Life After Pregnancy: Labour

I’m lying in bed, able now to put my laptop on my stomach, next to my 3 week old baby and I’m finally able to write a blog that I’ve been meaning to write since she was born. My daughter was born on the 22nd of July.

I was booked in to be induced for week 39. Literal week 39 after it was found my water level had rapidly decreased (and was too low for someone with diabetes especially) and my daughter’s size was estimated to be over 8lbs. I found this out on 38+6weeks and was taken in the next day. I had to go to asda immediately after my diabetic clinic appt to pick up diabetic friendly meals for labour – high protein and low sugar. I’ve been saying I wanted to be induced for weeks but when it was moved up, I panicked. I realised that long to-do list I’d rewritten over and over and over again was not completed. So rather than follow my plan of spending the entire week finishing that list except Thursday where I would rest, I rushed as much as I could through the list on the Tuesday for my inducing on Wednesday.

I went in on Wednesday and I was straight on the ward. A few things I realised was that the hospital I was in is TERRIBLE at communicating with others. The midwife knew I was coming in but didn’t really know why I was being induced which I had to tell just about every midwife who dealt with me about. Talk about repeating yourself.

They did an exam and found I was already 3-4cm dilated and so didn’t need any hormones and all I actually needed was my waters to be broken. If I was actually left, I think I would have gone into labour on my due date. I was 3rd on the list at about 10am Wednesday morning. I was 1st on the list come Wednesday evening. Nothing all of Thursday. You can imagine just how impatient myself and my partner were getting. Especially me. I hate hospitals.

But Friday at 30 minutes past midnight, I was taken down to the labour ward. I was monitored and so was my baby and at about 1:30am, my waters were broken. A big gush of clear liquid and that was that. I was told to keep mobile, given gas and air to bring on the contractions but honestly I probably didn’t need to do that as the contractions came on hard and fast. At about 2-2:30am, I asked for pethidine as I had been advised against an epidural due to low blood pressure but I don’t think it did much as I felt every contraction and my about 6:15am I was pushing.

Now here is where things got pretty bad. The midwife I had said I wasn’t allowed the gas and air anymore and the pethidine was now pretty much out my system. I was on no pain relief. But the pethidine had made me tired which isn’t exactly what you want and due to gestational diabetes, energy drinks were off the table. The midwife half way through took her gloves off and put her ring on and she kept saying “hurry up, I want to see this baby before I go off shift at 7am”. My partner was the one who ended up having to be the other end through the pushing because if he wasn’t I would have no idea what was going on.

The hour of pushing past and the midwife went off shift and brought in someone else. She was a lot better, gave me more help and one last chance to push. I was so close to getting my daughter out thanks to her but I hadn’t much time for a few more pushes. They brought out the ventouse (like a plunger), some local anesthetic (which was shot into my vagina) and gave me an episotomy (a cut) ¬†and then used the ventouse to pull my daughter out. They pulled her out and I bleed heavily, I had a cut and a 3rd (borderline 4th) degree tear (which is a tear through the vaginal tissue, perineal tissue and muscles that extend into the anus… TMI) and needed to go into surgery an hour after I was finished with labour.

That hour though, I got to hold my precious baby, I breastfed and got to see her and got to see my partner with her. It was honestly so amazing.

I was then taken down to surgery where I had to be given spinal anaesthetic to numb the lower half of my body. It took no less than 20 attempts of sticking a needle in my spine to find the right spot and having to get into multiple positions (including having to sit – imagine that!) and my spine is actually pretty easy to see as I’m pretty boney. They finally found the right spot, laid me down, put my numb legs in stirrups and began…

I remember feeling panicked but honestly I was so tired, I fell asleep on and off during the operation. I awoke just before I’d finished and there was a clock just opposite me. I had been in surgery for over two hours… It was only supposed to be 45 minutes. Turned out I began to heavily bleed during surgery and it took longer.

When the surgery was over, they took me to the cold recovery room and the stress, the cold and the spinal made me shake as if in shock. One of the people who performed my surgery got my baby and partner and as much as I wanted to hold my baby I knew it wasn’t wise with all the shaking. I got taken up to the labour ward after 15 minutes, I laid there with a cathider in and no feeling in my legs, feeling pretty rough.

My partner and I then spoke about what he saw during the labour. I lost a lot of blood, my daughter had the cord around her neck and came out blue and he described the tearing to me. Honestly, I didn’t care about what happened to me but I was pretty furious that the midwife had taken her gloves off with my daugther having the cord around her throat. How was she supposed to help being unsanitized and if she did, I risked infection…

I won’t go into the grisly details of healing or even what happened when my dad and brother saw her. But as of all of labour, I loved my daughter and seemed pretty postnatal depression free.

38 weeks: Gestational Diabetes.

The last week or so has been a whirlwind for me. I saw my midwife on 6th July and my fundal height was 5cm below where it should be, had a scan the next day and baby was measuring above the 90th percentile and had a scan review – they were pretty confused as to how the baby can be big but the fundal height was small. I got booked for a gestational diabetes (GTT – Glucose Test) for the next day and it came back that I have gestational diabetes.

In all fairness it does make sense, I mean the symptoms are pretty similar to pregnancy except the extreme thirst I get especially after dinner and it turns out the reason for that is because of GD. I got the results on the Monday (I was supposed to get them on the Saturday before) and on the Wednesday I was booked in to see the diabetics nurse and dietician. The dietician wasn’t great, she repeated a lot and could have cut her section down to 10 minutes with just a “these are the levels in food you need to know, here’s a few suggestions”, after was a one on one with the diabetic nurse who put me in as high priority with an appointment yesterday at the diabetics clinic. The next bit was teaching you how to use the monitor. Four times a day I have to prick myself with a little needle and write down the result. It’s tedious and I feel sorry for the people who have to do it for months. Or even years if they actually have type 1 or 2. To be honest though, diet controlled works for me and I know sometimes that diet controlled only works for a small amount of time but I have a small amount of time left.

The diabetes clinic was an appointment with: a nurse, an obstetrician and a dietitian. The nurse did my blood pressure and urine. The dietitian told me to just follow the diet laid down the day before. The obstetrician is where things got more interesting. She told me I could ONLY go to term but that really due to the size of the baby they want to induce. She gave me a membrane sweep in the hope of moving things along – if you don’t know what that is, I’ll tell you. The doctor gloves up, shoves fingers far into you (further than any person has ever fingered a person, I can promise you), fidgets around and IT HURTS. She told me she would stop if it hurt too badly but I know the memory of the pain would be worse than the pain itself so I just let her continue. She told me she had booked me for an induction on Friday 22nd July. I go in and 9am and don’t come out for a really long time. From what I can understand what happens, you get 3 pessary shots of hormones, 6 hours apart if after those 3 nothing has happened you can get a drip and they may artificially break your water, if that doesn’t get things started then c-section… C-section is also pretty likely for me since I am small and the baby is big.

So this next week is me spending time finishing a to-do list, I have written a lot of them over the past few weeks and I never finish them. But I wrote a more doable one this time and have already crossed off a lot of things. I asked my partner to help me with some of them and he does but he gets annoyed at having to do some of them. I then don’t ask him. Mentally, I’ve been rather down recently. I always expected the baby to be early (before 40 weeks) and due to being in latent labour since 36+3 weeks, I thought one final push (the membrane sweep) would start things off and I’m disappointed that it hasn’t. I now am looking at a 2-5 day stay in hospital due to needing mental health, diabetes and possibly surgery aftercare. Plus the labour itself. No one really seems to understand. I don’t like hospitals, I mean I really don’t but the extent to which I don’t like them doesn’t seem to be that clear to anyone really. Plus the chances of postnatal depression rise when complications arise during labour (looks like that’ll happen).

Plus with things not being so great living with my dad for both myself and my partner… Just makes things harder. But that’s a blog for another day.