An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Thursday, July 15, 2004  

Giving Birth - the REAL story (III)

New midwife arrives and after she settles in and we exhange gossip (an induced patient just went up for her caesarian - I congratulate myself on refusing to submit to this). We start pushing at 9.45am. She takes one leg and hubby the other and when a contraction comes I do 3 big pushes. One hour later and with two more midwives we are still at it. I'm getting weaker and vomiting after every effort. I hear a phone ring and its the ward sister. One hour is usually the maximum pushing time before they bring in instruments. But I've birth plans posted everywhere begging for a natural birth and they appear to be going out of their way to respect that. Ward sister comes in and for fifteen minutes we really go at it. But I'm in a different world now. All I see are the midwife's eyes and I put everything into pushing and pushing. In between I collapse back onto the pillow, eyes closed and completely zone out while I wait for the next one. When I feel the contraction coming I tell them and we resume positions and go for it. But now I'm only managing 2 pushes per contraction before I puke and collapse. The head's been in the same position for ages and going nowhere. The midwife asks can she do an episiotomy. The doctors are coming and if we don't get it out now it'll be forceps city. I weep but she swears it will work. I say ok and to be honest feel nothing as I see her cutting. I do another push and collapse. In the distance I hear this soft voice. It's the left leg midwife. (Ward sister has the right, mine is in between and hubby has the puke tray). "Sarah, if you look down you can see your baby now". I have a look and sure enough, there's a baby's head lying between my legs. It looks like the side of a turkey. Pointy at the ends. Its HUGE. No wonder I couldn't get the bloody thing out. Its purple. I do another push and feel the shoulder and the whole body wriggling out. Its a boy! Smiles all round. "Oh, darling," I proclaim to hubby, "your father will be so pleased" (odd looks from the midwives but there has been a proliferation of girls and no one to carry on the family name - grandad was getting understandably anxious at the number of xx chromosomes floating around).
The midwife and a doctor cut the chord (no time for the hippy stuff of allowing it drain before cutting). I can see them in a corner cleaning and aspirating. This is the tense minute. As it inhaled the miconeum? I can see them conferring with one another. Eventually she turns round. He's fine. As the paediatrician leaves we thank him profusely. Left leg midwife in the meantime gives a tug on the chord and the placenta arrives. Wow!!! Its really huge!!!! Massive! This is the turkey. Christmas size. I ask her if it's complete (v. important). It is. I ask if there are any signs of aging (because all the inducement threats referred to the dangers of aging placentas). It's fine. She asks do we want to keep it. I ask hubby if he wants to stir fry it with some sauteed onions. Naa. L'oreal can have it for research...altho' maybe we should have planted it under a tree.

Anyway, hubby holds baby while midwife stitches me up. The room clears and suddenly I have a kind of mini seizure. I am gasping and my whole body goes into spasm and its puke time again. An hour later I am still at it, but by this stage I am so weak I can't even lift my head off the pillow and the midwife has to put loads of kitchen towel under me. I have a weep and wonder if I am seriously ill but she re-assures me. My poor little body is in shock. It was all just too much. I also weep because I know you're supposed to be holding the baby but I am totally incapable. But it's nice to see hubby minding him. After another hour I am recovered but we agree I should stay in hospital. Under my scheme the midwife is supposed to bring me home and visit me every day but this goes out the window now. I'm wheeled off to the ward. Cracking jokes and delighted.

The humiliations of a catherer due to my failure to pee await me, but I am oblivious and happy. More tomorrow.

posted by Sarah | 10:17 0 comments
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