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My birth journeys. Part 4: What could possibly go wrong?

by lizzi (follow)
Helping plant the seeds of positive birth. www.sproutbirthing.com.au
So we get down to birth suite and the OB comes in and breaks my waters. There’s not much water. Like, pretty much none. And there appears to possibly be meconium. But we can’t be sure…because there’s not really much of anything there. So there goes my “wait for labour to start” plan. I “negotiate” 1 hour to go outside for a walk. The OB puts the canula in before we go out. My partner looks a little freaked out about the canula. Note to self: don't look at partner when care providers are doing invasive procedures - it probably won't bring any comfort!

We take a little longer than an hour. Because we know that’s NOT going to cause the whole fabric of society to collapse. We get back to find that we have the midwife who told me not to bother with a birth plan. She obviously knows nothing about me or my fears or my hopes. But hey…Who needs support during birth?!

CTG Machine
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Monitor goes on and synto gets started. I bounce on the ball while I do a crossword. Dave gets told to sit on the couch on the other side of the room. Over the course of the next couple of hours the midwife takes telephone calls, fiddles with the monitor, fiddles with the drip, a random midwife comes in and laughs at me doing my crossword. “I love it when they are sitting there like that – they just have no idea what’s coming”. Hahahahaha…good thing I wasn’t expecting anything more than crap by this stage.

Each time that I’m “allowed” to go to the toilet Dave makes sure that I walk around as much as I can and keeps me active. Thank goodness I have someone with me who knows a little bit about normal birth!

More fiddling with the monitor and drip and the midwife suggests I get changed into my “labour” clothes. Even though I'm not really labouring, nor do I really feel like a wardrobe change. I had chosen a very comfy full length dress for labouring in. I felt like a birthing goddess when I was wearing it. Of course I hadn’t taken into account the fact that I would be hooked up to so many cords. The dress was a failure (really would have been better off in my shorts and t-shirt) and I was given a hospital gown. I was now nothing more than a patient. I guess I just wasn’t deserving enough to feel like a goddess.

No change to my cervix. The synto keeps getting ramped up. The midwife keeps telling me that I need to "be still" and "rest" and "stop making the monitor jump". So I'm stuck on the bed. No active labour for me! The midwife starts to tell me that I need an epidural because I'm not being still enough and also my blood pressure is rising. Can't think why my BP would be rising?! Every time she says the word “epidural” I feel my blood pressure rise a little more. I feel it rise now just thinking about the whole experience. I can’t believe that she would want to do that to me! I feel horrified at the thought of having such a risky procedure and I’m having flashbacks from my previous hospital / lumbar puncture experience.

CTG Machine
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I finally agree to have a shot of pethidine, just to shut her up. Pethidine goes in and all contractions stop. Turns out pethidine can have a VERY negative impact on the oxytocin receptors in your uterus…And, you know, that information certainly wasn’t needed PRIOR to me making a decision. Coz we all know what informed decision making will do to the whole fabric of society.

Bonus though – the synto was stopped and I was “allowed” to get up and have a shower. And then a sleep. For an hour. Then we started it all over again. After the midwife made sure I was aware that my ONLY pain relief option now was an epidural. I didn’t think I could become any more terrified (I was wrong...but that's coming up).

It only took them a couple of hours to break me. I remember the fear as the midwife told me that they were “going to really crank the synto” and that since I wasn’t coping now I wouldn’t cope later. I caved. What else could I do? I had nothing left in me. No spark, no hope, nothing. Dave tried to help me out but what could he do – everyone was telling him and me that I NEEDED an epidural. So I agreed.

CTG Machine
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

And then at 10pm, 12 hours after we started the drip, the midwife left. The last I saw of her during my labour she left me alone and terrified waiting for them to come and do my epidural. She had broken me. Her job was done.

#Lizzi's birth journeys

Further reading about my journey:

My birth journeys. Part 1: Hope and fear

My birth journeys. Part 2: Fear and anxiety

My birth journeys. Part 3: Manipulation, coercion and bullying

The vessel

Just one day
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Did you see any meconium on your pad, it looks greenish or brown? They may have just been saying that to get you done and dusted and off the ward. You tell your story so well and I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I feel awful for being part of the system that broke you and yet I would never treat a vulnerable woman in this callous way. You should have stayed on the brith ball as lying down in labour is very painful, the uterus has to push baby uphill. When upright the pushing is downhill, much easier. I don't know if I am looking forward to the birth or dreading it! www.painfreelabour.blogspot.co.uk
Later on we did see some meconium on the pad...I think that was my first toilet trip. At 41+3 though it was to be expected (of course no-one told me that at the time!!). Definitely should have stayed on the ball! I stuck it out as long as I could...but with my partner being banished to the other side of the room anytime the midwife came in and the midwife constantly at me to "be still" it was only a matter of time before she wore me down. We live and learn though. x
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