I am thrilled to have a very lovely and very talented lady write about her experiences with an epidural. I love reading about other ladies experiences in labour and childbirth, so I thank Dawn aka the very talented AudreysCat
Now sorry to say this is primarily a tale of boredom , spiced up a brief spell of intense drama – but it does have a happy ending I promise you…
Now I was one of those terribly inefficient women who was in labour for a long time, a very LONG time….72 hours …yes I’m afraid so. It does happen but it’s not 72 hours of rolling around in agony , it is very tiring and very, very boring!
The first 24 hours was what I’ve heard described as an ebb and flow labour , low level cramps and uncomfortable enough to interfere with sleeping. We’d be into hospital that day to discuss induction but realised that things were slowly progressing anyway. We arranged to go back next morning at 9am – if not earlier ( we’d got our hopes up Ha!) . A bath, paracetamol and tens machine enabled me to get about 4 hours sleep ( and how I wish I’d had more….)
SO back into hospital 9am, more cramps /contractions not eye rollingly bad but certainly enough to stop me in my tracks….and so it went on …and on…all day. Nurses sent Husband home, correctly judging nothing was happening soon….but I had NO SLEEP that night at all.
Next morning down to delivery room stronger, frequent contractions but very slow progress. By now I was exhausted, falling asleep between contractions and frankly p*ssed off . There were a lot of emergencies it seemed and we did not see a midwife for about a hour and half, until I ordered hubby out to capture one. Finally we had some attention and a promise of an epidural , duly given at 5pm. I fell asleep…bliss. From then on in the midwives…and we got through a few …were great. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE HOW FAB EPIDURALS ARE UNTIL YOU HAVE HAD NEARLY 2 DAYS OF LABOUR WITH ONLY 4 HOURS SLEEP . Trust me on this…..
Then another night of labour, good pain control, a bit a sleep but a very long night.
At about 8.30am it all kicked off….finally action. But maybe a bit too much! Baby was stuck and I was VERY tired, a failed ventouse didn’t help matters and Doctor had to resort to forceps. By now I had with me Hubby, one midwife, one student midwife and 3 doctors. Clearly this was getting a bit dramatic. Main Doctor said that we were on the verge of needing a caesarean. Now I was in pain, but not out of control and I’d had at least some rest. I was together enough to say ‘Look if the baby is in trouble do it but if you are worried about me I can push a bit longer’, so he agreed another 15 minutes. Well with a lot of cheering on by this roomful of people we finally got the job done! My son was greeted into the world by the doctor exclaiming ‘Look at the size of him!’, and he said I’d done VERY well! My son weighed 8lbs 14oz, and his head circumference was in the 95 percentile range , very large, he was absolutely fine and remains to this day a very relaxed child. It had taken a team of people and 15 hours worth of epidural! The drama wasn’t quite over as I’d bled quite badly and the next day I needed 3 units transfused. I was quite ill for a while and stayed in hospital for a few more days, and was then sent straight to bed by my lovely Mother-in-law for more rest when I got home.
By most assessments this could read as a bit of a nightmare but I can honestly say I was not particularly traumatised by it. I’d gone into this with lots of info’, an open mind about the type of labour I wanted and I’m not bothered by medical stuff. Although my son looked a bit battered by his birth, he was a settled, contented baby and remains to this day a relaxed, sociable, intelligent child.
In any case it can’t have been that bad as I had a second son 20 month later, only a 30 hour labour this time! But we were expecting it to be long even if the midwives thought they knew better …Again I had an epidural, and a good sleep before active labour. This time only 7 pushes needed – ‘Easy’ I said to the midwife ( who looked at me as if I were mad – she hadn’t been there 1st time around!) . Afterwards she remarked that it had been the calmest birth she’d ever attended. No drama, healthy 7lb 13oz boy, job done!
I think that was when I realised how poorly I had been first time around, because THIS time I didn’t feel like I’d been run over by a truck!
I have since been told I have a slightly misaligned pelvis and I have some hypermobility in my joints? Maybe this allowed my pelvis to get into worse shape as my pregnancy progressed. Maybe this contributed to my length of labour? Otherwise I did all the usual things to get things going, moving around, standing up ( until I was falling over with tiredness), they broke my waters, etc. but for me that didn’t make a difference… However all’s well that end well – But I’m not having any more if you don’t mind.
And I like to give whoever came up with epidurals a big fat kiss!
Wow Dawn, what a story! I'm glad all was well in the end!
If you would like to share your Birth Story on White Lily Green, let me know - I'd love to feature it!
Photo from morguefile.