Heather's birth story: 'The birth of PrincessIce'
Heather shares the story of her almost perfect birth.
Photo credit: Acidice
Just before Christmas we were visiting with Milla and Dennis when I started feeling contractions. They felt different to Braxton Hicks, but I had no back ache. That night between 01:00 and 03:30 I was having contractions about every 5 minutes... Then suddenly nothing. Everything stopped. Christmas came and went uneventfully.
We spent New Year’s Eve with Milla and them again; everyone waiting with baited breath to see if PrincessIce would make an appearance. She stay firmly put. On News Year’s Day I was in a lot of pain. My pelvis hurt so badly I could only limp around. Sitting down/getting up/turning around were all excruciating. We spent the day at the in-laws. I spent a little time in the pool hoping for some relief, no such luck. I spent the rest of the day on the bed in front of the fan, occasionally in tears because I couldn't move without hurting myself. I moaned on Twitter and even said I would ask the gynae to take her out at my appointment the next day since I could not handle it any more.
Our gynae appointment was scheduled for 8 am, but when we arrived the receptionist was surprised to see us. The gynae was in theatre. When I had seen his partner in December they had forgotten to write my appointment down in the book. I showed my appointment card with my booking and we were asked to be patient. We waited a little under an hour which is pretty standard anyway. Before we even started he told me he is not available over the weekend as he had some personal business to attend to. I advised him about my discomfort and we joked about the epidural as we usually do. I mentioned that I wouldn't mind if he took her out. He did a scan and estimated her weight at around 3.3/3.5 kg. He said he would like to do an internal examination, which was pretty damn uncomfortable. Why do they tell you to relax when they are sticking fingers all the way up to your cervix?!? Because they don’t know what that feels like is why! He then dropped a bombshell... I was already. 1.5 cm dilated!
He sat us down and asked whether we would like to meet our daughter that day. Even though it was something I actually did want, I was faced with mixed emotions. Babyice was born at 38 weeks and 5 days. I was 38 weeks 5 days pregnant. Babyice was born on the 2nd of February, it was the 2nd of January. I asked how we would proceed and the gynae said we would induce and PrincessIce should arrive by about 17:30. I have terrible memories of the pain of induced birth from when Jamie was born, but I decided we should take the plunge!
The gynae phoned the labour ward to warn them I was coming and that they must make sure they call him to administer my epidural in time. Heh. I was sent straight to the ward and prepped. We called Leebeesa to come and fetch Babyice as we had arranged that she would look after him while his sister was born. Rudi started notifying family and friends while I notified people via Twitter and Facebook.
The gynae induced around 10:00 and said he would be back by 11:45 to administer the epidural. Contractions started and were manageable. We were told to walk around in the ward a bit. Just like in the movies! We never did that with Babyice. The contractions started getting stronger and I wished I had a birthing ball. 11:45 came and went. I became increasingly cranky and repeatedly asked them to check where the gynae was. He was dropping the ball! I had not had breakfast as the appointment was really early, I only drank some Energade to fight off the hunger. When the contractions and pain became too much for me to handle I brought it all up. Rudi was sweet enough to tie up my hair for me and wipe my mouth. I didn’t actually want my mouth wiped, but he was just trying to help. Eventually at almost 13:00 the gynae waltzed in there and they got me ready. Rudi held my hand while the epidural was done. It hurt a lot less than I remember and before long I could feel that warm feeling washing over my legs. He also injected what he referred to as a cocktail which must of had some happy drugs in it. If asked to describe how I felt, the word ‘lovely’ comes to mind. I was 3 cm dilated when the epidural was administered. The only side effect I experienced from the epidural was some itching and just before birth I was extremely cold, teeth chattering cold. My waters were broken and I sent Rudi off to go get food as he had also not eaten all day.
Rudi had not even been gone for an hour and a half when they came to check me again. I was dilated 7 cm! The gynae “topped up” my epidural to ensure I didn't suddenly experience pain at the most painful time possible. With Babyice it took me quite a few hours to dilate. I was sure that the epidural would slow down the dilation. The nurse started to prepare for the birth. I could feel PrincessIce’s head moving down into the birth canal. Those last 3 cm happened really fast! Before you could say push, I was told to push! It was really difficult for me to push since the new epidural meds were still pretty fresh and I couldn't feel whether or not I was pushing. I couldn't even feel the immense pressure of her exiting as I did with Babyice. The gynae, nurse and Rudi all guided me and cheered me on as I did the best I could. In a few minutes I heard her cry for the first time. I couldn't see her, but the look on Rudi’s face was priceless. The first thing he said was ‘And she has your nose’.
Rudi cut the umbilical chord and she was immediately placed on my chest. She was still covered in gunk. She is just perfect. PrincessIce weighed a whopping 3.795 kg at birth! (Babyice had weighed 3.555 kg) A minute or two later the nurse spotted the breastfeeding consultant walking past and beckoned her. She helped me to latch PrincessIce and we got breastfeeding off to a start minutes after birth, just as I had wanted.
Again I was blessed with a perfect birth. I only received one stitch this time and it doesn't need any intervention or treatment.
Thank you for all the messages of love, support, concern and congratulations received. We were overwhelmed.
This post originally appeared on acidicice.co.za. Post used with permission.
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