The majority of my pregnancy was difficult due mainly to Hyperemesis Gravardium, and also in the last few months pelvic instability which in the end resulted in my being in constant pain. Despite my anxiety around birth and having a newborn, after my experience of birth trauma and PND the first time around, I greeted the arrival of contractions on the night of the 25th of July with relief. DD was born just before 4pm on the 28th of July. There was a painfully long period of contractions over two nights and two days, during which I barely slept, could hardly move, and more or less shuffled around between my armchair and bed weeping. The baby was in an oblique position (sideways, with her head down in my hip). On the evening before she was born, the contractions fizzled out to almost nothing. I had a hysterical crying session for hours, full of remorse for what the pregnancy had done to myself and my family, feeling beyond drained. I spoke to some friends. I tried some exercises to encourage baby to move. I prayed. Then I collapsed into bed around midnight, defeated.
At around 4am I woke up to strong, breathtaking contractions every 2-4 minutes. I called mum, roused my husband and we sped off to the hospital with me feeling like perhaps this would happen, one way or another, all really rather quickly.
HAHAHAHA. You would think I'd learn by then.
Baby was confirmed by ultrasound to still be in the same position, and they explained that if she didn't move, I'd be in need a a caesarian. I was grateful for the gas and for the assistance of my midwife to move around in ways to help manage the pain and encourage baby to move. But over the next couple of hours, the pain in my pelvis, through my tailbone, and radiating up my lower back and down my inner thighs, was burning and constant. Between contractions I remained in significant pain. With the midwife's guidance I alternated between the bed, and a mat on the floor, and a fitball. It was torturous. DH was an amazingly attentive, active birth partner.
After a few hours, they did another ultrasound, and an internal. Only 3cm! She was still in an oblique lie. I cried out in despair. But they were hopeful, and I decided to trust the staff. That was a huge leap of faith for me. They were going to check her position and my progress again in a few hours, and for that period I recall very little except searing pain, and moving constantly between positions.
When I was examined again, she had by some miracle moved into a favourable position and was 5cm. I was constantly vocalising in pain. I realised I was running out of strength, mentally and physically, for the task of birthing her and still had potentially a way ahead. I asked my midwife for an epidural and she seemed to dart out of the room and back with an anaesthetist in an instant. DH says that they were just waiting for me to ask. I must have been in agony, because I was able to sit still for the epidural and thought of nothing except the need for relief from the pain, whereas normally the thought of it makes me quite ill.
Each time the drugs were topped up I shook and vomited violently, and there were patches where the epidural didn't work. It was still heavenly. I was able to come back to awareness, and a feeling of control and participation in what was happening. The midwife who had been caring for me, and then the new one taking up the next shift, were both truly lovely. Their interpersonal skills were above and beyond. I felt extremely safe and respected. After a few hours they ruptured the membranes to speed things up. Shortly after I began to feel an urge to push. I was vomiting and shaking constantly.
At 3.30 I was asked to begin actively pushing. Initially my efforts didn't seem to be resulting in much movement, but then in typical Pooks style (that is, without any grace whatsoever) I vomited so violently, completely with howling and choking, that baby was pushed down significantly. The midwife couldn't hide her amusement and informed me that another vomit like that, and she'd probably shoot out. I laughed and said that's what I'd been in training for all pregnancy. Sure enough, I delivered (boom, tish) and with another giant heave her head was born. I began to weep and with a final effort, she was here at 3.54.
I'll never forget the elated feeling as I looked down and her, and as she as brought up to me. DH and I just cried and cried with joy. In all honesty, the pregnancy had been so draining I had felt no bond with the baby at all... And then in an instant I loved her entirely. I felt a sense of recognition, like she was always meant to be mine. She was all big steely blue eyes, staring right at me. It was the most remarkable emotional experience of my life.
With the delivery of the placenta the HG lifted instantaneously, and I let out an involuntary almighty sigh which made everyone in the room react with concern. It was like having a blindfold removed after 9 months only to look upon a sunrise... It's so hard to describe.
We were left alone for hours and hours in that room, just me and DH and our baby, I'm so grateful to the hospital for that. I had her all night by myself, so buzzed I didn't feel tired at all, just staring at her. In the morning DS came with his dad to meet her, and then in the afternoon grandparents and aunts and uncles all filed through, all commenting "Pooks, you're back!". I felt "back" too. She is the loveliest tiny person. These first weeks have been a difficult period of adjustment, particularly as the weeks (and months) prior had been so chaotic, and I've had a difficult physical recovery due to the number I did on my back/pelvis and a sprained coccyx. But we are slowly getting there. DS adores his sister, and yesterday she gave him her first smile.
Edited by Feral_Pooks, 08 September 2015 - 04:37 AM.