I Birth on Tuesdays: A Study in Contractions Part One | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

I Birth on Tuesdays: A Study in Contractions Part One

My original due date with Baby Zee was the 23rd July 2013. After having a dating ultrasound that date was pushed back to the 27th July. Keeping in mind that there was a high chance I would have gestational diabetes again, the midwife and I agreed that the later my due date was the better, giving me more time to go in to labour of my own accord before the doctors wanted to induce me.

Sadly, despite my best efforts and lots of acupuncture, raspberry leaf tea, nipple stimulation, walking and prayers, going in to labour spontaneously was not meant to be. Apparently I was just too good an accommodation for Baby Zee and she was going to need a forced eviction.

In the days leading up to being admitted for my induction I was a ball of emotions. There was the fear of an induced labour, something I'd been told by many people was much worse than a spontaneous labour. There was anger and frustration that I wasn't going in to labour of my own accord and wondering why my body and baby were being so stubborn. There was sadness that my time one-on-one with Punky was coming to an end, and added to that, anxiety about how Punky would cope and not wanting her to think that I didn't love her anymore or her thinking that I was trying to replace her.

I discussed all of this with J, my doula and acupuncturist and she was so good at reassuring me on all accounts. Dave was also a great emotional support, especially the night before I was due to be induced when I broke down and lost it late at night. He was a rock, reminding me of the big picture and the inevitable end result of a beautiful, squishy baby.

Sunday 28th July, 8pm: 
We arrive at the maternity ward and I'm shown to the room that will be home for the next few days. After making myself  "comfortable" (seriously, who can be comfortable in hospital?!) the first of many midwives I will be looked after in the following days hooks me up to the CTG machine to monitor the baby's heart rate. They leave me hooked up to this for about half an hour before it comes off, then we wait.
The last sunset I saw before leaving for the hospital and having Baby Zee. If only it was the last sunset that actually occurred before she was born. It was a beautiful one though!
28.07.13, 10pm:
The first lot of prostin gel is "administered". This is not a comfortable experience. I'm then hooked up to the CTG again to monitor bubs heart rate. The midwife tells me that I'm already about 2cms dilated and with a bit of luck I might not need more than the one lot of gel. Dave hangs around for a little while and finally at 11pm I send him home for some sleep. I get the midwife to get me a fitball from the delivery suite as I'm already starting to get some mild contractions, and after spending over an accumulated hour hooked up to the CTG my back is pretty sore. 

Monday 29th July, 12am: 
After reading for a bit I decide to try and get some sleep, thinking if it's going to be a long labour I need to get as much rest as possible. The contractions are still there, but seem to be mostly concentrated in my back and moving round to my hips. It's quite uncomfortable.

29.07.13, 3:30am:
A new midwife comes in to wake me up and strap me to the CTG once again to monitor bubs heart rate. Contractions are still mild and still mostly in my back and hips. 

29.07.13, 4am: 
The midwife examines me and says I'm about 1cm dilated. So I've gone backwards. Fucking brilliant! So the second lot of gel is administered and I'm given a heat pack for my back and told to try and get some more sleep.

29.07.13, 5:30am:
I'm woken by the midwife coming to get the CTG machine to monitor someone else and it's pretty much impossible to get back to sleep. Contractions are still mild, irregular and centred in my back, and I am beyond uncomfortable, constantly needing to pee.
Last belly shot before leaving for the hospital on 28th July
29.07.13, 9am:
Dave gets back to the hospital and we chat while we wait for the OB to come and see me and find out what is going to happen next. The usual next step is to have my waters broken (AROM) and a syntocinon drip started. I am really fearing the drip, I know that once they rupture my membranes and get the drip going that the contractions will really intensify and I am not looking forward to it. I'm also feeling quite nervous and anxious and I'm struggling to keep calm. 

29.07.13, 9:30am:
The OB shows up and it's the same one who delivered Punky. After looking at my history, examining me and declaring that I am about 2 and a bit cms dilated he says that instead of breaking my waters and starting the drip that I should move over to the delivery suite and then get walking. He's confident, thanks to my history, that once labour gets going I should establish fairly quickly. The fact that I am starting to get some decent contractions also works in my favour. He makes me feel confident that I can do this on my own, that I won't need any further augmentation and that hopefully, this bubs will be born today. My nerves and anxiety almost disappear.

29.07.13, 10am - 5:30pm:
We move my stuff over to the delivery suite and are given the choice of room 2 or 4. We choose room 4 because not only is it "Dave's number" but it's also the room Punky was born in. And it has a spa!

We then get walking. And walking. Bouncing and rolling on the fitball. More walking. This is pretty much all we do for the rest of the day, in between being hooked up to the bloody CTG machine to have bubs heart rate monitored.

Every frigging time I have to get on the bed and be hooked up to that machine my contractions slow right down and sometimes even stop. I'd like to go home, and I know that if I was in my own space and comfortable then the chances of getting in to established labour would be greater, but it's not their policy, and to be honest, I'm not sure if I would be able to labour with Punky in the house anyway. And I have to continue to be hooked up to the CTG and monitored. 

Around 2pm J, my doula and acupuncturist, gives me an acupuncture session in the hope that this might help encourage the contractions I've been having and relieve some of the back and hip pain, which by now has gotten pretty bad. Every time I have a contraction it seems to then drain in to my back and hips and I'm getting tired pretty fast.

After another session hooked up to the CTG at 3:30pm we are told that Dr. M will be back around 6pm and a decision on whether or not to break my waters will be made then. J decides to go home for a bit and I tell her I'll call her to come back if he decides that an AROM (artificial rupture of membranes) is what they are going to do. Dave fills the spa and I climb in. Sweet relief! The water completely takes away my back and hip pain and after half an hour I decide it's time to get out and have a nap. I'm so bloody tired, and I figure I should get a bit of rest before Dr. M comes back and breaks my water.

I get in to bed and I've only been there for maybe 10 mins before the Dr and midwife come back in, early. Dr. M examines me and says I'm a good 3cms and instead of breaking my waters gives me a good stretch and sweep and hopes that should really get things going and we can avoid the AROM. He says he'll be back in a few hours and if I haven't established by then he'll do the AROM.

29.07.13, 5:30-9:30pm:
The contractions start to get stronger at this point and they are coming a good 8 minutes apart. I haven't hit established labour, but I'm getting there. I'm having to concentrate more on breathing through the contractions and I'm getting to the point where I can't talk during them. 
A screen shot of the contraction timer I used on and off throughout the whole process
At 7:30pm this old biddy of a midwife comes in and tells me I have to get up on the bed once again and be hooked up to the frigging CTG machine to monitor bubs heart rate. The heart rate that has been absolutely perfect the thousand and one times they have already had me hooked up to the damn thing. So I get up on to the bed and almost instantly the contractions slow down and lose a bit of their intensity. She tells me it will only be for about 15mins after spying the look on my face and off she goes.

At this stage Dave has ducked home so that my sister can go out and grab some dinner for herself and Punky, this whole process has been taking a lot longer than we expected! Thankfully E was prepared for needing to stay longer and was cool to be with Punky for another night.

40 bloody minutes go by and Dave has come back but there is no sign of the midwife. By this stage my contractions have ramped up again and are stronger and coming about every 6 to 8 minutes and I am really struggling to deal with the pain while I'm stuck on the bed, strapped to the CTG. I finally have enough of it and send Dave to find the bloody woman and get this machine off me! It seems I've been forgotten and with a sheepish look she comes to release me.

After looking at the read-out she says my labour is still irregular and that I should really go for a walk to try to encourage things and not sit around. Gee, thanks for that bitch! I was doing quite well before you hooked me up to that stupid bloody machine and left me, don't condescend to me and tell me what I should be doing to get labour established!

I am so fucking angry by this stage at having my labour interrupted once again because of the infernal monitoring and Dave struggles to help me get back to a good head space while we do yet more laps of the hospital. I just know that, had I been left alone I would have definitely established by then as I was so close before being left on the monitor, and it's a real blow to the confidence. After only a couple of laps I just can't walk anymore, I'm too damn tired and my back and hips are just in so much pain. The contractions are getting stronger now and start at the front and then move around to my back and hips and even between contractions there is still a level of pain.

It's so different to my labour with Punky. With Punky I was at home for most of it and there was no pain between contractions, none at all. I was able to rest, relax and ready myself for the next one, but this time I can't relax and I can't get comfortable because of the back and hip pain.

By this stage I am more than ready for Dr. M to come back and break my waters. I don't know how many more hours I am going to have to do all of this and the sooner we can get things going the better. I'm exhausted. It's been almost 24 hours since the induction was started and I've only had about 3 and a half hours of sleep in that time.

Finally at 9:30pm Dr. M breaks my waters and I message J to come back to the hospital. Dr. M is pretty confident that I will progress quickly from here and he's not wrong!

Click here to read part two of Zee's birth story here.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT, because while I don't birth every Tuesday I do blog!
Find me here:


  1. Oh man! I'm glued to the edge of my seat. I want to hear more! ;)

  2. OMG.
    PS Glad you don't birth every Tuesday
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  3. Old biddy midwives.... Don't you just love them? I had one during my labour with Flynn who told me that no, after only 4 hrs I wasn't ready to push and I could stop being so ridiculous.... One hour later there he was. Stupid old fart! Anyhoodle, so looking forward to the rest of your story...I live me a food birth story!

  4. Eugh. I'm so sorry that you've had this experience Kylie. :( sounds like you had some idiotic midwives!! Looking forward to part two. :)


  5. Sounds very frustrating. Almost as frustrating as being left hanging by a Part 1 of a birth story! ;-) HA HA! Can't wait to read Part II!

  6. I was induced for my second child, and after a 2 hour labour with my first, I found the whole process exhausting, traumatic and painful - and my induced labour only lasted 4 hours!!! Sorry you had to go through all that for such an extended period of time - so frustrating. At least the end result is a good one :)

  7. At least we know there is a happy ending, which is the bet part of the story

  8. I would have been livid. I was so annoyed with #4 that they waited 6 hours before breaking my water as I knew it would be all over as soon as they did that, and in 2 pushes it was! It wasn't because I wasn't dilated either, just that they needed a dr to do it and they had to find one. It was the middle of the night but still!

  9. I love a good birth story :) looking forward to the happy ending :)

  10. I started spontaneously but ended up being induced with the drip only. I suffered PROM. Was already in labour and didn't know at 32+5. Due to ruptured membranes they ended up inducing at 33+3.

  11. OMG you have brought back some sharp memories! What a LOOOONG time for you to be in labour and having contractions... you must have been totally whacked. This labour malarkey is bloody hard yakka. Do not delay with Part 2

  12. Holy Moly. Glad I had my organised c-section after reading that!! Looking forward to reading Fridays blog. :)

  13. You must have been exhausted. Bring on part 2!

  14. Rightio you did warn me it would be big - SO i'm going to read over a glass of wine on my iPad later, no in a hurry as I am now and then I'll comment - xxxx

  15. I was induced as well and it was long like yours. The gel didn't work for me and only my forewaters broke. All up I was in labour for about 36 hours from first lot of gel to baby being born. I had pre eclampsia though so was bedridden. I remember all too well about the having to pee so much because of the pressure.

  16. Wah, I don't wanna wait for the next installment! I love birth stories :D #teamIBOT

  17. Contractions. There's an app for that.
    I am hanging out for part 2! Squeee!

  18. Oh how bloody frustrating! Can't wait to read the conclusion. Although I'm pretty sure it ends with a baby ;)

  19. If it isn't hard enough just to have a baby, having to have the extra problems surrounding it is just annoying. In my case it took them 12 hours until they realised that my son was upside down and enormous. There was no way he was coming out through "there", so a c-section was in order. I could have done without the 12 hours of pain when I didn't need to.

  20. That's *all* you had to say about having your waters broken? OH MY DOG I had that with my Miss 6 and it was pretty freaking horrible!

  21. I love birth stories!! You poor thing though - I can't imagine the frustration!!!!! I didn't have a chance with mine as they all popped out within minutes of me getting to the hospital - way too fast if you ask me!!!

  22. I couldn't believe how crap she was. I saw a lot of midwives and they were mostly

  23. It certainly wasn't a walk in the park. Most if the midwives were pretty good, it was just this particular one! She certainly didn't make it easy that for sure!

  24. Hahaha! I could have posted it in one big long post but I was scared people would fall asleep and never wake up! I don't know how to write a short post these days!

  25. The end result certainly was worth it. It was definitely much different to my first labour and I think that what made it all the more frustrating!

  26. I certainly do wish they had broken my waters much, much earlier. If I ever have to do that again I will be insisting on it happening much sooner, I was already exhausted by the time they broke them and still had to labour more and push the baby out!

  27. Wow, 33+3, that must have been a little scary. I hope you didn't have too tough a time of it once thy induced you

  28. It certainly is hard yakka! I was absolutely trashed by the end, I was almost falling asleep between some contractions I was just so exhausted! I couldn't wait for it to be over!

  29. I can tell you towards the end of it I was wishing I'd booked in for an organised c-section. Would have saved a lot of time!

  30. I honestly don't think I've ever been more exhausted!

  31. That pressure sucked so bad! And 36 hours! What a marathon!

  32. There really is an app for everything!

  33. Oh that really sucks. And something very similar happened to a friend of mine a few months ago, after 12 hours of induced labour they finally realised there was no wy she was delivering her over 5kg baby naturally!

  34. Oh I want to know what happens next!!!! At least I know there's a happy ending!! I hope you didn't need the sintocin it was horrible first time round! X Karen

  35. I think by that stage I was so fan tired and over it I would have asked them to do anything to get the kid out. It certainly did get very intense very quickly after that though!

  36. It was probably the most frustrating day of my life, that's for sure! Especially after having a relatively fast and easy time of it first go round, this was definitely different!

  37. Sounds like your dr was great! Most I've come across want to break your waters to soon. that what happened with Lola. They broke it when I was only in pre labour and it took another 11 hrs of insane contractions before she was born. Don't regret anything add if they had broken them sooner you may not have been ready. Also must talk to you next time I see you about your doula. Very interested.

  38. OH MY - that did drag on - shit - I can't believe they waited so long to get you progressing, I was demanding more gel when my first induction! But I had pain before, during and after every contraction so I just wanted baby born - can't write more - it's Friday morning and I want to read the next part of this! Thanks for sharing and love that sunset BTW xx

  39. Woooah, Kylie! That back pain sounds horrendous! And I'm calculating all the times you've documented there...not much sleep in between, girlfriend! Off to read Part 2!

  40. Wow! Full on. My labour was centred around my back too and my labour was loooooong. Waters broke on their own on the Saturday evening and Ned didn't come out until Monday morning, the little terror!

    About to read part 2.

    Great story!



Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...