He’s finally here.
After a looooong nine months of generally feeling like a slug, Master Daniel aka Chipolata, arrived a couple of weeks ago.
I didn’t think it was possible to have a worse birth experience than I had with his sister, but that’s what happened. But he was oh so worth it.
We’d hoped for a home birth – not because I have anything against hospital births, but because I find it so hard to sleep in hospitals, they are sooooo noisy!
At 41 weeks + 2 days I was woken at midnight Sunday morning by my waters breaking. At first I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on – had I just wet myself? Once I’d woken up a bit more, it was pretty obvious to me what had happened. I roused my husband (who was sleeping in Chipolata’s room, due to me needing to take over our king-sized bed with six pillows to sleep comfortably) who very kindly re-made the bed while I showered. He and I were excited that things were happening and no induction would be needed (oh how little we knew…). As no contractions were immediately forthcoming, I managed to get back to sleep.
I woke the next morning to light contractions and called my mother-in-law, who had offered to look after Sausage while I was in labour. She came and took Sausage with her to our church, and she asked our church family to pray for us as the baby was on his way, hurrah! As the morning went on the contractions got closer together and more intense, and then petered off to every half hour. At 3pm my midwife texted me to let me know if nothing happened within 18 hours of my waters breaking she would have to drop off antibiotics to me due to the risk of infection for the baby.
When she arrived she said that the doctor on duty at the hospital was quite unhappy with me having a home birth as I was overdue, and he wanted me to come in to the hospital. We agreed that if nothing had happened by Monday morning we would turn up at 7am to get IV antibiotics and have a hospital birth.
As the day went on the contractions came and went irregularly. I tried to sleep but couldn’t as the contractions were quite intense, and still not coming with any sort of regularity. Around 2am on the Monday, I said to my husband that I thought we should probably go to the hospital. I was exhausted, and knew that as nothing was progressing the hospital could give me something to at least help me sleep.
So I did get the cliched hurried car ride to the hospital experience. We were taken to delivery suite and my midwife gave me some phenergan. I fell into a blissful sleep for four hours. In the morning, the midwife checked how dilated I was and gave me the disappointing news that I was only 1 centimetre dilated. 1 centimetre! After hours and hours of contractions. I wasn’t even technically in labour.
I was given gel to help speed things along and it certainly did a bit. I was incredibly tired by this time and felt like I had nothing left in the tank. I used gas for a while, but as the contractions got worse I asked for some stronger pain relief and was given morphine. The morphine helped a lot, but only lasts for four hours. At some point in the afternoon the doctor decided that things weren’t moving fast enough (I was still barely dilated) so I was given syntocinon i.e. induced. After that, it was all on.
Around this time the baby decided to turn around so he was against my spine, and all I can recall is screaming and screaming as it honestly felt like my back was going to snap in two. Suddenly the contractions didn’t matter, it was my back that was more painful. Even worse, the pain did not subside as the contractions came and went. One of my best friends damaged her tailbone giving birth and she is still dealing with the after-effects five years on, so it was definitely in my mind that something bad could happen to my back.
I kept asking for pain relief and was given pethidine at one point – which did absolutely nothing. I think I said ‘Please help me’ over and over and kept wondering why no one was giving me any pain relief. I still don’t know why! Maybe I was too far in labour? I felt like no one was taking my cries about my back seriously. All I know is I never actually saw the damn doctor who was making these pain relief decisions as he was stuck in theatre on an urgent case (his decisions were relayed to my midwife). My midwife later told me that she hadn’t known I had a slight scoliosis of the spine (my spine curves a bit more than normal) which she felt contributed to the intense pain in my back. Had she known, she might have suggested an epidural from the get-go.
My son was eventually delivered just in time for dinner on Monday night. When they saw him, the midwives all gasped “look how long he is!” as Chipolata is in the 99th percentile for height. Chip looks a lot like his Dad, and we are blessed that he is perfectly healthy.
Chip obviously did not get the memo that second births are meant to be ‘quick’ and not as painful as first births. I could barely walk in the days after the birth as my back pain was terrible. Standing for more than a couple of minutes was impossible. Three weeks on and it’s improved a great deal, but I will be having physio and osteopathy done on it at six weeks post-partum. I’m hoping that the birth will become a distant memory as we get to know our beautiful boy.