So I'll start at the beginning. Warning - skip this post if you don't want too much information...
We went to bed Wednesday evening and I woke up just after midnight for a quick toilet stop. For reasons which I'm sure are obvious, I thought that my waters (amniotic sack) might be leaking. I still felt like this the following morning so called the hospital, who suggested I pop in to get checked out. They confirmed my suspicions. As I wasn't having any contractions at this point, I was booked in to be induced the following morning at 8am. We were all hoping contractions would start on their own but either way it meant that I wouldn't be having the water birth that I wanted. We were sent home with instructions to get cosy and prepare ourselves for the birth.
At about 7.45 thursday evening, I thought there was a bit of meconium in my leaking waters. Another trip to the hospital and again my thoughts were confirmed. This meant that I had to be induced straight away as there was too great a risk to the baby to wait. They set me up with drips in both hands as I had to have various different fluids pumped into me throughout the process.
It took a while but eventually I began to feel the contractions that the machine said I was having quite regularly. After 4 hours I had started on the gas-and-air for some pain relief and the midwife checked to see how dilated I was. I wasn't at all dilated which was a huge disappointment. The drug they use to induce labour (synto) was increased and we would have to wait another 4 hours for my dilation to be checked.
By the time that next check came around, I was having 8 contractions every 10 minutes. I was in a lot of pain! There was no respite between the contractions so I didn't have a chance to get over one before the next one hit. So, the midwife (Kath) does her thing and I'm still not dilated at all! I decided to have an epidural.
Duncan, the anesthesiologist, came to us really quickly - at least it felt to me like it was quick. I think it then takes about 15 minutes to prepare everything. I sat on the side of the bed, patiently waiting to have a long needle stuck in my spine, whilst trying to cope with the contractions and letting Duncan know when they were coming. He needed to do his thing whilst I was absolutely still. 15 minutes after that the drugs started working and I had a rest. I'd been awake for a long time and hadn't really slept much wednesday night, due to worry.
My dilation was then checked again 2 hours later. I had got to 5 cm! I have no idea what happened during those 2 hours or the 2 hours after that, except that baby started to get a little distressed. A device was therefore attached to her head to keep a better track of her heart rate and some other tests were done to see if they could determine why her heart rate kept dropping. They then measured my dilation and I was 9 cm! Minutes later, we had the results and the doctor decided that her results were too low and they needed to get her out. I was wheeled to theatre for an emergency c-section (caesarean).
By the time we got into theater, I was fully dilated. It was decided that I would have a ventouse delivery (where they attach a suction cup to baby's head) and I also needed an episiotomy (cutting me). Elizabeth was then born at 7.25 am.
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