Jemma's beautiful bump at 38 weeks' pregnant
Finding out I was pregnant was a rollercoaster of emotions that I’m unable to describe. We had a miscarriage 5 months prior which I felt as though I had dealt with but in hindsight I probably hadn’t. I was so excited to be gifted with this amazing opportunity but also incredibly scared that I would have to deal with the loss of another baby again so soon.
We decided not to tell anyone about this pregnancy after the heartache of telling family of our loss the year before, adding to that my partners mum was undergoing chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant and we were all focused on her treatment and recovery.
At an estimated 5 weeks pregnant I took myself to the doctor and asked for an early ultrasound which they happily did at 6 weeks, this eased my stress for a day and then I was back into an anxious state of mind until I made it to 12 weeks, I drove my partner absolutely crazy as I counted down the days.
At 12 weeks we had the ultrasound and baby C was happy and healthy which was a huge relief and we could finally share our news.
Telling our families was one of the greatest moments of my life, everyone was incredibly excited for us and there were plenty of tears.
I had a very straight forward pregnancy. I experienced some food aversions and morning sickness in my second trimester and I was exhausted the entire time, I could have slept my entire pregnancy I think.
Baby C was still happy and healthy, kicked me a lot at very predictable times of the day and my body continued to surprise me with how it was growing and changing.
Skip forward a few weeks, months and what felt like years I was 36 weeks and I lost my ‘plug’, after some quick googling of this mucus blob in my knickers I was convinced it was all systems go and baby C would be here any day now... what a joke, baby had other plans for me!
4 weeks later my due date arrived, I had a couple of stretch and sweeps and was told I was 2cms dilated and there was ‘no reason why I wouldn’t have a straight forward vaginal birth’ I rang my partner elated because that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. I was very open minded about the birth and knew that the baby would decided the way he/she entered the world but the thought of a vaginal delivery was exactly what I wanted and straight forward, well that’s a bonus!
41 weeks comes and I was so tired, I had this enormous belly, I couldn’t sleep, my pelvic girdle pain was horrendous, I spent the majority of my days on the toilet because my bladder couldn’t handle any more pressure and I was mentally done, I was so drained and I just wanted to meet my baby.
I was almost 42 weeks and honestly I wouldn’t have wanted to live with me, I couldn’t believe this baby didn’t want to come out! It was 40+ degrees most days so at home on the couch or the toilet I sat too tired and emotional to do anything else. I cried a lot, I’m emotional at the best of times but I was just so exhausted.
My induction day came at 41+4 and it couldn’t have come quick enough, it was such a surreal feeling. I had always imagined going into labour at home, waking up in the middle of the night with contractions or my water breaking while I was doing something and I had mentally prepared myself to stay at home as long as I could before going to the hospital knowing that I would most likely be in labour for quite some time. Instead I found my partner and I driving to the hospital on a Monday morning bags in the car, no pain at all on our way to meet our baby.
I was put into a room for monitoring and then later moved into a birthing suite at my local public hospital preparing for the induction process.
I had a Cervadil inserted into my cervix at 1:30pm and was told to get some rest, after a long boring day my partner headed home for some dinner and sleep and was told to keep his phone close by just in case we had some action overnight.
My hips were aching and I was told this was normal and my body preparing for the birth so I had some pain relief and a sleeping tablet in an attempt to get some sleep...I didn’t sleep at all. With midwives coming in and out, this ache in my hips along with the impending birth of my child I was wide awake all night.
Tuesday morning comes around and after two failed attempts to break my water it was successfully broken at 11am by the OB and I was placed on a drip for stage 3 of the induction process.
I had no idea what to expect next and no one was able to tell me how quickly my body would respond to the hormone drip so we decided we were in for a long day and got comfortable.
I went from no pain at all (apart from my hips) into 4 contractions every 10 minutes within an hour of the drip starting and we were on, the part I had been waiting for.
I honestly didn’t think the contractions were bad, I was breathing through them pretty well and I was so proud of myself for how I was coping, my hip pain however was getting worse and almost unbearable.
I spent a lot of time in the shower with my partner running water over my back and taking lots of deep breaths through contractions.
The midwife we had at this stage I also had the previous day and she was amazing, I felt extremely comfortable with her and we all got to know each other quite well, we were cracking jokes and having a laugh which was fantastic!
After 6 hours in labour, and a change of midwife my contractions started getting more intense and I wasn’t getting a break in between, again I was breathing through them BUT MY DAMN HIPS WERE KILLING ME!!!
I was pacing the room and I didn’t know if I wanted to sit, stand or walk around. My student midwife sat with me for quite some time rubbing my hips to help release some pressure but it didn’t take long until I asked for an epidural. I knew that it would take the pain from my hips and give me a rest considering I hadn’t slept since Sunday and it was now Tuesday evening I thought this was the right choice
I had the epidural at 7pm and I was 7cms dilated so I still had a fair way to go.
I was assessed again at 11pm where I was fully dilated and told that in an hour I could start pushing (YAY). My partner and I were devastated, we thought the baby would be there before midnight, now I was 13 days overdue and one day closer to Christmas.
An hour later on the dot we started to push and push I did, a whole 2 hours of pushing to be exact. At this point the midwives went and got the OB on duty who had been assessing me, she had a quick look and the baby was coming out ear first. She explained to me that they would need to use forceps to turn the baby to the correct side and then use them to assist with pulling the baby out while I pushed (thank goodness I had the epidural!) if this didn’t work I was heading to the operating theatre to have a caesarean, my heart sank.
Although open minded about the birth I felt as though I had achieved too much to have a caesarean, I mean I had just spend 12 hours in labour and 2 hours of pushing and it hadn’t done anything.
2 minutes later I had a room full of people, I tell everyone there was 30 which is probably a lie but it felt like the room was full which sent me into a bit of a panic. I used the gas to help control my breathing and calm myself down while forceps were used and I closed my eyes to focus on the task at hand.
I heard a ‘clunk’ of metal on metal which was the OB putting the forceps back on the trolley and she announced to the room ‘nope, not working’.
So off I went, I was pushed into theatre at 2 o’clock in the morning, we all cracked a few jokes to lighten the mood and to help me relax and in I went.
My mum made it just in time to be by my side for the delivery of her grandchild, my partner thankfully gave her my phone to snap some pictures which we will treasure for the rest of our lives. The OB held up my screaming baby which I happily announced was a boy by saying ‘there’s a doodle’! My beautiful baby boy arrived 13 days overdue at 2:33am on the 19th December 2018 weighing 3.804kgs.
Jemma meeting her beautiful baby for the first time
As it turns out, my pelvis is too narrow to ever give birth naturally and any future children will also need to be delivered by caesarean. I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey now that I reflect because that’s what my body and my baby had intended for me but to say I wasn’t a little bit disappointed would be a lie.
My milk came in on day 4 and breastfeeding brought new challenges however, we have pushed through and have been successfully feeding for 6 months.
Beautiful brand new baby!
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