Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Kai's Birth Story; two and a half years on.

I really, really meant to do this
sooner, much sooner.  I'm not really sure how much I remember of
Kai's birth, it was over two and a half years ago now.  What I
do know, is that at the time, I hadn't really come to terms with what
happened, and perhaps if I'd done this sooner, it would have be
easier to deal with.

The whole of my pregnancy with Kai had been
very easy and straight forward, with no problems or things to worry
about.  I fully expected the birth to be fairly straight
forward, and I think that I could have been more prepared for things
not quite going to plan.  I had thought, right from the start
that Kai would be late, just because my Mum was late having the three
of us, and I'd got it into my head that Kai would arrive on the 1st
October.  I wasn't surprised that I reached 41 weeks, with no
sign of a baby, (apart from my huge bump of course.)  I was
given a sweep on the Wednesday, which was really quite uncomfortable
(not that I expected it to be a nice experience) as I hadn't started
to dilate at all.  I thought nothing of it really, and didn't
expect anything to happen. 
The next morning, I sat up in
bed, ready to do lots of things to keep my mind off waiting for the
baby, and found myself sitting in a pool of water.  It took me a
few minutes to realise that things might be starting, and for some
reason, I seemed more concerned with tidying up the mess, than
ringing the hospital.  Once I finally got myself into gear, and
called the hospital, I began to feel quite excited.  Mike was
working in Leicester at the time, and had to travel back home, and
have a shower before we headed to the hospital.  We spent the
next hour or so in the delivery suite, being monitored, but as I was
still to have any contractions, they booked me in for an induction on
Saturday morning if nothing happened in the mean time, and sent me
off home.  I spent the next day and evening in front of the TV,
waiting for something to happen, but alas, nothing.
The next
morning, I noticed that the liquid on my pad had changed colour
again, so we spent a second morning in the delivery suite with me
attached to the monitors, but still nothing had changed.  I was
getting the odd tightening, but nothing that looked like he was on
his way.  It didn't help that Kai kept kicking the heart monitor
pad out of the way, and we ended up being in there for quite a
That evening I finally started to get regular contractions,
at around 11 pm.  Not really enough to say that things had
started, but too intense to let me get any sleep.  I spent the
night playing around on the computer, and watching television, (there
really is very little on in the wee small hours.) Finally at around 5
am I called the hospital again, and they told me to come in. 
For the third morning in a row I found myself in the delivery suite,
attached to the monitors.
As the morning progressed, there was
very little change, I'd barely dilated at all, and they decided to
speed things up with the drip.  I was doing quite well at this
point and managing without any pain relief at all.  As they
increased the dose and I found the contractions stronger and closer
together, I started using the gas and air.  I should have tried
to be on my feet more at this stage, not easy when you're strapped to
the heart monitor, but not impossible, and I could have stood up a
bit more.
When they checked me to see how dilated I was, the
midwife thought that Kai's head felt a bit soft, more like his
bottom, so they decided to scan him, and check that he wasn't
breach.  He was head down, but he'd been squashed down for so
long without coming out that it made his head feel soft.  As we
were there for so long, when the shift changed, the next midwife and
doctor had the same concern and had to check again, so I found myself
having two scans while in labour. 
By about lunch time, I
was feeling very tired, and finding the contractions harder to cope
with.  Poor Mike had gone without food all morning so I sent him
off to get some sandwiches.  I expected him to nip out to the
car, and come straight back, but he ate them first and then called a
few people, so by the time he returned, it felt like he'd been
hours.  I was beginning to feel I needed more for the pain too. 
We called the midwife in, she started checking the read-outs from the
monitor.  With every contraction, Kai was having something
called an "early" which basically meant that his heart rate
was dropping.  They were concerned that it could be a sign that
he was distressed, and so to check that all was well they decided to
take a blood sample.  I didn't really take in what this
involved, but soon found my feet in stirrups, while they tried to
scratch the top of his head.  Trying to fit it all in between
contractions, meant that it took three attempts, and I'm sure that I
had half of the hospital staff in the room, peering up between my
legs at one point.
They couldn't decide one way or another if he
really was distressed, but suddenly I had the whole world in my room,
discussing which theatre was free.  I couldn't quite get my head
around the thought that I was about to have a section, and the next
thing I knew, I was being wheeled away to theatre.
When they put
the spinal block in, it was a wonderful feeling, suddenly all the
pain was gone, and I started to fall asleep.  Mike asked me what
it felt like, and was told off by one of the theatre nurses, because
I had more important things on my mind right now.  They put a
screen up to shield my lower half, and for a moment I was quite
worried, as I could see my legs reflected in the light above me, but
they soon covered that, so I couldn't see.  All of the hospital
staff who weren't actually doing something right then, stood with
their hands clasped in front of them, and Mike told me later, that he
thought they were about to start preying, I'm told that it's the best
position to stand in, to keep your hands sterile though.
section itself was a bit of a blur, I remember being thrown about a
bit, because he was wedged in quite well, but I remember little until
he was pulled out.  We didn't know what we were having, so the
consultant had shouted out, "it's a boy," before I got to
see him.  They carried him over to be checked out, and I saw a
little blue baby, with the longest arms and legs I had ever seen. 
It was just how he seemed, but that first sight is burned into my
memory for ever.  He was absolutely fine, and none the worse for
his ordeal.  The wrapped him in a blanket and let me hold him
for a minute or two, and then gave him to Mike while I was sorted out
and tidied up.
It was around this point that I went into shock, I
only know that's what it was because of a recent first aid course I
had done, and it was nothing like I had expected.  I felt so
cold, colder than I've ever been before, and although they wrapped me
in a couple of heated blankets, it took quite a while for me to feel
normal again.
The last thing that I had expected to happen, was
that I would end up having a section, and I was totally unprepared
for it.  I felt for a long time that I had somehow failed Kai,
and I would get quite upset when I thought about it.  I came to
terms with it more as time went on, and having Mahe really helped. 
I felt so good after his birth, and not having to have a second
section, that I think that it got rid of the final negative thoughts
I had about Kai's birth.