*Please skip this post if you aren’t comfortable with words like cervix, catheter, dilation, dildo, vagina, and mild swearing.
If you happened to read my post about being thirty-seven weeks pregnant, then you would know that this is not the typical ‘oh no, my waters broke!’ birth story. It is a long, complicated journey that involved a lot of medical staff, swearing, and promising that I will never have another child ever again.
The Induction Process
I had been warned that it could be a long one. And painful. And make you never want to have children ever again. Needless to say, I didn’t go to the hospital in the best state of mind. I was scared. Absolutely petrified.
We got there at 9am, but the actual induction process didn’t start until 10am. People deliberated between drugs or a natural method. Eventually, they chose the natural method and I was shown through to a room. I was hooked up to a trace (again) and the nugget (aka my son) was monitored. Not long after, midwives came in to explain the induction process and to place an IV lure.
After they left, I decided to Google the method they were using to start the induction process. I instantly regretted it. Look here if you dare. That was inside my body. Yep. Ew.
It is a Cooks Catheter, which is the natural way to dilate your cervix. They thread the balloon through and place it on one side of your cervix, next to the baby’s head. The other balloon is left out on the other side. Both of them are filled with liquid and the idea is that they rub against your cervix and open it the same way a baby’s head would. It can take 24-48 hours. That is not the way I wanted to spend my weekend.
They said it would feel like I was sitting on an orange. I say it feels like someone shoved a dildo up there.
And left it there. For seven hours.
A doctor came into the room, hooked me up to the trace again, and left. It didn’t take long for my body to react. I started contracting instantly and it was painful. I could talk through them, but I was speaking through gritted teeth. It went on and on for an hour and I was very close to asking for panadol before they stopped. It was like someone had flipped a switch. It was brilliant.
I was transferred to another ward around 1pm.
Unfortunately, I went from having my own room to sharing it with three other women. My mum and I sat in our area and ate food, watched movies, and talked about what was happening. After a while, we ended up walking. And walking. And walking. Up and down the corridors. I was petrified of the induction taking the whole weekend, so I wanted to get things going.
Well, it worked.
Fifteen minutes later, I went to the bathroom and the catheter, um, fell out. Of my body. Into the toilet. What the fuck?! Was my initial thought. Then I thought the baby had fallen into the toilet
(lol – wishful thinking). I called a nurse in and she helped me get cleaned up before sending me back to the room.
I proceeded to stuff my face with food before I was whisked off to be checked by the doctors. Two minutes later, I was declared good to go. They just had to get in touch with my midwife.
This proved to be difficult.
She was at a bible study and didn’t realise her phone had fallen out of her handbag. This meant I was left waiting for three hours while the hospital rang again and again and again.
They eventually got her on the phone and things were all systems go when she arrived. They took all my food away, gathered my things and we trooped down to the labour and delivery ward. There really was no going back now.
The Really Fucking Painful Part
It felt very strange to walk into the labour ward without being in excruciating pain. The strangeness of the scenario quickly disappeared as I heard a woman yelling. Loudly. Painfully. Nerves set in. Sooner or later, that was going to be me. Fuck.
This is really happening.
We got to the room, which was huge. Big enough for a mini rave and you’d still have space left over. I ignored (or tried to ignore) all the equipment as I jumped up on the bed
and spread my legs. This was the most awkward part. Since I was being induced, my waters had to be broken in a controlled manner. Half naked, legs up, and a tiny Korean woman with a hook between my legs. It was just as awkward as it sounds. And yes, it does feel like you’ve peed yourself.
I hopped in the shower to wash myself off while they cleaned up the mess I had left in the room. The shower was great for about .5 seconds. I couldn’t concentrate on the water (or where I was) after a little while. Contractions started coming intermittently after my waters were broken. I was not pleased because they were painful, but still weren’t close together or lasting long enough. I vaguely remember hearing my midwife debating whether or not to start me on the drugs that will really kick things into gear.
It’s okay, he can just stay in there. He doesn’t have to come out.
I think that scared my body into proper labour as things ramped up a bit and I had a bit of an out-of-body experience. Basically, I was in so much fucking pain that I was delirious. One minute I was screaming and the next minute there was a giant needle in my back and someone was telling me not to move while I was having a contraction. Yeah, righteo. That was the worst minute of my life.
Mum, this is going to be your only grandchild. I’m never doing this ever again.
It was worth it though. Half an hour after the epidural was placed, I felt like I could actually breathe again. It felt like my body wasn’t fighting against the pain anymore. I also had a catheter in. No getting up to go to the bathroom for me! (Like I was even worried about the bathroom at a time like this.) Time still didn’t mean anything. I had no idea who was in the room, what they were doing, and why they kept looking at my lady bits.
I remember my midwife asking me if it was okay for her to have a cup of tea and sit for a while. She was going to get a hospital midwife to look after me in the meantime, and she would be just down the hall if I needed her.
She never got to finish that cup of tea.
It wasn’t long before I needed to push. I have never, ever felt an urge like that in my whole life…and I’ve had some pretty strong urges before
wink, wink, nudge, nudge. This is when the pain came back with a vengeance. It felt like all the bones on the left side of my body were being rubbed together. Apparently this means the baby is descending.
Fantastic. Get this baby out. Now.
I had been using the gas a little bit before this point, but I definitely wanted to give it a serious go now. I had said that I wanted to be as drugged up and loopy as possible, so I was going to give it my best shot.
Turns out I was a natural. I have never clung to something for dear life before, but that’s how I felt about the gas. I might have overdone it a little bit.
I am so fucking high right now.
My whole body went tingly and fuzzy. Then my head went tingly and fuzzy. Then the world went a little blurry and I felt sick. Oppps, too much.
This is some good shit. You guys could bottle this and sell it on the black market.
Seriously, you’d make bank. I said this (and a multitude of drug related things) to all the medical professionals who were waltzing in and out of my room. Luckily for me, no one took me too seriously and had a proper sense of humour.
Things were getting serious and my midwife told me to push. Really push this time. Okay, I can do this. I am a strong fucking woman who can do anything. I took a suck on the gas and immediately regretted it. The world spun and my head went fuzzy. Uh, how do you push? Arghhhhh. I screwed up my face and hoped for the best. Am I doing it?
Too much gas, too much gas.
Turns out I was pushing. Hard and fast. He pretty much shot into the world after that.
Caelen was born on 11th February 2017 at 1:18am weighing 3.4kg.
All I can say is thank god they didn’t let me go to full term. That ‘little’ boy would have caused my lady bits to look like there had been a multiple car pile up down there. And, as far as vaginas go, mine probably didn’t look too flash right after he came out.
More Painful Bits
My legs were in the air for a long time after Caelen was born. Seriously. My legs were in and out of the stirrups from 1:30am until roughly 5am.
Getting all the clots out. Checking my uterus. Getting more clots out. Feeling up my abdomen. Getting more clots out. Trying to figure out why I was still bleeding. And bleeding. And bleeding. They had turned my epidural off before this, but I begged them to turn it back on. They ended up getting a big, bad medical professional down from another part of the hospital to examine me because they thought my cervix had torn during labour. I didn’t know you could tear your cervix
even though it makes perfect sense to me now.
I lost 800mL of blood.
Needless to say, there were a lot of medical professionals looking at my car crash of a vagina. For hours. Including, but not limited to, the dude who gave me my epidural.
Apparently the stitching was just that good.
Did I mention that I got a second degree tear? Because I did. Yeah, that wasn’t a part of my plan either.
We finally got to the post-natal ward at 6am, and I was absolutely exhausted. But happy.