My Induction & Delivery

Hello World!
I know this should have come before my last post on new parenthood but I guess talking about my little bubs has me more motivated than talking about me. However, I did promise I'd write about the experience so here goes.

I was scheduled for an induction on the 17th of July and was at the hospital by 7:40 AM. It was slightly later than I had hoped (recall that at this stage I was SO Over being preggers) but waiting till the 17th meant that bubs would be 39 weeks and as well cooked as he can get prior to 40 weeks -- plus Chinese Feng Shui indicate that the 17th and 18th are auspicious days! (No, we didn't really plan it this way, it was just a happy auspicious co-inky-dink) So not a bad start to an induction.

At the holding room with my ginormous belly
with contraction & fetal monitor strapped to my waist
Prior to the 17th, PIC and I were super organized. We had three bags set up -- one for me and all my labor "necessities", another bag with all of baby's things, and a third bag for PIC, extra clothes just in case he gets to stay the night, and a stash of munchies in case the day goes long. Three bags because we would be set up in different rooms for induction, delivery, and post natal recovery and didn't really want to be lugging around so much baggage. Splitting the lot into three meant for each stage we can opt to bring in only what we needed and leave the rest in the car to be retrieved later once relevant. I was pretty pleased with myself for having thought this through. So lovely to see the benefits of my OCD bearing fruit.

Once in the hospital we were ushered to a little holding room and got our own little space with curtains that shut the rest of the world out. I got my first cervical check which wasn't pleasant at all and had me squeezing all the blood from PIC's hand. Unfortunately for him, I have quite a strong grip and he cant exactly tell me to quit it while I suffer in pain to bear his firstborn child. Check done, the midwife applies prostaglandin gel onto my lady parts and I get left to wait and hope for the best.

still able to goof around
Six hours later and the most grueling check ever (I cried my eyes out as soon as the midwife left) I am told I am progressing well but that my cervix is still too long. I honestly cannot get a visual of that, but it meant that my vajay-jay wasnt ready to push anything out yet. Do I get another dose of gel? No, again I was told to wait.

Soon it was dinner time and after another check, now from someone less heavy handed, there is some good news. They can touch baby's head but cervix still a bit long for their liking. She said, she'd let the medicine / gel do its magic a bit more and come back at around 6AM to break my waters. As the contractions are now starting to get painful, they're zapping me with some awesome pain relief and giving me some sleeping pills to help me rest for the night. For me, this meant, yay relief, and yay we're getting somewhere -- but boo that I'm not having my baby that day and boo that PIC needs to go home now and leave me alone at the hospital.

Its 7am on the 18th and PIC is back but still no sign of the resident midwife to give me my morning check and break my waters. At this stage, my own personal midwife was getting frustrated (she's not really required to be there until I start active labor which is 5cm onwards) and got one of her colleagues, Loraine from Kate Sheppard Midwifery, to check in on me. Thankfully, Loraine has a gentle hand for checking and she went on to break my waters with what looked like a giant knitting needle. Less than an hour later, my midwife Jan arrived (hurray!) and she quickly took charge and ushered us out of the assessment area and into a private birthing suite.

I liked the birthing suite. Apart from being private, it pretty much had everything you needed, was bright and airy, had our own toilet, and felt less depressing than the curtained enclosure where all you had to your name was a bed, a chair, a table, and the monitoring thingy.

Here, I could even see the table where they plan on laying baba once she arrives. Jan even got the baby clothes from PIC and laid them out nicely to be ready for use later. Soon, she stuck an IV of fluids and Syntocinon (the jungle juice meant to help you progress with labor) into my left hand and the epidural up my back and I was off. It felt like the end is nigh! I was getting excited, finally, FINALLY, we were getting somewhere! Surely with the advent of the rocket fuel labor juice and the transfer to the birthing suite, this could only mean I get to hold my bubs soon?!?!

A few more hours of waiting and we get our first signs that I'm still not progressing as ideally as we'd hoped. Aaarrrggghhh! Jan was getting worried about traces of blood in my wee bag and while the resident midwives shrugged this off as normal she pressed on until she got the OB to see me. At this stage I was just impatient but still good as the epidural was working its magic. By half past 2, it looked like I wasn't progressing beyond 5cm even as Jan can touch bub's head of hair. As much as our little girl tried, she wasn't descending any further.

At this stage, the OB was back and gave us the option of scraping baba's head & attaching a device to her for closer monitoring, while we wait some more and pursue the natural birth (which might be as much as another 10 hrs or so) or we go into C-section. PIC's response was almost immediate to this, "lets cut her up!" And like a flash, it was as if he said "Abra Cadabra!" The paperwork was drawn, he was given scrubs, I was given my C-section miranda, and off we went to the operating room.

Post delivery with bubs & my
space worthy head gear
Once there, it took three people asking me the same questions to check me in, before I was finally rolled into theater. They lifted me onto the operating table, made sure I was numb where I needed to be, drew a curtain up so I can't see how they slice me up and it was all systems go.

While being operated on, PIC sat by my head and held my hand. One of the side effects of an epidural was that you get the shivers and I seem to have gotten this pretty badly but all good. Soon enough, I felt some tugging, like a persistent pick pocket yanking something huge and stubborn out of my fanny pack, and soon enough a loud bawling filled the room. I smiled and thought, oh my, we have a screamer on our hands. Aoife was definitely not happy to be yanked out of the womb. Doc immediately asked for the camera, the new Daddy did his photo duties and was looking slightly dumbfounded over what just happened.

I on the other hand, had a smile on my face and was feeling slightly woozy. I was feeling quite cold too, hmm, make that very cold, and shivering much harder than I was at the start. PIC was being called to hold on to baby but he didn't want to budge from my side, getting slightly worried over how I was looking. I had to tell him to get up and see to bubs and he came back with her in hand trying to show me our little bundle of joy. At this stage though, I was really woozy and didn't quite register bubs. A minute or two later, I told PIC to give her back to the nurses & Jan and to come back & hold my hand. I had a feeling something wasn't quite right and was hoping it will all be over soon.

bubs first contact with mum!
About half an hour later it was done and I was sewn up nice and dandy. Still cold but with the added blankets and warm packs things were more bearable. Now that everything's done and dusted the doctor comes over and tells us all's well but they took slightly longer as one of my uterine vessels had ruptured during the process and I had lost a lot of blood -- hence the awful cold Harry-Potter-Death-Eater-Invasion-Like feeling. There may also have been a slight infection in my amniotic fluid, given how long it was between my waters breaking and bubs popping out, so they are putting me on a round of antibiotics and closer observation in case I needed another blood transfusion.  Everything has been fixed though and yay, congratulations to us on the new addition to the family.

Soon we were rolled into recovery, then rolled into our own room in the post natal ward. We actually got a room meant for two mummies, but we were lucky enough not to need to share. So it was a big room, with just us, and I had exclusive use of the toilet! 

Eyes open on Day 1!
And that my friends, is the story of my induction and delivery. In my opinion, given the circumstances, it all went well. It would have been a lot easier if we had gone into C-section straight away as I did warn everyone who looked after me that tiny pelvises ran in the family and my mum had to be cut to birth us five siblings. Since I took after my mom's frame, I knew there was no way I was going to naturally deliver a 7lb baby. But it is the NZ way that they had to at least try for the natural birth and for the C-section to be a necessity before they let it happen. 

PIC on the other hand seems slightly more traumatized. After always saying he wanted a basketball team's worth of kids, he now thinks for all the risk involved, me going under the knife, watching me become half dazed for the first few days in recovery, then now having to take care of bubs and worry about congestion, diaper rash, and what the latest screaming wail means, he's thinking, one bubs is enough for our little family.

We'll see. I give it three years or so before the shock wears off and he starts wishing for a little baby brother for Aoife.

being born can be a tiring affair -- Yawn!

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