I'm still having problems processing my delivery, even though it's been nearly 6 weeks. I think I'm finally ready to post here and retelling will hopefully help me process it better.
I conceived relatively quickly after having my IUD out (2 cycles, one of which I believe may have been an early miscarriage), but had bleeding at 5 weeks and was diagnosed with a subchorionic haematoma and was placed on low activity, pelvic rest, and a weight restriction. By 15 weeks, I had developed a problem with my SI joint that lead to my being put on modified bedrest and taken out of work, as I taught preschool and was unable to not lift anything. At 20 weeks, my Level II ultrasound showed placenta praevia, grade I (iirc). I also had morning sickness through 27 weeks and the praevia did not correct itself til 36 weeks. Couple all this with a massive home renovation project and it was a miserable pregnancy.
September 22nd, a day and a half after finishing a breezeway in my house, I had felt off all day. My whole house had colds, so I didn't exactly think anything of it, especially since I was only 38 weeks and had been told the day before that my cervix was long, closed, and I was hardly dilated. I had not been having contractions at all, so I assumed I'd probably end up going overdue. After my husband got home from, I insisted we needed to go make a Target run to get toilet paper. I was concerned because we were running low. No one felt like cooking, so we got a healthy meal of Taco Bell since I was craving it and my husband took a picture of me trying to squeeze behind the table.
I was just about ready to go to bed around 1am when I realised I felt damp. I assumed I'd peed myself a little since that had been how the day had gone, and got up to use the bathroom. As I was walking over, I kept having little gushes and realised, oh, that isn't pee. I woke my husband up and told him my water broke. Since I'd tested Group B Strep + less than a week ago, we phoned my OB and were told to go over to the hospital and get antibiotics started. I made a huge mess in the parking lot, which I kept apologising for.
In triage, I had the worst nurse. I told her I was terrified of needles and would need lidocaine for them to be able to start it. I also asked for my saline lock to be placed in my hand. Instead, she held my arm down and shoved it in my wrist. I ended up vomiting all over myself from stress. I spent the next 4 hours stuck in triage, hooked up to fluids and antibiotics, not having contractions and waiting for a room.
We were moved to a room in Ante-Natal just before 6a. I was told they were full up-- all 22 delivery rooms, all the triage rooms, and all the free antenatal rooms. I still had yet to see a doctor at this point. I put the television on and tried to nap. It didn't work. By early afternoon, 12 hours after my water breaking, I was starting to get upset. I was not having contractions, I knew I was on the hospital clock, and I still hadn't seen a doctor, let alone anyone from my practise. My husband phoned them to see what the issue was. I started having serious panic attacks. We finally got to see a doctor after 4p and I was given some anti-anxiety medicine at my request. We were finally moved to Delivery around 6p.
Since the rooms were so full, I was not able to be in a room with a shower and I also found out that the birth tub they had was broken. I also was still showing no contractions, 17 hours after my water had broken. I had been trying natural methods to get labour going, but since it wasn't working, I was asked about pitocin or cervadil followed with pitocin. I opted for the former.
Several problems cropped up after they started pitocin. First, I did not tolerate it will and went right into agonising but very irregular contractions and second, they started having trouble keeping tabs on the baby. The only place they could fine her was in the bed, on my side, which was horribly painful. Third, the monitor started malfunctioning which meant if I moved at all, they got static and eventually it stopped working completely. I was offered to have an internal foetal monitor placed, but I opted against it. I've seen friends' babies with scars from them and I'd rather suffer holding still than have that done.
I ended up asking for an epidural since my contractions, while immensely painful, weren't doing anything or even at all organised and they were going to have to up my dosage of pitocin. I had one of the best anaesthesiologists on staff; he listened to my concerns about needles and its effectiveness since I tend to take anaesthesia weirdly and explained everything. He ended up using diprivan and fentynal in my IV so I would be able to hold still. I barely had a chance to say it felt funny before he had it placed. Around the same time, another delivery room opened up, so we were moved into the room we'd seen when we'd toured the hospital. This one also had functioning equipment :/
I was right about the epidural taking funny. It numbed my torso, but not my legs. I actually had enough control that I was able to avoid a catheter, which was something I'd felt strongly about. My nurse said I was one of three people she'd seen who'd been able to pee normally in her 25 years as an L&D nurse!
The hospital's usual policy is 24 hours of labouring with ruptured membranes, but because it was so busy, there were no open theatres, and I was allowed to labour overnight, in hopes my cervix would dilate on its own, especially since the baby was tolerating everything well. I did have someone come in around 8:15a to start talking to me about a c-section, but my nurse insisted that they check me before just wheeling me off. Turns out I was almost at 10cm, I just had a tiny lip. Around 8:45, I started pushing (completely involuntarily!)
I delivered in a sitting position with my husband and nurse holding my legs. My daughter's delivery was great; I had 4 pushes between 8:48a and 9:02a, when she was born, which was exactly what the nurse estimated for me. She was 7lbs, 7oz, and 19.5" long. I had no tears and one tiny skidmark that never even bothered me. Apparently that was the bonus of being hypermobile and having very stretchy skin!
Because of how poorly the IV was placed, I was not physically able to hold my daughter for hours. My husband held her for the first few hours of her life. He and the nurse managed to balance her enough so I could try and breastfed her and could get to see her. It was 6 hours before I was moved to recovery and insisted they remove the line. I still have a scar.
Unfortunately, she did separate my pelvis on the way out, so that's been very hard. Six weeks later, I still feel like someone hit my pelvic arch with a bat whenever I move and we've definitely had some breastfeeding and bonding issues.
So after all that, it was a 33 hour non-labour and a few quick pushes. I was very pleased with my L&D nurse who advocated for me to be able to keep going for a vaginal delivery.
My grandma had the same issues with dilation when she birthed in the 50s, though her membranes were ruptured for 72 hours before her section. My mother likewise had similar issues having me and I was a forceps delivery; she never mad it past 8cm.
While I'm pleased with the actual delivery, I found a lot of the experiences I had at the hospital upsetting.
Thanks for reading!
New mum to Calico, b. 25.09.10