If you've read my last post, you'll know that I was scheduled for an induction on Thursday April 24th, 2008. From the moment the midwife wrote my details in her diary, I was counting down practically every second. I wasn't either nervous or scared. It even really wasn't that I was waiting to meet my baby - I just wanted my body back. I wanted to be able to breathe, sleep, eat and roll over again.
The alarm went off at 5am and I lay in bed rubbing my belly for what I desperately hoped was the last time. Brian was already up and in the shower and the boys (who had miraculously appeared in our bed at some ungodly hour) were trying to jump all over me. I dragged myself out of bed and got the kids dressed for creche and made sure their bags were packed. The whole time I kept reminding them that they were going to be big brothers today. Both of them seemed excited - Liam especially. Brian left to drop them at creche and I jumped into the shower and finished putting the last few things in my suitcase. By the time I'd done all of that, Jacqui (my best friend and birth support person) had arrived so now we were just waiting for Brian.
Before we could leave for the hospital - I had to indulge in my last big craving. I'd organised with Brian to pick up Maccas for breakfast on his way back home. Mmmm, that breakfast roll went down a treat.
We got to the hospital at about 7.45am (oops a bit late) and were taken to a delivery room straight away. I was hooked up to a monitor (man I hate those things) and told the Dr would be in soon to do an internal and see whether they were going to use gel or just break my water. So it finally got to 9am when we saw the Drs and they decided to give me gel. Their parting words to me were - we'll see you at 3pm to see if you need more gel. I was thinking "What the hell - 3pm, as if nothing will happen by 3pm." Pfft...famous last words.
So back on to the monitor we go again. They want at least a 20 minute trace after having the gel. Miss B doesn't like the monitor. She never has. Actually Miss B doesn't like much - any touch to my stomach makes her move away, so I knew this was going to be the longest 20 minutes ever. Especially since in this pregnancy I've had problems with my back and hips and any laying on my back becomes excruciating after a few minutes. I think I spent almost 1.5hrs with that stupid monitor strapped to me before I was finally allowed to get up. I decided to try sitting on a birth ball to ease some of my back pain. It was absolutely killing me and I wasn't even in labour yet. So to kill some time I read a magazine, I helped Jacqui and Brian do a crossword, we played eye spy. We were ridiculously bored and hanging for something to happen, but no. Lunch time came and went and still nothing.
Finally 3pm comes around and the midwife comes in and wants another trace. She asks me if I've had any contractions and I said that my back was killing me, but apart from that nothing. So on the monitor we go AGAIN (did I mention that I really, really hate this monitor by now).
After a while I realise that the back pain I've had is actually registering as contractions on the machine. I never thought I'd be excited to see those numbers going up - but I really was. I decided that now would be a good time to try to get some rest before the real action kicked in. I lay there with my eyes closed, not sleeping but just drifting when all of a sudden big contraction from out of nowhere. Only thing is, just like Liam's birth it's not my upper or lower stomach that's hurting, but the pain is all in my bum - it feels like she's trying to come out through there. I didn't move a muscle and just waited for it to go away.
At this stage I didn't mention anything to Jacqui or Brian - they didn't notice anyway as they were too busy arguing over crossword puzzles. I just waited it out to see if there was more coming. About three minutes later another wave of pressure hit my rear again. This time I said to Brian and Jacqui "Check this out" pointing to the machine. I was so excited to be actually going into labour without needing more gel.
Finally 4pm rolls around and the midwife announces she's not going to wait any longer for the OBs and will do an internal to see if she can break my water. Luckily enough I'm now dilated enough and just as she goes to do it the OBs walk in. A conference happens between the three of them and it's agreed to go ahead. By this time I'm wanting to yell "Just somebody bloody well do it" after all the stuffing around. So the water is broken and it's now all systems go.
From this point on, I pretty much lost all sense of time except for occasionally hearing what was on the TV in the background. I know I laboured for a while sitting in bed before it started getting a little too painful. Then I laboured for a while bouncing on a fit ball whilst leaning on the bed. I'm pretty sure it was at this point that I started with the gas. Now I have to say here that boy was I loving that gas. For anyone who has not tried it, this is the simplest description I can give - you know when your really drunk and you fall over quite badly...so badly that you know it hurts but your too drunk to care. That's like gas - the pain is still there, but you're too off your face to associate with it.
I'd previously discussed both with my physio and Anita (my midwife) the best positions for birthing a big baby and both agreed that being on all fours, leaning over a fit ball was ideal. Funnily enough when that primal urge took over, that is exactly what I felt like doing. So on to the floor I went with the gas tube snaking along behind me. That position felt much easier as much of the pressure seemed to be relieved. I laboured like this for what seemed to be hours before the gas just wasn't cutting it any longer. Once I'd realised this, I wanted pethidine and I wanted it NOW.
As soon as that needle went in I felt almost immediate relief and again nature took over and I laid down on my side in the fetal position. I don't remember too much between now and the pushing stage as I thought I just slept until it was time to push - but apparently not. Apparently I was awake with each contraction and I was still using the gas.
When the time came to push, that primal instinct took over once again. I still had the gas at that point and was still leaning over the fit ball. I remember getting angry as the gas wasn't doing anything, but I was at the point where I couldn't talk anymore to ask for it to be turned up, so I threw the hose across the floor and just concentrated through the pain. By now the pressure was that great that I was unable to control myself from making guttural sounds with each contraction. It's weird when I look back to the boys births as they were both so quiet in comparison. According to my discharge notes, I was pushing for 35 minutes - but I really must have been drifting in and out for it because it really only felt like 10 minutes to me.
I remember the Anita asking me if I wanted to feel the baby's head coming out but I was too exhausted to even try - all I wanted to do was to get her out and get rid of the pressure I was feeling. Finally I felt a tremendous release and her head was free and with the next contraction the rest of her followed.
Weighing in at a massive 4780gms (or 10lb 8oz for the oldies) and 53cm (21.5") long with Apgars of 8 at 1 minute and 9 at 5 minutes.
So now should have been the easy part, delivering the placenta. I stayed in that same position on the floor on the birth ball to deliver the placenta and Brian had brought Imogen over to me for that first meeting. I looked at that puffy little face and was instantly in love.
It's at this point that I want to say that anyone who is particularly sensitive or is currently pregnant might want to hit the back button. Although we were extremely fortunate enough to have a great outcome, things were a little scary for a while.
Whilst I was cooing at my beautiful new daughter I could see Brian looking over my head watching the midwives working to remove my placenta. I could feel the cord being pulled but I could no long feel any contractions to push the placenta out. According to Brian he could see the midwives whispering amongst themselves. I heard Anita say to Julia (the student midwife) to get her another container then she said quite urgently to me "Kylee, I need you to roll over on to your back right now and push the placenta out".
I wasn't too sure but I felt like I was bleeding quite heavily so I said to Anita "Am I hemorrhaging? I did with both the boys but not badly." She seemed a little panicked with my statement and asked how much I'd bleed. I told her only 500mls and didn't need a transfusion or anything. I was feeling quite laid back about what was going on - I'd been in this position before - no big deal. Just as I was thinking this Anita asked Jacqui to hit the assist button on the wall and had told Julia to go and get another midwife. This is when I started to think that maybe this was much worse than the boys.
The room started to fill up with people and I managed to look over at Brian who had been pushed to the far side of the room out of the way. I didn't feel at all scared or that the situation was out of control until I looked into Brian's eyes and saw just blind panic. He handed Imogen to Jacqui and came around and knelt beside me and started rubbing my face telling me that everything was going to be okay. I had doctors and midwives surrounding me (in total there was 8 of them in the room). I had a catheter put in, I had IV lines being shoved in both my arms and some sort of pain killer tablets being administered in my rear and a midwife with his hand inside my uterus trying to curb the blood flow. All the while Brian was kissing my forehead and stroking my hair telling me that is was all going to be ok. (I have to admit that I'm struggling to write this part as I know that from talking to Brian later that it was at this point that he was trying to reassure me whilst thinking that I was dying before his eyes)
Because I was laying on mats on the floor on my back, I couldn't see the floor but I could still feel the blood flowing quite freely. My only real indication at the time of how much I was bleeding was seeing the Drs and midwives legs covered in my blood as they worked around me. I looked to the side and I could see Anita with a metal tray and pieces of my placenta trying to put them all back together like a jigsaw puzzle so that they could ascertain how much was still retained.
Another Dr came into the room, spoke briefly to the others then quickly donned some gloves and took over from the midwife who was trying to stop the bleeding from the inside. I'm not sure how many people where actually touching me at this point but there was pushing and shoving going on all over my stomach whilst the Dr felt around internally trying to assess exactly where I was bleeding from. Suddenly he pulled his hand back out holding a piece of placenta - and just like that the bleeding stopped.
As I found out later what had happened was that my placenta had torn quite badly leaving behind a large piece still attached to the wall of my uterus. My uterus was still supplying blood to it so as fast as the blood was being pumped into that piece of placenta it was running out the other side and straight through me out on to the floor.
Now that the bleeding had been stopped they wanted me moved up onto the bed so that they could properly get all the IV lines and blood transfusion going. I had three or four people around me pushing and pulling me into a sitting position. I felt like I had no control of my body and I couldn't move myself without their help. They kept telling me that I had to get my feet under me so I could stand up, but I just couldn't do it. Eventually they managed to lift me to my feet and with their support I was led to the bed. It was only at this point that I managed to look around me and see the reason that Brian had looked so scared. Over half the floor in the delivery room was covered in my blood. At some point it must have really been pumping it out as around the bottom of the walls you could even see where the blood had splashed up. There were sheets, blankets and paper towels strewn around the place - again all covered in my blood. It was only really now that I grasped the reality of how bad this had really been.
Eventually everything was restored back to normal other than me being covered in IV lines. Brian and Jacqui headed out to the corridor to make phone calls and one of the OBs returned to do my stitches. While sewing away she quietly said to me "Kylee do you realise how serious that situation was? We came very close to losing you. Are you planning on having more children?" Before I could even reply to anything she said "I couldn't strongly recommend highly enough that you have no more children. I believe it's too dangerous for you." I think I was still too much in shock to even give her a decent reply other than we weren't planning on anymore anyway. Her reply was a firm "Good"
The next morning Anita came to see me for what I guess you would call a little debriefing session. I think it was as much for her as it was for me. She said in her career she'd never seen anyone bleed like that and it scared her. She said that she'd read about it in text books but the likelihood of actually seeing something like it was low. She was over the moon to see me looking so well and chirpy. I asked her about Julia, the student midwife, and how she is after the night before. Anita admitted that once the room started filing up, Julia panicked and left the room. I felt so bad for that poor woman. Turns out it was her last shift of placement. I hope to hell that I haven't put her off.
So from here on in the rest of my hospital stay was a non event. I was kept in for a total of 5 days because they wanted to be 100% sure I was fine before releasing me.
I was released on antibiotics because after the manual removal of my placenta the chances of infection were high. But I'll save that story for a whole new monster post.
After everything that has happened, as much of a cliche it sounds, it's made me stop and evaluate my life. I missed out on the kids as babies while I was working long days, I missed out on spending time with my husband whilst working at night, I didn't look after my health so my weight hit an all time high a few years ago, I guess I didn't really look after anything except the day to day slog and I don't want it to be that way anymore.
So here's to a brand new life of family, fun and love and lots of Mummy and Wifey time for everyone.