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I doubt you're in labour -> oh there's his head in 5 mins

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

I doubt you're in labour -> oh there's his head in 5 mins

A few people have asked me to write my labour/birth story. This post took me days to write because a) I got interrupted a lot and b) the memories made the afterbirth pain seem worse. It's not a well-written post. It flicks between past and present tense. It's long. I haven't edited it. It's too much information and overshare according to some. It is, however, my story, for those curious enough.

It was the day of my baby shower. Corey, Alexis and I woke to a freak storm very early in the morning. We told Alexis that if the storm didn't settle before it was time to leave for swimming we wouldn't be going as it was too dangerous.

We were all disappointed as Alexis loves swimming lessons. I was especially upset as I had planned to go watch her. I hadn't been in ages and I thought it might be my last opportunity in months. Once William was born I would not have the opportunity to tag along as I would not want to take him with me.

We said a little prayer asking God to calm the storm. A few minutes later the lightning stopped, the thunder slowed and the rain lessened from harsh horizontal torrential "I can't see a thing" rain to just normal rain. We grabbed some togs and towels and jumped in the car, thanking Jesus that we could take Alexis to swimming after all.

I sat on a towel (to protect from cold, hard, wet bench) and watched my girl. She had come so far. She did so well. After swimming we came home, showered her, and put her down for a sleep.

I tried to sleep but I just could not get comfortable. My back hurt. I was also nervous about my baby shower and upset that so many people weren't coming. I did the whole "nobody is coming because nobody likes me" thing for a little while before Corey reassured me that we would have heaps of fun with the few friends who going and that those who weren't coming had legitimate reasons.    

Fast forward a couple of hours and we are at the party. We've mingled, eaten, opened presents and had a good time. I had been standing too long and was exhausted. I felt a sharp pain in my back and side. A few people asked if I was ok and I said truthfully that I didn't know.

My mum and sister said they thought I was going into labour. I remember telling them, "as convenient as the timing is and as much as I'd love to get this baby out I don't think it's going to be today." It had been a massive day and I thought I just needed to have a good poop and a lie down.

Fast forward a few more hours and we are home having dinner. I'm still feeling the occasional cramp/tightness in my back. They are by no means pleasant but I am not exactly screaming in agony though either. I start to think that I might be in pre-labour. I never had pre-labour with Alexis because I was induced so I start to Google it.

At this stage I'm so confused. I am partly so excited that the baby might be coming, partly scared because I am so unprepared, slightly cross with myself for not knowing what to expect and not having done enough reading. It occurs to me that I am by no means ready to have a baby. The pains fizzle out.

We sit down for chocolate fondue as a family. It is fun watching Alexis as its her first fondue experience. I stand up to go to the bathroom and the pains start up again. I am unsure what I want to happen. Do I move around trying to encourage active labour or do I sit still hoping it will stop? 

I don't have time to sit still in case it is labour. I rush around grabbing last minute things for the labour bag and order Corey to do the same. We are timing the contractions by now although we aren't too sure if they are real or just braxton hicks. I'm starting to get excited but I'm scared. I stop, gasping for breath. Alexis is getting concerned.

Corey sensibly suggests we stop and calm down. We still don't know if I'm actually in labour as the contractions are not overly painful according to what we experienced with Alexis. I had a few false labours with Alexis so we start thinking this is one. I'm not even 38 weeks yet.

We finish watching our movie. We have given up timing the "contractions" as they seem to have fizzled out again. I say goodnight to Alexis and Corey puts her to sleep while I have a shower to relax myself before bed.

I have four or five "of those funny things" while in the shower for approximately 20 minutes (I was in pain). I talk to Corey about it. He is concerned and suggests I call the hospital. "They won't believe me", I say. He says, "at least call your mum." So I call mum.

Mum isn't sure. The numbers indicate I am in labour but it seems like I am too comfortable and coherent to be. I don't feel comfortable or coherent, but I don't really know if I am in labour or not. I'm so very tired. It's probably best if I try to get some sleep. The contractions have slowed again. I hang up.

Then I get another one. It hurts really bad. I can't walk. I'm crying now. Corey says enough is enough and makes me call the hospital. They are only concerned if my waters have broken. I tell them I don't know because I'm going to the loo every few minutes. They say it's unlikely but to head in and get checked.

I call mum back and ask her to come watch Alexis. Dad is out. She gets a few things together and drives over. In that time I'm in agony. I have given myself permission to get excited that baby is coming and once I admit it the pain intensifies. I hope mum drives quickly.

I call the midwifery student who wants to be at the birth and say baby is coming. It's 10:30. She's not too convinced as she thinks I'm too calm but she rushes to meet us in there anyway.

By the time mum arrives (30 mins?) I'm having fully fledged contractions for about a minute every five minutes. I can hardly stand through contractions but feel fine in between. I know I'm in labour now and think I should call the hospital and tell them its changed. Despite my better judgement I don't.

We drive to the hospital (20 mins). Within minutes of getting in the car they're every 2 minutes and they're intense. I hold the hand grip thingy near the door that hangs down from the roof.  I beg Corey to speed up.

We park and walk up the hill to the hospital and down the path to emergency.  It takes a fair while to get there because I'm in so much pain. Corey laughs at me to calm us down.

The triage nurse takes one glance at me and calls birthsuite to come collect me. It's about 11pm. Corey keeps telling me to sit down. I don't want to sit down.

The chick is too calm as we meander over to an assessment room. I tell her how my labour with Alexis was very short and they didn't believe I was in labour until it was time to push. She thinks its because of the oxytocin from the induction.

My contractions are almost constant. I wish she would look at me. She makes me lie on my back because she wants to hook me up to a machine. I can't lie on my back it hurts too much. I scream. She feels my tummy, "it doesn't really feel like a contraction". "It's in my back" I scream at her.

She doesn't want to do an internal "because then we have to keep you here". I think to myself there is no way in hell I'm going home. I want her to check me. She won't. She suggests I lie on my side for 20 mins so she can see how much liquid has pooled so she can see if my water has broken.

I suppress my urge to suggest I rearrange her face with my fist and say I can't go 20 minutes without peeing. So she says to go pee then lie down. She says to put a few of their pads on.

I wander over to the bathroom. While I'm going about my business my water breaks. I'm screaming at Corey, "bring me pads, more pads". I can't just let it go into the loo because the midwife had said they wanna check it. That and I don't think she would believe me.

I have liquid gushing out all over my pants. I'm screaming "my water broke!" Corey tells me to stop embarrassing myself and lie down. I am not going to lie down.

I yell out for the midwife who is nowhere in sight. My back is aching.  I'm screaming in pain and frustration, "OI, STOP IGNORING ME ... MY... WATER... BROKE... SOMEONE... ANYBODY..  S T O P.   I G N O R I N G.  M E .."

She wanders in. I speak calmly now, "my water broke." "Are you sure?" she asks? The combination of my death stare and her glancing at my pants answer her question. She says lie down and she'll do an internal. I remove pants and lie down. I have to squeeze the crap out of Corey's hand just to lie down.

"Ok we are not going to be able to move you to birthsuite. You can start pushing whenever you're ready" she says so calmly I'm not sure I hear her correctly. "Are you serious?" "Yes, I can see his head. Whenever you're ready".

I'm going to meet my baby boy. I'm so excited. No time to be mad at the midwife. No time to wait for the student. I have a job to do now no point mucking around. 

A few quick pushes (5?) and he's here.

Before I even really understand what is going on the cord is cut and my baby boy is on my chest. The student walks through the door two minutes too late. Security took too long to let her in. I feel sad for her but no apologies for the quick delivery. I am very lucky.

My son is here. He is amazing. It's not even 11:30 yet.  

Back to here and now.

I thought I had a very quick, relatively pain free labour and birth. Thinking back over it wasn't pain free. The birth was, but labour was quite intense. It was made worse by not really knowing what was going on and not been taken seriously by the hospital staff.

I probably started going into labour at the baby shower about 4pm.7.5 hours, that's not THAT quick but probably quick enough to get me stabbed by many many jealous women. ;)

I wasn't in full fledged labour until somewhere between 9:30 and 10:30, and that's what makes me really lucky. One or two hours of consistent painful contractions is quite manageable, especially with Corey being so supportive. 

As for the drug free pain free birth, well, I know I'm lucky he was in a good position and it all happened so quickly. I didn't have time to panic. Also though I was just so relieved that labour was coming to an end, and that I wasn't making it up! Somehow I was able to channel the energy from being frustrated with the midwife and use it to help me birth William quickly. Mainly I was just so excited to be about to meet him, that's all the motivation I needed. The birth is the easy part at least from a psychological point of view.

Don't be too envious of me though, I had several days of after birth pain like you wouldn't believe. It still hasn't really gone away. Its purpose is to get the uterus shrinking back to pre-pregnancy size. I don't care about size right now, I've just had pregnancy and labour, can't I have a few days without pain? In many ways this is worse than labour for me. I suspect not too many people would be overly sympathetic though.;)  

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At October 22, 2011 at 9:39 PM , Anonymous Zoe said...

Wow, thank you for sharing! I am so scared about labour when I do have a baby, and this has calmed me a little. Not one of those horror stories! Glad it all went well in the end. Silly nurses! x

At October 23, 2011 at 12:08 PM , Blogger Rhianna said...

what a beautiful story Karlee, thanks so much for sharing it xx Hope all is going well

At October 23, 2011 at 7:46 PM , Blogger mummysundeservedblessings said...

Great story! Still can't believe that they won't believe when a woman says she is in labour. I am sorry you had to experience all that drama but it is wonderful that you had your beautiful boy in your arms so quickly. Hope you are enjoying him lots. Can't wait for my bubba to arrive...halfway there now :)

At October 23, 2011 at 8:06 PM , Blogger Jess@Diary of a SAHM said...

Those after pains get worse with every baby.

Glad it wasn't too long for you. Midwives can be so frustrating sometimes

At October 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM , Blogger Debbie @ Aspiring Mum said...

Great story Karlee - at least you were in the hospital, and not in the car on the way to the hospital! Hope all is going well settling in with William. It takes a while to adjust, but then it will just seem like he's been there forever.(PS. For some reason your comments aren't showing up on my blog through Intense Debate - not sure what's going on there, so please don't think I'm ignoring you!)

At October 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM , Blogger The Mother Experiment said...

Thanks everyone. I was petrified he was gonna come out in the car or at home in the bathroom or something. So I'm very happy with how it all turned out. The nurses said if I have another baby to camp out at the hospital.;)


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