Rose was born on a Tuesday morning but my contractions began on the Thursday before that. I had a run of contractions on Tursday afternoon which then settled down. I had another run of the same contractions on Friday afternoon which again settled back down to nothing.
On Saturday night I had yet another run of contractions and early sunday morning I had a show and a loss of some clear fluid. I phoned maternity and was asked to come in to have it decided whether my waters had broken or not (if my waters had broken, I would have had to stay in hospital from that point on). The doctor assessed me, did a cervix check and said I was not in labour. My vagina was swabbed and the clear fluid was pronounced a hind water leak and not amniotic fluid.
We were then sent home to wait for my labour to begin which could be a few days away still.
It was now Sunday night. My contractions began again only more painful this time and regular, about 10 minutes apart. I phoned maternity and was told that I was in pre labour and that first babies can take a long time to come. I spent Sunday night with quite painful contractions, unable to sleep and they continued throughout the next day (Monday) varying in intensity.
By 4pm Monday afternoon I had been experiencing very painful contractions for several hours and Dh and I both felt it was time to go to hospital. We arrived at hospital around 4.30pm.
A was my assigned midwife for the first shift. There was also a student doctor present but when asked whether I wanted him present, I said no. The mere fact that he was even there was quite strange and I did not like it.
I had an internal exam done upon arrival and was informed that I was at 5cm already. This was very exciting to us as I had been labouring for a long time and it made the time spent at home worthwhile.
I had a shower and then alternated between sitting down and standing up. I used the gas shortly after we arrived and continued to use it throughout my labour and delivery.
Later that night my waters broke and I became very excited. It felt great to have made it this far. I think I felt violet move down a bit when my waters broke. The fluid was clear.
This is where it started to go wrong.......
I was told I was at 9cm but had an anterior lip. I was asked to get on the bed and begin pushing. Looking back now I remember feeling that I didn't want to get on the bed and after a little while of laying down pushing I stood back up and kept pushing as I was told.
The shift of my first midwife then ended and another midwife came on duty. By then I was back on the bed, exhausted from pushing and in quite a lot of pain. The next midwife did another internal and said I was only at 3-4 cm. I asked her why had I been told I was at 9cm and her reply was that my first midwife was not very experienced.
I replied that I had been labour for hours and could I please have some morphine. I had the morphine but never felt any relief. By then it was 2.30pm and I was asking for an epidural and I think it was being suggested also, so that Dh and I could get some rest and baby could be born in the morning. The obstetrician was phoned and said I could have it. The epidural was inserted and then we had to wait one hour for it to work fully. I felt no relief after one hour and another pump of medication was given at 3.30am. The only effect from the epi was that my left leg went a bit numb.
Again I felt no relief from this and laboured in incredible pain for the next hour.
At some point the heart monitor for Rose couldn't find her heart so a scalp monitor was attached. I don't know what time this was.
At 4.30am the obstetrician was called in and he checked me and said I was at 10cm and could begin pushing.
So I pushed for the next two hours on my back, in pain with no relief and unable to move. I alternated from being on my side and my back. My birth partners told byme the whole time, from the time we arrived in hospital till the time of the birth. 14 hours on his feet, and that was just hospital. Prior to that was two sleepless nights.
At some stage I begged for a c sec or even to be knocked out as the pain was incredible and I was unable to move. I was told that both were unnecessary and a general anaesthetic would have a longer recovery.
At 6.30am the obstetrican came back and said there had been no change and that he would use the vacuum to get Rose out. I asked him should I just have a c sec and he said no, and that he was here to help me. I don't really remember this conversation.
The ob said that he would pull but I had to push or else he would have to use forceps. I was given a local on my perenium and he attached the vacuum to Rose's head. He pulled and the vacuum popped off. He then reattached it and pulled again. In the room I had two midwives, my birth partner, the ob and a paediatrician to check the baby's I had been in labour so long and Rose had a scalp monitor too.
Rose was born at 6.31am Tuesday morning. The paediatrician briefly checked her and then left. The conversation was that all was well if the paed walks in and then walks out again with no concerns.
I had two small tears about 3cm long each but no stitches were necessary and I have healed nicely.
All in all, I felt that it all went wrong when I was directed to get on the bed and begin pushing the first time. I am annoyed about this. During my whole labour, I didn't have the pushing sensation and I somewhat feel I have even robbed of this and what could have been a great birth. I am pleased with my body for having got to 10cm after everything that happened. Also, there was talk of whether I may have actually been at 9cm but the directed pushing swelled my cervix up and pushed Rose back up.
I feel very lucky not to have ended up with a c sec or stitches. I have come back nicely from this and feel very well.
In the days following the births stream of midwives came to see me checking whether I was ok and asking me to debrief and saying that the whole thing was a "balls up"
I wonder whether there's anything to be gained by having a chat with My second midwife about the birth and what happened. I know what happened, but just to debrief some more. I dont want it to catch up with me later.