So I've got a few hours to myself (hubby's on shift armed with bottles and bottles of expressed breast milk - apparently the T1 failed to influence us in this particular regard - yey!) so I thought I'd try and catch up on all I've missed here, and then some much needed sleep. Thanks again everyone for your support throughout - I honestly think I would have been an absolute basket case without your stories and reassurance.
Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME to the newest thread additions Nicola and Claire - most people have answered your earlier questions, but everything both of you are saying sounds similar, and I hope you find by reading this thread that you are definitely not alone - best of luck with all of it, and try to enjoy - as long and torturous and difficult and never-ending as it seems during the pregnancy, those 9 months are almost nothing but a slight blur after delivery! (at least, that's the way it seems to me now...!)
AliG - Yey for 2nd Trimester!!!!!! Hehehe for the possibility of everyone in your family having a name starting with 'A' - I think that's cute (and you could always go with Lexie or something else for short if it bothered you? ;)
Erin - it sounds like you're doing a good job handling the emotions of your news - awesome effort - I know I really struggled emotionally when Alex made that jump from 'average' to 'huge' (by the end of it she actually classed " > 97th %" and that little dot moved even FURTHER away from the end of the bar on the report!). If it makes you feel any better, the C-section part of our delivery was really not that bad (minus the effects of the long labour). Just be prepared to start shivering almost uncontrollably from the epidural/spinal block - for me that was probably the worst part because I'd never heard of it and I was already exhausted and it was almost impossible to stop. Now after speaking to a few people I've heard it's actually quite a common side effect. I have a funny story for you to go with that later, too though =)
Carly and everyone else who's getting close or TTC - GOOD LUCK!! I sincerely hope everything goes smoothly for you all!! If I had more energy I'd try and write up a list of where everyone's at now, but I don't so let's leave that for another day!
Jenna - I finally got time to read your birth story and - Wow. I'm also blown away by how similar our two experiences sound. I'm ecstatic for you that you at least got your spontaneous rupture of membranes! Yey! I'm also really curious about the whole tail-bone thing as they didn't check/find a reason why Alex didn't move down any further after that certain point, and your mention of severe back pain sounds just like mine, and I'd love to pick your brain about it - either on here or via email? Beautiful name for your bub too - and I really think it's kinda sweet that after sharing so much of our journey on here, our girls ended up with the same birthday - thanks once again for all the support and I hope everything goes well for you and the family at home!
Anyway, my birth story is detailed in another thread, but I'll post the relevant bits here too for future reference, and add some things in throughout and at the end which might be a helpful heads up for those who end up in similar situations re pain management and the effects of bub. Sorry if it ends up really long. Here goes.
They induced me 9pm Thursday at 38 weeks with cervitol. I had a completely unfavourable cervix (we're talking like best score of 1 here - bub was well down in pelvis, but cervix fully closed, fully thick, fully back).
I had actually had mild cramping all day, but as far as I'm aware, my contractions started half an hour later. They were intense right from the start, and were accompanied by the most excruciating lower back pain I have ever had. At risk of sounding gross, it was just like that feeling you get the instant before explosive diarrhoea, only it was CONSTANT and a hundred times worse. In fact, it felt like I constantly needed to go to the toilet, but when I tried, sitting was excruciating and nothing happened anyway. I didn't make a fuss, I'm both good and bad with pain at the same time, I'm always afraid I'm over-reacting, so I push through for as long as I possibly can before mentioning what's going on/requesting pain relief.
After I finally mentioned in the morning that these pains had been going on for a while and that I'd had no sleep (and they checked with CTG and confirmed contractions were regular at 4 every 10 mins) there was a shift change and I got a midwife who refused to believe I was in labour (and even removed my heatpacks/looked down on me showering/requesting pain relief) because she i) believed it was too early for contractions given the state of my cervix at the time the cervitol was administered; ii) had 'been doing this a long time' and 'didn't trust' / refused to use the CTG machine; and iii) could 'tell' by my presentation and body language that what I was experiencing was not likely to be anything other than cramps.
She took the tape out (24 hrs later/9pm Friday) and didn't do/all but refused an internal to see how far along things were. Not having done this before and not knowing any different, I tried to persevere and prepare myself for the labour she warned me would eventually come. The next shift change was much the same. This midwife obviously only got handed over the previous nurses opinion, and not that of the 2 before who confirmed contractions with the CTG. When I decided I really wanted pain relief, she suggested a sleeping tablet and when I expressed concern about hypos since the midwives were busy and hubby was being sent home, she convinced me/I decided to bump up my BSL overnight since sleep would be the best thing for me to have on my side when labour 'started'. As a result, I went to bed with a BSL of 11 - for 10 mins. Which makes me feel even more guilty about bub's initial hypoglycaemia, but anyway.
At around 2am, finally in tears, in the shower wearing only a bra (?go figure) I buzzed her back in and declared that the pain was so bad that I actually really needed pain relief and that I was really, really starting to be scared of how I would handle labour/true contractions if those truly were just cramps. She actually replied "Yep, I'm thinking you're probably going to get a bit of a shock tomorrow when they fit you in at the review centre, insert the gel and the contractions start for real" before she headed off to get approval for some meds.
10 mins later she was back and convinced enough by my body language to do an internal and shocked to find I was almost 3cm dialated. 10 mins after that I was down in Birth Suite, 6cm dialated. Lucky the staff in Birth Suite were more on their game. I was attempting vaginal delivery, so tried gas and (after initially refusing, but eventually being so tired and in pain) accepted an epidural. Instant relief. They put me on a syntocinon infusion, and drips for IV glucose/insulin. I got a tiny bit of rest and then laboured for several more hours. Eventually they told me that although my pushing was great, bub was not coming out unassisted. They couldn't/didn't tell me why. They prepped me for surgery just in case, attempted forceps and eventually delivered bub by c-section just before 6pm on Saturday (almost 45 hours later). She was initially hypo but it was easily corrected and she was otherwise fine (initial APGARs of 8 & 9). I ended up with a post-partum haemorrhage >1.5L and severe pain in recovery that is only just starting to really improve due to long labour and them having to push bub back UP to cut her out (ouch!).
So that's pretty much it, but I wanted to share one more experience, on a slightly related-but-unrelated-to-this-thread note, in case it helps prevent someone else ending up in the same situation. PLEASE make sure the midwives etc dealing with you and bub afterwards give you all the information you request - and that it's truly accurate when they do. And no matter how inexperienced you feel, if you think something is not right with you or bub, stick to your guns. Alex ended up with a later episode of hypoglycaemia AFTER her levels had stabilised, and it took me passing on my concern to the DE to get the midwives to finally check it out (she ended up fine after treatment, but still, otherwise my concerns were/would have been ignored). And even worse, we ended up in an ambulance and spending a day and night at the Royal Children's a day after we got home because the meds they put me on for pain relief (which I was maxing out) filtered into the breast milk and caused extreme fatigue (the whole week in recovery) and eventually, episodes of respiratory depression/distress and finally apnoea and considerable cyanosis. She's on the up now, but still, without my paramedic training it could quite easily have been worse, or even worse fatal, and this (the reduced level of alertness/oddly irregular breathing) was something I pointed out concern for to the midwives and paeds doctors for a whole WEEK on the ward. It was continuously brushed off as 'sleepiness'/neurotic new mother syndrome and eventually I (reluctantly and perhaps stupidly) accepted this as the probable truth. The night before we ended up in the ambulance it had occurred to me that her being SO difficult to rouse all the time was very similar to the narcotic ODs we deal with at work. Then I remembered I was on 2 types of opiates - Tramadol AND Codeine. I was concerned, but since nothing had really changed in her presentation from that in the hosp - where they kept telling me she was fine - I simply stopped taking the meds and started feeding her the most RECENT expressed milk rather than the older stuff (she was so out of it all the time she wouldn't stay on the breast and could only just take the bottle) and called the maternity ward in the morning to see what else I would have to do. I was told by the Team Leader there was nothing to do, and that what I was suggesting could not be the problem because they 'didn't give nursing mother's anything that would affect the breastfeeding baby'. I wasn't convinced and debated until she agreed to have the pain specialist call us back, and then did my own research. Within 20 secs of Google I found out that BOTH the drugs they had me on were FDA category C - and that the Tramadol (known to cause severe lethargy) specifically warned NOT TO BREASTFEED whilst taking it. The Codeine is approved for breast-feeding, but comes with an official warning about a rare occurrence in which causes - you guessed it - periods of apnoea, respiratory depression/distress/arrest and cyanosis within the first week of life in nursing newborns born to mothers that metabolise opiates quicker than most (lucky me, right?). Half an hour later (whilst waiting to confirm this with the pain specialist) I was on the phone to the ambulance as Alex's level of consciousness was even more reduced, her breathing was not normal and her mouth and peripheries were turning blue.
She had several periods of apnoea in hospital, but is doing great now and is definitely on the way up!
The worry associated with this new mother thing is hard - like diabetes it doesn't come with a textbook/manual that suits everybody. But I'm quickly learning that, like with our diabetes, us mothers are the ones who know our babies best - even at this very, very early stage. So, please, I hope you never end up in a similar situation, but like with our T1 issues, if you're ever concerned, stand your ground until you get the treatment/answer you're happy with!! Oh, and DON'T take opiates while breast-feeding!
And now, for a happier note - Piccies!!
Born! (and out of theatre).
Day 10 (Today!)
.... and yes, we're a bit snap-happy!!