On the 13th March 2013 at 39.3 weeks I awoke to what I thought was my water breaking at about 6am. I woke my husband and we decided to call the hospital to get advice as it did not seem like much fluid and I was not experiencing any contractions or other signs of labour. The hospital suggested I come in for monitoring. Once there my obstetrician confirmed that my fore waters had broken and when she performed an internal exam the rest of my waters broke. She sent me home with antibiotics to prevent any infections and hoped that I would go into labour naturally over the next 24 hours. If I did not go into labour I was to arrive at the hospital the next day at 7am to be induced.
Nothing progressed so I did arrive at the hospital extremely nervous and full of emotion. When I was dressed in my white gown it hit me that I was to meet my first born child on this day and I was petrified of how things were going to unfold. After a massive cry and some reassuring words from my husband I was ready for the midwife to put the drip in. For the first few hours nothing really happened and I was not experiencing any contractions, at around midday the obstetrician came in to assess my progress and decided to up the oxytocin to bring on the contractions more frequently. This did seem to make things move as my body went from very little pain to intense contractions very quickly. At around 3pm the midwives discussed with me about getting an epidural as I was really suffering but not dilating. Prior to that I had been using a tens machine and sitting on an exercise ball with no relief. At 4.30pm I was administered with an epidural so that I could get some rest and relief.
Unfortunately the epidural only took relief on one side of my body so mentally I was really struggling. In my head I had accepted that I was going to use the pain relief and told myself not to worry as I would get a break, however when that break did not come I just couldn’t get past telling myself that ‘I can’t do this and I’m done trying’. My obstetrician came to visit and in consultation with the anesthesiologist put the dosage up on the epidural. This did eventually work but in the process numbed my whole lower body. I was finally able to rest and let my body do what it needed to do.
Unfortunately I was still not dilating at the rate that the midwives would have liked and discussions started around getting a c section. The idea of having my stomach muscles cut and surgery really freaked me out and I was adamant that I did not want to go down that path. At this time my third midwife came on shift and she said to me ‘that’s way too much paperwork for me, so let’s push this baby out’. This made me feel much more at ease and more confident about pushing.
At about 9.30pm my obstetrician arrived to help move things along. Because I received so much of the epidural drug I was unable to feel any contractions and therefore did not know when to push. The obstetrician placed her hand internally inside me to tell me when I was contracting and therefore when to push. After a many attempts the obstetrician informed me that my baby was getting stuck and she needed to use forceps to get her out safely. Her heart rate had already dropped and was a concern. I was given an episiotomy then my daughter was eventually born after two midwives forced my legs up and me pushing with all my might. She finally greeted us all safe and healthy at 10.20pm that evening. I had lost a lot of blood and needed to be given an injection and had a catheter inserted. I did need a lot of assistance that night as I was unable to get up and attend to my baby has my legs were still numb until the next morning. My little girl was quite small and had trouble attaching to the breast and needed to top her up on formula while I painstakingly manually expressed tiny amounts of colostrum into a syringe to try and give her the best start to life. It turned out that she had a tongue tie and needed to be snipped to help with the feeding.
To this day I am still managing a prolapse as after pushing and not feeling what i was doing caused lots of strain on my pelvic floor. I am treating it with specific exercises and a pessary. I am still coming to terms with the birthing trauma and fortunately have now recovered from PNDA.