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Yesterday my little Wasabi bean turned 4 weeks old. 4 weeks old! On 31st July 2016 he hatched and out came an actual person. A living, breathing, screaming and kicking tiny human being. I’ve been trying to recall all the events that happened leading up to that first moment that I heard his not so little first cry. Some things I still remember so clearly and some things have started to blur even though it wasn’t really that long ago. This is probably going to be a bit of a long winded post, but it’s more for me than anything else. To seal the events that led up to one of the most amazing experiences and happiest days of my life.
Saturday 30th July
I think my waters broke, although I wasn’t 100% sure. We decided to just play it by ear, getting on with what we had already planned for the day like the shopping and cleaning the house. Because this is how we
party animals roll on a Saturday. I called the midwife when we got home anyway and she asked me to come in to confirm.
Due to having Strep B, if my waters had gone then I’d have to be admitted then and there because I had to get antibiotics administered every 4 hours via IV. We decided to pack ‘almost’ everything (hospital bag, notes and one of my big pillows) just in case. In the back of our minds I don’t think it had actually clicked that we might end up with a baby at the end of this and in hindsight we really should have just packed everything.
After a quick check in triage the midwife without hesitation said, “oh yes, your waters have broken“. Crap, this was actually happening. She then proceeded to fix an IV line into my left hand but not before quite confidently saying “I’m just going to put this mat here because I usually make a bit of a mess“. The needle itself was actually fine and only pinched a little. It was when blood started spurting out of my hand and all over the floor (and my shoes) that I started to find it quite amusing.
Eventually I was moved to a room on the ward (although not a labour room). For a fleeting moment I remembered all the wonderful plans I’d made. The water birth. The hypnobirthing exercises. The Earth motherish pain management yoga moves. All such possibilities but gone in an instant as I had to stay in bed with a couple of monitors attached to me. One for baby’s heartbeat and one for check for contractions.
1. I had no contractions.
2. Wasabi’s heartbeat kept dipping. Ever so slightly but enough for them to want to continue monitoring me indefinitely.
Over the course of the next few hours I had several midwives and a trio of doctor’s all come and check out Wasabi’s heartbeat. I was allowed a short reprieve to have dinner, stretch my legs up and down the corridor and even have a quick look for any locally lurking Pokemon. My mum and little sis took turns visiting, tag teaming with hubby as you’re only allowed 2 visitors at any one time.
Sunday 31st July
The hours ticked by and suddenly it was already after midnight. After what seemed to be forever I was taken down the corridor to the room I’d eventually have my baby in… things were starting to sink in now! Unfortunately I still had to be strapped back into the monitors. Oh joy, my bum was still numb from all the previous lying down. And I still didn’t have anything close to proper contractions so it was inevitable that they’d have to start me on the hormone drip.
They started the initial dose. I braced myself. I knew that being induced would put you straight into the thick of it, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so intense literally a minute after the drip started. 4 contractions per 10 minutes. I overheard one of the midwives say “Oh she’s quite sensitive to it“.
So we endured and we breathed. I thought “I can do this. This is manageable. I can push through“. I knew it could still get worse so I wanted to ‘save’ the gas and air for when I really needed it.
3 hours later and I’d not dilated. Not one bit. They decided to double the dose which meant 6 contractions per 10 minutes and the most intense pain I’d ever felt in my life suddenly rushing through my pelvic area. It felt like my left ovary was trying to burst out ala Alien style. I didn’t think I’d end up screaming but I’m pretty sure I did. Try as I might I don’t think I lasted more than about 2 hours.
This is the point where everything does gets a bit hazy. I know by now the gas and air was useless and I’d said yes to an epidural. I hadn’t eaten in case of an emergency c section (hubby could only ‘feed’ me water and Lucazade) and I hadn’t slept so I was exhausted and needed some relief. There was however one clear moment in all the confusion that I will always remember.
I was lying on my side, the anesthetist poised to stick a needle in my back, pain clouding my brain. Someone gently took my hand and knelt down beside the bed so that they could look me in the eye. One of the midwives very calmly reassured me and told me I had to be still before the needle went in. Somehow she managed to make me focus just on her voice and keep my cool. I will forever be thankful for that small act of kindness.
The clouds parted (read: the drugs kicked in) and suddenly those last few horrendous hours were but a distant memory. I wasn’t completely numb from the waist down, but the major edge had certainly been taken off my contractions. Apparently I looked quite ‘well’ considering the wailing, snotty, panicing mess I was in just prior.
From here on we basically played the dilation waiting game, which at times was a bit hit and miss with the doctors briefing me on what may or may not happen and the possibility of being ported off to the theatre.
Fast forward a hell of a lot of waiting, uncertainty, epidural top ups and a little *ahem* manual help from one of the doctors and I finally reached 10cm! I had just under an hour to rest and then it was game time. Time to push the bean.
I giggle inside everytime someone says on One Born Every Minute, “push like you’re having a poo!” and then my midwife says the exact same thing to me. Funny enough, it’s pretty hard when you can’t feel much of anything. Everything had to come from what I could only imagine was muscle memory. The clocked ticked by and it didn’t feel like anything was happening.
I started to panic again as they’d only given me a hour before the doctors would come in to ‘assist’ since the bean really needed to make his appearance fairly swiftly. I told hubby I couldn’t do it, he told me I could and that I was doing great. I was running out of time. My midwife said she was going to give me an extra 5 minutes before calling the doctors because I was so close.
Suddenly, I felt something. And then I felt something more. And then I felt a whole lot more!
With a resounding cry my little bean had officially hatched. I was shaking and crying and OMG I was holding a little naked piece of me! I don’t think I really need to say much more accept that I’m still in shock and awe over what the human body can do, that is to create life. Sometimes I still don’t even believe that I’d managed to do it myself.
But I know I will love and be thankful for this little bean for the rest of my life and beyond.