Katrina’s unplanned Caesarean section
I Douled for Katrina her amazing strength and determination are to be admired ..she rocked her birth in every sense of the word.I can just copy and paste it, just thought you may want to read it first?
I lost my mucus plug at 35 weeks, and started pre labour soon after. Every night at about 10pm, I would begin experiencing Braxton hicks, that would increase in their intensity, and would become quite regular (1 minute, 5 – 8 minutes apart). The first few times this happened, I was worried because I was still early, but they would always fizzle out by about 3am. I never felt particularly “birthy”, and always believed I would “know” when it was the real thing, so I decided to embrace these times each night, and use it to practice my hypnobirthing breathing and relaxation techniques, and also to gain confidence that my body knew what it was doing, and was preparing perfectly, how it was meant to.
On Saturday 22 December, I felt that I was close, so I decided to go to my parents place. I had previously decided to move to my parents place so that when I did go into labor, my 2 and a half year old daughter would already be settled in, and my father could drive my partner and I to the hospital, as parking can be tricky.
On Sunday morning, I woke up at 4am, with a fairly strong surge. I knew this was the real thing, and that I would be having my baby today or tomorrow. I also knew it was very early, so I decided to just do normal things for as long as I could. So I let my father know that early labor had started, but I was still going to go to the markets with him and my sister!
So it was a very slow walk around the markets, and I had to stop a few times to breathe through surges, but nothing overwhelming at this point. We went home, and I played with my daughter for a while, knowing this was her last few hours of being an only child. I let my doula know that my waters had broken. She said she would keep in contact, and we agreed she would come over about 4pm. I called my partner to come down, as I needed him now (he was home, frantically trying to finish some renovations). He arrived, and we spent time as a family. About 2pm, I texted my doula, because I thought she needed to come sooner. She came straight over, and began using essential oils and massage. We labored at home, until about 6pm when we decided it was time to head to hospital.
My father had gone to my sisters place, so we called him to come home while we packed the bags and got prepared to leave. By this point, I was quite vocal. So when Dad arrived, he instantly panicked. He insisted on calling an ambulance. I refused, and just wanted to stick to the original plan. He still wanted an ambulance, and got quite upset, so my partner said he would drive us. Dad eventually settled down, and agreed to drive. We got about 200m down the road when I had to yell at him to slow down. I assured him we would not be delivering on the side of the road, there was no need to speed, and to just stick to the plan. We had done a practice run the day before. He wasn’t happy (I didn’t care), but he did slow down. He then stopped for fuel!
Finally, we were on our way again, he went the wrong way, even though I told him where to go, he refused, so we had to go through the city instead of the freeway. For someone who insisted we were in a hurry, he sure was taking his time!
We arrived at the hospital, got the bags out (I tried to carry some in, but my partner and doula stopped me!), and headed up to birth suite. They put me in an examination room, but only asked a couple of questions before admitting me to birth suite.
I got settled in, got on the monitor (got the portable machine, so was happy), and refused the cannula. When I had my daughter, the cannula was a bit of a disaster, so I was a bit scared of a repeat, and didn’t see it as necessary at this point.
They wanted me to lie on the bed to get a good trace, before I got up to move around. We discovered meconium at about his point. I eventually asked if I could get up to have a shower, and they said they had told me I could move an hour ago! I don’t remember them telling me that, and I didn’t think I’d been there for an hour either! It’s true that you lose track of time when in labor. I got up, tried to use the toilet, but had trouble getting any urine out (I had drunk over two liters since 3pm), so had a shower. I remember that the shower was an awesome comfort in my last labour, but this time, I HATED it! At one point, I got down on all fours, but still couldn’t get comfortable, so got out of the shower. Still couldn’t use the toilet, so asked for a catheter. The midwife said she would prefer I use the toilet, and I agreed, but I couldn’t use it. I laid down on the bed on my side, and tried the toilet again in half an hour. I still couldn’t go, so they put in a catheter, and I had instant relief (I could feel my bladder was full, I just couldn’t get it out!)
I tried to lean on the bed, I tried all fours, but I just couldn’t get as comfortable as if I was lying on my side. My contractions were just as strong on my side as they were in any of the other positions, so I decided to labour on my side. I started feeling pushy, and this is where the problems began. They did a ve, and I was only 6cm (I was happy to be at 6cm, but it was concerning I was already pushy). For a while, I was able to stop myself from pushing, but after a while, it was impossible. We tried all fours with my bum in the air and a bean bag under my tummy, but I was still pushing. At this point, I also felt sick, so asked for a sick bag. I got the first bit in the bag, but then I started uncontrollably projectile vomiting – I got everyone in the room – my doula, mother in law, 2 midwives and a dr! I missed my partner, because he was on the other side of the bed! Because of the meconium, it was now time for anti biotics, which meant a cannula. I agreed, but again reminded them of my anxiety over the last time I had had a cannula. They promised not to botch it up. The first nurse had a couple of goes, called someone else, she couldn’t get it so called someone else, third person finally got it (5th attempt!)
We did another ve, and I was 8.5cm, but by now I couldn’t control my urge to push. I could control it for most of a surge, but there was a point in every surge I HAD to push. I managed to get to 9cm on my own, with absolutely no pain relief, but after being stuck at 9cm for 3 hours, they recommended c section. The alternative was to get an epidural to stop my urge to push, let the cervix finish dilating, and push him out. So I went with that option. I got the epidural, and instant relief, I got some rest, and hoped my cervix would do its thing.
The midwife took this time to explain what was happening (I remember I had heard it before, but I hadn’t been able to focus on what she was telling me). Baby was in a position that meant I had the urge to push, and there was nothing I could do about it, but pushing before being fully dilated makes the cervical lip swell, and makes it hard for the baby to get out.
The dr returned, time was up, they told me I had to have the c section. While my baby was fine, I had been at 9cm for over 4 hours, so the risks to me were becoming unacceptable. We started doing the paper work, the first question on the consent form is “is there a chance you may be pregnant?”. I lost it at this point, it took a couple of minutes for me to get myself back under control and stop laughing, as I replied “there is a slight possibility of that, yes!”
They wheeled me down to theatre, and tried to give me another antibiotic, but the cannula just swelled up, so they had to give me another one!
They took me in, gave me one last check to see if I could deliver vaginally, but still no movement in my cervix, so they proceeded with the operation. I had asked for no screens so I could watch (I’m weird, I know!), but they said a c section at near full dilation was harder, so they wanted less distractions. The anesthetist at this point started moving lights around (that weren’t being used), and positioned one so I could see everything! I was so grateful that I would be able to see!
Eventually, my baby boy was born, he had great color, but they said he was a flat baby, immediately cut his cord, and started vacuuming and vigorously rubbing him. After a while he started crying, and it was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard! He scored two nines on his apgar tests!
I started crying uncontrollably as I watched them weigh and measure him, and as they brought him over for me to meet him. The dr asked me if I was ok, and I said I was, and I wasn’t normally a cryer!
He was placed on my chest, and he was alert, looking at everything, and he settled instantly, and was quite happy. After a few minutes, I asked if I could breast feed him. I couldn’t move him myself, and the midwife said it was probably a bit soon, but she moved him into position any way, and he instantly latched on, and began feeding. She was impressed!
Chad David Lewis was born at 7:41am on Monday 24 November, at 40 weeks plus ten days, weighing 3.870kg (8 pound 9 ounces), length 52cm, head circumference 36.2cm.
December 7, 2014