If you haven’t read my first, second and third trimester blog posts you can go back and read them now. I had prepared as much as I could for the water birth I envisioned.
My waters broke at 11am on Wednesday 10 August. It was just trickling so I had to go in to hospital to confirm it was amniotic fluid. Which it was. If labour didn’t start I had to come back at 5am on Thurs for antibiotics.
When we got home we tried different methods to bring on contractions. Bouncing on the fitball, walking, nipple stimulation, acupressure. There’s a great link about acupressure points you can check out here. I had a couple of small contractions overnight, but only enough to keep me awake throughout the night.
So we went back to hospital at 6am and after giving me antibiotics they admitted me. The hospital was actually on bypass so I think they didn’t want to send me home and then have to go to another hospital. So I was lucky to get in but was pretty much told there was no chance of having water birth.
We were left on our own in the ward until a room was free in the birth suite. The midwives that did check on us were lovely and brought us a fitball (which wasn’t as inflated as my own one) and a heat pack to use on my lower back because the lower back pains were getting bad. Around 2pm I finally got moved to the birth suite. Bubs was still posterior so I had lots of lower back pains so hubby was constantly massaging my back. These pains got really bad with my contractions and didn’t let up at all.
Around 8pm I had an internal examination with the OB and had my forewaters broken. The OB was kinda pushy and set expectations on how quickly I should dilate from 4cm. By 10pm the contractions were getting worse and I had no relief in between because of my back labour. Poor hubby was constantly squeezing my hips to help me get through it. I now also had the urge to push even though I was only 6cm dilated. The midwives kept trying to help me through it and kept telling me not to push but because I had no break in between contractions I just couldn’t take it. I started begging for pain relief and was then given the choice of epidural or c-section. In agony I said just go for the c-section but my student midwife knew what I wanted (even though none of my labour was going to plan) and helped me choose the epidural instead.
Around 11pm I was given the epidural which was no easy feat when I had to stay still in between contractions, and resist the urge to push! It was like instant relief once the epidural kicked in. I felt guilty for giving in to the drugs but it was so good to not feel the pain anymore!
My contractions slowed down though so around 2am I got given syntocin to get things moving again. Then around 5am it was time to start pushing. I started on all fours over the top of the bed but then the midwives got me down on the bed. It was hard with the epidural not really feeling where I was pushing but the midwives were great. They tried to help me feel where to push but in the end it was having a mirror down there that helped me work out where to push.
After an hour the OB wanted to take me to theatre for vacuum and possibly deliver via C section but the midwives kept me pushing. It was hard when I had to stop pushing because she was crowning and the ring of fire was burning but I breathed through it. Then it was time to push again and after pushing her head through I gave one more push and the rest of her body just flopped out! Such a weird feeling! So at 6.58am Friday morning Maya Catalina Quintanilla was born weighing 3.17kg and 51cm long.
She was breathing rapidly and had swallowed meconium so they wanted to take her straight away. I had pulled her up onto my chest and she stayed there while hubby cut her cord. Then she was taken from me for suctioning and she was still in respiratory distress so she had to be taken to the neonatal ward.
She had to be put on antibiotics for 48hrs because of the prolonged rupture of membranes and a sample of blood was taken to grow for 48hrs as well. Because she didn’t have much fat stores and had used up so much energy already she was put on a drip.
All day Friday I kept trying to put her on the boob but she was having trouble latching which could have been because of her tongue tie. Each attempt got better though but her sodium levels got low so she was given formula that night.
On Saturday our BF attempts got better and better but at her 5am feed she was weighed and had lost 200grams and hadn’t done a wee so I had to top up with formula which I wasn’t too keen on. I just had to hope my milk would come in soon and we can stop with the top up.
We were hoping she would be discharged on Sunday but the lab results hadn’t come back from her blood cultures so she needed to stay hooked on antibiotics. At least the IV was gone and her heart rate wasn’t being monitored anymore. She just had the canula in for her antibiotics. Luckily for me I was able to stay another night in the neonatal ward (I had been discharged Sat arvo) but unfortunately no visitors allowed, only grandparents. And since she wasn’t hooked up to the machines anymore she could come to the room with me. I was so excited but after Michael left that night I had a tough night with Maya and couldn’t settle her and had to give her more formula. I was worried about the formula affecting our breastfeeding but had to do what was right for her.
On Monday the doctors did the rounds and we were told we would be going home that arvo. And since Maya seems to have figured a way to attach then the tongue tie didn’t need to be fixed unless we really wanted to. She had the hearing test, the Guthrie test and the Physio checked out her feet. He referred us to PMH for her talipes. It was a long and emotional day (not any easier with my milk finally coming in and giving me the baby blues) and we were finally discharged around 4pm.
It was so exciting to finally be going home and then to top it all off the road into our estate was closed and we had to figure out a detour before finally brining our baby girl home. We had been through a lot, none of which I was prepared for but we had also been blessed to have been cared for by some amazing midwives and nurses.
I may not have had the water birth I wanted. Or the drug free birth I thought I could manage. But after working through the guilt of this I was able to focus on the positives. I had laboured as long as I could drug free which was an incredible feat considering I hadn’t slept for 2 days and had been in back labour. And with the help of the epidural I was able to give birth vaginally with no other interventions to a gorgeous and healthy baby girl. And that’s all that matters. I never expected to be separated from my baby and it was so hard to go through but she is such a warrior and I have already learnt so much from her already about patience and strength and love. I can’t wait to watch her grow and see what else she has to teach me xx