This week's story is from my Sister. I remember waiting around for what felt like ages for my nephew to arrive.
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My first born was due on 07/07/07. At my 20 week scan I found out I was having a boy. At this scan they found that my baby had renal pelvic dilation which meant that one kidney is bigger and puts pressure on the other one. I was worried about it. They explained everything to me in medical terms and I didn’t understand what that meant for him (it wasn’t until he was over 2 months old that I knew more about this). They had told me that it would mean he would need antibiotics when he was born.
At this scan they also found that my placenta was lying low. They had started to plan a C-Section but they decided to scan me again at 36 weeks to see if the placenta had moved. It had. I didn’t mind the mess around too much, I had thought for the past 16 weeks that I would be having a C-Section but because it had moved they were keen for me to have a “natural” birth. I thought whatever happens, happens and went with what they had said.
My due date came around but he had no plans of making his escape. I was feeling massive and extremely fed up as it was a hot summer. I was living in my partner’s tops as none of mine fit my bump anymore and his trainers because my feet were really swollen. I was 10 days overdue so they wanted to induce me. Great, I thought we will finally have our baby. My partner started his paternity leave as we thought that it would be instant. How wrong we were.
I went into hospital at 6pm on the 16th July and they gave me a pessary in the hope that it would kick start my labour. It didn’t work and 24 hours later they gave me another. My baby really didn’t want to come out and the second pessary failed like the first. I was given a third pessary another 24 hours later. I was trying to get some rest, which is easier said than done on a busy maternity ward. I woke up at 1:30am thinking “I’ve either just wet myself or my waters have gone”. Luckily it was the latter. I buzzed the midwife to let her know. Finally I thought something is happening. It had taken 3 days to get to this point and all I wanted was my baby. The midwife asked me if I’d like to have bath as my contractions had started up and I was feeling gross from my leaking waters. “Yes please” I thought. I was led through to the bathroom and little did I know that I would have to run the water myself as well as having my waters leaking from me.
My partner had been called and by 3am he had arrived. My contractions were getting more regular and more painful. All the time I was in pain my partner and the midwife sat at the end of my bed talking about tomato plants! This is not the time, I thought.
At lunchtime the midwife said it was time to be examined. I was only 5cm dilated. Devastated was not the word. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t more. My contractions had been so constant I thought I would have been much further along. At that point I thought I can’t carry on, so I opted for the epidural. Finally some relief!
Contractions carried on but the epidural was helping me with the pain. It was weird because I could feel tightenings but I had no pain.
Two hours later I was re-examined. I was still 5cm and hadn’t progressed. A Dr came round with a portable ultrasound and scanned me. They told me that my baby had a big head and he was getting stuck in my pelvis. At this point I was given the option to carry on for another 2 hours or go into surgery for an emergency C-Section. I opted for the second option. At this point I had been in labour for 18 hours and was tired. I just wanted my baby out.
They rushed me down to surgery at 7:30pm in the middle of a medical change over to deliver my baby. I remember looking at my partner, he was an absolute mess. But I was calm. I could see the end.
When I got down to theatre they topped up the epidural to prevent any pain and put a screen up so I couldn’t see what was going on. They didn’t really talk through the procedure as they just wanted to get him out at this point. I could feel a lot of tugging and my body was moving up and down the bed. I had no pain what so ever. It all felt quite quick.
At 8:51 Ethan Cai was born weighing 8lb 12oz, no wonder he was stuck. He cried straight away and they cleaned him up, checked him over and gave him to me. It all felt surreal as if he wasn’t mine. I couldn’t believe he was finally here.
My partner was given the baby while I was stitched up. I couldn’t feel a thing. After being stitched up I was wheeled to the recovery room. My partner had to carry Ethan, he was worried. I remember him asking “What if I drop him?” I was in recovery for around an hour. I fed my son, he latched on and was getting milk but he wasn’t get enough to be satisfied. I kept trying.
We went back to the ward, they told me my partner had to leave at 10:30 as visiting hours were over. I was worried that I wouldn’t wake up and hear him crying, looking back on it now it was silly, off course I would wake up. I did manage to get some sleep, when he woke in the night the midwife helped me, comforting him and putting him back in his cot.
The next day, the Friday, the midwife came round to give Ethan his antibiotics, for his kidney. Ethan had kicked off one of his ankle bracelets. The midwife shouted at me “How do I know that’s your baby and I’m giving him the right medication?” I cried. I never cry but this made me angry. I was there by myself and feeling fed up of the hospital.
By Saturday breastfeeding wasn’t go well. Ethan was hungry and crying all the time. I couldn’t produce enough milk to fill him up. I had no help from the midwives and I just wanted to give up. They wanted me to spend another day in hospital to recover from my surgery but I had had enough. I discharged myself. I wanted to get home and give Ethan a bottle, I didn’t feel like I could ask in the hospital. As soon as we got home I sent my partner out for formula and Ethan was instantly happier.
In the end my partner only ended up having a week at home as we had spent a week in the hospital.
I write this 9 years later and he’s been worth every bit of pain and stress.