And motherhood begins

I only began feeding him today really, and I’m not producing enough for him yet so he’s on formula.

They gave him a dummy to settle him (which he now seems kind of addicted to) so I’m hoping he still latches when I can breastfeed properly. So far I’ve only breastfed him once properly!

I have to express about every 3 hours to increase my flow, which is really taxing, and overwhelmingly hard to juggle around hospital meal times, sleeping, visiting hours, exercises, and check-ups!

I’m being kept in hospital overnight, I should be home tomorrow but bubsy has to stay for a week at least I think, though he is on the improve. He is being normalised, and is now in an open crib and out of the humidity crib. He is on his own with breathing now and the antibiotics are over, but he’s being fed a combo of NAN formula and my colostrum through a drip mainly.

This whole experience has been soooo utterly surreal. Just… WOW!

Surgery and Recovery

9:00am They took him away mid-feed and I was whisked away to get a Spinal, and umpteen – zillion stitches over 45 mins, with lots of bleeding and morphine. They put my feet in stirrups which were SOOOOOOOOOO comfy, with giant leather padding, and even a lovely padded leather armrest!

I think because of the shock, the numbness, and the oxytocin I was a bit giddy, and out of it, and I was very bubbly through the majority of the procedure, until I began to shiver violently and I felt very cold. They said it was due to the air-conditioning and sterilization mechanism used in the room, and they got me several blankets. I was a nervous fidgeter, and I kept knocking off the pulse monitor from my finger.

The surgeons were pretty chuffed to see a patient all giggly and happy like me. I think it’s a rarity for them. I was wishing them all a merry Christmas, and asking the Indian guy next to me about his Christmas plans, and about Indian songs he liked before I said I liked “Sun Sun Sandri”, and sang it for him, I’d been teaching this to Indian brothers last term.

The surgeons were generally pretty nice back to me, and in good spirits, except when I found out I was their second patient for their shift that day, and I asked the Indian guy about the lady before me. He frowned and said she had an abortion – OOPS. They played some 80s and 90s songs from the youtubes to lighten the mood, and I recall telling the lady who gave make the spinal that I liked her Christmassy earrings and her eyes lit up.

After the main part of the surgery even though I was still severely numb, I could feel them pressing very hard on the stomach. They said it was very important, and that it’s better to do it now, while I couldn’t feel anything, so I shrugged and agreed. They sucked me up off the bed with some super amazing inflatable parachute thingy, which was pretty fun, and put me on another bed.

I really wanted to know how many stitches there were, but they refused to tell me. Many people have said it was just one massive long stitch. When I asked the main surgical guy after he just said “Well, you smiled on the way in and out, so it can’t be THAT bad.”

I was wheeled to the recovery room, where my very gay attendant, Louis was pointing out all the flaws that the surgical team had made, such as failing to use the correct size cuff for talking my blood pressure, (My arm had many bruises from this, which Louis moisturised for me.) Also they failed to give the spinal report, failed to mention that morphine had been administered, and failed to do some kind of ice test on my skin during the procedure. They had also neglected to take the catheter to my leg, so if I had moved, I could’ve damaged my bladder. CHARMING!

Louis was very concerned that he was going to miss out his place in “the que” to leave and do…. something else. There was a very bossy foreign woman who was trying to cut the que and was SHUT DOWN by the woman on duty. The staff were quite negligent, and overlooked several times to find out what room I was meant to be taken to, so I had to wait about another hour before anyone bothered to find me a recovery room and take me there.

I ended up being taken to the room I’m in now, which isn’t regularly used, but there’s so many women here today apparently. There’s a spare bed, which I was told would be for another lady. (I was told this at 5pm. It’s now 2.40am and there’s no lady, so that woman was a bloody liar when she said I couldn’t use the pillow on the other bed!)

I was left there for hours without anyone telling me where hubby or baby were, and they had neglected to give me lunch. I had to ask several staff members several times before any food was brought to me. Considering I hadn’t eaten anything since 1am, I didn’t appreciate having to wait until about 4pm to eat! All I got was some stale old sandwich… in fact only 1 hour later some lady came to bring me her gruel dinner. I didn’t even get a choice in the food, and I only got to eat some of it because I fell asleep, and by the time she came back I was about to start on the cup of tea, but she was a bit rude and took it. During this time hubby had gone home to get a few things, such as my phone, laptop, pillows, and some food!

Labour!

4:10am The reception area, to the birthing unit, was very dark and quiet, apart from a lit up Christmas tree. I waited in the waiting room for probably 10-20 mins before they showed me into the low-risk birthing unit.

4:30am This room had the massive double bed, and a MASSIVE bathroom, so I was stoked!

4:40am They did a CTG scan of me and bubs, which was VERY annoying, as the belly bands were really tight and cutting into my skin, and I was unable to move around. Bubsy kept moving in there, so hubby had to keep a finger on the egg thingy for aaaaaaages.

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5:15am Rachel said I was 2 fifths engaged at this point. Which is how far the baby’s head is down into the pelvis.

5:25am Finally after I’d had some rather painful contractions, and felt like I needed to poo, they checked me (which really hurt) and they said I hadn’t begun dilating yet, and that my waters hadn’t actually broken based on the fact that I had “no ferns” in my fluid…(which I think is a totally inaccurate way of telling!)

about 10-20 mins later the contractions were so bad I was convulsing and shaking uncontrollably on the bed. They kept annoying me with the stupid scan, and they wanted to take my blood pressure and ll this other stuff, but I was too focused on the pain. It felt better on my right side for some reason. The main nurse said I should probably be sent home at that point, but I was sooo scared of the thought of this much pain at home, unsupervised, with NO pain relief! I couldn’t believe that THIS was the onset of labour! I just couldn’t comprehend how it was THAT painful if it was only the beginning.

5:35am They asked me to pee in a cup, so they could analyse it. But only more amniotic fluid came out

ACTIVE PUSHING A few mins later, when the nurses had gone to attend to other patients, I sat up on the bed, leant forward, and began to push violently and uncontrollably – it’s like my body took over, and with each push I could feel fluid leaking onto the bed, but I didn’t care.

5:50am Shortly after the urge to poo was so great that I ran for the toilet and sat down, and with each contraction I just had an overwhelming urge to push even though it absolutely friggin hurt! I think I was pushing on the toilet for a fair while, gradually getting more and more vocal as the pain got more intense and the contractions were closer together an longer.

The student nurse, Rachel (who was REALLY nice) came in to check on me and didn’t quite know what to do when she saw me. she was asking if I wanted pain relief, and I was hysterical, whimpering that I was very scared and didn’t know what to do, so she went to get the nurse, and suggested Gas and Air.

6.00am My “Pain Relief”

She told me to try sitting in the shower and let the hot water run down my back. When I sat on the chair, the water was amazing, but the chair was positioned in such a way that only my right side was getting wet. I would’ve moved the chair in more, but I kept contracting, and ended up bearing down on the chair!

7:00am They said I could try gas and air so I got out the shower and by the time I was on the bed my contractions were 3 in 10 mins, but the gas and air hadn’t even arrived yet!?! I suspect this is due to shift changes of nursing staff, the fact that the ward was full, and that I was in the “low” side.

If the nurse hadn’t told me that the gas and air was ready when I was, I would’ve stayed in the warm shower because it was helping a lot, but I decided if this was the “onset of labour” then I would need some real pain relief, so I got out and laid on the bed. The nurses had checked the fluid on the bed I’d pushed out and determined that although there was no ferns in my waters at any point, that this must be my waters. (But I know that it was just additional fluid.) They then decided to admit me after all, around 7.10am, which is around the point that the student midwife, Rachel left to go home at the end of her shift.

After contractions got closer and stronger together, the Gynaecologist who had just walked in, (and was the same gyne that had told us we were pregnant at the start of all this) was fussing with needles in my arm – I was severely dehydrated so they had a rough time of it. The contraction pain was too strong for me to remember what happened with the needles and blood work from this point.

My new midwifes and nurses were talking about putting a foetal scalp on baby’s head, and wanting to check dilatation again. By this point all I could do was shake in shock on my left side and scream at the painful parts when they happened.

7:20am Because I was in so much pain, they decided to check me for dilatation again.

Much to all of our surprise, when they forced me onto my back again and opened my legs to check, they yelled out that I was crowning! (approx. 7:23.00)

One member of staff went out of the room and alerted the ward that my baby was coming! Rachel, who was on her way out, came running back in, dressed in her casual clothes and handbag in disbelief. Around this point, hubby decided to get the REAL camera out.

I stupidly asked “how dilated is that?” in absolute shock. I think at this point I said “Shit, really?” (I didn’t swear at any other time in front of anyone other than hubby (which was just a whole load of “fuck fuck fuck this hurts” while convulsing in the bed)

7:24.22am I knew I wanted to avoid tearing, so I requested that they tell me when to push and when to pant, but the stupid woman said “push slowly” which I didn’t understand at all. I asked “how?” in confusion, and she just kept telling me to push, which I thought was odd since I wasn’t even contracting at this time, but I gave one push anyway and within 22 seconds of his head crowning he was fully out! ?! He came out so fast that I’d barely registered it, and hubby-tographer was only able to capture 3 pictures of him being born, and one of my push! It just felt like a large slippery mass emerging – similar to a squid. I didn’t really have much time to process that, or anything else.

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Some obnoxious nurse yelled out “it’s a boy” despite it saying in my birth plan saying I wanted to see it for myself.

They put him straight up on my chest, and loosely placed a towel over him, and put on a blue and white beanie (which was made by volunteers) and Hubby was asked if he wanted to cut the cord, which he did. (And he kept some of it!!)

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About 5 mins later hubby pushed the big red emergency button on request from Lynn (around 7.30.) He said “It’s about to get very crowded in here.” And then heaps of people came in and were rushing around.

My belly got pushed on really hard, and this to me hurt more than the giving birth part!!! I asked them to stop, but they refused, saying it was too important. Apparently because the birth had been so quick, I was bleeding a lot, and I had a major tear down my perineum and in 2 parts of the anus…. They said its 3rd Degree, which from what I gather is the 2nd worst kind of tear. Shortly after this people stabbed my left thigh with some injections.

I bled a load on the bed and they had to stop me from bleeding and it hurt A LOT when they pushed on my belly – even more than the giving birth part.

They took the baby away and it sounded serious, almost like I could’ve died. soon after I was told that I had lost 800ml of blood, and they found it hard to stop, so they gave me an oxytocin drip to help the uterus shrink (contract) and to stop the bleeding.
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The baby was having some repertory issues unbeknownst to me, so nurses called in the paediatrician (Mark,) whom checked baby, including; oxygen levels, pulse, respiratory rate, testical descent and temperature. He wasn’t overly concerned, so he guided hubby through first nappy application and swaddling – he said he was a natural, after being surprised that Liam was our first born.

Hubby passed me my baby, which had not sunk in yet, so I hadn’t recognised what I was holding! Hubby says it seemed like I hadn’t registered that I had actually given birth, was now a mum, and that this was MY son.
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8:00am I was told to try to breastfeed the baby so he didn’t cry whilst hubby held him for my (3-hour) surgery and recovery! I tried in the left but he just wanted to lick it and wouldn’t latch. Eventually we got him going on the right side AND MAN IT HURT!!!!!! I’m not sure if he actually got anything out, but it felt like he had crocodile’s teeth or something!!! They put a catheter in my urethra which REALLY FUCKING HURTS! (In hindsight I don’t think he was latched properly, as nursing g staff hadn’t helped me latch him, and the angle was completely wrong!  – he was laid on top of me face down, whilst I was laying down.)

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My waters have broken!

We arrived home around 12.30am, and I had a piece of my chocolate birthday cake with a cup of chocolate milk as a night cap around 1am…

 2:00am I was about to fill up my drink bottle at the kitchen sink when I felt a trickle down my leg, which quickly turned into the realisation that I was uncontrollably wetting myself!
My hubby analysed the mess. There was about half a cup to a cup there, (Plus more in my maternity pad, undies, and later, in the toilet.) The fluid was sticky, with a clear / light brown-pinkish tinge, and it smelt like something totally different from urine, normal cervical juices, and cum. It wasn’t pungent or potent. So we firmly believe that this is the point at which my waters broke.
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2:10am When I went to have a shower, there were a few tiny flecks of blood, and the pad had a pink tinge on 1 edge. My contractions began at this time, but they were so very mild!

2:30am I needed to poo, so at first I wasn’t sure if the slight pain in my abdomen was poo-related or the onset of contractions, but upon wiping there was definitely blood in the region, so that confirmed it was the waters breaking. We checked, and there was no hint of Meconium in the fluid, so the baby wasn’t in danger.

2:50am Then I began timing my contractions – they were about 30 seconds long each, and hadn’t got a rhythm yet, varying from 5-10 mins apart, but they were pretty mild, and are still reminiscent of poo pain cramps after a long constipation.

I was contemplating bed time, (thinking it’d make the onset of labour more manageable, and go by quicker,) as hubby was cleaning the car and sorting out the hospital bag for when “It’s time,” but I soon realised about 10 mins later that my contractions were rather close together, despite being very mild. (every 5 mins)

3.37am I rang the assessment clinic because the contractions seemed too close together to ignore, and they said I should come in for a check-up, but that I’d most likely be sent home within 20 min or so. The phone call lasted all of 2 minutes

4:00am On the way over in the car the contractions were every 5-10 mins lasting around 30 seconds each.

 

The Waiting Game

1:00pm Hoping to fill the void, I had told my family to come visit, but by the time my immediate family were able to enter the ward after being locked out (because staff failed to open the ward to the public at the start of their visiting hours), all the nurses had come back and wanted to chat to me, so I only got to chat to them for around 5 mins before the continence nurse wanted to have a 45 min chat (which she said was only going to take 15 mins) and that used up most of the time that my family wanted to visit me, so in the end I only got to see them for about 30 mins overall. I was left alone for 3 hours after that, and I’d been told I could see the baby hours ago and I hadn’t, so I cried.

I was annoyed that no-one was taking care of me and my needs, or adhering to my birth plan, and that I was left to fend for myself for 3 hours without warning. The nurses kept contradicting each other, and the tv didn’t work because you have to use a credit card, even though its free to air, so I was bored out of my mind, and all the stuff I wanted in my bag I couldn’t reach, like my book. The internet here is infuriatingly slow and dodgy by the way! I can’t even get on Facebook or youtube! (So I finally posted this MUCH later.)

Maternaty shoot

I didn’t feel the baby kick all day.

We’d spent the day sleeping in, before going to my parents’ house around 4pm to see what the issue was with the car, as it keeps grinding on start-up and deceleration. I picked up their 13kg dog for a quick cuddle, before heading to the local oval for a half-hearted maternity shoot.

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We had a nice Chinese dinner around 7, to celebrate my Auntie’s birthday, then hubby and I had a long talk with my brother about life in general as we watched the night view of Largs Bay beach from the carpark – I remember us joking that the baby would be so overdue as I hadn’t had any Braxton Hicks or felt that the baby was engaged. We dropped off my brother, and said goodnight. We headed home for bed just after midnight, when we realised how late it was getting.