“I have to go to the Beach” is what I kept telling Aiden my fiancée on Sunday the 6th of November (39 weeks pregnant). It was Aiden’s only day off work (he works 6 days a week) and he did not particularly want to spend his only day off at the beach as he is not a water baby like I am.
“I don’t care if I go on my own” were my next words as I tried on numerous of my bathers, Aiden was sitting on the bed laughing at me as none of the bathers would fit over my belly and the bikini tops would not hold in my mounds of breast tissue. The next words that followed from my mouth were “That’s it, I’m going naked! Nothing will stop me, I need to go to the beach”. Aiden then starting laughing even more as this big pregnant belly walked back and forth across the room threatening to sit on a public beach naked and he very well knew that these were empty threats as I wouldn’t go naked.
Finally I managed to find a bikini that fit and after a bit of persuasion before I knew it we were at the beach and we had found a park within 5 mins “This is meant to be, I am meant to be here” were my words as we unpacked the car with our beach towels whilst I was wearing my oversized floppy hat. I waddled up to the beach and laid my circle towel on the sand and I sat down on my towel and all of a sudden I felt 6-8 gushes of fluid. “Oh shit!” I thought, “not today, not on my beach trip”. I sat there silently and I messaged my midwife asking if these few small gushes were my water breaking and what I should do. Within a few minutes my midwife was calling me and of course Aiden turns to me and asks who was calling me in which I admitted defeat and told him what had occurred, he immediately gave me this ‘I told you so’ look and I responded to that look with “See this is why I don’t tell you things!” and we both again started laughing.
I called the hospital and they advised to go home and only come in once my contractions started, I had a quick swim and home bound we were. No contractions started, but a lot of lower back pain occurred. That night I didn’t get much sleep due to the lower back pain.
10 am 7/11 my contractions started so I called the hospital and they asked I come in. I headed to the hospital and I was admitted right away and it was confirmed that the day before my waters leaked therefore I had 48 hours to get this baby out otherwise I could contract an infection. So I started walking the halls and climbing the stairs at the hospital, I even resorted to squatting and lunging.
7pm 7/11 I was given the gel to soften my cervix, I was still contracting regularly so that night I didn’t get much sleep.
12 am 8/11 I felt a kick from our baby girl and then I felt my waters break, and boy did they break! And then came the contractions, 1 min contractions 2 mins apart. The midwife came in and said “we are moving you to the birthing suite, you will be having this baby soon”.
“Get mum on the phone babe” was my words to Aiden as we were walking between the wards (she was my second birth partner). 3am the midwife came in and examined me to see how dilated I was. The midwife peered up between my legs and looked at me with a sympathetic expression on her face and announced that I was only 1cm dilated. “WTF”! 1 cm and my contractions were coming hard and fast and it was painful. The midwife discussed pain relief with me and decided that it was a good idea to give me a shot of morphine as this will help relax me and hopefully give me some sleep and it will slow the contractions.
7am I still had no sleep, yes the morphine relaxed me and made me feel like I was a bit drunk and yes it slowed the contractions but they were coming now every 6 minutes and they were more painful then before and now I was being administered syntocinon (artificially made hormone) to strengthen the contractions to hopefully get me more dilated as the clock was ticking. The midwife came in and examined me again and this time I was 5cm, “yes! We are making progress” the midwife said. I was in tears though, between the lack of sleep and the pain it was all getting to much too quickly. The midwife suggested the epidural in which I agreed. Within 10 mins the epi was put in and it wasn’t that bad at all.
12pm and I could feel my contractions starting to come back and I could feel my left leg, “I can feel everything, is this normal, surely this isn’t normal?!” I said to the midwife between sobs. The midwife urged me to self increase the dosage, I did this and I could still feel the contractions now more painful then ever. “I need to move onto my side, someone help me I need to move” I exclaimed to everyone in my room, as I still didn’t have movement in my right leg I needed help rolling onto my side. Aiden came from behind and helped push me onto my side in which he noticed the whole bed was saturated “Is this supposed to be connected to her” he said as he lifted a cord that was lying on the bed and squirting out the liquid. In that moment the midwives realised that my line that was administering my epidural had come away from my back, they swiftly connected the cord so the epidural could start to re work its magic. As I was waiting for the epi to kick in an anaesthetist walked into the room and advised because the cord was on the bed the filter was now contaminated and because it was put back into me swiftly there was a risk of infection in my spine down the track. He gave me two options; I could remove my current epidural and have a new one put in to lower the risk of infection or I could keep this current one in and monitor myself in the coming weeks and months for any symptom signs of an infection. I couldn’t bare to go without the epi and have a new one inserted so I decided to take my risks and leave the current one in.
7pm I could start to feel pressure down below, like I needed to take a big poop so the midwife examined me and I was 9cm dilated however my cervix was in the way therefore I couldn’t push until I was 10cm and my cervix had fully effaced. I was exhausted, its amazing even though I couldn’t feel anything my body was still constantly working to push this baby out and because it was working so hard I felt exhausted, physically and mentally.
9pm The pressure now was intense, my body was starting to involuntary push therefore the midwife examined me again and nothing had changed I was still 9cm and my cervix was still obstructing baby girl from making her entrance. I turned to Aiden and with tears streaming down my face I said “That’s it I cant do this anymore, I’m done, lets call it a day, I’m done”. In that moment, I envisioned myself picking up my bags and walking out of that room and coming back in the morning to try again. The midwifes told me to hang in there and they would get a second opinion on how to proceed from the doctor on the ward.
10pm A surgeon walked in the room and asked if he could examine me, I hastily agreed. He had a feel around and he looked at me and said unfortunately we couldn’t proceed any further your baby is stuck in your pelvis and she wont be coming out naturally we need to get you in for a caesarean. The tears were flowing hard and I was sobbing, this is not what I wanted to hear. 36 hours of labour and 45 hours of no sleep to end up being operated on, I felt so defeated as I never envisioned this would be the way things turned out. As much as I was devastated it did mean that there was an end in sight and that was a relief.
I was wheeled into theatre and before I knew it Aiden was gowned up and next to me. As I was on the table my body was being tugged and pulled and I had the shakes (epidural side effect) at one point my leg fell off the table in which the operating team yelled out “LEG” and someone grabbed it and placed it back on the table. The surgeon was yelling out to my anaesthetist instructions on drugs to administer to me and at one point something was sprayed under my tongue.
10.58pm Our beautiful Zephaniah Jade Hibbard was pulled from my pelvis and shown to us above the curtain , she was exactly how I pictured, dark hair and blue eyes, a bit of me and a bit of Aiden. Aiden and I looked at each other with tears In our eyes and I said to him “After 10 months I cant believe she is actually here, she is really here!” what a surreal moment.
Within a few minutes she was given to Aiden and we were mesmerised by her beauty, the hospital staff started taking photos around us. After some cuddles Aiden was asked to leave and the anaesthetist told me I had lost a lot of blood therefore he was going to administer something to me to put me to sleep for a little bit, before I could say anything further I was asleep.
Before I knew it I was being woken up by my surgeon and he explained that I lost over a litre of blood therefore I may need a blood transfusion in the coming days. He also explained Zephaniah was so wedged into my pelvis that her head had swelled and he was amazed I didn’t hear him swearing on the other side of the curtain as he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get her free. Due to her being so stuck my uterus was torn upon freeing her and this now results in me having to wait 2 years before I can have another child and each birth after Zephaniah will have to be a booked in Caesarean. This wasn’t the news I wanted to hear but I took the positives out of it which are next time I will be given a delivery date (which is great for a control freak like me), go into theatre all glammed up and look good for baby’s first photos and at least this time I will know what to expect and what to pack for.
It was a huge ordeal and an exhausting one but I got my happy little baby girl out of it and because of that I am grateful of my experience.