The Longest, Most Amazing Day of My Life Part 1 | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Longest, Most Amazing Day of My Life Part 1

I wrote Punky's birth story about 2 weeks after she was born. It was the first real chance I'd had to sit in front of the computer and I just banged it out as quick as possible. I thought I would re-visit that post and add in things that I've since remembered about her birth (in bold red font), or that I've been told by Dave or my Mum, who were both there for it. The original was pretty long so I am going to split it in to two. Stay tuned for Part Two later in the week...


On Monday 21st November I had my final OB appointment before my due date (23.11.11) at 10am. I was 39 weeks 5 days pregnant. He examined me and said I was about 2cms dilated already. I was pretty happy about that, needless to say. As I said to Dave, I was 20% of the way to fully dilated! He wanted to book me in for an induction at 7am on my due date, Wednesday as he was worried about the size of bubs because of my gestational diabetes. However he was pretty confident that I would go in to labour before needing the induction, but he booked it anyway, just in case.

I was pretty keen to avoid an induction at all costs! I had heard plenty of horror stories from people that had been induced, about how horrible and intense it was, so I was doing everything to move the baby along, walking, nipple stimulation, bouncing on the fit ball, regular acupuncture.

Even in-utero she had chubby cheeks!

So I woke up on Tuesday morning the 22nd November around 7am with contractions that weren't too intense and around 10 minutes apart. I actually had an acupuncture appointment booked for that morning but decided not to bother going as I was pretty sure this was the real deal and wouldn't need it. I Spent the rest of the day sitting (bouncing!) on the fit ball and wandering around the shops with Dave, trying to help move things along as the contractions seemed to just come and go throughout the day, without much rhyme or reason to them, some worse than others, but mostly bearable.

We spent most of the evening sitting at the dining room table doing word puzzles and sudoku, after having Maccas for dinner. Little did I know that that Maccas would be my last meal before going to hospital, and that Maccas would then be my first meal upon leaving the hospital as well! In fact I also had a chocolate sundae from Maccas which Kelly HTandT kindly bought me the day after Punky was born, knowing how much I had missed them while pregnant and especially at the end when I couldn't eat any sweets with the GD! That's what friends are for right there people!

By 10pm that night they contractions had really started to pick up in intensity and frequency, varying between 5-8 minutes apart. I moved to the glider in the loungeroom at this stage so that I could concentrate a bit more and that is where I stayed, breathing, rocking and counting through each contraction, until we eventually left for the hospital. Dave mostly did Sudoku puzzles (I knew he'd become addicted once I taught him how to do them!) and tidied up around the house.

I remember at one point starting to get really annoyed at Dave and the noise he was making packing the dishwasher, I was trying my best to count and visualise and all I could hear was him clinking glasses and dishes. I ended up telling him to knock it off and just leave it coz it was so distracting. In fact he started to eat a muesli bar and walked in the loungeroom while he was chewing. Dave still laughs when he tells me that I just stared daggers at him and said through gritted teeth "Stop Chewing!". He tells me that was the moment when he knew things were about to get interesting!

I asked him to come in and please count through the contractions for me coz I was getting to the point where I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. During the contraction I would jiggle my feet on the ground and do small rocks on the glider, thinking to myself "moving down" and imagining the baby's head putting pressure on my cervix and helping it to open.

I read a book called Birth Skills by Juju Sundin which is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it to anyone that is pregnant and planning a vaginal birth. In the book Juju teaches 5 key skills that you can use to help manage pain in labour, movement, breathing and vocalisation, visualisation, stress balls, and keywords.

To be honest, I was pretty sure that movement and vocalising would be the skills I used but in the end it was the visualisation and key words that got me through. I am so glad that I read that book though, as I am pretty sure without it I would have had a major freak-out at some stage. The book is very repetetive, which is on purpose, and Juju encourages you to read the book multiple times so that some of the key skills and ideas that she conveys become things that you don't have to conciously think about and for me, it really did work. (I am not paid to endorse this book at all, it just helped me so much that I like to tell everyone about it!).

By about 2am the contractions were really starting to become intense and close together and Dave was a real help, counting through each one for me. I found the counting helped to keep me focused and not panic or anything from the pain, plus it was a good indicator to me when one was about to finish so I could look forward to that.

At 3am I felt like I was ready to go to the hospital, I didn't feel out of control, but I felt like I needed to be somewhere with people who had been through this before and could tell me how everything was going. I said all along that I wanted to try and stay at home as long as possible and it's like my body kind of knew when it was time to go. Plus I wasn't really looking forward to having contractions in the car so I figured the sooner we left the better. (Looking back now it was a good thing we did go when we did).
Apparently pregnancy makes me feet bigger and height shorter!
The last photo was taken the day before Mia was born
We got to the hospital about 3:30am and I stood out the front of emergency breathing through a contraction while Dave parked the car and grabbed the bags. A security guard escorted us to the maternity ward through emergency. He asked me if I wanted to take the stairs or the lift. My answer? "You don't have to wait for stairs". So up the stairs we went and were directed straight to the delivery suite.

Kirrily was the midwife on duty (although Dave disputes that was her name, he thinks it was Karen) and she showed us to our birthing room and waited patiently for me to breath through another contraction. She then asked me if I'd prefer to stay in my clothes (I was wearing trackies and a pink top) or if I'd like a gown. I chose the gown. I knew things were gonna get messy and didn't want to have to bother washing and soaking clothes when I got home. Or worse, throw them out. I liked that top!

I climbed up on the bed so the midwife could get a monitor on my belly to see how the baby was doing and as I got up there my waters broke. Best timing ever. Dave's comment was "Thank God that didn't happen earlier, you would have ruined the glider!". I just looked at him and the midwife laughed. She got me set up on the baby heart-rate monitor and then went out to start getting paperwork ready.

The contractions were really ramping up now and I started to find it harder to deal with them being stuck on the hospital bed with the monitor strapped to me. When Kirrily came back she asked if I wanted to try the gas and air and I was like "Yes please!"

I swear, it did nothing but dry my mouth out and make me feel a bit like I was stoned or tripping out or something, the pain was still there, but at least it gave me something to bite on! Poor Dave was doing his best not to cringe with every contraction as I squeezed his hand so hard and he counted through every one for me knowing when to start when the pressure on his hand started!

In hindsight, I am going to refuse to be put on the bed to be monitored when we have our next baby. That was seriously the worst part of the whole thing and when I really started to struggle with the restriction of my my movement and not being in an upright position. If they want to monitor the baby they can do it with a hand-held doppler. Honestly, its no wonder why women's labours slow down when they get to the hospital.

Kirrily came back to do an internal examination and take off the monitor about 45 minutes after we'd arrived and I said I was hoping for a big fat 10! Unfortunately I was only 5cms dilated, but she said my cervix was nice and ripe and progressing really well. Small comfort when you suddenly think you've still got hours more of the pain to go!

It was at this stage that I started to really feel like I was losing control of the pain, I was now stuck on the bed and couldn't move, because the contractions just seemed to be getting stronger and stronger (if that was possible!) and closer and closer together. When Kirrily next came in I told her I wanted an epidural but she suggested it might be a good idea to wait a little longer as it might slow things down. She left the room and came back a few minutes later and I told her I really needed something for the pain and she asked if I would like to try some morphine. I said yes, anything, just make it hurt less!

After speaking to Dave he tells me that this was pretty much just a stalling tactic on the midwives behalf, and he doesn't think she had any intention of getting me the morphine. I gotta say I'm glad she didn't because if she had I would have been completely fucked and out of it for the actual birth.

However, before she'd even had a chance to organise any kind of pain relief I suddenly felt the most overwhelming urge to push. I said to Dave "I gotta push, I gotta push" and thankfully the midwife walked back in the room at that time and I told her the same thing. The contractions were coming one after the other and it felt as though the only thing that would help would be to push.

You can find Part 2 of the Longest, Most Amazing Day of My Life here.

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42 comments:

  1. Oooo I love birth stories! I remember that urge to push too - such an overwhelming feeling - mother nature is so amazing! I love the bit where your hubby was annoying you, I could really picture it. Can't wait for part 2!

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    1. It was the strangest thing, that urge to push. I remember the midwife at the antenatal classes telling us about it and I was skeptical, not anymore!

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  2. Great story! Its great you were able to add in those extra bits, they really help tell the story.

    You just cant help but push, it's so amazing!

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    1. It's quite amazing how much more I remember now, I thought I would forget it but no, it's probably more vivid now than it was in those first few weeks because I've gotten over the shock!

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  3. Freaking boo - I have to wait til Friday to read the rest!? Also, this reminds me I need to do Tullys birth story ( seeing as she's already 3 months old and stuff... )

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    1. Oh, you so should write Tully's birth story, I would love to read it!

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  4. Haha, great story. I am always telling my girls to 'stop chewing'. I can't stand hearing people eating near me. Rachel x

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    1. I really hate it too, and it was made that much worse while trying to endure a contraction!

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  5. Great! I love reading birth stories...so empowering. Can't wait to read the next instalment. x

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    1. I love reading them too, they make me teary every time!

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  6. OhI love a good birth story! I too read the Ju Ju Sundin book, I think it is a fantastic book especially regarding the visualization, I think it helped me with my daughters birth.

    My hubby pissed me off during my labour at home with my son, and all he did was open a bottle of soda water and the fizzed noise made me sooooooo angry! :) LOL

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    1. Hahahaha, I can definitely see how that noise would piss you off. Any distraction is just so much harder to deal with when you're in pain.

      I think the book made a big difference for me too.

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  7. What a great idea! Love the added bits in red. I know why you're doing this now, feeling a little emotional aren't you? 3 days to go! x

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    1. Ah, yeah, just a tad emotional! I hope I don't cry on Sunday. Pretty sure I'll cry at least once tomorrow!

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  8. WOW! What a story!!! I haven't written my pregnancies or birth stories.. Thank you for sharing!

    Love the red lines!! :)

    #teamIBOT

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    1. You should definitely write your birth stories, even if it's just in a journal for yourself, its nice to be able to look back and read over those memories.

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  9. Love a goos birth story!! I am addicted to one born every minute!! I agree with you and the hand held doppler both my births I have been strapped to a bed!! Can't wait for part 2!!

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    1. That was the hardest part, and one I was on the bed and we got down to the business end I found it impossible to move as the contractions just didn't stop by that point!

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  10. JuJu Sudin is a very very clever lady. I love her book too. I really feel like it helped to make the difference between my first and second birth experiences. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    Looking forward to Part II

    #IBOT

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    1. I think so too! I always recommend her book to anyone I know that is expecting.

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  11. You're lucky you remembered more of it, I think I've blocked most of that day out of my life. But funny story about husbands during labour - my husband said (after I'd been in labour at home for 3 hours) "Are we going to the hospital or not, because if we are, I'll go have a shower." Apparently my being in labour in the middle of the night was affecting his hygiene?

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    1. Hahahaha, how funny is your husband. They are strange creatures! I'm actually surprised by how much more I remember now than when I first wrote it, I think I was still a little bit in shock!

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  12. Great story, I get all tingly when reading birth stories. Writing my own is still on my to do list. Can't wait to read more on Friday

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    1. I know what you mean, I get teary with every birth story I read.

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  13. Ahh the beauty of hindsight in birth stories. I really have to grab mine and publish them I think. xxx

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    1. You definitely should, I would be the first reader, I love them!

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  14. We're coming up for our second birth (ours = hers, my job ios to empty the dishwasher ;-) ). The first went a bit pear shaped and this is a good reminder of how else it can go.

    You've inspired me to do a Dad's birth story.

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    1. Oh you so should Kevin, I have been asking Dave to write down the birth from his perspective for months and he's just to lazy to sit down and do it.

      I highly recommend Birth Skills, even if your wife doesn't read it you can still get some good tips on ways to provide support.

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  15. Their stalling tactics crack me up. Apparently at one point, they turn the gas off on me, but didn't say anything! Rude!

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    1. I know! I have a friend who was given the gas thing to suck on but they didn't actually turn it on till she'd been sucking on it for over half an hour!

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  16. I remember the first time around when my husband "ducked out" to get stuff from the car and didn;t return for quite some time - great tactic that one! I was hopeless when I got to the pushing part. I sailed through the rest of my labours (not literally, but you know what I mean!) but for the life of me I could never get a hang of the pushing part and ended up having very medical births. I can't wait to read part 2!

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    1. I really struggled with the pushing part, I too found the labour not too hard to deal with, but the pushing was so not easy.

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  17. I always love reading birth stories... mine were both quite different.... induction and caesar. I guess i will just have to wait till friday...

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    1. It will definitely be interesting to see what the next one will be like. I will try to be positive that it will hopefully go as smoothly as this one!

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  18. Gas is overrated! Look forward to the sequel....

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  19. Wow! You're leaving me in suspense!
    Love how Dave was annoying you with the dishwasher. Hilarious!
    Mr Surfer was rubbing my foot when I was getting an epidural and I told him to knock it off! I think he was really surprised and hurt. But man, it was annoying the crap out of me.
    Can't wait to read Part 2 !!!

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    1. I remember Dave trying to stroke my hair at one point and I just shook my head so hard and glared at him. He didn't try it again!

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  20. Awe...i love your birth story Kylez. Makes me just want to breed for all eternity (I'm sounding like some kind of weirdo now). Us woman have a truly amazing gift, that is our bodies and its capabilities, and I love hearing about it. as I read I cross my legs and squeeze in sympathy...x

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    1. Thanks Jen. I think you should definitely have at least two more, you just make babies that are way too cute to stop at 2!

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  21. I had that same urge with our last baby - and the midwives didnt believe me! They told me I wasnt near ready but yet my body knew.
    And all I had was gas as there was no time for any pain relief. If I had my time over I think that that I would have gone with home births.
    Loved reading your birth story and part 2 as well.

    Good to read about such an amazing experience.

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