Megan's Birth Story
|Megan in NICU 3 Days Old|
I certainly didn’t think it was going to be my last day, as I was only 35½ weeks and I thought I’d have at least 2 weeks at home sorting out the new nursery and pottering around the house or watching telly with my feet up. NO SUCH frikken LUCK!
I went out for my farewell dinner after work on the Friday, 17 January and had supper with everyone until about 11:30. I woke up at 1:30am on 18 January 2003 needing to go to the loo. However I was unaware it was my waters breaking and trickling out. I tried to go back to bed but I couldn’t sleep so I went through to my trusty DSTV and started watching crappy sitcoms on the Series channel, after Jerry Springer at about 4:30am in the morning, I tried to go back to sleep again. I was tossing and turning with slight period cramps until about 6am.
My cramps were getting gradually and gradually worse but it wasn’t unbearable. They were about 6 or 7 minutes apart. I then woke R up to tell him about what was happening. I still didn’t think I was in labour! R phoned his sister to tell her what was happening because I didn’t think it was time because I was only 35½ weeks. She said “You better get to the hospital you’re in labour!”. Not once did it occur to me that I was only 35½ weeks and that I’d have a preemie and that I should go to the hospital NOW!!
I look back and think how silly I was – things could’ve gone horribly wrong. I then went for a nice long bubble bath, shaved my legs and other bits and I was able to relax in the bath for a while. I then could concentrate on the contractions. Eventually when the contractions started getting a little too much for me to relax, I got out, dried myself and got dressed and my bag ready.
I then dragged a hung-over R out of bed to help me! He started timing my contractions and they were about 5 minutes apart. I was expected my domestic to arrive at 8:00am and I said to R that I will wait until then and because she didn’t have a key. We did so, but by 8:00am I couldn’t sit still and I was on the doorstep ready to go.
When the domestic arrived we dashed to the car and whizzed off to hospital. I kept telling Riaan to drive slower because I felt every bump! We got to the hospital and I remember saying to the lady behind the admissions desk “I think I’m in labour”. DUH???
So I was taken up to the maternity ward and when I told them I was only 35½ weeks they immediately strapped me to a baby monitor. All I wanted to do was walked around and bend over but I had to lie on the bed on my back! I hated every second. The nurse did an internal and told me I was already 6cm dilated and asked if I wanted an epidural. I snapped “YES!”. Hello? who wouldnt want the damn drugs!
My gynae and the anesthetist were called and I watched my contractions coming and going on the monitor and dreading every contraction. Then someone came around from catering asked what I wanted for lunch! I gave her the look of death and ignored her. I thought to myself. Can I just have my baby first for heaven’s sake. The last thing on my mind was what I was going to have for fucking lunch and supper!!!
The nurse came around to give me my enema and I snapped at her as I was right in the middle of a very painful contraction. I said “URGH! JUST GIMME FIVE MINUTES!”. She said it was imperative I have it now and told me to get off the bed. I had the enema and I went to the loo. It was so cool and quiet in the bathroom that I could actually focus a little and use some of the breathing techniques I learned at ante-natal classes. It was actually bearable with the breathing but then the nurses came smashing on the doors to get me out and back on the baby monitor.
The doctor arrived and had a look at me and told me I was 7cm dilated and that I was to be moved into the labour ward. It wasn’t long after that the anesthetist came to give me the epidural. I knew I had to sit very still but it was so difficult with such bad contractions. I didn’t feel a thing and it wasn’t 10 minutes and I had a HUGE smile on my face. I could move my legs but I couldn’t feel the contractions. I watched them on the monitor with R. He’d tell me when I was having one and I’d smile – “That’s nice”.
It was about an hour after that the doctor came to check me and told me it was time to push. I had three long contractions each with three big pushes each and Megan was born with the help of a little suction as she kept slipping back. He finally decided to give me an episiotomy but I only had 4 stitches. It sounded like he was cutting cardboard!
The doctor asked if R wanted to cut the cord he said “No its okay you can do it”. He looked a bit squeamish then but it all disappeared when then doctor handed Megan to him. He was the first one to hold Megan and he beamed like the sun. The proud dad grining from ear to ear. They then took her away to do her apgar tests and it was then he brought her back for me to hold. She was 2.6kg and 48cm in length. She got a 9 out of 10. They put her on my chest for what seems like ages and I said “She’s so beautiful”.
I looked lovingly at R and said “WE MADE HER!!:
The nurse then noticed she was battling to breathe and put her in the incubator for some oxygen. It was then she was whipped away to ICU. After Xrays they told me she had a hole in her lung and pneumonia on both lungs and started with jaundice. She spent another 10 very long and stressful days in NICU but eventually we got the all clear to come home.
Kaylin's Birth Story
A normal working day at work on Monday, 27 February 2006. I went to my regular gynae appointment that morning. He did an internal and said that my cervix had already tilted and I had started dilating. He said I should prepare for labour on Wednesday or Thursday.
|Kaylin One Day Old|
R picked up Megan from school and I headed home. My waters continued to trickle out until about 6:30pm. I continued labouring quite easily, making supper for Megan and getting her ready for the night (Mandy, my best friend, planned to stay with Megan while we went to the hosital). I called her to tell her it was time and she came around on her way home from work. I waited until 7pm to go to the hospital. I was having contractions which were about 5 minutes apart and not too uncomfortable (like bad period pains).
By the time we got to the hospital at about 7:20pm I was contracting very regularly, 4 minutes apart and the pain was becoming stronger. The labour ward was a circus! There were 3 delivery rooms - all full, someone in the water birth unit and two of us in a normal ward with contractions. The sisters on duty were REALLY busy and took forever to do anything. Eventually they hooked me up to the machine to a fetal monitor my contractions to confirm I was in labour. The counter was going up to almost 80 (strong contraction) and I was squeezing the blood out of R's hands. Poor bugger!
All I wanted then was the doctor to come and the anaesthetist to give me the epidural (as planned). Eventually, I called the nurse to take me off the machine as labour lying on your back is terrible! I made an excuse that I needed to go to the toilet and she unhooked me. R was then asked to take some paperwork to the front desk to officially book me in because they could see by the monitor I was in fact in labour - nah....you think??
I went to the loo and had about 5 REALLY strong contractions which made me double over in pain and moan like an old cow. I was started panicking as the nurses still had not checked how far dilated I was. I was already feeling the urge to push and the pain was blinding... I reached down to feel the tip of Kaylin's head.
Eventually a nurse came into the bathroom hearing my screams and asked me "What's wrong deary?".
"Deary?" I shouted at her "I can feel my baby's head - I need to push, why hasn't anyone checked me yet? Where is my doctor? and the anaesthetist?" the nurse then realised that I was in fact a lot further along that they thought I was and things were progressing really fast.
They walked me - yes WALKED me, to the recently cleaned up Delivery Bed. I had one hand on the wall and one hand holding my baby's head. By this time I was so angry and panicky because R was not with me and the pain was incredible. One of the nurses mumbled something about an enema and I shouted at her "Enema? I can feel the baby's head crowning". She said not to push that I'd hurt myself and that I must wait for the doctor.
A really strong contraction and I reached down to feel Kaylin's head! I told the nurse but by this time they were sick of my shouting at them and were totally ignoring me and preparing the room for the delivery. I was so cross that I was being igored and was asking for R. I climbed on to the bed - no help from the nurses - one hand holding Kaylin's head. A nurse came to examine me – finally! She didn't say anything to me but by the look on her face I think she realised why I'd been screaming at her all this time. She immediately phoned my doctor.
What? He hadn't been called already?? I knew that he was close by inside the hospital as I'd seen him walking past a few times to other delivery wards. I heard her say on the phone. “She’s fully dilated and crowning”. I was so livid! Why hadn't they examined me sooner? I wanted the fucking drugs demmit! Now it was too late and R was no where to be found.
Just then R peeped around the curtain and I could see by the look on his face that I was in a bad way. I was in a flat spin and he tried to calm me down. He did a really good job...then only did the doctor arrive...just in time...and when I showed R that Kaylin's head was on the way out he took charge and helped me through it. I gave ONE big push and her head was out. Another one and her little body slithered out. Then one final push for the placenta... She was totally perfect.
I got to hold her immediately and I just could NOT believe I'd done it all on my own and so quickly. I couldn't believe I'd just experienced the wonder of child birth with no drugs!!! No tears or cuts... Kaylin got a 9/10 apghar and then 10/10 5 minutes later. I was so in owe of what I'd done and how tiny Kaylin was. She was taken away to be weighed and cleaned. She was 48cm in length and weighed only 2kg - head diameter of 31cm.
I got to hold her for ages while they cleaned up. No tearing, no cutting, no stitches this time.
She was eventually taken away to the nursery for some O2 as she was born so quick. I walked back the maternity ward! Yes, walked - I just wanted to get away from those horrid nurses in the labour ward!
The experience was both a positive one and a negative one. Perhaps it was the anger got me through it easier. But I would’ve liked to have been in less of a panic and not so worked up.
Anyway all was okay and we left the very busy hospital the next morning to come home I can't tell you how glad I was to get home and sleep in my own bed - It was like a train station in there.