3rd June 2010
After lamenting for hours on the pros and cons, Hubby and I decided to opt for an induction and my obstetrician booked us in. The prostaglandin gel is normally applied at 7pm the night before to allow it time to work, but I was so close to popping anyway that I was told to come in the next day to get it applied at 7.30am, and with all things running smoothly I should be in established labour by midday and have a baby that evening! I was happy that I was only going to need the gel, I wanted to avoid a Syntocinon drip (an artificial version of Oxytocin, the hormone that gets labour going) at all costs because it produces unnaturally long and strong contractions – definitely something to avoid if you're hoping on going down the natural pain relief road! Hubby and I joked to the OB that now it was all booked in I'd probably go in to labour by myself.
That night we were both giddy – we'd have a baby tomorrow! It was a strange feeling having it scheduled in, like a haircut, but the relief of knowing it was all happening was welcome. After unpacking and re-packing my hospital bag we eventually went to bed around around midnight although sleep did not come easily. What would he look like? What would labour feel like? Can I do this?
4th June 2010
I woke up and experienced that brief moment of surprise when you realise you'd managed to sleep with all the excitement. I laid there in the dark, smiling to myself, thinking today I would finally get to meet my precious little man. Then without warning, I felt a strange sensation... my waters broke! It was exactly 5.10am and Tricky decided that yes, today was going to be a good day to be born, no induction necessary. I patted my belly, “Good boy, Tricky.”
I got up and had a light breakfast, trying to be really quiet so Hubby could get a bit more sleep. At around 6am Hubby woke up (I'd stopped being quiet, we were due at the hospital soon anyway so it was time to get up!) and I smiled at him. “Guess what?” I asked. “We're going to have a baby today” he replied. “Yep, because my waters broke about an hour ago!” and we both lost it laughing. I guess having the weight of 'when will it happen' lifted let things happen naturally. I could not have been more pleased.
We got to the hospital at 7am, went to the delivery suite and got hooked up to the CTG machine for the standard initial reading of Tricky's heartbeat... it didn't look so good, fluctuating wildly while my contractions were still really mild and irregular. The OB was called for the first of many times that day. By the time he got there (about twenty minutes later) Tricky's heartbeat had started to settle down in to a more normal rhythm but I was told I would now have to remain strapped to the CTG the entire labour. Bugger – there goes my plan to use yoga positions to get me through the pain of contractions!
By now it was almost 10am and nothing was happening, which in a hospital environment they don't like at all. There are very strict time limits on birthing a baby – can't have our doctors being late for their round of golf. I was only 2cm and had now been labelled as “not progressing” so I was put on a Syntocinon drip (yep, the drug I was trying to avoid). I was sitting back chatting to the morning shift midwife (I forget her name, so I'll call her Miss Melodrama) when she stopped talking, started lowering the bed and telling me to quickly lay down on my side. I didn't know what was happening, and then the CTG alarm went off – Tricky's heartbeat had dropped well below the acceptable level and it wasn't coming back up. The Syntocinon (which was immediately cut off, less than ten minutes after being started) was causing really long contractions that were crushing Tricky's umbilical cord between my pelvic bones and his head. His little lifeline was taking the full force of it all, leaving no room for the blood to flow.
The OB was called and Miss Melodrama informed me that I would need a caesarean section. Hot, angry tears pricked at my eyes. I was so disappointed. I didn't want that bloody drug in the first place and look what it had done! I hadn't even been given a chance to labour and I was being told that it was all over due to 'foetal distress'. In my mind I was shouting "He wasn't distressed until you intervened! Why couldn't you just let nature run it's course? Why must I dilate at 1cm per hour?"
In the next few minutes as the drug left my system, Tricky's heartbeat came back up and my contractions settled to normal strength. The OB said he was happy for me to not go straight to surgery, that I could wait a while and see what happened but it was more than likely I would be operated on that afternoon. I was measured for compression stockings, my blood was taken to be cross-matched and I was shaved in preparation for what they all saw as inevitable surgery. I had to keep telling myself that as long as Tricky got here healthy in the end, that it didn't matter how he came out.