Our seventh child Charlie is one month old today, so just for the fun of it and because I was dared to, I decided to twitter his labour, here’s how it played out:
I was 37 weeks and 1 day gestation. I had been very close to having baby, so said the doctor, for a couple of weeks but I had to get to 37 weeks to avoid an airlift out of our country town. So if this was it, I had that complication out of the way at least, phew! I had had steroids at 30 weeks just in case baby came early as my last two have and needed to be shipped out to intensive care units miles away. I also had an iron infusion at 34 weeks to fix up my anaemia, so I hoped we had all our bases covered.
It would have been around 5ish in the afternoon of the 7th, while getting the kids dinner sorted that the cramps started, again. At that point they were a little all over the place and not regular but getting quite uncomfortable. I still managed to eat dinner. 😉 I was not willing to commit being labour, but just in case I posted this on the parenting website I use to chat with other mums:
Now don’t get excited, cause I’m not (have been disappointed SO many times before).
But I’ve got cramps happening around five minutes apart that are just slightly more uncomfortable than usual.
Hubby is checking the oil in the car right now. He just said “I know you; you say your fine and then you’re pushing, so I’m checking the car!”
I’ve got no vibs either way. But I have packed my bag finally, just now.
The cramps are only around 30 seconds long and a little bit erratic, so I think I’m okay might have a hot bath (that might bugger them off?)
But I did promise that I would post it on here when I went into labour, so just in case this is it…. But I don’t think so OKAY?
It seems I was wrong.
But when you have had three or four weeks of practice cramps leading up to labour day, you tend not to give them much credit as being the real thing.
I had not much else happening, except that the contractions started to settle into a pattern. By around 7pm I was starting to think that I might need to pack my bag, as the contractions were beginning to a little more uncomfortable. I had been dared/asked by friends to facebook and twitter my labour, so I thought okay I am up for the challenge…
Hubby decided that he would dress for the occasion at this point, I told him not to as nothing will happen if he does. But he gave me a look that said: Yeah right. And after getting the rest of the kids off to bed, he sat on the lounge in his birthing best watching me pace the room.
So from around 5 till 9pm the contractions just stayed the same, taking my breath away but getting no better or worse. So I was still not convinced. A little after nine however the contractions turned on me. And I suddenly could not stay away from the loo. Every contraction brought with it a frantic desire to wee, have you ever tried to run while having a contraction? Not so good. My BlackBerry became something to focus on during contractions.
I called my mother and told her to come in, but I said don’t think this is it, but just in case it is could she come in. It is a half hour drive for my mum to get here and by the time she does the contractions had really taken it up a notch. It’s time to concede defeat, this is it! I find myself needing to pace and rock my way through each one, as being stationary is now excruciating. As mum walks in the door we are frantically getting the last few bits of stuff together for my bag. Back to twitter…
As we are walking out the door my mum says to me “If you are done before morning can Kel come home because I’ve got to open the shop in the morning”. I am gripped by a sudden urge to pole vault the dining table and smother her with my humungous belly, but a contraction staves that urge off for me, I endeavour to shout at her during the contraction “I’m sure the good towns folk of Tingha will be able to live without hot chips for breakfast for one day!”, but it just came out as “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah f*#&!” Will file that argument away to deal with that later.
Once in the delivery suite the midwife puts the call into the doctor, I hear her say that she thinks I am a fair way off. I decide that I am NOT getting on the bed, having had three prior posterior births and not being able to move around the room to deal with the pain, I will spend as much time as I can on my feet. That is of course, when I am not on the loo. The midwife seemed a bit anxious about me doing this, and kept trying to coax me onto the bed to be monitored.
After speaking with my doctor the midwife tells me that I need to get up on the bed so she can put me on the monitors for twenty minutes. Twenty minutes, was she out of her mind?! But okay, yes we do need to check on the baby, so I get up on the bed. That’s when the midwife tells me that I need to lay still for the monitors to get a good trace. Yep, out of her mind. Back to twitter…
By this time hubby was helping me twitter. And quite possibly saving the life of a very expensive piece of equipment, that may have been used at some point to as a weapon. Ten minutes into my confinement on the bed I demanded to be let off NOW, I could not take it anymore. And in the ten seconds I had between one contraction and the next I was off the bed and into the bathroom again, where my waters exploded on the loo. I felt a sudden hard wham in my pelvis; it was so forceful I had to reach down to check there wasn’t a head sticking out! Thankfully there wasn’t, and hubby went and fetched the midwife back. The contractions changed in that instant to a desire to push. The midwife burst into the room shouting “Get off the toilet!” But being mid contraction I was not able to stand or move, but I eventually stood and leaned over the bed rocking. While the midwife made another call to the doctor to update him on the proceedings. All the while she was telling me not to push. Hubby was massaging my tailbone, as he had done for most of my third trimester. He told me afterwards that at the time he was thinking; that it’s not often I get a chance to rub my wife’s butt in front of people. Way to keep your mind on the job buddy.
I tried to focus on breathing my way through the contractions, talking myself through each one unfortunately people kept trying to get my attention and ask me questions during them. (This is just going to end in swearing at people). At the end of each contraction I could feel my body taking over and doing the pushing for me, so I gave in and just went with it.
For around five minutes I leant on the side of the bed resisting all attempts at getting me on it, the doctor arrived, hurrah! He, knowing my posterior birth history, coaxed me onto the bed by allowing me to kneel on it hanging over pillows. During this I could feel the midwife trying to find a spot on my belly with the monitor where she could hear baby’s heart beat. I didn’t like her chances getting anything through my belly fat. I was right, and again I was asked to get on my back. I wasn’t giving anyone any answers by now, so I was physically flipped over by who I don’t know? I still don’t know how they got me to let go of the bed head?
Once on my back I curled up grabbed the handle things on the side of the bed and decided to go for it. I wanted this kid out and the pain over with. I was vaguely aware that instructions were being given to me. Someone told me not to vocalise while pushing as I wasting energy that could be used to push, I wondered for an instant how much energy I could put into a short two word sentence but decided I had a job to do. And I lacked the ability to articulate anything at this point anyway.
I began to push with each contraction, and I was about five or so pushes in when I felt another sudden wham. It was like the baby had burst through my cervix and up that last 10cm in a hurry, I actually felt the movement! I was suddenly and rather painfully crowning. Game on! I decided that there was no way I was letting his head slide back, and I continued pushing past the desire to. Three big pushes later his head was out and with one more so was the rest of him. Charlie Sebastian Francis arrived at 11.30pm on the 7th of January 2010.
He was crying. Is there any sweeter sound at that moment? Crying meant breathing! Our last two babies didn’t come out crying, so this was such relief for us. The doctor spent some time making sure that he was going to keep breathing normally then popped him up on me for skin on skin time. Awesome. I was really hoping that this was how it would be this time.
I began to shake quite uncontrollably after baby was delivered, but only on my left side. I was shaking so much I was not able to hold the baby nor bring a cup of water to my mouth without shaking the contents out! I was placed on an IV and given fluids just in case I experienced a bleed similar to last time.
A while later I was allowed to get up and have a shower, and baby was bundled off to the nursery so someone could keep an eye on him. The midwife came and gave hubby a hand to get me dry and dressed, I was very shaky and faint and still not really able to comprehend normal conversation. The midwife chose this moment to say to me “You have very nice tits Candy, are they all yours or have you had work done”. WHAT? Did I hear that? I shook my head a couple of times to try and get all the flies heading in the same direction. Then I managed to find my husband’s face and say to it “What did she say?” He said “your teeth, she is asking about your teeth”. Ah… It’s quite possibly the time someone should put me to bed I think.
The next morning Charlie was brought in to my room and we start to get to know each other. Lovely.
I went home after a day, despite plans to score myself a short break away from my minions, but I was just too uncomfortable in the hospital bed in this humid weather we’ve been having. And don’t get me started about the food.
One week on and so far so good. The family has fitted another little person in without much change at all. So there you have it, officially the hospital said it was a two hour labour with no drugs required, quite proud of myself for that. I have to admit I did feel better the next day than I would have if I have had a dose of pethidine; I usually get very sleepy for a day or so. And, unbelievably no tearing and no stitches, yay!
It amazes me that we were able to facebook/twitter the whole labour, it brought a bit of excitement to it for us and our friends and family, some of whom had sat up watching the labour unfold live, and everyone was cheering me on!
Here is the wee rabbit.