It’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve been home and I’ve really struggled to write this post. Whilst I know it’s good to vent, and a problem shared is a problem halved, it’s so hard to just forget an experience like giving birth and focus on the present, which is your happy newborn baby, even more so when your experience was mostly negative like mine.
I was in hospital a total of 8 days, so as you can imagine, it’s a long story so do yourself a favour and grab a cuppa as it’s a long poorly worded post with absolute pants grammar, but I’m just going to type it as if talking to a friend in the hopes it will also help me get past it a little.
It all started around 3am Tuesday (18th October 2016) morning when I had been up with a bad tummy (I had been burping and farting this eggy sewage stench which was a side effect to the Metformin I was taking for my Gestational Diabetes) and I was itchy all over, not just hands a feet, I mean ALL over my body, which I had thought was a side effect to the Insulin I was also taking. Something seemed off though, I felt a little feverish and in the end gave in and called the MAU at St Helia and after a quick chat recommended I head down to be checked out.
After some tests and bloods taken, James went off to work and I hung tight waiting for the results. Ironically I had a growth scan in the afternoon to see how big baby was and to ensure she was on track as we already had the date of the 26th to be induced. The midwives tried to get me an earlier scan but they were too busy. We got my results back and I was diagnosed with obstetric cholestasis, which is a rare complication of pregnancy where the bile acids in the bloodstream cause the mum to be itchy in the third trimester of pregnancy and there is a small risk of fetal death. So my option was to either stay till my appointment ( it was at 2.30pm ) or go home and come back and if I did, come back with all my pills and meds and my hospital bag as it was likely they weren’t going to leave me another day. With the OC already showing as 1 red flag, babies size, my size and the Gestational Diabetes there was reason enough to induce me there and then.
I went home and got my stuff and came back and had my growth scan where she was showing as 8lbs 11oz! 2 weeks prior she was only 6lbs 9oz. The Doctor did a vaginal examination and could feel I was 1cm dilated so based on babies size, and all the other information, we decided I would stay in to be induced and with that was taken to the ward and popped on the monitor, little did I know I would be setting up camp for 9 days!
If you know me, it’s no shock that I make friends easily and I was very very lucky enough to make 2 very special friends during my time in hospital. Hollie and Layla. Hollie was actually a mummy to be from my Ante Natal classes so it was a lot of fun to experience everything together as we were both being induced at the same time. Layla, bless her, my heart went out to her, She was in for pain management as she was pregnant with gallstones who later on went to be induced too, and her gorgeous girlie Hollie-Mae actually has the same birthday as Amelia!! Aside James, had those 2 not been there I don’t know I’d of done!
So at 11.05pm on Tuesday the first pessary ( kept calling it a patisserie! *eyeroll* ) went in and on Wednesday I was moving around, bouncing and nothing, nada, 11.05pm rolled round and had a vaginal examination and I was still 1cm. Apparently it’s practice in the hospital for a Dr to clear the second pessary and sadly my midwife didn’t fight hard enough to get one down and left me waiting with no update for the rest of her shift which resulted in a very angry Lucie come the 9am new midwife shifts starting.
This is where I met the lovely Hannah. Oh how she turned my day around. There are not many people that could stop me from having a full on hulk out moment, but the girl had skills. Within 5 minutes of me explaining the situation, she had the Dr on the phone, explained to them the situation and came back to give me an examination herself and with the Dr’s blessing, give me my second pessary and sign off on it when he/she had a moment and just like that, I was 12 hours behind but number 2 was in!
I must of been a bouncing ball QUEEN that day moving around, drinking red leaf tea and rocking my hips like I was getting paid for it, Hannah kindly offered to give me another examination before her shift finished and if I was further dilated she might be able to break my waters! There was some period like pains and my plug had started to come away so I thought I was making good progress and had everything crossed. Come 6pm, Hannah took a look and after a lot of her wriggling her fingers around (god it was painful) she managed to get passed my cervix and confirmed I was 2cm and she could feel babies head and some hair! – I was so pleased! With that, It was just a matter of waiting to be taken upstairs to labour ward so they could break my waters, the only problem was there were other ladies already waiting and I didn’t know their medical history nor them mine so it was anyone’s guess who would get to go up first when there was a free bed. Fast forward to 10am Thursday morning, half a bacon sandwich hanging out of my mouth and the Labour Ward manager was asking me how quickly I could eat that as they wanted to take me up to break my waters. Horray it was happening!
Donka was looking after me who was an absolute Peach! I’ll spare you ALL the details as this post will be long enough, but we broke my waters with some help from gas and air and another Dr and popped on the fetal scalp electrode to monitor the baby and contractions better and then the 2 hour clock began! Nothing happened for me even after 2 hours of bouncing on the ball and moving around so before we began the drip, we started my epidural, thankfully because Jesus Christ they butchered me trying to fit a canula. I’m very hard to canulate apparently (of course I was? What about this pregnancy and labour would be easy?!) Now it was time for the drip. They started me on like 1/2, then it doubled every half hour, however we got to 8 ml and baby’s heart rate dropped and within seconds there was about 6 people in the room and I came off the drip for a hour or so and once baby was stable again, we started again from 1/2 and worked our way up again. We got to about 20ml and I was having somewhat regular contractions but nothing amazing, it was then the end of Donka’s shift and the start of Manwela’s on the night shift so after a handover and tears from me, we did some further testing with Manwela just taking all my obs again and checked to see my progress.. still only 2cm. Heartbroken and already exhausted and fed up of looking at my phone and seeing messages from everyone asking for updates, I felt so defeated that I had nothing to update.. nothing had changed and it was really getting me down. They agreed to let me have another 4 hours and see where we were so, we stayed on 20ml on the drip, I got some rest as best as I could and just hoped for a happy outcome.
4 hours later, several deep breaths of gas and air and I was hazily hoping for good news.. 3cm… 3 poxy cm’s. I was having more regular contractions in the last hour so they gave me another 4 hours to see how it progressed as baby was still happy inside and definitely didn’t want to come out! It was now Saturday morning.. and the lovely Dr, Dominique had come back to give me what felt like the 157th fisting vaginal examination and sadly… no change. We had to start looking at other options as by this point, as I was having what was known as a failed induction. A failed induction? I have no idea who came up with that term but it sucked to hear it after days of being there, being medicated, about 5 hours sleep in the 4 and a bit days I’d been there, I hadn’t failed. I was a fucking warrior!
I didn’t want a C-Section. It was probably the only thing that hadn’t changed in the 38 weeks I’d been pregnant. I was adamant I wanted a natural birth. I’m a big ass girl with a big ass tummy. I’ve only got lil T-Rex arms and can just about wipe my ass on a GOOD day, lord knows how I managed when pregnant. I wasn’t going to be able to clean and re-dress my wound, I wouldn’t even be able to hold my tummy up enough to look at it in a mirror! The last thing I needed was to be immobile after giving birth because my tummy would be weighing it down, it would get all sweaty anyway due to my size… just no no no…but it wasn’t my choice anymore, they had been so patient and I was getting to the point of not being able to take much more. With those final words echoing that we may need to consider a C-Section, I didn’t have it in me to explain my situation to another midwife or Dr, I requested it was Dominique that did the operation and bless her heart, she stayed passed her shift just to do it which made me feel a lot better. It was only fair right? She’d already seen my vag more times then I had in the last 38 weeks.
The theatre was like a zoo only I was the animal being poked and looked at. I had people slapping my wrists and arms looking to canulate me, shoving needles in and it not working so having to try again, I had one guy go into my foot. MY FUCKING FOOT!? Literally slapping it like it owes him money till a vein would appear. Nobody was talking to me, just over me and very quickly. It wasn’t like in Greys Anatomy or One Born Every Minute, in that theatre I didn’t count for shit, they just cared about that baby and I wish someone had taken 6 seconds to talk to me like I was a child, tell me it was all going to be ok and talk me through what was happening. Instead I was there crying to the point I blocked up my nose and with the table being tilted to help hold up my stomach it was so hard for me to breathe. It was both the longest and shortest moment in time all at once. I wasn’t in much pain, just felt alot of tugging about and had james flicking my lip to stop me falling asleep and reminding me to breathe and then eventually, there was a baby crying.
Saturday 22nd October, 8.52am Amelia Rose Adela was born via C-Section after a failed Induction weighing in at 8lbs 13oz and she was just perfect.
James got to cut the cord and take some pictures which was lovely, and I was able to finally meet her in recovery.
Fast forward being taken downstairs, I was put on antibiotics as I had a temperature and my heart rate was high but Amelia was Latching on fine and with me heavily medicated I thought I had made it to the finish line. Oh how I was wrong… I’ll save all the updates for breastfeeding and feeding in another post some other time, however it didn’t go to plan. ( of course it didn’t! )
It’s now Sunday morning, we had a long anxious night and nothing had really sunk in yet. I was in al ot of pain both where my incision was and on my back. If only I could turn back time to this point to get into another bed but alas, I stayed in the bed from the Labour Recovery ward that had bars on both sides and an electric control to make the bed as comfy as possible.. I can tell you right now, if you are a plus size gal like me, you get the hell out of the bed and into the normal ones because the labour ward ones fucked me up BIG TIME. Because the bed can be manoeuvred it has 3 support planks as it’s base, one for the feet, one under the bum and then one for the back and in between each one is a huge gap so that the bed can be adjusted. Well my weight on that bed, meant parts of me were going down the gap between the bum and back and I was in agony. They thought it was the start of bed sores as I wasn’t able to get up due to the surgery but everyone just said they couldn’t see anything and it would be fine. I must of shown my ass to over 5 midwives and not ONE of them bothered to check the bed, or they would of noticed and got me onto the bed I should of been on.
I wasn’t recovering, I wasn’t sleeping and I was getting more and more bitter and angry about being in the hospital and James wasting his days off here in hospital with us. Fast forward to Tuesday Night, It was like being in labour, I was getting contractions in my back and I couldn’t breathe I was in so much pain. They were weening me off my oramorph as they wanted to be able to send me home, but it was the only thing helping with the pain. A Doctor had to come see me and run some tests as they thought they may of made a mistake when giving me the epidural but I passed all the tests and after taking some oramorph the pain soon got more manageable. That’s when Hulk Lucie came back out and it turned into a bit of a heated discussion. I wasn’t healing, I wasn’t sleeping as I couldn’t get into the bed as it hurt my back, I couldn’t sit up all night as that hurt my back, I was tired and after major surgery wasn’t getting what I needed to recover. I was told the meds I was on would help with pain and was the same as the Oramorph which it wasn’t at all. The Dr agreed to put it back on my medicine approval chart and that I could have it every 2-3 hours so I stressed that I would be taking it on the dot every 3 hours if it was going to help with this pain and if they expected me to get into bed and sleep. This made us discuss the bed which is where James looked and noticed these wooden planks having gaps right where I was getting these pains. It was all beginning to add up now!
After arguing and fighting for a new bed, it was suddenly the ” Oh well those beds aren’t for long term sleeping anyway, just for recovery ” No idea why they only NOW decided this, and furthermore why nobody had bothered to pick up on it after I had been saying for 4 days my back was hurting, but after a fuss I got a new bed and took some more oramorph and managed to get into bed and get a few hours sleep. I woke up and was able to get out of bed a lot easier AND by getting some sleep felt like I had a new lease of life! Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon after some tests, they were happy to discharge me, as that whole time it was just my back pain holding me back from healing and moving and we arrived home Early Wednesday evening.
I’ve skimmed over a lot of the emotional parts, a lot of the tears, a lot of the arguments regarding pain and a lot of the incompetent midwives but there were some absolute Gems ( Pippa, Stella, Claire, Fran ) just to name a few and they really made my stay more bearable..
It’s now been another week since I wrote this post out and it’s been a tough ole week. We were worried I was suffering with the baby blues which, let’s be honest, I’d be well entitled to after everything I’d been through, but I’m slowly feeling better and happier. I think I cried everyday last week, and I mean full on ugly cry as things were just too much. I was still really angry and bitter about how I was treated in the hospital. How If I had just had the C-section I’d of shaved off 3 days and if I’d gone in another bed I’d of shaved off 2 days so 5 days I could have shaved off my 8 days, 5 whole days! That’s 5 more days James could have got with us at home but no, he went back to work after only 2 days at home with us as he spent all his holiday in hospital with me. I’ll never get those 5 days back and I’m just so so angry and bitter and I feel so guilty.
My wound got infected so I’m taking stronger antibiotics, they seem to be working as I can move around a lot better now which has helped my mood a lot, and each day I think I’m getting better both physically and mentally so just have to keep going..