It is three years since Pebble was born – it has taken me three years to write her birth story! Now that we’re coming up to the birth of our second child I really want to record Pebble’s birth story, before the two stories become muddled in my mind.
I had a very healthy and happy pregnancy, I loved being pregnant. Well, most of the time. It must have been so snug in there that Pebble just didn’t want to leave, because at ten days overdue I was eventually induced. At midnight I was given gels to help induce my labour. I didn’t progress at all over night, so in the morning they gave me Syntoncin to help things along. I started to labour, but my waters didn’t break, so the doctor came along with that lovely crochet hooky thing and popped them for me.
I have never been good with pain, and induced labour is allegedly more painful as it comes on quicker. I had previously discussed pain relief with my obgyn and now that I was starting to feel painful contractions I quickly gave the green light for an epidural. I can’t remember how long I lasted without it, but I don’t think it was very long! I had an epidural called the “cocktail” – it took away the pain, but I was still able to move around the room, walk, go to the toilet. It. Was. Amazing.
So, I laboured, and had some more epidural when the first batch wore off, and laboured some more. It was all quite strange because I couldn’t feel much of it. Just how I like it! It didn’t feel real at all, I didn’t really feel as if I was going to be giving birth any time soon. I remember being quite shocked when the midwife brought a cot into the room. A teeny tiny cot, with one of those heat lamps overhead. “What’s that for?”, I asked. I just couldn’t believe that our baby could nearly be here. Apparently I was fully dilated and it was go time!
I remember being told to push. I don’t remember ever feeling the urge to push. I guess that’s the down side of having an epidural. I pushed and pushed. And pushed some more. I pushed laying down, I pushed standing up. The weirdest moment was standing on the bed, holding on to this special metal frame that they attached to the end of the bed, and squatting down to push. The doctor and midwife assured me that I was doing everything correctly and pushing well. The doctor said that I wasn’t progressing at all, and they were concerned about the distress being caused to Pebble. Although I was pushing correctly and fully dilated, Pebble just would not come out and say hello.
The doctor made the inevitable decision to go for a caesarean. I said that I wanted to try for a little longer, and she agreed. But only for a little while. So I gave it a red hot go for another hour, but still Pebble stubbornly wouldn’t budge. The doctor reappeared and insisted that it was time to open the sunroof and get that bubba out of there. Once the decision was made I felt relieved. It was now about 4.00pm in the afternoon, I’d been at it all day and I just wanted to hold my baby.
We waited outside theatre for the anaesthetist to arrive, and boy, was that a long wait! My epidural had now completely worn off, and I felt like I was writhing around the bed in agony. Paul assures me that I didn’t look or sound that bad, but I felt as if I were carrying on like a pork chop!
In theatre there were people buzzing around everywhere, and so many machines and lights. It was so much busier than I expected. I briefly lost sight of Paul, and felt panic start to come over me, but then he was by my side, dressed in scrubs, and looking as terrified as I felt. They topped up my epidural and started asking me if I could feel this or that. Um. YES! I could feel that! “Don’t cut, don’t cut!”, I called out. For some reason the epidural wasn’t enough to block feeling, so they had to give me a spinal block. I’m really not sure of the difference, I don’t remember being given it or how it was given. I just know that I couldn’t feel anything any more And when you’re in theatre that is a very, very good thing.
An absolutely lovely anaesthetist appeared on the other side of me and took my hand. He started asking me questions in a very soothing voice. Inane, random questions about …. I can’t quite remember. They were nothing questions. At first I thought he was crazy, chatting to me when I was about to be cut open… then I realised that he was distracting me. And it was working. I chatted back, and grimaced as I felt a tugging down below. I clutched Paul’s hand and waited. That moment in time between a baby being born and hearing that first cry is an eternity. My desperate need to hear her cry was soon fulfilled… and replaced by a desperate fear that I might never be able to stop her crying!
She cried as they cleaned her up. She cried as Paul cut the (already cut) cord. She cried as the put her on my chest. She cried as they wheeled us out to recovery. A nurse checked me out, I can’t really remember what he did. I just remember really wanting to try to feed Pebble. I started to feed her, and just latched on, like magic. She knew exactly what to do, and it was the most wonderful, amazing feeling in the world!
The next thing I remember is being wheeled into my hospital room, which seemed wall to wall with people. To greet her Pebble had two nanas, one grandma, two grandads, an uncle, two aunties, and one cousin. I sat on the bed and chatted as Pebble was passed from one to the other, and all the necessary photos were taken. I felt very chirpy and alert, and remember feeling the bed covers and being shocked at how much my belly had disappeared already.
Everyone left quickly and soon Paul and I were alone with Pebble. Our little family. We were completely and utterly terrified! And so our life with our precious daughter began….
I have a lot of mixed feelings about our birth experience. I think that’s why it took me so long to write it. I’ll be sharing some more on my feelings about pregnancy, birth and expectations soon. I think if you’ve made it to the end of this post then you’ve read quite enough!
If you do want more you can read amazing birth stories at my pregnancy and birth story linky. Get the tissues handy! Birth stories always make me teary.