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Birth Stories: BORN SIX WEEKS EARLY
My first born (now 17months) was 5 weeks early and was in special care for about 2 weeks. The labour then was much different to what I experienced the second time around.
I was preparing myself for another premature delivery but it still took me by surprise when my little one decided to nudge 6 weeks early.
My husband, Shaun, and I visited the clinic for our weekly visit at 6:30am, we normally go in together and then catch the train to work afterwards. During the clinic visit I mentioned to my midwife that I was feeling a little uncomfortable down the pelvic area which comes and goes, could it be that the baby is engaged this early? She then checked the position of the baby and said that it's fine, the baby is sitting on top of the pelvis and hasn't engaged yet. What I'm feeling is normal around the pelvic area at this stage.
Shaun and I headed off to work by train and I couldn't help thinking about this feeling I had which kept coming and going. So in the train we sat talking about it when Shaun decided to time it to see if there is a pattern. The timing showed 4 minutes apart lasting about a minute. They weren't painful at all and we were quite surprised about it, even gave the people in the train something to talk about.
I still got to work wanting to make an 8:30am meeting I had with our Sales & Training staff. I mentioned to my manager that I think I'm having contractions although I wasn't 100% sure, since I've just been to see the midwife who checked me. She asked me to go home straight away but I wanted to attend the meeting and eat the gorgeous breakfast they usually have every week. I thought to myself that if I was going to go to the hospital, the last thing I wanted to do was to go hungry! Sitting in the boardroom word got around that I was having contractions, you can imagine the conversations around the table now!
By 9am the contractions were more definite and I somehow knew that this was going to be it. However living in denial I decided to call the hospital to see what they thought I should do. The midwife on the phone said not to worry about it at this stage and asked me to take some panadol and get some rest. I said, bugger that I'm leaving work and heading to the hospital now. However in peak hour traffic from the city I couldn't risk taking a taxi to the hospital which would take about an hour. So I decided to catch the train back to the hospital, which took about 25mins. Sitting in the train by myself, with contractions 4mins apart and getting intense, I tried to concentrate on calming myself rather than getting too excited. With one hand stroking my belly, I was also thinking about what was ahead of me.
When I got to the hospital at 10am, they put me on monitors to see if I was in labour. But not only was I in labour, I was 3 cm dilated! At this stage my contractions are getting very intense by the minute.
Concentrating on my breathing I quietly watch the midwives frantically running around getting things organized. I had a drip put in my arm and they quickly gave me the gas to cope with the pain, I had no idea what was going on as the pain was very intense. I had someone call my husband to come here quickly as I really needed his support. I kept asking for the epidural for some pain relief but they only gave me the gas, without explaining why they are frantically running around. Shaun arrived at 1pm and by now I'm completely exhausted and shocked by the pain, I was 5cm dilated. I couldn't understand why they wouldn't give me the epidural when I asked for it half an hour ago. The gas didn't do me any good, it made me say anything and everything that was on my mind and the excruciating pain just didn't go away.
At 1:45pm a different midwife came in and asked me how I was doing and I said "I want the epidural but the other midwife wouldn't give it to me!". She said to me "That's OK darling, I'll organize it for you, however I need to check how dilated you are and then we can go from there. But if you are more than 8cms dilated then there is no point giving it to you."
I replied "There is no chance of me being more than 8cms, as I was only 5cms half an hour ago."
She examined me and said "Sweetheart you are 9cm dilated, you're pretty much ready to push". I said "that can't be true, surely I'm not! There's no way I am going to push"
I gave a little push and the contraction pain slowly went away and there was a different yet familiar feeling of the urge to push. With one push the head already showed. Second push the head came out. With a little more and my baby boy came out at 1:52pm, weighing 2.820kgs. I slumped back into the bed as they whisked my baby boy away into Special Care Unit, I was exhausted. He spent 2 weeks in Special Care, due to being premature.
With my first baby I went through 28 hours of labour, having the pethadine, sleeping tablets and epidural, it was a complete different experience to the 4 hours of labour and no pain relief I had with my second baby.
I now look at my son, Deren who is now a healthy and strong 3 month old, and think about what I went through and how it's all worth it when I smell him, feel him and watch him smile at me. I'd go through it all again, as I think about wanting a third baby in a couple of years time.
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