Monday, January 23, 2012
BIRTH STORY from far far away...my induction in sunny South America from prostaglandins to puuuuuuuuuuuuuuush to last minute CS in just 12 hours...
A little background...As there isn't much public health here I have a basic health plan to cover maternity (and also my fertility tests which has been great), so since October 2010, I've been under care of Dr P who is my Gynae/obs doc and midwife and fertility Dr, he collected my eggs and transferred fresh cycle and FET last year and ................did the delivery too...amazing to have him all the way through and so while I was not happy to be induced at 40 weeks, it's standard procedure here so what can you do. I had to resign myself to the fact that CS was likely in this culture with 60% CS rate and very fast aggressive inductions on EDD, not a day more. The hospital is like a big London teaching hospital, tatty round edges but bursting with expertise rather than flat screens as opposed to the popular expat delivery places.
-So on the 28th I arrived to a decent private room with en suite bath/shower and a sofa bed for N and settled in, did admission, all in Spanish (?!) for induction at 06.00. The Nurses wanted to write the babies name on wrist bands already and thought it was hilarious we had no name yet as names are decided at BFP here. So N and I lay awake all night chatting and pulled ;baby A' out of the blue, just before daylight, and it just felt right.
-06.00 Registrar came and examined my still-closed cervix (had tiny spotting the day before and AF cramps/braxton hicks was all I'd had until then) gave me a pessary and started the clock. I was expected to dilate 1cm/hr roughly according to protocol here or theatre was looming just around the corner. I managed a couple of centimetres by lunch time and it was amazing how contractions started straight away after the pessary, it felt so positive and I really enjoyed this stage of labour despite discomfort.
-12.00 - 16.00 some time after lunch a lovely midwife came and ruptured the membranes which didn't hurt and surprised me as I'd dreaded that part. IV induction started too. Contractions off the scale now and of course way more powerful than natural ones and no correlation to cervix which sat at 2cm and refused to budge so I was breathing away through contractions but decided time for epidural soon. Baby starting to show signs of distress. Dr P arrived at this moment (speaking English hooray) and so knew I didn't have much longer to labour...he said I was 'stuck' at 2cm and needed to prepare for possibility of CS. Baby starting to 'dip' on the monitor so lots of anxious orders to lie on my side and take deep breaths. Was scared but knew theatre down the corridor and felt like staff were in control. So baby distressed and cervix not opening despite full blown contractions...All v predictable with rapid inductions.
-16.00 I went off to the theatre area and had an epidural in the anaesthetic room and Dr P was open to Midwife's suggestion we see how I progress with epidural before cutting me open for CS. Epidural lovely and light so I could feel each contraction. Less than an hour later I was at 10 cm dilated...hooray...the room was full of people and trays of 'cutting equipment' and 'pulling apparatus' and I had my legs on peoples shoulders and was pushing away. Trying all sorts of squatting and acrobatics but baby hated positions and was losing heart beat.
-Then I got irregular heart rates and felt I was losing consciousness all the while murmuring that I felt like I was on ecstasy?! Toby stood next to me, later told me that he realised the baby was going to be 'ripped out' no matter what...fanny or sun roof so he was secretly relieved when Dr P said 'we're going next door' and I was then wheeled into theatre for a CS and draped in green towels with N next to me. Dr P looked more disappointed than I felt to get so close to avoiding surgery but I was relieved as seeing the dips on monitor was awful and it had been too long for baby to hang on with cord (probably) compressed, wanted to meet baby by then and see him safe and healthy. He was coming out face first apparently...he tried ;)
-17.30 ish...I'll never forget the multicoloured Buenos Aires skyline looming above the green towel which had sun streaming in making perfect silhouettes of Dr P's arms and my soon-to-be-gone bump. Let the shadow puppetry commence! I watched the whole thing through the towel, fascinated until they pulled out a large 'something' resembling a xmas turkey, the curtain came down and Dr P said 'here's your baby. N choked and cried and I just said he looked weird and everyone laughed as was so surreal, he was put straight on my chest then wrapped in blanket and brought to me covered in goo to touch and kiss. N went off with him then for tests/jabs/clean up and I came to join them back in our room where I did first feed, during which I could hardly keep my eyes open. Time of birth unknown, 17.15 on notes, 18.15 on discharge papers but N said was neither but somewhere in between...welcome to Argentina 'baby A' where time is meaningless...weighing in at 8lb (3.6 and a bit kg).
-Stayed 4 nights, allowed home after 3 but declined, was nice to have support of staff while privacy too and meals brought to me and iced water and air con..., in no rush to get back to our hot, sticky flat. I missed MW and HV support though and a home visit would have been nice but no service like that here, was hard at 5 days to be at home alone with N back to work. I've not been taking it as easy as i should after CS but I love pottering and out walking. Hardest part BF, lots of tears(both of us) and bleeding nips until week 2. N and I had biggest arguements of our 7 year relationship but still no regrets despite real low periods and the agony of A crying when it seems to never end. Love watching A grow each day (and me shrink and deflate too)...amazing experience in a foreign land...I'd do it all again though if we're lucky enough. Thanks for reading xxxx
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Little 'A' was born on the 29th December 2011, 8lb exactly and 50cm long from the swirl of soft hair on his head to his tiny toenails. He sleeps on his side, on the sofa just feet away, half swaddled in a blanket, as a I type, surrounded by mess and for the first time I'm learning to let go of my controlling ways, who knows when he will wake and whether he will want a feed, more burping, swinging back and forth under the white noise of the ceiling fan or another nappy change or all of the above...I look forward to writing about the birth and A's first week of life. I feel like his face is the most familiar face I've ever met, it's imprinted on my mind like the trace from a lightbulb and it follows me everywhere. Right now, I'm overwhelmed, terrified, excited, besotted and feeling so very lucky to be A's Mum.