Friday, January 9, 2009

The birth of our new baby

I am desperately trying to catch up on the blog. I am sure I will get there sometime but there is so much to post and so many photos I want to share that I seem to never get there.
I thought I'd start with the birth of our new baby boy. I am going to share his birth story that I jotted down on paper to keep the memory alive forever. Here it is...
The birth story of Joel Christopher Markusse

After the birth of my first son I had decided that I would really like to have a Vaginal Birth after caesarean (VBAC). So when I fell pregnant with our second I spent a lot of time researching what my best chances of achieving a VBAC would be. We decided to enlist the care of a team of midwives instead of using an OBGYN for this pregnancy.

My pregnancy was textbook – as it was the first time around. Pregnancy is a great time for me, my body responds very well to it and I really do love the whole experience.

We’d been on weekly visits with the midwives since 36 weeks. I had been having spates of regular contractions for at least a week since about 38 weeks. The contractions just never progressed though. They were strong enough that I was aware of them but that was where it ended. I had started with acupuncture to help move things along as well. On Tuesday 9 Dec I had my 3rd acupuncture appointment at the clinic. When I arrived, midwife Asia and I had a chat in the passage. I mentioned to her that I’d had some nice contractions the night before that had amounted to nothing and she then offered to do a stretch and sweep for me after my appointment to see if that helped to get things going.

She did the sweep and I left the clinic having gone from 0 – around 2-3cms dilated. She was very happy but when I asked her what the chances were that this would bring on labour she said “possible but really not likely”. She said she’d do another sweep in clinic at my appointment on Friday. I was very crampy for the rest of the afternoon but nothing too major and no contractions.

That evening I had a La Leche League meeting at 7. My mucus plug had def gone after the stretch and sweep and I was feeling quite uncomfortable. I sat through the meeting having very noticeable and regular contractions but I didn’t do any timing because I never thought they could possibly be the real thing and I didn’t want to make a big deal of anything in front of the other ladies just in case it wasn’t the real deal.

I got home just after 8 and Hannes had cooked us dinner. I ate my dinner having to stop quite often for some strong and noticeable contractions. At around 9pm they became unavoidable. We started to time them. They were at 8 mins apart and lasting 45 – 60 seconds. They moved to 5 mins apart within 2 hours and were getting much stronger. I was in bed and trying to sleep at this stage and realised it wasn’t going to happen. By now we were thinking ok, maybe this IS it!! We still were in denial though. I don’t think we wanted to get our hopes up. Eventually after I realised that the contractions weren’t going away I decided to go and have a bath. Hannes ran me a nice warm bath which was wonderful to get into. The contractions started to come faster after that though so we pretty much had to admit that this was it, the show was finally on the road. I spent some time in the bath and eventually we decided to give the midwives a page just to check in and let them know what was happening. It was around midnight by then. Asia was on call. We had a chat and she spent quite a long time on the phone with me through a few contractions just to try and get a sense of where I was. She asked if I wanted her to come through and I said I didn’t think it was necessary just yet and that she should go back to bed and we’d call her later.

After I got out of the bath and back into bed things really picked up. Sleep was not even nearly a possibility. I decided to go downstairs on my own for a while and just try and get through a few contractions on my own. I thought if I got on the couch and sat in the recliner I might be able to snooze between contractions. It doesn’t work like that though. I found that being woken from a sleep intensified the pain I felt. I managed on my own until around 3:30 and then asked Hannes to come down and be with me. (Jared was fast asleep through all of this).

Finally at around 4:30 I got Hannes to call Asia and asked her to pop over. I went and got back into the bath. It was very comfy in the bath, by far the most comfy place I could find. Asia arrived just after 5. The contractions were by now coming every 3 and sometimes 4 minutes and were very strong but when she checked me I was only at 3cms. I don’t think any of us could believe it. I had thinned out to nothing but there had been no real further dilation. I told Asia to go back home and at least have her get some more sleep. I didn’t see the sense in 3 of us sitting and watching the clock.

By 6:30am I decided I had enough. I told Hannes that I wanted to go to the hospital. I had until then never considered an epidural but at that moment it was all I wanted. I think the fact that I was in so much pain for so little progress really impacted me. I also think that at that stage I may have gotten a little bit of a 6th sense of things to come.

We called our support person for Jared and asked her to come over, we called Asia and told her to meet us at the hospital and then we started to get ready. We had to do everything in 3 minute increments because I was not able to move during a contraction. Hannes was amazing. So supportive and understanding. I would never have lasted as long as I did if it wasn’t for him.

Michelle arrived just after 8 to be with Jared. He actually only woke for the day once she had arrived. He was very happy to see her and he didn’t seem at all distressed by me being in pain or by the fact that we were leaving him to go to the hospital.

We finally arrived at the hospital at around 9:30. Asia had already admitted me so we went straight up to labour and delivery where Asia was waiting. I was put straight onto the monitor to check baby. He was doing very well. Asia checked me and there had still been no real progress. She was concerned that baby was lying posterior and asked if I would agree to have one of the doctors come in and give us a second opinion.

The doctor arrived and did a check and confirmed that they head was still very high and that there had not been much dilation for the contractions I was having. Her recommendation was that we break my water and see if that got things going at all. They then offered me something for pain. I decided on the epidural. I think they got that going at around 12pm finally. After 15 hours without pain relief and knowing that this was going to be a long haul I could have proposed marriage to the anaesthetist at that point.

Not long after that Asia called the doctor back in to come and break my water. She wanted it to be done as a controlled break because his head was still so high and so she wasn’t going to take any chances with a possible cord prolapse. My waters broke and they were clear, baby was doing well on the monitor. My epidural was working and we were good to go for a while longer. The epidural was actually amazing. I could move around but I could feel no pain. I felt some pressure when I was having a contraction but no pain. The fact that I could still feel my feet and legs and move made such a difference.

We got me up onto hands and knees to try and encourage baby to turn some and to try and get the contractions up a bit more. They had all but stopped by that stage. Things were really not looking good. The only thing left that we hadn’t tried was an Oxytocin drip. Knowing the added risks that came with that we weren’t sure if we wanted to try it. Asia decided to get another doctor in for another opinion.

The doctor arrived and checked me. He told us that although I was sitting at around 6cm by then (and had been for a good few hours) the baby’s head had not descended down and so there was nothing putting any pressure on my cervix which is what it needs in order to dilate. He said that he did not see any merit in giving the oxytocin and that the possible risks were far too great taking into account that it would not alter the course of my labour anyway. He told me that he was sorry to say that I was starting another c-section in the face. He did say that I could take as long as I wanted to try and get things going again since baby was happy but that in his opinion it was futile. He didn’t want me to feel forced into it though.

We talked about it after he left and both Hannes and I and Asia decided that it was silly to prolong the inevitable and that we would prefer to get it done while the baby was still happy and there were no emergencies.

I was wheeled into theatre just after 4:30pm and baby Joel Christopher Markusse was born at 4:55pm. He came out shouting and was perfect!! He weighed 4.12kgs and was 53cms long. We’re all healthy and happy and have no regrets. We always knew there was a chance we would need another c-section, we are just happy we got the chance to give a VBAC our best shot.

Here are a few photos from the day.
Here he is all 4.1kgs of him!!
Just back in the ward after spending close on 3 hours in recovery. Jared spent most of that time in there with us. Our first new family of 4 photograph.
Jared getting a really good look at his new baby brother.
The view from the hospital room window on the day Joel was born.
All cleaned up. Joel had this lil bro hat and Jared had a "Big Brother" t-shirt.

'till next time xxx

1 comment:

The Mupersans said...

Wooohoooo!!! Congrats and thanks for the update!!!