I went into the hospital on Saturday, June 1st to be induced. I was supposed to go in on Thursday before but they had no beds, so they kept me waiting a few days.
It was my Step-dad’s 50th birthday BBQ that day too, which meant I missed out on all the festivities but the family did take this picture for me to cheer me up…
I got to the hospital around lunchtime. They got me settled in the induction room, a small room tucked away down a corridor and they gave me a pessary. It started contractions and all looked good so they said they couldn’t give me the second one as it would over stimulate things. However, that evening the contractions had fizzled and died and nothing was happening.
So on Sunday, they tried again. Same thing happened. This time, they also tried to break my waters. This failed and then the contractions died off again.
Monday came, 3rd attempt with the pessary and another failed attempt at breaking my waters. Around 9 pm that evening, I was having the contractions again but Dexter had moved out of position. It took 3 people to grab my belly and move him around before they would try and break my waters. Let me tell you, having all those hands on your belly trying to move something that’s inside from the outside was a very strange feeling indeed. Liam had to look away haha. They managed it but Dexter obviously wasn’t keen and moved straight back to where he was, so they had to do it again. The 3rd attempt at breaking my waters worked a treat. The nurse that did it had me completely distracted by talking about a soup that she had entered into a cooking competition and won. Random choice of conversation for the moment but we went with it.
Happily, I thought Dexter was finally on his way. They moved me onto the labour ward and gave me a lovely big room. Obviously, the contractions were hurting so the midwife ran me a bath. The warm water really helped and so I just sat there for quite a while. Liam tried to get some sleep while he had the chance.
I don’t really remember much about the early labour. I just know that main labour was not fun. Gas and air was fun. Labour was not.
I was sick on Liam, I threw things at him, not intentionally, but because I thought they were staring at me and… I have never experienced pain like it.
“You’re going to feel pressure now,” They said.
“The epidural won’t help on this bit so it will hurt,” they said.
Pressure?? Hurt?? – Oh, I think you’re confusing that with excruciating pain!!
Nobody can tell you what it’s like. Nobody can prepare you for it. And it’s true what they say “Once you’re in there, you won’t care who sees what. Dignity goes out the window!” I crushed my mums had and kept falling asleep with the gas and air. I was talking complete rubbish and I was so out of it, it was hilarious. Liam was wiping my face and asked if it was even helping, bless him so I ensured him it was and told him to carry on. He was so good. he never left my side. Neither did mum. Bless them both.
So after 21 hours and however long, pethidine, gas and air and 2 epidurals they finally placed this tiny little slimy thing on my chest and I fell in love.
I remember the midwife then saying that she’d pressed an alarm, so lots of people were about to come running in. I was still off my head with pain relief so had no idea what was going on. They took my baby over to a corner of the room where they had this bed thing with lights and gadgets and all sorts of things attached to it. I didn’t know what they were doing but something told me not to panic and it was all ok. I managed to stay calm and by this point, they were also trying to deliver the placenta so I had that to concentrate on that and let them do what they had to do. If I remember rightly, my mum was crying and Liam was looking out of the window, not wanting to see what they were doing.
By the time they were stitching me up, I had my baby back in my arms and everything was fine.
Because he took so long to arrive after breaking my waters, he had a high risk of infection so he had a cannula put in his hand so they could give him antibiotics.
He then had jaundice too so was put on a bili-bed. Poor little mite. I felt so bad for him. I was told not to cuddle him either because he needed to be in the bed so I felt like I couldn’t even hold him.
Once we were on the ward and Liam had gone home, one of the nursery nurses insisted I formula fed him but didn’t explain to me why. She just said I HAD to do it or they were going to take him to the special care unit. I was so intent on breastfeeding, I was devastated. My hormones were everywhere and I was so upset. She said I had a choice of doing it with a cup, a bottle or a tube in his nose.
I refused to do anything until I’d spoken to Liam so she insisted I called him straight away. It was 3 am but luckily he answered and we both agreed on the bottle. We figured that way, even if he gets used to being bottle fed, I can still express milk for him.
I was made to feel like such a failure and hated that he wasn’t having my milk that was supposed to be the best thing for him. I felt like I wasn’t able to provide for him. I cried. A lot.
He only had 3 formula feeds though as a top up after I’d fed him. I spoke to Roberta, the breast feeding coordinator for the hospital and explained why I was so upset and she really, really helped me a lot. She got me moved into a private room for the rest of our stay and she really stuck by me and helped me get the breastfeeding established. I honestly can’t thank her enough.
By Saturday, Dexter’s jaundice levels had gone down and he had finished his antibiotics so we were allowed home. I’d been stuck in the hospital for a whole week, I hadn’t seen daylight or had fresh air since Tuesday and I was more than ready for my own bed. I couldn’t wait to get home and start this new chapter.