If you’re reading this, I assume you got to it from a link from another post. If so, I’ve warned you. If not, this is the tale of my horrific labour and if it’s likely to trigger you then don’t read it.
I spent three days in labour, some of it technically “early labour” but with a back to back baby, it was crazy painful from the start (back-to-back for those blissfully unaware is where your baby’s back/spine is touching yours and they rub together on the way out, similar to you clenching your fists and rubbing your knuckles together, but agonising- you’re welcome).
When I first went to the hospital I was convinced that was it. I’d been contracting painfully for a solid day by then. I was 1cm dilated. I was pissed off. They told me that due to an administrative oversight by a doctor I’d seen weeks before (he did not tick a box), I would have to deliver in a different hospital, a 30 min drive away. I didn’t realise how lucky that would make me. I was eventually admitted to hospital late on the Friday night.
My memories are hazy. I remember bouncing like Tigger on gas and air, being really concerned about how my hair looked, panicking that the baby wouldn’t get out through my leggings, demanding a trombone and crying because my husband gave me the heavy water and I wanted the light water (we had 6 identical bottles of water). At some point, I had to be put on the bed and strapped to a foetal monitor. I had all the drugs. I dozed between contractions until it got too much. I only remember the emergency buzzer being pressed once, but I’m told it was pressed several times. I opened my eyes to a room full of people, a doctor with her hands up me, being told to push and me screaming that it wasn’t working and why wouldn’t anyone listen? I was taken to theatre for forceps or an emergency section, whichever was needed. There was a comedy gold moment where I had to sign the consent form and the doctor and I went in circles of him insisting I needed to understand what I was signing and me enthusiastically saying I would sign it but had no idea what he was saying.
We went to theatre. I was alone for a while with a nurse holding my hand, but I wasn’t scared because I was too busy being relieved that the pain was going to stop. They let my husband in, all gowned up in one of those CSI suits and went with the section.
That’s where everything went wrong. My section failed. Yes, they did cut me open. No, they did not get the baby out as planned. After they cut me open, they discovered they couldn’t deliver my son through the section. They tried. They really tried. After some pushing, pulling and panicking, they went in with a pair of forceps, through my cervix (thank heavens for the drugs) and forcibly evicted him. He had to be resuscitated. It took 4 and a half minutes for him to breathe. He had a suspected fractured skull and a condition caused by the lack of oxygen. My husband got to hold him, I announced that he was the colour of a ribena berry and off he went to SCBU where he was placed on an oxygen mask and put to bed in a little greenhouse.
I wish I could say it ended there. I suffered bilateral forceps tears and and 4th degree tear. I lost 3 litres of blood. I had to have a transfusion and they spent 2 and a half hours stitching me back together. We were both in and out of hospital appointments for the first 18 months.
The hospital staff were amazing. We owe them our lives.
The recovery was tough for all of us but we’re ok now. Maybe I’ll write more about that sometime. For now, that’s the story of my son’s traumatic arrival into the world.