Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Birth of JuneBug!

I am so excited to be able to share this wonderful positive induction birth story with you. So make yourself comfortable, grab a coffee/tea/wine, sit back and enjoy!

A bit of background: I already have a DS1, spontaneous labour at 39+2, 16 hours labour, ending in an epidural and a 2nd degree tear, DS1 stayed a couple days in the SCN due to low blood sugar levels, but other than that, was a healthy bouncing baby boy! A pretty good birth by all means! You can find that birth story here. My first pregnancy was easy. I loved being pregnant. Other than a touch of Gestational Diabetes I felt pretty amazing. I went into labour after 1 day of false labour with him. I had a cervical check done the day before and I was already 3cm dilated, the next morning, I felt regular contractions and by 8pm that evening he arrived.

This time round: From around 34 weeks pregnant I was starting to get over it. Things were different. I had my DS who was a crazy full-of-energy toddler, I was working full time, travelling around Australia, and this pregnancy gave me alot more grief with aching pelvis, not being able to walk, BH contractions earlier on. Still, not a bad pregnancy by any stretch of the imagination, but I was still ready to be over it and have my JuneBug in my arms. Come 38 weeks pregnant and I slipped and fell, went to hospital to get bubs monitored. All was OK. 2 days later, just before I hit 39 weeks pregnant I contracted a REALLY REALLY BAD bout of gastro. I almost rocked up at the hospital due to dehydration and cramping but managed to get fluids into me eventually and avoided a trip to hospital. During that time I hadn't felt bubs move so I was a little nervous, but once I started getting sugar into me I felt him again. Of course, with all the dry wretching my stomach and abdomen was so sore, combined with the BH contractions and the false labour I was really starting to fail mentally and emotionally. I think the worse part was having to rely on my parents (who are also still working) to help take care of DS1 when I did go into labour and the logistics of trying to organise him while having contractions. It was doing my head in. At my 39+4 week appointment I was 1cm dilated and asked my OB if I could be induced. He agreed that he would induce me at 40.5 weeks, but was confident that I would have the baby before then. I was booked in for the day after the public holiday monday. During the long weekend I was having false labour contractions between 10-20minutes apart. They were really crunchy, but never got any closer together. I was constantly on edge, wondering... "is it, isn't it??" I even rang the hospital a couple of times to discuss what was going on, and of course they always said, come in if the contractions get to 5 mins apart. So, for 3 days I continued to have regular contractions that didn't go anywhere. My poor parents and DH were on edge as well, wondering if it would all happen. I was worried I would go into labour in the middle of the night, have to wake DS up and take him to my parents, or have my parents come to my house, how long that would all take, how long a 2nd labour would take.. it was doing my head in!!

Tuesday 12th June: at 40 weeks 4 days pregnant, DH and I dropped off my DS to my parents at 6:30am. It was cold and raining, a day exactly like when my DS1 was born. We rocked up to the hospital at 7am and checked in to the birthing suite. I got my gear off and changed into some hospital garment. Hung out for a bit until the OB came to see me. He checked my cervix, 3cm dilated and soft/stretchy. Hooray! Then he ruptured my membranes, clear fluid came out, another Hooray! The monitors were put on my belly, one for baby and one for my belly. He set up the syntocin drip at 15ml/min to start, the lowest that it will go. The midwife assured me that it would not be turned up unless I was comfortable with the change, which was reassuring. So around 8:45am the drip started. Before the OB left the room he said, "you'll have this baby by lunchtime". Another Hooray I thought and then quickly followed by, "hang on, there is only a few hours til lunch!".

I had already been having some contractions since my waters broke. DH sat on the couch and read his magazine and I chilled out on the bed, breathing calmly through each contraction. I liked looking at the monitor when I had a contraction. I would watch the numbers go up when my belly hardened. The higher the number, the more intense the contraction. It was like I was validating the pain when the number reached above a certain amount. Also, reassuring hearing my baby's heartbeat, which helped me focus on the task at hand, getting him safely earthside! Every time I had a contraction fluid would leak out of me, it felt so bizzare!

The syntocin drip was turned up a number of times, each time by 15ml/hr. I liked knowing when the drip was turned up because mentally it helped me prepare for the change in intensity of the contractions. I also knew that I had a number of pain relief options still available to me before I would have needed the epidural which made me feel more confident about having the drip put up and the contractions get stronger. At around 10am I got off the bed and got on the swiss ball and leant on the bed. I remember listening to the Azaria Chamberlain verdict on TV, concentrating on the Judges voice during contractions. I also went to the loo every so often, I had some major diarrhoea, not sure if it was the syntocin drip or just me needing to have a good clear out before baby arrived. After a while, the contractions were coming every 3-4 mins and I needed another distraction and I asked my DH to get my ipod. I had a Michael Jackson remix set to go, the same remix I listened to when I laboured during DS1's birth! Every time I had a contraction, the earphones would go in and I'd rock my hips to the music on the swiss ball and zoned out. It also helped that I couldn't hear myself moaning and groaning, I felt less inhibited if I didn't know what I sounded like! My DH sat behind me and pressed a vibrating massager into my lower back as counter pressure every time I had a contraction. By the time the synto drip was at it's highest the contractions were coming every 2 minutes for around a minute at a time. Unfortunately, because of my position the monitors weren't picking up the contraction strength or the baby's heart rate so the poor midwife had to squat next to me and hold the monitors on my belly each time I had a contraction. Luckily, baby was tolerating them nicely. By this stage I hadn't had any pain relief. The contractions were coming in waves, sometimes a double one would hit me. I asked for the gas/air. I sucked on that mouthpiece like nobodies buisiness! But it helped, A LOT! I floated around during contractions, groaning and moaning, totally uninhibited and spacey. It was great!

I started becoming a bit more "grunty" when I was going through the contractions - low growly groans. Also, I started to feel pressure and pain in my lower back/bum and the massager started to become annoying so I asked DH to stop. The midwife said to me that she had noticed a change in my vocalisations and that she thought that it would be a good idea to have a check done to see how far I had progressed. She also asked if I had more pain in my lower back which I did. She thought that I might be close. I was thinking, yeah right, it's only been 3 hours, and half of that time I was watching/listening to TV!! At this stage, I think if I had been less than 8cm dilated I would have asked for the epidural because the contractions were really tough to get through and coming thick and fast.

I did not want to get on my back, so I climbed up on the bed on all fours and hung my upper body over the bed head. The time was 12:00 noon. It took a while because I had a couple of contractions along the way. The OB popped in and did an internal cervix check. His words: "looks like you're ready to have a baby!". I almost cried in delight! I had done it! I had gotten to 10cm without an epidural!! I think I replied with "that's Fucking awesome!!" I was just so so thrilled I had managed to give birth with nothing more than gas/air. OB said with the next contraction I was to try pushing. There was a bit of cervix lip over the baby's head which the OB pushed out of the way, lordy, that hurt more than anything else I reckon!

The pushing part of the birth I never felt with DS1 because of the epidural. I thought I did, because I could feel something, but it was nothing like this. Once that lip was out of the way I would take a big suck of the gas and push like my life depended on it! My OB would push my lower back/bottom down onto the bed during each push to open up my pelvis. I felt JuneBug move through me with each contraction. It felt AMAZING, I had no control, my body just knew what to do. Then, the burning, I knew JuneBug was crowning. I was thinking to myself "I"m doing it!! I'm giving birth...". Yes, the crowning hurt, but it was totally bearable because I knew I was at the end, and he moved through this part quite quickly, only a few seconds of crowning before the burning died down and I felt his head come out. While I really wanted the whole "touch the baby's head and look at a mirror as the baby is being born", I was happy to be on all fours, because it was the most natural and comfortable position for me to be in. I could feel the OB manouvering the shoulders through, telling me to pant as he did. I was breathing deeply and slowly, I was in this amazing headspace. The next contraction I didn't even have to push with, and his little body slid out of me. I cried, and said over and over "I did it, I did it". DH was up at my head, kissing my head and giving me water. The midwife gave me the needle to birth the placenta, holy moly that hurt too!! I couldn't move for a while as my legs were a bit shakey and I felt like my hamstrings would cramp. The OB cut the cord and the midwife brought JuneBug up to my head where I gave him a quick kiss before she took him to be measured. Then, another contraction, although completely painless, and the placenta slipped out of me. My mum, who wanted to be at the birth (she was at the birth of DS1), walked in as the baby was coming out, so missed the entire thing. I didn't think we expected it to go this quickly. JuneBug arrived at 12:15pm - 15 minutes of pushing!

I eventually turned over and was given 2 external stitches for some minor grazing, DH held JuneBug and I marvelled at how awesome the whole experience was. The midwife commented "you made that look easy". My mum said I was glowing.. I felt incredible. Half an hour later, JuneBug was on the boob like he'd been doing it his whole life (all 30 mintes of it!! hehe).. best little boobie monster, helped by the fact that I'd BFed once already. Mum asked me why I had given birth on all fours, as I was on my back with my last birth. I said that this was the position that was most comfortable.

The OB said goodbye and the midwife was completing the final paperwork. DH and mum went home and I was left with my DS2. The midwife got me up and I went and had a shower. She kept on checking on me, asking if I was OK, I was absolutely fine, standing up showering, not feeling dizzy at all. She then walked with me and DS2 to the anti-natal ward where a room was waiting for me.

Later that afternoon DS1 met his little brother. Not the greatest first meetings so we decided not to bring DS1 back to the hospital for the rest of my stay. I was in hospital for the 4 days, which was just lovely. Having meals brought to me, sending DS2 to the nursery when I needed a few hours sleep, lactation consultant on hand, bathing classes and some wonderful special unexpected visitors this time round.

Thanks for reading!

LBG xx


The Babbling Bandit said...

Awesome birth story!

You did such a good job. My labour story is horrible. I did not enjoy it at all. At the time I thought I'd never do it again, but after reading this wonderful story, it seems good pain medication free births are possible!


Clarity said...

Go you!!!!!! xoxox