Sunday, 11 December 2011

Rhys' Birthstory - 18/08/99

At 7weeks I had some spotting, which scared me quite a bit.  Fearing it was a miscarriage I tried to read as much as I could about miscarriages and what I was in for.  I read a section about implantation bleed and hoped to God that that was all it was. 

I had an ultrasound and the baby was going great but there was a slight smudge that indicated a bleed of some sort.  2 weeks later at 9 weeks, the bleeding and cramping had stopped and I had another ultrasound and saw that everything was doing well.

I look back now and wonder how significant this was in the end.  I wonder if there's been any study about implantation and what was going to happen later.  To this day I still wonder about that and wonder if it could have been forseen.  But at that point I was just really relieved that everything was ok and later in an ultrasound it was revealed that my baby was a very healthy baby boy!  And this was more than I could hope for.

From the womb, I knew that Rhys was different.  He was strong!  I give that to him!  He would push his legs down one side and push to the other side and then roll over in a huge sweep.  A friend of mine would sit and watch my belly in utter amazement at the rolling and the waves she would see. 

Rhys was also very jumpy.  I'd be washing the dishes and my belly would be leaning up against the sink and I'd bang a pot on the side of the sink..... and he'd jump!  I'd be having a bath and I'd be laying in the bath tub, all quiet then suddenly I'd move my hand and the water would slop onto my tummy....and he'd jump.

Even though my hips ached like anything....and my lower back would get spasms that would radiate down my legs.  I enjoyed this pregnancy more than any others ...number one because it was in the middle of winter this swelling...more comfortable.  And number two because watching my belly was pure entertainment for me LOL

However.....I hated the thought of going overdue again.  As nice as it all was, I was still in pain and couldn't bear the thought of going overdue again like last time....and it would be lovely to go into labour by myself eh?

So I went and got a mix of lovely aromatherapy oils to rub into my belly.  It was a concoction of apricot oil, clary sage and far as I can remember.  And it smelt so pretty!  So I rubbed this on my belly everynight from about 36 weeks onwards.

The day before my due date, I had an antinatal appointment with an OB, and by this stage I was pretty set with the knowledge that it looked as thought I was going to go overdue again, but if I could at least find out what my cervix was doing then it would give me hope that something is happening or that if I did have to be induced again that I may not have to have the prostin gel again and that things might happen if my waters were broken.

The OB looked at me and said that because I'd had a baby before that my cervix won't be completely closed anyway but he'd check me out and see what's going on.  On checking it was found that sure enough the cervix wasn't completely closed and on the soft side...which he said I could go on like that for weeks yet!  Yeh ok....thanks mate!

So off I go home again....rub my aromatherapy in and then decide that perhaps having sex might help things along, only when we went to do it, I was swollen down there and it hurt so much that we couldn't do it!  I had a shower after that and cried and cried and cried.  Then resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to go overdue again!

The next day...was my due date.  I just pottered around the house while my BH contractions, which I'd had for months now....kept coming.  I wasn't thinking much, only that I thought it might be nice if I chopped up some stuff for a lasagne put it together then when hubby came home, we can pop it in the oven and go for a walk to the park together while it was cooking....then we can come dinner and I can have a nice warm bath in aromatherapy oils.  You never know!  It might work!

My plans were dashed when after a little nap on the floor with my daughter, I mosy on into the kitchen to start the lasagne, chopping away I felt a pressure down below.  Almost like I was about to fart (yeh I know but it's the only way I can describe it) only instead of waters bulged then broke, right there... knife in the air mid cut, in the kitchen.

I looked down and it was literally like someone had gotten a glass of water and decided to tip it out, it just gushed...just like that!

I dropped the knife and looked around muttering 'what do I do, what do I do', then suddenly got a bright idea and put my finger up in the air....went to the calandar, looked and saw that it was the 18th of August and then put my thumb up and said "Good day!"  Matter of factly just as another gush of water came out.

I guess I couldn't believe that things were happening on its own and that I wasn't technically overdue! 

By this time Dana had woken up just as my first contraction hit....and as I was on the phone to my hubby....another one hit!  5 minutes apart!

Err...yeh time to go I think!

Finally got through to my hubby who had stopped by his parent's place on the way home from work.  Meanwhile I was running around getting changed and dumping water everywhere, whereever I went.  I didn't have any pads though, as my hospital bag was in the car and hubby had the car!  So all I could do was shove a bathtowel between my legs and waddle everywhere.

Hubby came home and we had to first drop Dana off at his parent's then pick up his sister who was preg at the time and who I thought would get a kick out of coming to my birth.  By this stage contractions were 3 minutes apart.  While we were waiting for my sister in law, I rang the hospital and told them i was on my way and my contractions were 3 minutes apart. 

Got there and had to walk from the car to the maternity sorry...waddle...cos of the bath towel. 

Straight away they took me upstairs but put me in the birth centre suite for the time being as the only labour ward free at the time was being cleaned from the last birth. 

I didn't want to sit or lie on the bed....even though it looked like a lovely big double bed, I just wanted to sit in a chair. 

By then contractions were quite painful so I asked for some gas, it gave me something to do, and something to focus on....and something for everyone to laugh at me about in between when I started laughing at nothing in particular.  But after a while, things were getting intense and I threw it away....middie tried to give it back to me and I knocked it out of her hand and told her it felt like I was sitting on the baby's head.

She asked me if I was actually sitting on the baby's head, as I was sitting on the side of my butt....and no one had checked me or anything.  But I knew I wasn't actually sitting on his head, it just felt like I a big lump was there.

She rushed out to see if the ward was opened or if I was going to have to have the baby right there in the birth suite (which would have been nice) and sure enough everyone was ready for me, so they made me walk....yes walk two rooms down to the ward.

On the way I looked in another room and saw a friend's mum and realised that a friend of mine was in labour I waved to her but then had to quickly get into my room and sit down because I felt my legs starting to get weak and I was afaid I wouldnt' be able to stay standing.

Just as I sat on the bed and laid back on a 45 degree angle (seems to be my favourite position), I lifted my legs and his head came out. 

A bunch of doctors came in and perched themselves at the end of the bed and watched, I thougth I recognised the doctor I saw the day before but couldnt' be sure.....I didn't care anyway...I was yellin' that the baby was coming and the middie was yelling at me to stop pushing so she could check the cord, I screamed "I'm not pushing"....then out he slithered!  2 minutes!!!!

Let me say that again....from the time I went from my friend's door to the bed....till he came out, it was 2 minutes!  And I never even pushed....not once!!!  My body did it all on it's own...I just went with it, and out he came.  He slithered out.

9lb 1oz baby boy...big and strong...and he roared like a lion!

But I did it!  Look what I did!  1 hour 45 mins from the the time my waters broke, till the time my 9lb baby boy entered the world. NO stitches, man I was a legend!  If I could have, I would have yelled on top of my lungs "I'm the king of the world"  like Leonardo Dicaprio on Titanic.

What happens after this, is quite vague.  But I'll do my best to try and explain it as best I can from memory.  It may not be completely accurate or the order may be scewed a bit, but this is my memory of it.

About 5 or 10 minutes after he was born, I was made distinctly aware of some pain in my uterus.  Having read up on afterpains, that tend to happen after subsequent births, I assumed that this is what they were.  So I told the middie and asked surely that these didn't happen so soon, but she assured me that sometimes they did and asked if I'd like some panadol. 

I took some panadol and watched as my sister in law marveled at the strength of my new baby boy.....she had him on her shoulder and he had lifted his head right up off her shoulder and looked a 3 month old.  And she kept pointing and saying 'look at this Des' ...but I was distracted as this pain in my uterus started getting worse and worse.

"Would you like a heat pack?" the middie asked.

I readily took it thinking how bad these afterpains were....but as she put the heat pack on, it was quite heavy on my stomach and I coudn't handle the weight of it. 

A little concerned, she prodded my stomach and I almost went through the roof from the pain.  But it seemed that my uterus wasn't contracting down like it should be and that it was 'boggy'.  Looking down she could see that I was losing some blood.

After that....everything was a blur.  The blood kept uterus would swell up...then I would cry out in pain then pass out into oblivion....I'd pass some clots, then I'd come back again and feel a bit better!

This kept happening....and everytime, the midwives kept thinking that when I passed the clots I'd be ok.  But I wasn't. 

By this stage they were starting to really worry, but I was still quite oblivious.  "I'm ok" I'd chime.  After each 'episode' I'd come back and say "See?...I'm ok.....I'm a bit of a bleeder" I'd say thinking back to when I lost a bit of blood after having Dana.  "Not like this love"  They'd reply.

By this stage I'd look over at my hubby and at my SIL and they were both sitting there looking at me in horror.  My mother turned up and almost passed out seeing me in a pool of blood and so pale I looked like I was dead, and then I would pass out again....and she's start crying like I was dying.

And I was...

I was dying!  Right there, in that labour ward...I was literally dying.  In front of my husband, his sister, my mother and my son!

I went into immediate shock...started shivering...and I was so cold.  /So very very cold!  I wasn't passing clots anymore, the blood was just seeping everywhere....all over the bed, the  And when the Ob shook a form and a pen at me, to sign consent for surgery, it was only then that I realised that this was really serious.

I couldn't stop shivering....the pain wouldn't stop.  And I was barely conscious and all I could do was moan as they wheeled me down the corridor, running the whole way into the operating theatre.

I remember lying there, looking up the ceiling, scared that I was never going to see my children again.  The nurse was saying, "We're doing this to you now", "We're going to put this needle in you now."  And all I managed to mutter was "I don't care,....just stop the pain".

Then nothing.

I woke up and immediately recognised the fact that I was no longer in any pain....then next I recognised that I felt so unbelievably warm, as they had some inflatable heatblanket on me and it was glorious.  Then I just wanted to know where my hubby was and I kept muttering 'W w w w wh wh"  and the nurse thought i was asking how I was.  She said "You're doing fine now honey...."  then she realised I was asking for hubby and she told me he was in the nursery with his son. 

Good!....just as it should be!

I was taken to intensive care after that.  I had lost 3.5 litres of blood altogether, as far as they could estimate, and was receiving bag after bag of blood.  My blood pressure was still really low so they had to moniter me around the clock.

Hubby came in with Dana....on one hand I was glad to see her, but on the other hand I was worried that she'd be afraid of what she saw.  I had heart monitors on me, an oxygen mask, two drips, one on each arm. a catheta, and a blood pressure thing on my arm set to go off every 5 minutes.  I gather I was a sight.....not that I could see myself.

I remember the nursery ringing through and giving me a message that my son was hungry. 

What am I suppose to do?  I can't exactly feed him can I?  So I had to give permission for his very first feed was to be formula.  But nothing I could do about it.

After about 24 hours when my blood pressure had stablised, I was transfered to maternity and given my son for rooming in.  It was hard to look after him, and I was so weak I couldn't even stand straight, but I don't know how.....but I breastfed my son.... after an idiot nurse kept trying to shove him on my breast and trying to get me to relax my shoulders all the while pressing him onto the very points where the drips were going in.  In the end, she concluded that I won't be able to breastfeed because I was severely anaemic and left me there with drips and a baby...and me too weak to do anything for him.

But I showed her!

I fed him around the clock....I went home and struggled to feed him as much as he wanted.  I lost so much weight that I looked like a waif....but I got that boy from 9lb to 11lb in 3 weeks!  My milk was pure cream!  Don't you dare tell me I was too anaemic to breastfeed!  Determination means EVERYTHING!

I breastfed my baby for 12 months....3 months into another pregnancy.  Proving to everyone, that with determination, and perseverance and a little bit of prayer....anything is possible.

It was determined that a piece of my placenta, the size of a 10 cent piece was attached the wall of my uterus by 2 or 3 layers, it had to be scraped out.  It wasn't going to come out on it's own.  And this brings me back to the implantation bleed and I wonder if when the embryo implanted it dug right far in that it affected the placenta's attatchment at that point.  But I guess I'll never know for sure, but I'm accutely aware of how lucky I am to be living in this day and age, with the medical care that we have.  Many years ago, in the old days....I would have died in childbirth from that.  Nothing would have been able to be done, and I would have bled to death.  But because of medical intervention and knowhow, and because of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I am here.

Rhys is now a robust 12 year old boy.  And he can be a handful at times....and sometimes when he's really being a pain in the butt I say to him "I nearly died having you!" jokingly.  Then I stop and I remember again, how lucky I am and how lucky my children are that I am alive today :)


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