had made it very clear to both families that I only wanted my husband present during the birth. However, my mum had just finished her shift on another ward and came to see how I was. She offered to leave as was my original wish but I wasn’t about to send her home to wait for news of her first grandchild’s arrival. I put my mum on ice duty while my husband was at the business end giving me lots of encouragement.
It appeared that I was tearing so a doctor came in to perform an episiotomy. Within three hours of my water breaking, I was holding my daughter.
My daughter arrived at 10.46pm weighing in at 9lb 3.5oz (4180g) on our 3rd wedding anniversary, November 5.
I felt strongly about delayed cord clamping, my husband cut the umbilical cord after it had stopped pulsing.
The same doctor that performed the episiotomy came back to add a few stitches but left before doing anything. The damage was too extensive, I needed to go to theatre to be repaired. I sat up and asked to move across to another bed.
When I came there were about 10 staff around me. And I was whisked down to surgery. I remember the anesthetist had beautifully kind eyes, I trusted him immediately. A catheter and spinal block later, I was struggling to stay awake. Luckily a nurse told me that I could sleep. I was in surgery for about an hour. It turns out the tissue was so soft that the stitches kept tearing the tissue.
I finally arrived back in the maternity ward around 3 am. I was exhausted and absolutely famished. My husband had basically been left alone with our daughter while I was in surgery and he was glad to see me.
I received two blood transfusions, as I lost quite a lot of blood during the birth. Later that day I tried to get up to have an assisted shower but fainted again.
All up I had four nights in the hospital and three units of blood. Our daughter had no name for a day until we decided on Elise May. Elise was not on our shortlist but May is my middle name, as well as my mother’s middle name.