So it occurred to me the other day when I was playing around with the page tabs for my blog that I have written up the labour story for all my babies but Celine. While I can only vaguely remember some of the details (it was nearly 8 years ago after all) for the sake of completing the labour story series I felt I needed to write it up. So here’s what I remember from Celine’s birth because even horror stories should be told.
The Sunday evening before Celine’s due date I was so swollen up that we called my midwife (a completely different woman from the wonderful one I’ve had for my last 3 babies) out of concern. I’m talking so swollen that my skin was shiny and looked ready to burst like a balloon. I could barely fit my massive feet into Hubby’s (although we weren’t married or even engaged back then) size 13 croc style sandals.
The midwife chucked me on the CTG monitoring for maybe half an hour to an hour, booked me in for a scan the next morning and then sent us home. The scan the next day didn’t really show anything to be concerned about that I could see and we were left to carry on as normal.
|While in labour with Celine|
On Tuesday night (the night before Celine’s due date) I opted to sleep on the couch to give Hubby a chance to get a decent night sleep and a break from my pregnancy snoring because he was returning to work the next morning since nothing was happening (he’d been home for 2 weeks on leave out of hope that baby might come early). At 2 am I woke up to my first contraction. I spent the rest of the night trying to sleep between contractions and pacing the floor during them.
At 5:30 am Hubby came out dressed for work and took one look at me pacing the lounge with a question in his eyes. At my “today’s the day” he phoned his work to tell them that he wouldn’t be back today after all and then went to make himself a coffee. By this time, my mother who had also been staying with us for a week hoping for baby to arrive was awake and had also come out.
Hubby ran me a bath to help me deal with the contractions and tried to call the midwife. I spent about an hour in the bath with the contractions coming closer together and then spent the next half an hour or so pacing the lounge again and throwing up over the rail of the front porch. By 7:30 am Hubby had finally managed to get hold of the midwife and told us to come in. My contractions were pretty much just continuous by this stage and the 5 minute drive to the hospital was painful to say the least!
We got to the hospital and I was checked into a labour room. The midwife hooked me up to the CTG again and then gave me some injection to “slow up the contractions” because she wasn’t ready. I have no idea what the injection was and wasn’t informed or even asked if I gave permission for it. In fact very little of my labour with Celine actually involved anyone informing me or asking permission from me of anything.
I was given the gas to cope with the pain of the contractions and kept on the CTG. I was not allowed off the bed to move around nor was I allowed to move out of the back position. Just after midday the midwife decided to break my waters (yes they were still intact at this stage) to try to speed things up again because progress had slowed down. That’s when all hell broke loose.
|Celine looking up at Daddy at 10 minutes old|
Celine’s heart rate dropped as soon as my waters had been broken. My room was suddenly full of doctors and midwives other than my own. My feet was placed in stirrups and there was talk of prepping for an emergency c-section. I guess that’s when Celine decided to make an appearance because suddenly one doctor was painfully injecting me down there with a local anesthetic and before the anesthetic had actually taken effect was slashing me from one end to the other in an episiotomy and pulling Celine out with forceps at 1:31 pm on Celine’s due date. I was never even allowed to actually push her out on my own and Celine still has a mark on the back of her neck from the forceps.
She had her cord wrapped around her neck twice and it was knotted 3 times. Testing of her cord showed that my womb had been toxic and the knots had saved Celine’s life. Mum overheard the doctor saying to another that another 12 hours in the womb and we would have lost Celine completely.
The cord was removed from around her neck, Celine started crying and she was passed to me for skin to skin. Hubby grabbed the camera and went to take a photo. As he was taking it he spoke to Celine saying “welcome to the world my beautiful girl” and Celine lifted up her head to look at him. She was no more than 10 minutes old.
|First family photo|
I was later diagnosed with a womb infection from the use of forceps. Of course it wasn’t my midwife who picked it up. It was a doctor at another hospital who did that after I collapsed out of the pain on New Year’s Eve. I don’t believe that midwife is still a midwife any longer.
So that’s it. That was my nightmare experience of giving birth to Celine. Not the experience I wanted and nothing like I was expecting to have. But her story still deserves to be told and we still call Celine our miracle baby to this day because to us, she is. We came so close to losing her.