My little lizard fetus is here! And i wanted to come here and record the story of how he made his entrance to the world!
Skipping back a bit....
At 32 weeks i went for my ultrasound to see if my placenta had moved up. It had! Was given the go ahead to have a normal birth, and also got these cute 3d pictures of our baby!
At 35 weeks pregnant, i was contacted by our hospital to see if i would take part in a study/ trial they were conducting. They were testing out a new piece of equipment called the "epi-no" - a fairly basic rubber balloon attached to a pump that is used to basically stretch out the birth canal and perenium muscles. The idea is to use it as much as possible from 37 weeks of pregnancy up to birth in the hopes of making delivery easier, avoiding an episiotomy and not completely ruining the pelvic floor muscles.
I agreed to take part in the study which also involved an ultrasound at 36 weeks and an internal exam. A midwife did my ultrasound and told me that the baby's head was very low - completely engaged. That made me very happy, as at my last midwife appointment the baby was head down, but hadnt engaged at all. When the midwife did my internal exam, she said "oh yes, definately completey engaged, and things are starting to happen in there! Your cervix is already very soft. I got a bit excited by this news (by this stage of pregnancy i was completely uncomfortable and very ready to have this baby) and asked her if that meant the baby would come early??? She laughed and said she couldnt say yes, as some people can walk around at my stage for weeks and nothing happen, but that it was all good signs.
At 37 weeks, i started telling the baby its stay was over and it needed to vacate the premises.
At 38 weeks i finished work, and the nesting bug kicked in....either that or i just cleaned alot because i had nothing else to do during the day, but lets just call it nesting. I started getting very impatient for bub to come. My bag wasnt packed but mostly everything was laid out on the lounge ready to go. I figured that once id started having a few mild contractions i would pack the rest of the "last minute" things.
I was getting rather desperate to get the baby out, so started taking lots of walks and trying all the old wives tales about how to bring on labour. Had the odd pain here and there but nothing even remotely like a contraction.
On the 7th July, at 39weeks +1day, i woke up at 3am needing to go to the bathroom. Which wasnt unusual as by this stage of pregnancy, i was up every half hour or so needing to pee. However this morning i was stuck in there for awhile with diarrhea. The thought flitted thru my head that maybe this was the beginning of something, but id had the same thing two days earlier and nothing had come of it, so i wrote off the thought.
I went back to bed, but by 3.30am i was back up, feeling very uncomfortable and couldnt get to sleep.
Over the next hour i started getting these waves of pain - some were close together and some were about 10 mins apart. I thought they might have been contractions but i wasnt getting the "tightening feeling" id been told to expect so i really wasnt too sure. Id never even had braxton hicks contractions so i really had no idea what was going on.
At 4.30am, Jiras alarm went off for him to go to work. By this stage, i was in quite a bit of pain and told Jira that i thought he should stay home for awhile cos i was scared of being by myself. I said i thought that maybe i was having contractions, but that they'd probably stop and he'd be able to go into work late.
The pain was getting worse each time, so Jira helped me into the shower. I stayed there for about an hour. Jira stayed with me, and talked to me cos i was scared of being alone.
Once i got out of the shower, it was pretty obvious that although i wasnt getting the tightening feeling, these waves of pain were definately contractions. Jira started timing them. They werent all that regular, seeming to last for around 30 seconds and generally about 5 mins apart tho some were longer, some were shorter.
I said to Jira that we'd call our mums at 7am if i was still having contractions. I made it to 6.30 before caving in and calling. I dont think mum quite believed me at first when i said i thought i was in labour. I think she was truly expecting that id go overdue, not have a baby almost a whole week early!
Mid conversation i had a contraction that i had to put the phone down for. Jira picked it up and mum said to him to call the hospital cos from the sounds of my moaning, i was further along than i thought i was.
Mum and Michela got to our place about 7.15. Id already called the hospital and they'd said to just come down when i felt like i needed to. At this stage i was in alot of pain, but it was bearable and i really didnt want to go to the hospital. i was convinced that either my contractions would stop, or that id get there and they'd tell me i was 1cm dialated and send me home.
Unfortunately i was outvoted. My mum and Jira convinced me to go to the hospital. Mum kept telling me that this was the real thing and that i was further than i thought. At this stage the contractions were around 3-5mins apart. I eventually agreed - shes had 5 babies and she knows best!
As promised, i sent a quick message to kate, tamara and taryn, letting them know we were going to the hospital.
We got there around 8-830am. I was in good spirits. Laughing and joking in between contractions. I think i had two contractions on the way to the labour ward from the car park. A midwife buzzed us in and asked me what was going on. I said i was in pain. She said tell me exactly whats happening. I said i was having contractions. She said how far apart and how long are they lasting? I gave her this list that nam and michela had writen down.
6.45am - 45seconds
6.50am - 40seconds
6.54am - 40seconds
6.58am - 40seconds
7.02am - 40seconds
7.05am - 45seconds
7.10am - 25seconds
7.12am - 45seconds
7.15am - 55seconds
7.20am - 55seconds
7.25am - 45seconds
7.29am - 40seconds
7.34am - 15seconds
7.40am - 45seconds
7.45am - 20seconds
She showed us into the assesment room and said that either everything or nothing was happening. I could tell by the look on her face that she thought nothing was happening. Id only been in labour for 4or 5 hours and i wasnt making a big song and dance about it. She did an internal exam and said with a surprised look on her face "your 5-6cm dialated. Your definately not going home, infact i think you'll have a baby by lunch time!"
To say i was ecstatic was an understatement!
By this time, Dianne and Merinda had arrived and Dianne and my midwife (whose name was Janet) had realised they knew each other. Id been told that the girls (Michela and Merinda) would have to wait outside as i was only allowed 3 people in the delivery room, but as Janet was the Nursing unit manager and her and dianne knew each other, she let the girls stay with us.
We filled up the big corner bath in the delivery room and from about 9-11 i just lay in the bath having contractions. I was coping pretty well as long as i relaxed completely. I found the best thing was lying on my side, having Jira or mum hold my head above the water so i could just go completely limp and not drown.
Was probably about 10.30 when the midwife offered me gas. At first i said no, but then i think i started to go thru transition cos it was only a few minutes later that i asked to try it. I had two contractions sucking on the gas mouthpiece but absolutely hated it. To use it properly, u have to breathe thru your mouth, and all i wanted to do was breathe thru my nose. The pain was so much worse when i couldnt breathe thru my nose. I told them i didnt want it, but the midwife said i could use a face mask instead and that worked a bit better.
I used that for the next few contractions (maybe a total of 5 contractions) before Janet the midwife said she thought i was probably fully dialated and i needed to get out so she could examine me.
Mum told me later that Janet had also offered me pethadine but that id said i didnt need or want it. I dont remember this at all!
So at about 11am i got out of the bath, and Janet said i was fully dialated and that if she broke my waters id be able to push.
I was scared of the pain of her breaking my waters as id heard it was very painful. Janet must have seen the look on my face cos she told me to take a deep breath and calm down. She said it wouldnt hurt. So i did, and she was right. I barely felt it. All i felt was the gushing of my waters. I couldnt beleive how much fluid there was!
So then it was time to push. Jira held one leg and mum held the other. Janet and Dianne were down the business end and Michela and Merinda were up behind my head, probably completely traumatised!
Janet coached me to push with each contraction and oh my lord, i have never felt anything like it. It was the most awful experience. intense pain - way worse than the contractions. Janet, Dianne and mum all kept telling me to push! push harder! harder! and i kept screaming back that i couldnt push any harder! i swore, told them all i hated them, begged someone to help me, cried, screamed then swore some more. At one stage i even told my own mother in law to F off! (lucky she found it funny!)
The feeling of his head moving down then sliding back was awful. i absolutely hated it, and really didnt believe that id ever be able to get this baby out. At one stage, to encourage me, they held up a mirror so i could see what was happening. All i could see was this tiny little bit of a head. i cried even harder! It didnt encourage me at all! all i could think was, jesus ive done all this pushing and pain and thats it???
Just before 12, Janet said to Dianne that this baby wasnt coming out without an episiotomy. She asked if she could do one and i moaned no. So she said, ok she wont do it. Then i realised what id said and said, yes, yes please just do whatever to get him out!
She gave me some anesthetic and then made the cut. One push and his head was out! Mum said to me "look look! the heads out!" but i didnt really care! One more push and the shoulders came out and this squirmy, slimy baby was put up onto my chest.
I burst into tears - relief, exhaustion and joy that not only was the pain all over, but i had this perfect baby! It was probably about 30 seconds before i realised i didnt even know if the baby was a boy or girl! I tried to look, but the midwife was passing Jira the scissors across my chest to cut the baby's umbilical cord, and there just seemed to be arms and hands everywhere and i couldnt even see which end of the baby was up! I kept saying "is it a boy? is it a boy?" (- i was so sure he was going to be a boy that i didnt even ask if it was a girl! ) and i heard my mum say, "of course its a boy!" (she was very sure it was a boy as well! lol).
I remember asking the nurse if he had all his fingers and toes, and she said "have a look for yourself, they're all there!". I also asked about a hundred times if he was ok, and why wasnt he crying?? He had come out absolutely screaming, but had stopped after a few seconds. The nurse told me to give him a second, and then started rubbing him down with a towel and that got him yelling again!
Someone asked us what his name would be. We had a name picked out for both a boy and a girl but i had said that i was reserving a final decision until i saw the baby. We had picked Felicity Jane for a girl and Thomas Michael for a boy. I looked at Jira and said "is it going to be Thomas?" and he said yes. So that was that.
After half hour or so, the midwife said i should try to give him a feed. He latched on well, with a little assistance from my mum, and fed for the next hour.
The registrar stitched me up while i was feeding him. Boy did that hurt! they kept giving me anisthetic but it didnt seem to help much. i actually used the gas for the stitches longer than i had during contractions! They'd been stitching for about 15 minutes when the midwife said it wasnt good enough, made the woman take them out and went and got a surgeon to do it again! Geese that sucked!
After the stitches were done, mum helped me to the shower to clean up while Jira stayed with Thomas and he was weighed and measured. He weighed 3.5kilos (7pound13oz) and was 48cm long. Head circumference was 33cm. he is so gorgeous and we are both absolutely in love with him!