Thursday is Phoenix's day off day care. We had fun playing around though getting on the floor and moving was becoming more and more difficult. I'd suggested to Phoenix we go and have a lie down. I was in bed relaxing. No signs of labour but my Braxton Hicks had been non stop for days now. Literally back to back but no pain so I wasn't worried. As I lay there trying to get Phoenix to rest I have a contraction - A decent one. Hello? Should I get excited? I'd had a few false starts over the weeks so I ignored it and tried to lie down and rest - hoping they'd pick up in frequency. 5 minutes later another one. Ouch. These felt different... Another one 5 minutes later. I couldn't lie down. These ones demanded I get up and move. Should I call my midwife? Nah- I'll give it an hour.... 5 minutes later another one... I started to have diarrhea too - This was looking promising! Actually - I'd better call my midwife. First contraction started at 4pm and I called my midwife around 4.20pm.
'Hi Kathy, I think I might need to change our appt tonight - I think I'm in labour'
Kathy was here within 15 minutes. She'd called an ambulance on the way (Always in our plan as we didn't want a breech baby delivered roadside if we could avoid it) and checked me out as soon as she arrived. It'd only been 30 mins since my first contraction - I was already 5cm. Holy cow!
I called mum and organised Tane to drop Phoenix off at Mum and dad's place. This was finally happening!
I climbed into the ambulance and assumed an all fours position with my arms wrapped around the head of the bed and I used two buckles to brace myself with through each rolling surge. They were certainly picking up in intensity.
Tane was following behind the ambulance. I had just finished joking with the ambo guy Phil that 'I hear labouring women are your worse nightmare and I know you guys hate it when our waters go so I'll do my best to hold on til we get to the hospital' only to have a huge contraction 5 minutes later followed by a pop and a massive gush as my waters went everywhere! Oooops! Sorry Phil.
I called Tane, Change of plans. Meet mum at the mobil oteha and get to hospital ASAP - He asked me if I could see them behind the ambulance I couldn't stop laughing. I was way too focused on riding the waves of labour.
When we got to Albany there was traffic so the ambulance went lights and sirens and got on to the bus lanes to get me to the hospital. Kathy was keeping an eye on bubs heartbeat which was perfect. There was Meconium in my waters but that's to be expected with a breech bub. my contractions were getting closer, longer and harder but still manageable. I kept my breathing deep and low. Lots of moaning. I just really hoped Tane would make it in time for the birth.
We arrived at hospital and transferred me up to the birth unit. Kathy had everyone on stand by. My room was flooded with people quite quickly after I arrived. I went to the bathroom, had a check to find I was now 7cm dilated but babies bum was still quite high. I then assumed my all four position on the bed and proceeded to try and break the bed head (I see a similarity here to how I labored with Phoenix hahaha). Because bub was breech each contraction would squeeze the meconium out of bub and onto the bed liner they had put down for me. It was weird and I never anticipated so much meconium from one baby. On the up-shot though - One less Meconium nappy to change right?
Tane arrived a short while later; as did my mum and Phoenix. They'd decided it really was better for mum to meet Tane at the hospital. I said hello to mum and Phoenix. Told Phoenix how much I loved him and how soon he would be a big brother then he left with mum. It was almost a little sad to know it was the last time Phoenix would be with us as a family of three but I was so excited for him to be a big brother - I know he's going to be awesome.
I was set up on the ctg for continuous monitoring. My contractions were definitely getting stronger and closer. Baby seemed to be doing fine and recovering well after each contraction so I was happy.
The OB consult on call was Jye - She came in and still recommended a c-section. We went through the worse case if I went ahead with a VBB which was head entrapment with the need to split my pelvis to get baby out - This would be a long long recovery and baby might end up brain damaged or dead. It was hard to have a rational conversation with me as I was managing my waves of labour and it took all my focus to keep my breathing on track. Tane was awesome at reminding me to just breathe. Deep and slow - Breathe Sarah - Breathe.
An IV was attempted and I nearly killed the lady inserting it. The line went in my wrist and I instantly felt like acid had been poured into my vein. I started screaming for her to get it out, get it out now! She fucked around for what felt like eternity (It was probably only a minute or so) then I went to take it out myself and she final removed it. That was horrendous. Her second attempt on the back of my hand went in no trouble, no pain, no discomfort. My wrist (A week later) still bears the bruise of her handy work and still gives me pain when touched. Lets say she wasn't my favorite person this night.
More pressure for a c-section and I just couldn't think with all that my body was doing. I knew I was in a room full of people who didn't believe in me or my body or my baby. I knew I was fighting a losing battle and I was very aware any perceived 'distress' would be straight to theater. I also knew it would be harder to have anything I wanted in a c-section the closer we got to full dilation. I didn't want to labor for hours only to end up with a c-section. I told Tane to make the decision and either way he had to be happy with the consequences and he had to support me with whatever recovery there was... So c-section it was.
A cervix check before heading off to theater had me back at 5cm dilated - Maybe this was the right decision....? It was still a very bitter pill to swallow.
I was prep'd and in theater within 10 minutes of the decision being made. I was given a spinal instead of an epidural due to a back injury. The local was a tiny pinch and the actual spinal itself I barely felt - ironically this was one f my key worries about having a c-section. I felt sorry for the lady administering it as I was still contracting hard and fast and I couldn't stand anyone touching me while having a contraction so she literally had minutes to find the spot and administer the drugs. Straight away my feet felt heavy and weird so I lay down. I asked for some anti nausea knowing anesthetics make me feel sick. I had three more contractions before they disappeared due to the spinal. A catheter was put in which was uncomfortable. Next they set up the drape and all the ECG leads, BP cuff and what not. During this time they had started pinching my belly to see if I had feeling. I was fine on my left and middle section but I could feel the pinching on my right hand side. Like a pin being pushed into my skin. The anesthetist didn't look too happy and said my only other option was a general (They couldn't give me another spinal) - She said 'lets go with it and see how you feel' -And feel I did. Tane tried to distract me with music. It was a good distraction too but nothing would prepare me for the pain to come.
The cutting open wasn't too bad. Like a sharp knife blade being gently pressed into my belly and the whole delivery part was very quick - maybe 10 minutes. Lots of pushing and pulling. Jye asked me to 'Push baby out Sarah- Come on. Big push down into your belly' which I didn't expect and in a way helped me feel like I had 'Delivered' my baby. Once bub was out we were blessed with 3 minutes delayed cord clamping then our baby was presented to us face first, dripping wet. My gosh what a spitting image of Phoenix. Next, and some what unexpectedly, we got a bum view with Jye asking 'And what sex is baby?' and I was shocked and overwhelmed to see a girls bits staring me in the face. We had a daughter! I cried. Royal by Lorde was playing at the time our daughter was brought Earthside - I wonder if it's a sign of things to come hahaha. Four days later we would notice a small graze on Saige's bottom. Looks like the scalpel nicked her during the delivery. I wonder if it will eave a life long scar? A story to tell that's for sure.
There was a change to the atmosphere of the OR shortly after Saige was born. I couldn't put my finger on it and they handled the situation well but something was amiss. I would later find out my uterus has torn and I was hemorrhaging. I lost 1.2L of blood - boarder-line needing a transfusion or so I'm told.
The 'Put me back together' was HORRENDOUS. I kept vomiting and kept being given anti-nausea meds but they just didn't seem to be cutting it for me. I couldn't stop shaking (Common I know) and the pain was excruciating on my right side. I almost passed out twice and had to ask them to stop on one occasion just so I could breathe and compose myself. The repair work took longer than expected and I was in so much agony I struggled to do skin to skin or breast feed Saige while in the OR. Thankfully Tane was able to do the skin to skin right there in the theater until such time as I could. I tell you I have never felt relief like it when they said they were all finished. In hind sight maybe the general would have been a better option.
Once I was in the recovery room I was able to breast feed and skin to skin cuddle with Saige. She was weighed. She was chubby - I knew that just by looking at her! She checked in earth side at 7.24pm on Thursday 19th January- Weighing an impressive 10lb 5oz. She is 54cm long and her head was 37.5cm round. She is perfection.
I spent the night unable to move my legs due to the spinal. My right side 'un-numbed' much faster than my left side which was such a weird sensation. Saige and I spent the entire first night skin to skin and I didn't sleep a wink despite being exhuasted. I spent the night vomiting - We suspect from the morphine. The next morning I was up and moving as soon as I could. I wanted the pain pump out and the catheter too. By 3pm in the afternoon we were cleared to head up to Warkworth birthing unit where I stayed for 4 night.
Recovery has been 'Easier' than I expected. Pain management is key. I came off the morphine within 24 hours and have been managing well with panadol and Ibrufen. I still struggle to get out of bed and my incision is tight and achy and still numb. My torso feels really bruised which in all fairness it probably is - I feel like I've done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson focusing on my stomach. Gas has been a major problem. Coughing and sneezing suck so does underwear in general as the bands just sit at the wrong height for my incision. I can't bend down yet but hope to some time soon.
Breast Feeding has had different challenges with the incision making it hard to put much weight on my belly but Saige and I are managing well.
I'm finding the limitations with regards to driving, lifting and generally getting around very frustrating. It's been such a different recovery to the one I had with Phoenix.
The up shot of a c-section? My bleeding has been minimal - 5 days pp and it's almost gone. Hey there's got to be at least one positive right?
Now Saiges name - What does it mean?
Saige - Is a wise person or a herb with healing properties
Wynter - comes from a character in a trilogy I read who was brave, bold, strong, admirable and capable. Everything I could hope my daughter would aspire to be.The trilogy is the Moorehawk series.
Lucille - Is my middle name handed down from my mother and named after a family friend called Lucy who passed away just before I was born. She would often visit me in spirit form when I was a child. She was apparently an amazing woman.
How'd our family react?
Yvonne was delighted to have her first grand-daughter after 5 grand sons. I'm sure this girl will be spoilt for choice in the knitting department!
My Parents we thrilled at add another grand baby to the clan.
Bill was delighted about his grand daughters arrival too.
Phoenix was amazing. oh my heart. When he first saw Saige he just wanted to cuddle and kiss her to within an inch of her life. He proudly shows her off to anyone and everyone saying 'This is my sister Saige, come say hello'. My heart just about explodes with the beauty of it. He's such and incredible big brother - Saige is a lucky girl.
So, despite this birth turning to shit and me having to mange the sudden change so late in my pregnancy- I am beyond happy Saige is here safe and well. Would I ever have a C-Section again - In all honest not if I had a choice. If I NEEDED one I'd be asking for a general because I couldn't face going through that again. I cant see us having any more children so I doubt this will be a problem in the future. We happy with our 'Matching set' - our 'Salt and Pepper' - our Saige and Phoenix.
EDIT TO ADD:
- My incision has a numbness around it - a band about 5-6cm wide and running the length of my incision. From the sounds of it this is likely to be permanent. Another added bonus of a c-section right?