I wrote Dd8's Birth Story Part A. I knew it was my last chance to write it before she was born. It took me such a long time to write, and as I was doing so I was having the odd contraction that I knew meant baby wouldn't be too far off. I took a picture of our meal that night. The last meal before baby was born. I cuddled Ds7 extra tight that night (we co-sleep) knowing it would be the last time he would sleep curled up in my arms, as my baby at least.
|This is a photo of Dh's meal. I would never add the chilli's ;)|
Saturday, 26th November
I woke at 5am and had a show. Not something I have had too often so early in labour. I had breakfast and noted contractions were starting to come regularly, now that I was up and about, but more importantly they had a quality that I knew meant it was time. I called my sister and we discussed how I'd work out when to go to hospital. She said that if my waters went I'd have to go straight away (my waters have only ever gone, at longest, 20 minutes before the birth, and that was with Dd1). I agreed that would defintately mean it would be time to go.
My mum called and told me how the next day was my Grandma's birthday (my Dad's mum who died when I was 11). She said I should go lay down and try to stop the labour until the next day so the baby could share the same birth date. I thought that would be a good idea too, I liked the idea of baby coming on my Grandma's birthday. But actually, I had already decided she would be born on the 27th of November anyway, the first Sunday of Advent, and feast of the Miraculous Medal seemed like just the day to me ;) So I went and lay down. After all, who knows, it might work...
Five minutes later I felt the baby move down and my waters burst (11am). Hmmm, so much for that, it would definitely not be the 27th after all. I had known it was wishful thinking. I ran through the house to the toilet with everyone staring at me wondering what could cause such flight. Nothing seemed imminent but I thought we had better get off to hospital. The last time before leaving for hospital I had said goodbye to everyone. This time Dh and I just raced out the door.
It was nice to only have to travel for a short time to get to the hospital. We were able to find our way up to the delivery ward easily. The midwife was waiting for us and took us to our room.
It was 12pm when we arrived. I was disappointed though after an examination to find that I was not in established labour yet. I knew the baby would be born that day, but oh no, I thought, we've come too soon! I was hooked up to a monitor. And this time it was not just for 10 or 20 minutes, it was continuously. A good thing though was that this midwife didn't insist that I lay down. She allowed me to stay upright and also to use a birthing ball with it on. There was nothing that was going to stop these contractions though. The week of preparation had led to the point where even keeping still wasn't going to stop progress. Thankfully it also wasn't uncomfortable to keep still.
At this point though I felt stressed. I wondered what coming in too early could lead to. And then there was the monitoring. My heart beat went up and up. I think in addition to the stress of having come 'too early', listening to the baby's heartbeat was causing mine to race. After a time (somewhere around an hour I think) Dh and I found the volume and turned it off, and I faced away from the monitor. I'm not sure if that worked to bring my heart rate down but I certainly felt better. I drank quite a lot of water because from previous experience I knew that good hydration helps both mother and baby with their heart rate.
1pm. (The hospital notes listed me as in established labour at this time. I don't remember if the midwife checked at this point, or if it was an estimate written down later)
We told the midwife when she came in and tried to turn the monitor volume up again about how we were worried listening to the monitor was causing me anxiety and she suggested we watch tv (there was a tv above the delivery bed!). I don't usually watch tv at home let alone in labour but I thought it worth a try, otherwise the baby might go into distress. So there we were watching programs from the 80's, a program somewhat like Family Ties, and then Different Strokes. Not something I ever would have thought would become part of Dd8's birth story. I think it did work to distract and relax me though.
At about 2pm
I think the tv was turned off around now. I took the monitoring stuff off to go to the toilet. I was going backward and forward between the bed and the toilet and I think the midwife finally gave up putting the thing back on realising we were getting close. I was starting to think 'oh no' it's almost time. For some reason I was not feeling very courageous for this birth.
I prayed through the contractions of this last hour. Offering up my sufferings for various intentions. I prayed 'Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you, save souls' over and over.
I was checked again and found to be 5cms and was contracting 2 or 3 times in 10 minutes (this was how the hospital notes list it). The midwife also said that baby was coming down 'head straight' so I needed to help her get in a better position (chin tucked). At this point the midwife put the cannula in. I didn't even have my name tag on yet, they actually put this on after the birth. I started looking around for a place to give birth. I had hoped to give birth on a mattress on the floor, which at my midwife visits I had heard would be okay, but having decided to accept whatever happened even if it wasn't to my liking I just decided the bed had to be it. I got up on the bed and knelt, resting against the top of the bed which was raised to its highest level (as I did for Ds4 and Dd5). I leaned forward a bit to create what I hoped would be a good position for baby to turn, and she obliged. I felt her do a big turn, right around. After this I'm a bit sketchy but before too long it was time to start pushing. And to my surprise it never got 'as bad' as I anticipated. Not the pushing, not the crowning nor the birthing. I was quite relieved! (She was 3.6kg's too at 38/6. Not any smaller than the others)
The second stage of labour started at 2.55pm and ended with her birth at exactly 3pm. A problem giving birth in the position I chose though is you can't see the baby immediately after the birth. At least you could quite quickly if the midwife helped by passing the baby up to you, but that is not what happened. I turned around and saw that my baby was indeed a little girl. The cord was cut and she was whisked off for a scrubbing down with a towel on one of those heated bassinet thingies they have in hospitals. I was a bit sad about this, I like to hold my babies straight away, just as they are and I thought this was usual in Australian hospitals and so hadn't put this on my birth plan. But what I wasn't told until much later was that she was born with the cord wrapped once around her neck. And this may have been why she was taken away like this. Perhaps it is procedure?
(My thoughts are that when she did that big turn around before her birth that maybe this was when she got the cord around her neck. Also this is the first time any of my children have been born with the cord around their neck.)
|The heated bassinet thingy.|
Holding her for that first time... The softness of her hair and cheeks! Her newborn smell! The wonder of seeing her at last! I suddenly thought of my two little miscarried ones as I looked at her. They too might have grown and looked like their little sister.
I was able to feed Dd8 straight away. It was a bit difficult with the cannula in my arm, I was scared to bump it and need to have a new one. I didn't realise that it is actually a bit of bendable plastic that is in your vein, not a metal needle. I needn't have been so cautious. I was so glad when they finally took it out when they took us down to the ward.
I had my 'best' tear. When the Dr. said a couple of stitches that was just what he meant. It must've been over in about 10 minutes. I learnt after the birth of Ds7, from the Dr. that stitched me up, that one stitch actually refers to the fact that one bit of string is used. They might sew you up like a patchwork quilt, but it is only called one stitch. After six previous occasions of having 'one' stitch I found that very informative. I always was confused how one stitch felt like 30 and how it could take 40 minutes!!
The Dr. I had this time didn't muck about either. No asking if I wanted pain relief, which I wouldn't have asked for anyway. But 'where's the person to hold my hand?', I thought ;) He was kindly, and as best I can tell did his job well. I was pleased it was all over quickly and without any fuss.
I almost went home from the hospital the night Dd8 was born but instead stayed overnight. The next morning I had just finished changing Dd8's nappy when she threw up a big lot of mucus. I picked her up but that was when I realised she was in trouble. Her face was all screwed up and she was going purple, she couldn't breathe!! I took her out to the midwife asking for help. She was opening her mouth but there were thick bubbles of mucus in her mouth and nose. She still couldn't breathe because of it. The midwife used Dd8's baby blanket to help clear her mouth and rubbed her back. Slowly came a crackling breathing! Thank God! She was breathing again! I have seen many of my babies choking on mucus but never like this! It was horrible! We took her to special care and the nurse there inserted a tube down her throat and syringed her tummy. 5ml of mucus was removed. She was fine after this. A few days later at home the reality of what happened hit me and I cried over the shock of what had happened and what might have been. If I hadn't have been looking at her when it happened, if I'd been asleep, or in the toilet, or at home instead of the hospital... She may have suffocated. So thank you so much for all your prayers!!!
And now it is almost four weeks later, almost Christmas. It seems so long since she was born already. Dd8 already seems too big to have ever 'fit' in my tummy. We have been so blessed with the birth of Dd8! We are enjoying having her in our lives so much! And because I can't think of where else I will write it, I want to remember the day we brought Dd8 home and Ds7 upon spying her belly cord clamp said with surprise, 'look baby has a lego piece!' I had to stop him before he grabbed her 'lego piece' lol
|Look at those abrasions on her cheeks!|