12th of August 2019
Exactly 1 month ago my son Wieber was born. And since then he is the center of my universe. But getting him safely into this world wasn't an easy task and didn't go as I thought it would be going. So here I am a month later telling his birth story. And it is a long one... because this is a story of days!
On the 9th of July at 8PM I went into hospital. Because of gestational diabetes my doctor decided to start this birth story with an induction on 39+1 weeks. I wasn't very happy with that but at the same time knowing when it all is going to happen has it perks. It sure took a lot of stress of my boyfriend who was always worried he wouldn't be around when my waters would break. :D
So I was standing there with my suitcase and boyfriend to support me through it all. I was ready for the action, which only started at 2AM on the 10th of July due to an emergency on the delivery ward.
A little balloon with medication was inserted to artificially start the labour. The message I got was that this could be painful for some but other women can sleep right through these cramps. I wasn't one of them, off course... . The minute they inserted the balloon I had severe cramps, no way I could get some sleep. I saw the hours of the night pass by while tossing and turning or walking around to make it less annoyingly painful. sometimes I dozzed of in between cramps (which were every 3 minutes) And let me tell you, you can dream a lot of crazy stuff in those 3 minutes. Eventually I saw the sun come up and tried to remember this as the morning of the day my son would be born. And was I wrong about that!
Normally if everything would go okay, the balloon falls out in the morning when you are at 4 cm and next steps are taken. I wasn't there at all so they decided to insert new medication for a second round of unpleasantry. It took several more hours and still there wasn't a lot of movement going on down there. But the worst part, this time the cramps where really painful and I didn't know where the stand sit or just be... Finally after a few hours, bouncing on ball, walking around, I found a position that made the pain less. I could calm down again.
By the way, did you know that through all this I wasn't allowed to eat anything!! And every now and then I would be put on the monitor and my blood-pressure was checked regularly. I was also pricked every so often to check my sugar levels. Every finger had several puncture wounds at the end of this story.
Around 10.45AM the balloon finally fell out, but the verdict off the nurses and doctor wasn't positive. I wasn't ready for that next step at all. At 2PM I got medication for the third time, but now without the balloon. It didn't do a lot. I didn't feel a lot of pain and it even looked like mensuration cramps, nothing more. In my mind I was thinking, no, it is not happening today. And in the evening my doctor came to our room to indeed tell me this news and to look at the options.Her suggestion was that I would get a second balloon inserted with a little bit more fluid and a bigger size. This to bridge a second night in the hope my body would be ready in the morning of the 11th of july. Another night were I saw every hour started. And at 6.30AM the second balloon fell out. But still my cervix wasn't shortened and weak enough to start the "real" labour.
We were in the hospital for 35 hours already. Throughout all this time we saw the nurses of different shifts come and go. At the end off their shift they said goodbye and wished us the bes. In their next shift 24 hours later they were surprised we were still there. It was a crazy experience.
It was a holiday on the 11th and my doctor wasn't in the hospital. I had an assistant of my doctor that day, a very nice guy who wasn't rushed to get this thing done. And I so appreciated that. It was clearly that my body needed a lot of time and he was willing to give me that time. At 9AM on the 11th of july he came up with a different plan. I would get the same medication to weaken and shorten my cervix but with my iv. This is a more agressive and more painful way of doing the same thing. And man, did I feel that! Nurses were more and more saying that I could ask for an epidural at anytime. I didn't want to do it so far because you loose a lot of freedom to move around if you have one. But with this plan B I was constantly monitored and I had an iv. My reasons not to take an epidural were gone. Still I was a little stubborn and I didn't think I needed it yet. the pain was all still very manageable. The medication was increased over a period of time and every time the pain would get a little bit worse. But I knew if i sat up straight it was okay and doable.
And then finally at 6.20PM the doctor let me know, it still wasn't perfect but I was far enough for the next step. He broke my water, only so he was able to give me a higher dose of the medication to have my cervix get ready. For me it started to become a mental battle to relieve myself from the pain.
Finally the moment came the "real" labour could start. I had about 4cm dilation and my cervix was weaker and shortened enough. But there was still a long way to go. At this point we were at the hospital for about 46 hours.
A different kind of medication was used to start the "real" contractions. And if i thought I was in pain before I didn't know what to call this. (To give you some news, Did you know that artificially induced contractions are a lot more painful than your body starting on its own. :S ) The contractions came about every 4 minutes. I was now permanently on the monitor and I couldn't freely move around. The pain was so severe that I had troubles breathing through the contractions. I almost hyperventilated and almost started to panic. "hHw the hell are women doing this for centuries without any painrelief medication and why can't I do this?! " was the thought I was thinking all of the time. I was exhausted and i didn't know how i would be able to do this for several more hours. After a while there was no more excuse to say no to an epidural. Suddenly it couldn't come soon enough. especially because the medication was still increased ever so often. I wanted to rest, i wanted to breath calmly again, I wanted to just feel relaxed.
11th of July 9.30PM
Getting the epidural was the most wonderful feeling ever! At least after finding the right dose so I didn't feel a thing of those contractions anymore. The monitor beside my bed beeped at the tones of Wieber's hart rhythm. I could lay down in bed and for the first time in a long time I close my eyes. But not for too long because Wieber's heartbeat was something to watch. It wasn't very regular anymore and clearly he started to notice the changes going on. And around midnight things weren't looking good anymore. every time I had a contraction his heartbeat slowed down dramatically. Suddenly a whole team of doctors and nurses was standing in my room. The message was this: "We did everything possible, but the way it is going now we need to take some drastic action to put your son in the world safely." I needed an emergency C-section.
I did indeed had the feeling after all these days that I tried my best to have this baby in the most natural way possible. But as it turns out it wasn't meant to be. And because I did everything I could in those passed days, I felt okay with it.
In a rushed but relaxed way I was brought to the operating theater followed by my boyfriend who was put in operation safe clothing and sat on a stool next to me. I felt save and relaxed. my eyes fixed on the monitor were I could see Wieber's heartbeat. He was still okay, there was no severe rush necessary.
My belly was held up by tape, my epidural was increased, the whole team got into their role and played their part. It was crazy to be in the center of this organised whirlwind. And suddenly when all was ready they were cutting in, I felt the rumbling around in my belly and only moments later at 1.19AM on the 12th of July Wieber was born with a loud scream. I felt relieved and only a single fat warm tear streamed down my cheek. I could only smile and felt very impatient to see my son.
He was held up in front of my face for a second but straight after taken away to a room next to the operation theater. Without really having to say I told my boyfriend to go with him. He can't be alone now, I can. He was checked measured weighed. And all was fine with him. But those moments that he was in that other room felt too long for me. I kept on looking at the door, I had never been so impatient in my life. The doors went open and there he was wrapped in a blanket and with a diaper and hat.
my hand that was strapped down for the operation was freed and he was put on my chest, I could hold him, feel him. The most amazing feeling. I heard him breathing. I felt him moving. I saw his little hands. All while they were still patching me up. But I couldn't care less.
I was so happy he layed on top of me. It was the closest I could have him at that moment. But it didn't take long or we were back in our room and I could hold him for real and give him his first milk. I was a mom now! And to this day I am still getting used to that idea :D
It wasn't the way I imagined Wieber to be born. I was very scared of having an emergency C-section and wanted to avoid it at any cost. I was afraid that I would be pushed into having one because of my size. But that hasn't been the case. My body was given the time to have this baby, I tried my best and I wasn't pushed to do anything I didn't wanted to do. But there were very good reasons to have this C-section. The health and safety of my son and probably me. So although there will always be the missing of the mystery of natural birth and how it feels and goes, I know this was just the way it had to go for me.
I just wanted to say a big thanks to all of the staff at the hospital. They were amazing! Kind, patient, helpful and just incredible awesome. And I can know because I have been in the hospital for 8 days!! :D