I thought I wasn’t going to write about it, but now feel the urge to push out the experience, probably because now that my son is here and sleeping soundly as I write I can make the space to ponder my labour.
Facts: all was doing well after two days of false labour. This involved regular close contractions that would start to come the requisite five minutes apart that warrants heading for hospital. But then they’d suddenly stop for a few hours so loving husband and I would do stuff.
We finally went to hospital late night Saturday March 28th, because I’d had a bright bleed, and this can be of concern to Doctors. In hospital the contractions continued and they gave me some painkillers. Chris and I drifted off and awoke to again realize labour had stopped. We made the decision to head home again to sleep in our own bed…
Four hours later on early Sunday morning we were back, admitted to the birthing suite, and as planned I asked our lovely midwife Esther, a warm Jewish woman, to run me a huge bath.
I spent much of the day working through contraction in that bath, and then as things progressed began sucking back on the gas I was using as pain relief.
In early evening it seemed I was getting no further along, and a Doctors check indicated I’d stopped dilating at 8 centimetres (you need to be at 10 to start the pushing part). Finn was still inside but becoming distressed with a slight drop in heartbeat. The doc attached a clip to his head that allowed them to monitor his heart rate, and this is where more intervention began.
He was slightly tilted against my cervix and struggling to move further down, a midwife was called to rupture my waters to try and speed up birth, to no avail.
The docs kept checking, Finn and I kept struggling to move into the next phase, known as transition, and people started to get concerned.
I was then given an Oxytocin induction, and not five minutes after it labour really began- I heard myself grunting like a wild animal and finally called for Pethidine pain relief but it was too late- had I been given it it would have passed right into Finn’s system and further risked a slow heart-beat.
We were on.
I grunted and panted and clamped down on the gas- it was taken away as it was making me too groggy to push. I shut my eyes and we went deep under.
I was a huge bulb trying to push forth that one shoot towards light. All was pressing down on me, I was not in a room (though occasionally opening my eyes I saw more and more people as Doctors and midwives rushed in to help) but I was under heavy earth. Death and life were alongside us- the only other human connection my husbands voice: “it’s ok, he’s coming, push love, push, nearly there…”
I was not scared. I had a job to do and it was very hard work bringing us both up from the earth to the light. I heard animal noises- was that me?
They helped us by using the vacuum suction cup on Finn’s head- still I had to push us forth into being.
Then finally the strange slithering sensation- the gasps around me. Then silence.
“Where is he? I can’t hear him! Bring him to me now!”
Then this tiny wet-rag of a being was laid on my chest as I pushed again to birth the placenta. There was stitching being done because I’d had an episiotomy.
There was this blood-covered being wailing against my breast. He was here. My husband weeping over us and whispering in my ear. “ I love you so much, well done, well done”.
Do not be scared by this tale, though it be all true.
I am recovered, all is healing well, we are here and we are three.
And Finn sleeps as I write.