On Monday the 26th of May at 8:30 a.m. I had my last scheduled appointment with my gynecologist. I went in convinced that our baby’s weight is going to be estimated over 3.5 kg which will mean that he won’t give me the go ahead to try for a normal birth and that he will in fact schedule my caesarian for later the week. He did the scan and measurements and told us that he estimates baby’s weight around 3.4 kg and that baby’s head is down and in the right position for birth. I told him that I have been feeling a lot of pressure down below for the past few days and he decided to do a quick internal exam. What happened next caught me totally off guard, because it was the last thing I expected.
He said that he feels the baby’s head, but that my cervix is still hard and that we must go fetch my bags and check into the maternity unit so that he can start the process for a gentle induction. He just wanted to soften cervix enough to rupture my waters and he thought that we have a good chance for a successful normal birth. You would not believe how big the smile on my face was!
So we quickly phoned my parents to come take care of Jamie, went home, got my bags and checked into the maternity ward at the hospital. We were so excited.
The sister on duty came in and told us what the day would involve, we completed a whole lot of paperwork, did some tests and I got given the very stylish hospital gown. Coincidently the sister was on duty when I had Jamie too – a sweet lady called Trish who likes giving hugs.
I was put on a monitor to keep track of baby’s heartbeat and my contractions and was surprised that I was already having light contractions reaching about 20 on a scale of 1 to 100. At 11:15 the sister inserted the 1 mg gel induction. I was kept on the monitor for a while and the contractions became stronger really fast. My gynae came in to check up on me a couple of times and I was starting to dilate. I was taken off the monitors so I walked around to keep things going. At around 5 pm gynae tried to rupture my waters, but was unable to, but he said at least he “irritated” things and that will help my cervix to soften as well.
He was right as contractions got a lot stronger, but not as strong as when he finally broke my water just after 8 pm. I did not expect the volume of amniotic fluid gushing out of me, it just did not want to stop – even my serious gynae was laughing! I managed to take a shower and then bounced on a birthing ball to help with the contractions. WOW, those contractions were hard to deal with, but at that stage was still manageable with a little help from my hubby who reminded me to breathe through it.
The night sister, named Belinda, who I also remembered from when I had Jamie, administered a Pethidine/Atarax injection. Gosh, that hurt like hell! Apparently that would not take away the pain, just take the edge off, but it did not, and contractions felt even worse… I think it only took away my inhibitions because that’s where I got vocal – whimpering through contractions, ouch ouch ouch’ed a lot, and vocalizing how I can’t deal with the pain and how I don’t think I can do this.
Tried the gas, but hated it, made me feel even more “out of it”, nauseous and light headed. I asked for the epidural a bit earlier, but the sister tried talking me out of it, but I think it was around midnight where I demanded one… I knew I was tired, contractions were on top of each other, and I did not know if I could go on, knowing that I needed to get strength together for the pushing stage. She told me it would be hard to get an anesthetist at that hour, but she will call gynae (who went home for a while after his other patient had her baby at around 9/10 pm) and hear what he says.
Another surprise for me – she came back saying okay Dr. Marais will come and do the epidural himself. Okey dokey, that was a bit strange, but I just did not care at that stage, I just wanted to get the pain under control. I really did not expect to be such a baby when it came to the labour pains! I was then prepped for the epidural and a drip got inserted. I can’t even remember at what time the gynae arrived at the hospital, I just remember how thankful I was that he was there. He administered the epidural without a problem; it just felt like it took a long time, because he had to work in between contractions. At that stage I was between 7 and 8 cm dilated. It took a little while and then the pain was gone, there was just one small spot on my tummy where it did not took, but I could deal with that without a problem.
At some stage the gynae told the nurse to put something in my drip to speed things along and then it did not take long until he said I was ready to start pushing. The sister told me exactly when to push, when to take a breath and when to push again. The one spot where the epidural did not take also helped a lot because I could feel the contraction which helped me to know when to push as well. After two sets of three pushes each the gynae said that baby’s heart rate is dropping a bit, and the head is right there, he is going to use a vacuum to assist me with the next pushing stage. So he did and after a couple of pushes I heard the most beautiful sound – the sound of my baby’s cry. Shae Hannah Aukett made her debut at 4:25 am on Tuesday the 27th of May 2014!
It was so special being able to hold and cuddle my baby immediately this time. I saw the most beautiful head of hair, my tiny, gorgeous baby! She’s just pure perfection.
While I held her, it was time to birth the placenta, but only about a 300g piece came out and gynae told me that it seems like my placenta grew into my previous c-section scar. He said he will need to get me into theater and put me under to get it out, as it’s quite dangerous and I could start bleeding profusely. At some stage he changed his mind and said the epidural is still sufficient enough and that he would just need a couple of minutes in the theater. While we waited for the theater to get prepared I breastfed Shae, and had some time with her and hubby before I got wheeled to the theater.
In the end it took quite a while for him to do a D&C. I was on such a high after experiencing Shae’s birth that I did not care much and did not understand the fuss everyone was making – although I understand now after reading up on it this weekend, apparently Placenta Accreta was quite dangerous for me and baby, so we were really lucky and blessed that it did not affect us in any negative way.
My gynae was a super star throughout this whole thing, especially since he was basically there the whole night, except for the hour or two when he tried to rest, and especially since he went on holiday that day and needed to get to the airport in just a couple of hours after he finished with me in theater. And of course – bless his soul for that epidural he gave me without a problem!
I was so impatient while lying in recovery… I just wanted to get back to my hubby and baby. When I got to my room hubby told me that Shae was in the incubator to get warm and that the nurses will bring her to me later. He then went to fetch Jamie while I asked for breakfast as I was starving after no dinner and such a long labour.
They brought Shae to me and I could not stop staring at her. I just felt so blessed, privileged and thankful not only for a good birthing experience, but also for having her – a little princess to complete our family of four.
Hubby came in with Jamie and his reaction was amazing – he climbed onto my bed, looking at Shae and saying “awwwwwwww, my sister!!!!” and he kissed her and immediately wanted to hold her. It was an instant bond and absolutely miraculous to witness. He gave me so much love and cuddles as well.
I’m such a proud mommy!