Today is my first bub - Master 8 :)
The Husband and I decided after 2 years of marriage that it was time to start trying for a family and thankfully for us, it only took us 3 months to fall pregnant. I took a home pregnancy test on 5th July 2002 and couldn’t believe I was seeing two lines on the stick. The Husband couldn’t believe it either and was already starting to panic! I went to the local medical centre the next day where they confirmed I was pregnant and our baby was due on 8th March 2003.
The pregnancy was very easy going and non-eventful and I spent most of my days stuffing myself silly on chocolate milk and mashed potato. We didn’t even find out what our baby was at our ultrasound as we wanted the ultimate surprise.
But then, I woke about 6am on Sunday 23rd February with a strange achy feeling in my lower belly. I didn’t think too much of it at the time. I went to the bathroom before going back to bed. I got up later at about 9am to have breakfast and get organised as I was going out at lunchtime to pick up my Mum so we could go to a friend’s Kitchen Tea.
The pain was still there but I noticed that every now and then it would change to a cramp – not unlike period pain. I let myself for a minute think – “I wonder if this is it?” but quickly wrote it off as wishful thinking.
I got ready to go out and was waiting for The Husband to come back with my car as he had just popped down to the shops. I was pacing the loungeroom floor and getting really cranky as he was taking ages and I was late leaving for Mum’s. The cramps were feeling a fair bit stronger – I even had to sit down for one of them.
The Husband finally got back and I left. I still felt crampy for the 20 minute drive. When I got to Mum’s she asked how I was and I said I wasn’t sure and went on to explain to her what had been going on that morning. She said it could be the start or it might just be strong Braxton Hicks contractions. We sat down for a while and had a cup of coffee. I was keeping an eye on the clock to try and time the cramps (I still didn’t believe they were contractions!). They were coming on every 5 minutes and lasting for about 30-45 seconds. I checked it for half an hour and let Mum know when each one started. She suggested I call the midwives at the hospital to see what they thought. I did, and they said the same sort of thing that Mum did earlier. She asked if I could talk through the pain, which I could, so she suggested that I could have a shower, maybe some panadol if I was in pain and to try and eat and drink for some energy.
Mum rang my friend who was holding the Kitchen Tea to let her know what was going on and that we wouldn’t be coming. I sat around for a little longer before saying to Mum, “I think I should go home. If this is really happening, I think I better go now while I can still drive”. Mum agreed and followed me home in her car.
When we got back The Husband was surprised to see me. I told him what was happening (I hadn’t mentioned that I had any pains at all that morning). He got a little freaked out but sort of excited too. We sat for a while longer but the pain was getting really strong. I had a hot shower which helped and Mum kept timing the contractions which were now every 3-5 minutes apart and lasting approximately 1.5 minutes. I rang the midwife again and explained to her how I was progressing. She said I could probably stay at home a little longer but I could come in if I wanted to. She then went on to say that I needed to be prepared for being sent home again if I hadn’t progressed very far. I hung up, not sure what to do. About 15 minutes later I said to Mum that I think we should go. We grabbed my bag and drove to the hospital. We got there at 5.30pm.
I remember saying to The Husband when we got there that they should put delivery closer to the entrance because I felt like I was walking forever!
I was in the examination room and the midwife came in. She put the CTG monitor on my belly and the contractions were still about 3-5 minutes apart with the same duration as before. She then did an internal but reminded be again that if I wasn’t dilated or not dilated much, she would be sending me home. When she finished, she said, seeming quite surprised herself, that I was 5cm dilated. I was so relieved - I was dreading to have to go home with the pain I was feeling which was really intense! I was already hanging out for the epidural that I was going to have. I went and had another shower while they got a delivery room ready for me.
As soon as I got in there I asked about the epidural. I had to wait half an hour while the anesthetist was with someone else, so they offered me the gas or pethidine. I opted for the gas and sucked on it gladly while I waited. It didn’t make me feel sick but nicely light headed and dulling the pain enough to make it a little more bearable.
The anesthetist came to put the epidural in which wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. It was working in about 10 minutes. It was wonderful! I was so glad I had it! The next 2 hours were an absolute dream. The contractions didn’t slow down too much or in intensity. They were about every 1-2 minutes but were relatively mild. My midwife did another internal (at about 9.30-10pm) and discovered I was fully dilated. My waters hadn’t broken yet so she did that then as well to try and move things along a little. She was a little concerned that the contractions weren’t quite strong enough although she was surprised that they got me as far as they did as quickly as they did.
If they were “mild” ones and they were that painful I’d hate to think what “strong” ones are like!
The contractions picked up a little in intensity after she broke my waters. She said she would let the epidural wear off rather than top it up to see if I would get the urge to push. It wore off about 10.30ish and I was quickly sucking on the gas again as the pain was getting quite severe.
At 11.30pm the midwife said “I think it’s time to get this baby out” so up went the legs into the most uncomfortable position imaginable, knees up around my ears and I’m pushing with all my might. After about half an hour I changed position to being on all fours leaning on the back of the bed. This helped a bit but baby was still sitting in there. Baby didn’t seem to want to budge and I was in so much pain as the midwife didn’t want me having any more gas. I went back onto my back and pushed a few more times.
After an hour she said that she needed to get the doctor as it’s the hospital’s procedure that after an hour the doctor must be called if there’s no improvement on the position of the baby. The doctor came in and checked me out – now that hurt! Having a head stuck in there and then someone’s hand trying to get in there too was all a bit too much. She kept a couple of fingers in to help widen the opening as I pushed and it was then that I discovered that I’m a screamer. I always said I hoped I wouldn’t be a screamer but I am because this hurt so much!
After about half an hour of this, the head was right at the opening but just wouldn’t come out. The doctor said that she’ll probably have to do an episiotomy which I overheard and said through my tears that I didn’t want to – I was scared of the pain. But I went through with it anyway. Once they did that, as per The Husband, she snipped, I pushed and the head went pop! Apparently I heaved a huge sigh of relief as straight after that the shoulders came out. All I remember is feeling this huge release of pressure. I had one more little push and baby was out and pulled up onto my chest.
I could barely see through my tears. I looked over at The Husband and my Mum who were both crying too. The Husband had the job of cutting the cord, which he did gladly. It was after that that the midwife asked “what do you have there?” and I realised that I hadn’t even looked! The midwife opened the legs a little and I saw. I cried out, “IT’S A BOY!!!” I was so happy as The Husband and I were really keen on having a boy.
Master 8 was born at 1.20am on 24th February weighing 3155g and a picture of absolute perfection – even with his squished up cone-head.
Soon after the placenta arrived and The Husband looked on in absolute fascination as the midwife was checking it over.
Another doctor came in a little while later to stitch me up. The midwife told me that I also had a second degree tear as well as the episiotomy. “No biggy” I thought and quite happily sat through having the locals, which were a little ouchy, but after what I went through I didn’t care!
I have to say, it was sort of what I expected and it sort of wasn’t. I had a pretty easy pregnancy with no complaints other than some heartburn and swollen feet. I always thought that because the pregnancy was so easy, the labour would be really bad. But it wasn’t. I was worried that the labour would be long and painful and that I wouldn’t be able to stand hours and hours of pain, but it wasn’t like that at all – time sure flies when you’re having fun! Well, maybe not fun but I was glad it all went really well.
This story was written a couple of weeks after Master 8's birth. Looking back there are things I wished I had done differently but I don't "regret", as such, the choices that I made (or were made for me) but they did make me think about how I would like my future births to go.
|Master 8 at one day old|
|Master 8 today :)|