Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Labour Story, Part Two

Wednesday, 29 July 2009
My water had not yet broken, and upon closer inspection the midwife discovered that the baby’s umbilical cord was across the top of his head. This meant that as soon as my water broke, the cord would become trapped against the cervix. With everrything being tangled up in there, I wouldn’t be able to push the baby out normally.

The midwife explained that I’d need a C-section. I wasn’t really bothered about facing the section – to be completely honest, I was almost a bit relieved, in a way. I knew I was going to have a big baby, and as you know the thought of going down the scary episiotomy route was something I didn’t want to do. I knew that I didn’t have to wait much longer to meet my baby, and I was excited that I wouldn’t be sitting on any stitches! The midwife started making arrangements for a visit from the anaesthetist who would give me an epidural, ready for the operating theatre. As I was being prepared for the epidural, my water broke! Now THAT was a weird sensation! I was sitting down on the bed, yawping like Chewbacca from a contraction, and I remember my voice rising with a bit of panic as I said, “Um... something’s coming OUT OF MEEEEEEEEEEE!” and it felt just like I was trying to pass a water balloon. All over the floor, and my cute zebra-print furry bough-especially-to-be-in-labour-in socks! (Jason said it really did look like a water balloon.)

Not long after that I got my epidural but something wasn’t right -- it wasn’t working. I remember asking Jason and the midwife what seemed like a million times, “When is it going to start working?!” but it seemed hours and hours and I could still feel everything. I moved from the floor to the bed and over the next little while, my left side was quite numb but I still felt every contraction down my right side. I felt a bit irritable by this point; the pain was getting more and more severe. I was still permanently attached to the Entinox nozzle – the time while I was waiting to go to theatre was a swirling psychedelic trippy dream: music coming out of my iPod speakers like floating soupy balloons around the room; Jason’s strong hands on my back; his gentle voice encouraging me and cheering me on.

They wheeled me down to theatre. Jason went to get changed into hospital gear, and they made him wait outside while they got me ready. They decided to abandon the (literally!) half-arsed epidural and give me a total spinal block. After a bit of difficulty getting things in the right place, the spinal block was in place and hello? That was so funky! I was completely without feeling from just below my boobs all the way down. I kept thinking of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill – you know the scene where she’s in the back of that car, just after she’s escaped from the hospital? The one where she’s laying there saying to herself, “Wiggle your big toe. Go on, you can do it, just wiggle your big toe.” I was trying to wiggle my big toe, too, and it was just completely dead!

Jason came back in and the surgeons started to do their business. I felt about a minute of gentle pulling and tugging, and then all of a sudden Jude was here! I was really surprised at how quick everything went! The midwives rushed him off to clean him up and do their weighing and measuring.

Jason was almost giggling with adrenaline, and I lay there on my back, heart fit to bursting at the thought of having another son – two boys! Imagine! Two wee fellas! I had a few tears and Jason did too, and then they showed us the baby and things while I was getting stitched up. Jude Alan Proctor was born at 12.09pm on Tuesday 7th July, weighing in at a colossal ten pounds, on the nose. They weren’t kidding when they said second babies are bigger than first babies – Ben was only 8lb 10oz.

It took absolutely AGES to stitch me up, though. Having no basis of comparison I assumed things were going as they should but Jason says it took about 30 minutes to put me back to normal.

After that I was in a recovery room with a couple of lovely midwives and Jason. We chatted about the baby, and about summer holidays, and exchanged pleasantries – I couldn’t really concentrate on the conversation though as I was shivering uncontrollably! It was odd; I wasn’t cold or anything but my teeth were chattering and I was juddering and twitching like a lunatic and I just couldn’t get a hold of myself. The midwives said it was a normal response to the surgery and it subsided after an hour or so.

After a while, they took me back to the room that I laboured in. Jason and me visited with our lovely new son and I dozed on and off. What a day!

The next day, the doctor came to see how we were doing, and to talk to us about a few things.

“Do you know what actually happened, has anyone explained things to you?” he asked us both. When we replied that we hadn’t, he went on to tell us that I had actually suffered from a ruptured uterus; that after he’d made the incision through my skin and my abdominal muscle, Jude actually busted right through my uterine wall before they had a chance to cut through it. He said that the uterus was stretched so thin that Jude quite easily made his own way out.

He went on to explain that we should think very carefully before having any more children, and that in all likelihood, my uterus would not be able to withstand another pregnancy. Not that big a deal, said we – we only ever planned to have two kids and no more.

Part 3 coming soon...

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