Saturday, 3 September
So on we travel. As soon as the waters are broken (not painful btw) I start having proper contractions. They make a decision to hold off starting the induction IV until 6am the following morning so I can have a chance to rest that night. The midwife offers me some panadeine to dull the contraction pain and give me a chance to rest. I don’t take it (although I did encourage M have some rest) and I do regret that now. Instead I wanted to stay up and work with the contractions. I was living in hope that I’d be dilated enough by 6am that they’d decide I didn’t need the IV induction meds after all.
6am: it’s time for an internal to see how far I’ve gone. This will make about 5 or 6 internals in the last 24 hours. The contraction pain has been getting stronger and is about every 2-3mins. I felt for sure I must have dilated a couple of centimetres. They check.
I have dilated only half a cm. Far out. I was devastated. How could there be that much pain and only a dilation of half a freaking cm? This was the start of the slippery slope of disappointment in this whole birthing process.
I decide that I want to try drugs and the midwife recommends morphine. She says that it’s great as during labour it can be given every 2 hours and I won’t be totally confined to the bed with it as I would be with an epidural. I take the morphine. It’s brilliant.
8am: there’s a change of midwife and I’m asked if there is anything I’d like her to know. I tell her I’d like her to know that it’s now time for my next dose of morphine. The pain was pretty intense and I had been clock watching for pretty much the last half hour.
That midwife comes back and tells me I can’t have it. That 8am isn’t the right time. I’m not sure why that was the case or what the problem was (I’ve since had another midwife tell me that every 2 hours during labour is correct) but I now ask for them to get the anesthetist up there so we can talk epidurals. So much for my drug free “calm birth”.
10am: anesthetist finally makes it up to see me. He looks at my x-rays and my spine and says he isn’t sure (which is what the anesthetist I saw during pregnancy said as well, she also said it probably wouldn’t work due to scar tissue). He pretty much talks me out of it really. He says that the risks are increased for me because of my injury. He leaves me to discuss it with the M and we decide I won’t have it.
My delivery team has other ideas though. The anesthetist comes back in and he says he thinks he can give it a good go despite my injury. They believe that I am going to continue to be slow to progress and with the intensity of the IV induction meds for such a long time no other pain relief will actually provide relief. He talks us into it and we do it. My only condition is that the IV induction meds are turned off until it is effective.
11am: epidural is administered and I have quite a bit of feeling in areas where they don’t expect it. They leave it a bit to see if it travels, they pump more anesthetic into me and nothing works. The epidural doesn’t work. I get patchy numbness, enough so I can’t easily move or walk, but no numbness at all in the place where it really counts. That area is feeling things just fine thanks. The anesthetist is confident he had a great insertion of the epidural needle and believes it is scar tissue from my injury that is blocking the nerves that need the drugs. GREAT.
I was devastated. Devestated and exhausted. To be in complete pain and be totally relying on something, only to find it doesn’t work, is really devastating. I can’t begin to describe the feeling.
2pm: It took 3 hours for them to decide that the epidural wasn’t working and during that time I was unable to have any other drugs in case they interfered with it. Somehow I knew at this point that this baby wasn’t coming out of me without a general anesthetic and a Caesar. I mentioned this to the anesthetist but he wouldn’t have a bar of it. BUT told me if that’s what I thought would be the case then I needed to go nil by mouth. So from this point on I had no further food or drink. I wasn’t even allowed to suck on an ice cube.
Around this time or just before a new midwife came on duty and we had words. I pretty much told her to fuck off as she told me to calm down when I was quite devastated. I believed she had no idea what I’d just been through and could have been more sympathetic. I still believe this. She was a fucking bitch.
From this point they get me to try an array of drugs (yeah all those ones that they’d previously told me would not provide relief). We do the morphine pump thingy and gas mostly, neither or which are very effective. I can’t move off my side without feeling a great deal of pain. Must be the position bub is in. He has remained stable the whole time though the little trooper.
Later in the afternoon: I have a fever. I’m shaking with cold. So so cold. I feel like I’ve been getting an internal every 5 mins this past 2 days and my body is about to respond in kind by getting an infection. The hospital will tell you it’s because my waters broke on Wednesday but it was only a leak. I’m convinced it is from the numerous internals I’ve received and no-one will convince me any different. I go on IV antibiotics.
Things get rather blurry from this point but I remember the key events.
Mid to late evening: It starts to look like the fucking bitch midwife is going to be the one to deliver my child. Great. So in my feverish and tired state I decide I should at least try to make amends. She is over me carrying out some procedure or another (probably another internal) and I say to her something along the lines of “I’m sorry I spoke to you badly before. I was just feeling an immense amount of stress that things didn’t work out well at that point in time. Blah blah blah”. She remains completely silent. M has to actually say to her “Ah I think she’s talking to you”.
What a bitch. People like this woman should not be in a role that is supposed to support women. She was a total cow.
Anyway she softened a bit after that but was hardly what I’d call nice. Right before the end of her shift she did yet another internal and declared me to be at 9cms. She then told me to push while she tried to open my cervix the remaining 1 cm. I’m not sure what I think about this but it doesn’t seem right. Can’t that be harmful???? Shouldn’t my cervix just be doing it by itself thanks very much?
Right after that the Dr came in to check me. It was the same Dr that broke my waters the night before and the first thing she said was “My god, what on earth are you still doing here”. It was at this point that I understood why continuity of care is important. She checked me and said that I wasn’t 9cm at all. I was 8cm, sick, thirsty and exhausted. And I was going to surgery for a Caesar.
I have to tell you that declaration was music to my ears, despite the fact that it meant that I wouldn’t be awake for the birth of my baby (remember the failed epidural). The only option for delivery was a general anesthetic (GA) but I was ok with that by then. They prepped me for theatre and I was down there ready to go under at around midnight.