“You can either come back in three days and we can try again, or we may have to do an emergency caesarean.”
Those were the options given to me by my obstetrician after almost fifty-five hours of labour. It was almost 11pm at night and I was over it! But let me go back to the beginning…
It was Friday a afternoon, and I rocked up to the hospital for a routine monitoring. I had been going every second day during the last few weeks as I had been prescribed steroids to help me manage my PUPPPS, a skin condition that makes you itchy as hell and feel like your skins on fire. It started around the 36th week of my pregnancy, and up until a few days earlier the steroids had kept it relatively bearable, but now it had come back itchier and hotter than ever, and I had been lying on cold tiles in the middle of the night to give it some relief. The nurse rang my OBGYN and explained the situation to him and thankfully rather than upping my dosage, he said since I was due in three days anyway he was happy for me to come in and be induced on the Monday.
“Oh shit!” I thought, and I had that realisation that in the next few days I would have my baby girl! I started to go freak out a little bit, thinking of all the things I needed to do, organize and pack. But then a plot twist, I got a phone call from my MIL, who just so happens to be a midwife at the hospital. She had spoken to my obstetrician and they agreed that since they weren’t that busy they were happy for me to come in that night! Now that’s really when shit is got real, ‘I’m having a baby like RIGHT NOW’. So she told me to come in that night about 6pm, and they would begin my induction.
So then, after a late lunch with my mum, I went home to pack my bags and fill my laptop with movies! We arrived at the hospital and were directed to what I call the ‘deluxe suite’ as it was the only birthing suite they had with a double bed (but I think it’s actually just for fat chicks, but I’m not complaining!). We waited around for a while before the OBGYN came in and explained to me how it was all going to begin. First I would have the gel applied and wait over night to see how far dilated I became, then if needed they would do another two applications, with at least 6 hours between each. Pretty much that translated to “don’t expect a baby tomorrow” DAMN IT! So the gel was applied, we ordered pizza, watched a movie and not much happened. It got to about 11pm and I ended up just sending the husband home to sleep because it was evident nothing much was going to happen any time soon.
Anywho, long story short I ended up having the three applications of gel and played a shit load of candy crush for the next two days! By midday Sunday I wasn’t really any closer to meeting my baby girl. In that whole time I had only gotten to 4 cm, so they decided to move on and break my waters and put the drip in instead. Now I’m not sure about everyone else, but when they broke my waters it was pretty much exactly how it happens in the movies. I literally heard a loud ‘pop’ and second later warm liquid came gushing from between my legs and flooded the bed. To make it worse, I had to suck down as hard as I could on the gas while they did it because it felt like she was trying to hook my tonsils, it’s not the most pleasant experience!
Once they had the mopped up the puddles under the bed and replaced all the soaked bedding, they popped the drip in and started to pump the hormones in it started to work almost straight away! This is the point I realized that whatever those so-called contractions I was having before were absolutely nothing compared to the real deal. By the second contraction I was almost screaming and demanded I have an epidural, there was no way I was going to even try tough it out. From the outset I was totally fine with having pain relief and felt no need to try push through the pain. So after having my epidural inserted I felt completely numb from the chest down, they turned the machine back on and got the contractions going.
At this point ill admit I expected it to all to be rather quick, that it would only be a matter of hours before I was holding my baby girl, but once again it was another dragged out process, almost ten hours of having the drip administered and I seemed, once again, to be getting nowhere. By the end, the contractions really started to take their toll on Annabelle, with her heart rate spiking really high with each contraction. Very quickly my OBGYN made the call to turn the machine off and this was the point I was given the two options.
After everything I had been through there was no was I was just heading home to go through it all again in three days time, I quickly agreed to having a caesarean, even thought I could tell it wasn’t what they wanted to do. I knew from day dot that this particular hospital was pretty big on natural births, but I also had a gut feeling this is how it was going to end, as she had never ‘dropped’ and her head never engaged, so I had already made up my mind.
They quickly wheeled me down to surgical ward and I was prepared for surgery. I again was pretty lucky to have my MIL there, someone who actually knows what’s going on because it can be a pretty confronting experience. At one point I found myself freaking out that I couldn’t breathe because I couldn’t feel my diaphragm once the spinal went in. Then, when they were fishing her out I ended up having the anaesthesiologist leaning over me to push down, while two people were pulling and shaking to get her out, I felt like I was going to fall off the table.
But then finally, she was here! They held her up Lion King style over the big blue sheet and all I could do was cry, I couldn’t even say anything, I was so exhausted, but just so happy she was finally here, AND SHE WAS CUTE! They then took her over to be weighed and wrapped etc. while they sewed me back up. It took so much longer than cutting her out, but once it was all done they propped me up and I got to have my first cuddles with my daughter, it was such a surreal experience to finally be holding her.
By this stage it was almost 2am and you can imagine everyone was pretty damn tired. After a few more cuddles with Annabelle (we hadn’t actually given her a name yet) my husband and MIL headed home to get some sleep the midwives took Annabelle to the nursery as I was pretty much a useless worn-out mess, but I didn’t really get much asleep again because I had these stupid pump things squashing my legs to stop you from getting blood clots. WORST. EVER!
By 9am the spinal had finally started to wear off and they were now pumping me full of painkillers, but I was finally able to move a bit and hold my baby girl. Still I felt and looked like shit and refused to announce she had been born yet because I didn’t want any visitors. By the middle of the day I was feeling starting to feel pretty groggy and spaced out made the hero decision to not take my painkillers. Yup, I definitely don’t recommend that to anyone, because I ended up collapsing on the bathroom floor in agonising pain and the nurses pretty much had to sedate me like a bear gone feral at the circus. I woke up like 6 hours later in a daze pretty much like “where am I, what happened”. But by that stage I was pretty adamant I didn’t want to stay in the hospital any longer because I was literally felt like I was going insane.
Thankfully the doctors agreed the next day I could go home because my MIL was able to administer my medication and injections from home, even thought they had initially said it would be at least a five-day stay! I was so excited to just get home and spend some quality time with our little family and be away from the craziness of the hospital. It had been such a lengthy and emotional experience and if had my time again, I would definitely have been more assertive about what I wanted and stuffed around for three days.
Below I have included some pictures taken during my C-sectionand while I’m sure some people may find them a bit graphic, let’s remember we have been staring at Kim Kardashian’s vagina this last week so I’m sure you can handle it. And yes I look like absolute shit, I will definitely be hiring hair and make-up next time with a professional photographer to then Photoshop me fabulous!
*No idea who took these photos, they were just given to me in an album haha