Still not D-Day?

So here’s the latest in the delivery drama.  I’m going to describe some of the gory details here so if you are particularly squeamish or coy I guess you should go read something else!  

I came in to hospital on Wednesday to be induced.  Method here in the UK is to attempt to artificially rupture the membranes (break your waters), if the expectant mother’s cervix is in a position to allow it.  Yes you’ve guessed it, my cervix was posterior and closed so that wasn’t possible, and a propess pessary was inserted.  Lovely little thing, kind of like a tampon but with a ribbon long enough to use to tie your hair in bunches afterwards! It is inserted behind your cervix and has the role of getting everything up there soft and ready. The intention is that the propess remains up there for 24 hours, or until something happens.  That something could be simply getting the cervix ready, to stimulating labour to the point that the mum is fully dilated and goes into labour. 

After about 8 hours of having the propess inserted, I began to have intense abdominal pain every 2 minutes.  Felt like contractions to me (remember this is baby number 3 for me). The pain began niggling right in the area you can imagine your cervix to be, then quickly rose to an almost unbearable level before moving round my back and easing off.  Yay! I was surely in labour!! Nay! Was I heck!!

Aside: I had been on a ward with a girl called Ellen in the bed next to me.  She had the propess too, about an hour and a half before me.  Throughout the night we were matching each other pain for pain. Separated by just a curtain we were partners in pain as each contraction rose and fell.  She cried out for pain relief after a considerable number of hours like that.  I figured I could go a bit longer before ‘caving in’.  I’ve had two babies with zero pain relief, a fact I wear like a trophy that shows I am a strong woman!! It also shows I am a stupid woman, because trust me labour fekking hurts so I don’t know why I don’t just take the meds!!  

I think it must have been about 4am when the girl had some codeine, and a little later she upped the ante and asked for diamorphine. Still we matched each other contraction for contraction in a relentless 8 hour onslaught of pain that hit us at 2 minute intervals.  At about 4:30am I had an internal examination which delivered the blow that there had been no change at all in my cervix.  All that pain had been for nothing. About half an hour later my ward-mate was examined and told the same. We were both gutted.  Exhausted by the pain and lack of sleep, we both laid and cried in disappointment. 

At around 7am my partner in pain called the midwife and asked for diamorphine. She didn’t come right away and by 8am she was shouting for an epidural.  She was examined there in the bed next to me.  I stood there in horror 10 minutes later as she began to shout that she was pushing! We weren’t even in the delivery suite! Panic ensues and the midwives try and get her in a wheelchair, but her waters break (I heard the splash on the tiled floor and the panic in the poor girl’s voice). I was shaking and crying – it was frightening, especially after a night without sleep.  A midwife saw me and asked if I wanted to leave and I made a swift exit.  I was traumatised! Having spent the evening listening to induced labours and seeing women go into labour and be whisked off to the delivery suite, hearing their pain and their cries all through the night, this was all too much. I sat and cried uncontrollably, and then I heard the cry of a baby and knew she’d had her baby right there in the bed next to mine and they didn’t get a chance to take her where she needed to be!! From that point in I began to panic that the same would happen to me. Except what my body actually did was put itself into survival mode and decide that today was not a good day to go into labour and everything stopped; no more pains, nothing! Remarkable what the human body is capable of.  The midwife said “if you were a wild animal giving birth and a predator attacked, labour would stop immediately and the animal would protect itself until it was safe to begin the labour process again.” Fascinating.  My body said “now is not a good time for any of that malarkey” and stopped playing.

Which is what led me to an examination yesterday afternoon that delivered the second blow of the hospital visit – still no change after 24 hours.  I laid on the table and cried and cried. If you’ve read any of my earlier posts you will know how anxious I have been about whether this baby will be ok. To go from expecting to meet her one day, to realising that this wasn’t going to happen any time soon was a devastating blow.  Add to that the sheer despair that comes from a painful night without sleep, and you’ve got a blubbering wreck on the examination table.

At this point the propess was removed. Which was a relief, as it has to be one of the most unhygienic experiences of my life. Warning: gross bit coming up! Ok, so if you ever have a propess Pessary inserted and have to go to the toilet for a pee, make sure that ribbon is tucked up where it should be or you are going to pee on it.  If you fail to remember this point, please do not be surprised if, like me, you spend 24 hours smelling like you ought to be in a retirement home! So get it tucked up there ladies or it ain’t pleasant, take it from someone who found out the hard way! 😳

Plan was to put me on the monitor and decide the next course of action, which was likely to be a faster release Pessary.  Waited 4 hours for said monitoring to even begin, during which it was recorded that those 2-minute pains had returned.  As a result of those tightenings (not regular enough to be considered contractions), the doctors made the decision not to move to the next stage. They were afraid that with me already experiencing quite intense and relatively regular tightenings, the prostin Pessary could accelerate labour at a rate that could be potentially dangerous to baby and incredibly painful for me. They agreed to leave my body to see if it would progress naturally, and let me get some rest, ready to start again Friday morning (just a few hours from my time of writing, which is 3am as I have been rudely awakened from the best sleep I have had in weeks by the most horrendous snoring woman and her equally annoying snoring partner who now occupy the bed beside me!). 

Nothing has progressed naturally through the night. In fact if I didn’t know better, I feel like I haven’t been through any of the last 36 hours at all!! My body has returned to the state it was in before I came into hospital.  My bits and pieces no longer feel like they are falling out, and I have finally managed to have a poo! Yay!! So I guess that means that today is going to feel like I’m starting from scratch and I fear the same is going to happen and I will hit another dead end.  At least the prostin is only a 6-hour process. I have the pleasure again of more painfully intrusive internal examinations, where ultimately the midwives will be aiming to break my waters and kickstart labour.  Warning do not Google images of this process! I mean who in their right mind would Google that during their hospital stay???! 😳 <sheepishly backs away whilst remembering vision of large crochet hook>

So I am going to attempt to get some more sleep (not easy with the snoreasauruses next to me), and look forward (!) to what the new day will bring. Will I get to meet my baby today? That is anyone’s guess.

D-day?

I guess I thought today would be the day, with me going in to be induced.  That’s what happened with my son – went into hospital at about 9am, midwife attempted (without success) to break my waters, went into labour naturally later that day and gave birth at 22:11.  So surely it would be a similar pattern this time? Except this time with it being number 3 it would all happen much quicker, right?!

Wrong!!

I’m being induced because my local hospital prefers not to allow us older mums (40+) to go overdue.  So I was booked in for the due date (today) and advised to go along to the hospital at 11am.  It was 1:30pm before the propess pessary was inserted.  It’s now nearly 11pm and there is not a sign that this baby is planning on joining us any time soon! I’ve been getting pain in my abdomen and across my back pretty much every 3-5 minutes, but it’s not something I can’t cope with so I’m guessing it can’t be labour?! You’d think with me having had 2 children already I might have an idea, but I just don’t know what the feeling is and whether it’s just a pain related to everything that’s going on down there, or if it is labour starting to progress.  God knows!! What I do know is that today has been one of the longest days of my life and I’m starting to feel that there is still no light at the end of this tunnel.  Praying for a clear sign very soon.

Update: 04:38

Just had the worst news ever. Things were started 15 hours ago and I have been having regular pains across my abdomen (every 2 mins). All was looking good, but I’ve just had an examination. I would have been happy  with 1cm even, but nothing?? Nothing at all. Cervix is still posterior. No dilation. Not even a millimetre.

Getting Closer

In 4 days I will be going into hospital to give birth to my baby girl. I can’t believe it is nearly here! Last night I realised how many questions I have for the medical professionals but fear I may have left it too late to ask them now! Let’s hope I make it to my antenatal appointment on Tuesday and can ask the midwife (who I can bet you won’t know the answers!).  I’m a bit apprehensive about being induced when I have Group B Strep. Need to ask about the order in which they do things so I can be clear about when to expect the antibiotics etc.  I’ve had a couple of nightmares over the last few nights, and I think they are driving the anxiety. 

In my first dream, I found myself at the hospital just after having given birth to a healthy baby girl. My best friend was packing up my stuff for us to leave (she’s a strong believer in getting home ASAP whereas is stay in forever if it meant getting looked after!) and then I realised I hadn’t told the midwife about the GBS! No precautions had been taken to protect the baby from infection, and after a few grave looks from the midwife my baby was whipped away to SCBU. That’s when I woke up so I don’t know what happened next. I don’t think it has helped that although my maternity notes are plastered with GBS warning stickers, the consultant at the hospital has never quite understood that I have tested positive in THIS pregnancy, not any other!! Doesn’t fill you with much confidence does it!! 

The next night I dreamt that my waters broke at home and I was alone so had to get myself to the hospital quick so I could get the much needed IV antibiotics. Suddenly some kind of drone-robot thing was flying at me shooting, preventing my exit.  I had to get passed it and get myself to hospital but everywhere I turned there it was.  Some time passed whilst I battled with the thing, and I finally made it to the hospital.  This time I made it really clear that I had GBS and needed antibiotics.  The midwives acknowledged me and off they went to get what I needed, except they never came back. They were busy running around doing their job, but never returned to me to give me the vital medication. Again, I woke up so I have no idea how this ended.  I have a vague recollection of searching hospital cupboards for the medication so I could self-administer, but can’t tell you how that worked out!

I knows these are normal worries.  Every expectant mum will experience some level of anxiety as they approach  D-day.  It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been there, labour is unpredictable, and giving birth to a healthy baby is a miracle! And if you have any risks or complications, those worries are clearly going to be amplified as the date draws nearer. 

I did some research on GBS last night. More research! And I know that the Internet can be dangerous when you are already worried about things, but this was really useful. Firstly the article shared the odds of a baby becoming infected with GBS.  Without diagnosis, and therefore the necessary antibiotics, the odds were in the low 100’s.  With a diagnosis and antibiotics, those odds dropped dramatically to around 1:6000.  So I’m in a good place, because we know I have tested positive, and (as long as neither of my dreams come true and the hospital is switched on) I will get what I need to give my baby the best chance.  

What will be will be, I have no control over it. Today I am more excited than scared.  Oh, and want to hear something funny? My blood group is B Positive! I had to smile at the irony of that yesterday!!