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Hello and welcome back to New Mum Stories, this week we hear from Eleanor over at Savings 4 Savvy Mums. Eleanor shares with us her story of becoming a mum which I have to say sounds a little like mine – overdue, induction, epidural…
Over to you Eleanor…
The long awaited arrival arrived – with a bit of help!
After two and half years and a miscarriage I had made it to 38 weeks. I was just on maternity leave and full of excitement. Looking forward to a week or two at home before giving birth. I cleaned the house, cooked extra meals for when baby arrived, packed and unpacked my hospital bag and of course rested. Then I started to get bored. 39 weeks passed – nothing, 40 weeks passed – nothing, 41 weeks passed – nothing.
There were a few frustrations about going over your forty weeks and in my hormonal state they seemed to become more than just frustrations.
- Firstly, there is the annoying game of ‘Have you tried?’ I must have been told to try a million different things to ‘get the baby out’. From eating pineapple to driving down bumpy roads and everything in between, and what annoyed me more was I had tried them all!
- The feeling of wasting your maternity leave. I had purposely left it until the last moment until going on maternity leave so I could spend as long as possible with my baby. However, she had other ideas.
- Has the baby come yet? The most annoying question! If the baby had arrived am I likely to have forgotten to tell you!
- Being the size of a house!
- And possibly the worst, the false hope the midwife gives you. My poor midwife must have told me 6 times I’m sure it wont be long! After each time a believed her less and less.
Finally, I received my induction date for 12 days after by due date. They were possibly the longest 12 days of my life but eventually Tuesday 18th March arrived. My husband came home at 1:00pm and my dad picked us up at 2:00pm. He was nervous for me, so much so he was early. As we left the car ladened with three bags, one for me, one for baby and one for my husband, nerves were taking hold. We have all seen tv births, screaming woman in a bed, I was terrified about the pain, the indignity and the sheer mechanics of how a baby was going to get out! My dad gave me a piece of advice that will stay with me for the rest of my life – take each minute at a time and if that is too much just take each moment.
A midwife met us and settled us into a room and then explained what was going to happen. She gave me my first pessary at 3:30pm and told us someone would be around to check me in 6 hours! In my naivety I thought I would be in labour by then and my baby born that day. I was not that lucky. Fortunately, my husband had bought a selection of films on his iPad, magazines and books so we were able to entertain ourselves. So far so good – no pain, no discomfort but then no baby either.
My first internal examination was a bit of a shock for me and the poor midwife. I am a complete wuss and squealed a fair bit whilst edging further up the bed as this poor woman was trying to ascertain where or not I was in labour – it turned out I wasn’t. My husband was then asked to leave for the night! On reflection that would have been a good idea but the thought of being in hospital on my own was too much. So he and the midwife agreed he would stay as long as he didn’t leave the room!
At some point in the morning I was given another pessary. I can’t quite remember when but I was then told to walk lots but to stay close to the hospital and someone would be back in 6 hours! I certainly know every inch of the hospital and we even ventured out to the garden centre (on the other side of the road from the hospital). Throughout this time I was starting to have twinges, and feel the beginnings of contractions. Mid afternoon arrived and I was examined. They were happy with my progress so no more pressaries but I was not in active labour yet. More walking, more film watching and more waiting. Finally, at about 6.00pm I was in quite a lot of pain and they agreed as soon as there was space I could go to the labour ward. It was starting! My baby was going to come! I felt fear and relief in equal measures but I kept hold of the advice my dad gave me – one moment at a time and at that moment all I had to do was lie in bed, even I could manage that!
At 7:00pm the doctor came and said it was time. She broke my waters with what looked like a plastic knitting needle and they wheeled me through to delivery room 3. I had a qualified midwife and a student midwife, which was lovely as the student midwife remained with me the entire time, while the qualified midwife was looking after two of us. The contractions were slow to begin with but by midnight were 3 minutes apart. I tried gas and air but it made me sick so at that point I had no pain relief. By 12:30am I was begging the midwife to cut the baby out! After an examination and seeing I had not dilated very far they agreed to give me an epidural. I was sent to go to the toilet – no easy challenge when your contractions are 3 minutes apart but by the time I came back the anesthetist was there waiting.
I remember the anesthetist telling me that I had to stay perfectly still as he put the tube in. For someone in intense pain every 3 minutes it was an impossibility. Thankfully, he gave me a local anesthetic to help stop the pain of the contractions so that I could stay still. However, I was so tired that when he told me to lie on the bed and bring my knees up (still 42 weeks pregnant – I think he just wanted a bit of a laugh) I fell asleep. To administer an epidural the anesthetist needs the patient to stretch out their vertebrae by curling their back. The problem was when I fell asleep I uncurled. How he managed to give me an epidural I’m not sure but he did and I slept! I didn’t wake until 5:00am!
The disadvantage to an epidural is they do slow things down, however, it had pretty much stopped the pain and after the agony of the previous night I was happy to just wait. Examinations where no longer an issue as I couldn’t feel anything – however, they were a bit disheartening as things weren’t moving very quickly. At about 11.00am another doctor came round to examine me and he decided things had to be moved along. He realised that baby’s head was off to the left and therefore wasn’t putting pressure on the correct bit of my cervix, so my body didn’t know what it should be doing. Once he had adjusted the baby’s head things started to move along. At midday I was told to start pushing. The worst part about this was not knowing where or when to push. It took me 45 minutes to work out properly what I should be doing by which time I was getting tired again. They don’t call it labour for nothing. By 1:00pm the midwife told me unless baby was out in 10 minutes she would have to go and get the forceps. That was the motivation I needed, within 16 minutes my daughter was born at 1:16pm weighing 7lbs 10oz.
I remember very clearly waiting to hear her cry and there was nothing. The panic that went through me as the midwife passed her on to the pediatrician is hard to explain. Within seconds there were 3 people around my baby and finally I heard her cry. I later found out she didn’t breathe on her own for 5 minutes. When I think about it I still get tears in my eyes.
After 37 hours of labour and 5 minutes where time stood still, we had our beautiful baby girl. That evening my sister asked me if I would do it all again – in a heart beat!
Thanks Eleanor for sharing with us your New Mum Stories, your baby girl is beautiful.
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