Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Birth of Malachi

Malachi’s Birth Story

It all started on Tuesday the 29th June. The day started off like any other day. I slept in until mid morning and spent the morning relaxing and pottering around the house. Mid afternoon I noticed that I was getting period type pain and back pain but just assumed it was pre labour. I had mentioned these pains to a midwife Monday and she said it sounded promising and that my cervix was getting ready for labour. I joked and said ‘Oh so it might be sooner rather than later!’ I just didn’t realise how soon.

I sent Hubby a message at around 430pm and said that pre labour sucked. He offered to come home from work early but I told him I didn’t think it was labour and to just take his time. I kept myself busy and distracted by making some vegetarian lasagne for dinner. I took some Panadol at this stage as well. Hubby got home from work and helped finish off dinner. Once it was actually ready to eat I realised I wasn’t even hungry so just had an apple for dinner.

At around 7pm Hubby asked if I’d like to put on my tens machine. I agreed, even though in my mind I was thinking I wasn’t in labour. We stayed up watching some tv. I was bouncing on the fitball with my tens machine attached while watching top gear!! I rang the hospital at this stage and told them I was having irregular contractions, ranging from 12 to 7 minutes apart. They suggested taking some more Panadol and trying to get some sleep. So I took some Panadol and Hubby and I went off to bed. I knew I wouldn’t be getting any sleep but hoped that Hubby could at least get some rest. I was timing my contractions myself with the bedside clock. With every contraction I would squeeze my stress ball and breathe through the pain. At this stage the contractions were around 7 to 5 minutes apart but I was still quite comfortable. It was around 130am and I thought I should ring the hospital and tell them the contractions were 5 minutes apart. The midwife said since I was comfortable at home to stay there, have a shower and take more Panadol. So off to the shower I go. The shower was lovely (except when I had to get out it was bloody freezing trying to dry myself off while having contractions). After the shower I got back into bed for a few hours and noticed the contractions were getting more intense. At this stage I was groaning through the contractions. Hubby was doing his best to help out and was massaging my back and shoulders when he could hear me groaning.

At around 430am I decided I didn’t want to be in bed anymore so we went downstairs to our lounge room and turned on the heater and Hubby and I watched some soccer. I think I managed to doze for around an hour as I woke up and realised my Tens machine was still on boost and not rest mode! OOPS! After I woke up I decided to go back to bed and try laying in bed again. At aound 7am Hubby was really freaking out as he realised the contractions were around 3 or 4 minutes apart. He insisted I call the hospital and tell them we were coming in. I was still comfortable but agreed. I didn’t want Hubby to have to deliver the baby at home! So I rang the hospital and told them we were coming in. I had a shower first and took some Panadol. We left and started the drive to the hospital. Oh my gosh!! Contracting in the car was not very fun. We were driving in peak hour traffic through a zillion roundabouts. I just tried to close my eyes and groan through the contractions and hope that no one driving by noticed the pain I was in.

We made it to the hospital and of course we couldn’t find a park! Hubby ended up parking in a doctor’s personal car park while we checked into the hospital. We met our midwife Isobel and she was just lovely. I was weighed and had my blood pressure checked. She asked what my birth plan was. I told her I wasn’t that keen on gas, as I’m sure it would make me puke. I wasn’t keen on an epidural, as being a nurse, I’d seen the size of the needle and really didn’t want it near my spine. Which left pethidine and I wasn’t that keen on that either. I think, looking back, I was trying to tell her I wanted to do it drug free.

She bought us in a fit ball at my request and then she left us at this point and said she’d be back in half an hour. I rolled onto my left hand side and worked through the contractions with Hubby and the tens. Sometime later I felt like I was going to be sick so Hubby helped me off the bed and into the bathroom where I promptly spewed up the Panadol I’d taken at home. We buzzed for Isobel and she came back. We told her what had happened and she said it was a positive sign! She set up her trolley and gave me an internal. Holy crap was that not pleasant! She declared we were 5cm dilated. Thank God, I thought. I still wasn’t convinced I was in labour and thought she’d tell me I wasn’t in labour at all and to go home!

After the internal I decided to get in the shower. It was so lovely but oh so cold. Since I could only aim the shower head at either my belly or my back, one part of me was always cold. I remember looking down at my toes and them being purple! I got out of the shower and into a hospital gown and socks and back onto the bed onto my left side. Hubby sat next to me and talked me through each contraction. I was having contractions when all of a sudden something ‘down there’ just didn’t feel right. Hubby had a look and thought my waters had broken and buzzed for Isobel. She came back in and said I’d lost my mucous plug and that my waters had broken. She started getting everything organised for the birth. I think at this point I kept saying to Hubby ‘I can’t do this. I don’t know what I’m doing’. I also thought I was going to be sick again. Looking back I assume this was transition. It wasn’t much later and Isobel asked if I was pushing. I had no idea, but yes I was pushing. So she started hurrying with the trolleys of things.

Pushing was hard. It was so tiring. And I was also shaking really badly. I told Isobel I didn’t want to tear. I was so scared of tearing. She told me I had to listen to her when pushing to try and avoid a tear. With each contraction she tried to get me to push three times. Sometimes I managed to achieve this and other times I could only manage two. I was still lying on my side, with Hubby rubbing my temples (apparently, I have no recollection of the temple rubbing). The midwife suggested I try pushing with the head of the bed raised and me on my knees. I liked this position as it enabled me to put my head on the bed after each contraction and rest.

At this stage I was crying out in pain and squeezing Hubby's hand really tight. I could hear another lady labouring and thought oh well we can be loud together!! After what seemed like an eternity the midwife said she could see the baby’s head and see lots of hair. I must admit this made me push just that little bit harder. With another contraction she told me to push and then pant. I listened and panted and panted until she told me to stop. With the next contraction she said his head would be born, and told Hubby to have a look. I wasn’t too keen on this idea so tried to hold him back. Well that didn’t work, he stuck his head down there for a look.

With one more push his head was out and with one final push out his body slid. The relief was instantaneous. I asked if bub’s was a boy or girl and she told me to turn around and have a look. And there he was, our little prince covered in goo! They gave me the injection in my leg to help birth the placenta and then I turned over onto my back where Malachi was placed on my chest. They clamped the cord and Hubby cut it. We had some skin to skin time and tried some breastfeeding while they had a look down there to see if I needed any work done. I ended up with a left labial tear and a first degree tear, both of which needed stitches. I have no idea how many stitches. I didn’t think to ask and was too busy bonding with our little man. After he had his first feed he went and had hugs with Daddy while I had a shower and got cleaned up. After the shower we were taken down to the maternity ward to bond with our little man.

We stayed in hospital for three nights and were so glad to get home (we were in a four bedded room with a lady who snored!!) He was a little jaundice but his levels were not high enough to warrant putting him under the lights. We had some attachment issues and as a result I had grazed sore nipples for three days or so. But we’re beginning to master breastfeeding and things are going well now we are at home. He is such a calm little bub and barely cries! We are so so smitten with our gorgeous little man. It's true what they say, labour certainly does bring you closer as a couple.

So here are the stats:

Malachi born 30th June at 1213pm weighing 3.4kg. 51cm long and head circumference of 36cm.