Wednesday, April 29, 2009

As threatened. In which I talk about Daniel Craig's Perfectly formed Arse and the Eger Equation. I am nothing if not a nerdy mama.

My birth story. I'm afraid it isn't as eloquent as Matt's over at Maybe Baby, but that's ok. After all their years of infertility, Matt and Constance get to be eloquent. And compared to Matt, I'm just a crap writer.

Friday afternoon: I go out to lunch with a friend and order risotto. That's significant because when I went into labour with Patrick my mum made me risotto and I then threw it all up in her car on the way to hospital, so it's become a running joke with mum and I.
: Mum is looking after Patrick, so MrT and I watch Quantum of Solace, which I later regret as it means I have had no afternoon nap for the first time in 4 weeks. This is a BAD decision, as it turns out, only slightly compensated for by Daniel Craig: there's no beach scene in this one. (Phwoar). That's when I start feeling niggly badness, somewhere pelvicward.
:2100hrs- the badness pelvicwards has turned into 6 minutely contractions
:2330- there is now Pain, and 5 minutely ctrx's
:0100- the pain is developing teeth. I run a deep bath and get an hour's relief.
:0200- fuggit. I need drugs
:0300- Am greeted by an "Oh He-llo" at the midwives' desk of delivery by my friend H who is doing an overnight shift there as the doctor on-call. We joke in between contractions as she puts in my drip. She uses local anaesthetic because otherwise I would kill her (so I say) but it still hurts. F-ing 18g. At least it was only 18g- at work the protocol is 16g
:0500- stable-ish. I'm curious as to what's going on. My midwifey does a VE and it's a whole 3cm with a huge bag of forewaters. "When that goes you'll go quicker".
I actually manage to sleep in between contractions and N2O. I'm heard to utter "Thank you Horace Wells".
:0830-ish. The obstetrician on duty comes in to see me, and I am going nowhere, still stuck at 3cm with the bulging waters. After a brief discussion we agree to an ARM. As SOON as the waters are broached- OMFG! THE PAIN!! THE PAIN!!! The obstetrician says that as soon as he did it he could feel the head come down "a long way". You don't say. Things speed up. A helluva lot. The N2O is doing freak all. I'm desperately trying to remember the Eger equation which tells you what factors influence the speed of onset of an inhaled anaesthetic (like nitrous) to see if there's anything I can voluntarily do to make it work faster. Normally, I can recall it perfectly :

But now, all I can get is this:
(This is the exact shade of purple I see when I'm sucking down the nitrous and the world starts s l o w i ng dooo o o o o o w w n n n n)

I call for an epidural. I feel like I'm about to burst apart. There is some delay in his arrival: I'm told later the on-call anaesthetist didn't ?want to come ?couldn't be contacted? something, so I get my friend and colleague S. Thank GOD. He taught me how to DO epidurals- I remember standing with him in PACU one evening when I was a very junior registrar stressing about my lack of experience and him saying "Doing an epidural with loss of resistance to saline is dead easy, jen. I reckon you could do it with your arse" and then him miming putting in an epidural by pushing sideways with his bum. "You'll be fiiiine". So I have every confidence. I'm only slightly concerned by the fact that I am standing half-naked (bottom half naked) with my arse pointing at the doorway, leaning into a bean bag on my bed, giving him a beautiful view of my posterior as the first thing he sees walking in. I worry for a split second about never being able to look him in the eye again. It is only a split second.

In retrospect I was in transition: I said some very odd things, apparently, none of them too embarassing, but I did beg S to fill in the gaps on the Eger equation for me. He laughed, but I was serious, in that very earnest way of women in transition.

He does a CSE, and the spinal drops my blood pressure to 50 systolic. The room is all hazy and far away, it's black and white and I feel like I'm about to pass out, but I couldn't care less, as the pain has gone. I am somewhat confused as to why S feels my wrist pulse and then moves on to my carotid, but it doesn't occur to me to feel at all concerned. Because the pain has Gone. He tells me he's going to give me something for my BP but I don't care because the Pain has Gone. I discover all this much later, and learn: as long as you don't feel vomity, being hypotensive isn't that bad a feeling. It's like falling asleep. And the pain's gone.

1030: I've gone from 3cm to 9cm in two hours; only an anterior lip of cervix remains. Did I mention the pain has gone?
1130: the obstetrician reappears. I remember now meeting this Obstetrician for the first time a few months prior- he started working in our hospital probably only 6 months ago. We were doing a late night Cesar, and I noted this young man standing in the corner of my theatre that I didn't know. So I approached him and said "Hi, I'm Jen the anaesthetist. Are you a medical student?" to which he replied "Ah, no, I'm (Joe Bloggs) the obstetrician". I'm pretty much sure I blushed and ran away, so not a good start to someone who now has his hand up my jaxie.
"There are some late dips on the CTG, so we had better give this baby a hand along. I'd like to do a Ventouse". Hey, you're the boss, dude. And I had two days earlier dug out my old copy of Beischer and Mackay and had refreshed my memory about early and late dips: late are bad.

1148: Two pushes is all it takes and I have a baby! A HUUUUGE baby! 2 stitches and we're done.

Hospital log
Day 0. Lunch, shower, upstairs to the maternity ward, nap. More nap. Mum and Patrick arrive. baby still asleep: actually hypothermic and hypoglycaemic. Oops. Express colostrum, visit O in SCNU. O is for observation overnight in the nursery, so we are sent to bed at 9.30 pm. I wake at 5 am feeling slightly guilty and confused, and pad down the corridor to the SCNU where O is now warm, normoglycaemic and ready to roll.

Day1. Ollie is a LOT more settled than P. On day 0 we could put this down to his hypos, but now it's ?nature ?nurture? Who knows- who CARES? Not us. He's not a screamer, and for that we are eternally grateful.
So far so good mood-wise. Feel much more connected with the baby. He's mine, I just 'know'.
P visits after a long day looking at steam trains.
Incidentally, the chicken craving - vanished! Whoof. Gone. All Gone.

Day 2. Started well. I was overwhelmed by the fullness in my heart for my two little boys and my little family. I miss Patrick, badly. Not much sleep overnight but I manage to have good naps during the day. However, the day sours as the nursery midwives tell me off for leaving my baby so as I could go outside and get some fresh air, and then in the evening, another midwife tells me off for leaving my room without having Ollie in his cot. Apparently it's hospital policy, but no-one told me. Hormones plummeting, tears arrive. Boobs become engorged and enormous. Tempted to request Enoxaparin since I'm apparently, it would seem, not allowed to leave my room.

Day 3. Surprisingly good night, slept 'til 7 from 2.30.
Boobs, boobs, boobs. Boobs bigger than belly for the first time in months. Huge dirigibles on my chest where my boobs once were. Boobs.
Mood much better; still in a daze at baby's calm. Lucky us!

Day 4. Much worse. Epic breastfeeding battle lasting 3 and a half hours. (Sounds like an episode of Iron Chef- "Breastmilk Battle- whose cuisine will reign supreme?") A conga line of suckholes each wake me up and then tell me that I should be napping when the baby naps. No DERRR. I finally manage to get to sleep at 1130 (up since 0330) and then woken for another feed at 1230 that goes until 1530. The staff were !wanting me to !go home this morning! Feck that! Have not yet been brave enough to wear sleep mask obscenity side out, but bloody well tempted. Can I say I liked my baby better when he was jaundiced and sleepy? I miss Patrick. I miss life. Because of my run-ins with the staff yesterday I also miss going outside for a walk.

Day 5. Homeward bound. I get up at the crack of dawn to de-stamen the lillies in between breastfeeds. MrT picks me up and we strap Ollie to his seat and head home. The future awaits. Actually, the bedroom and day/night confusion await.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

epic. impressive birth story and so many details. was mr t there the whole time?

i'm glad you kept a journal in the hospital. it's such an overwhelming time, but for me it all merged into a haze of stale air and ever-keen visitors.

9/5/09 03:00  
Blogger E, SS and the Little Man said...

Some of the technical language was a bit Greek to me. :) It sounds like it wasn't too long though. Was the L&D shorter than with Patrick?

The hospital for me was keen visitors, excitement, baby-gazing (I fell in love with Teo instantly), and intensely sore bruised nipples from not breastfeeding correctly at first.

10/5/09 19:18  

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