Jessica Viljoen tells how she had to be induced, and also how her little girl Mia had swallowed some amniotic fluid and needed suction to clear up her lungs.
Monday 20th September 2010, 16h00
Today I’m 38 weeks pregnant, and I’ve just been for a check-up at the gynea. She’s decided that due to high blood pressure, labour needs to be induced and it’s time for baby girl to arrive. I have to book in at the hospital tonight at 10pm and labour will be induced at midnight. Wow! For days I’ve been waiting for signs showing that labour is imminent – now I know it’s happening tonight! I feel very excited, quite calm, and a little bit nervous. It’s so overwhelming thinking that tomorrow at this time, I’ll be holding my little daughter!
Wyn and I went out for supper – steaks at one of our favourite restaurants, The Cattle Baron. Wyn is very relaxed, I’ve been a little bit emotional. It’s a huge, amazing, exciting thing that’s about to happen, after all! My hospital bags have been packed for a while already, but I’ve just been checking that I have everything, and making sure the house is tidy and neat. I’m going to have a divine bubble bath now – and then it’s time to embark on an awesome journey!
I’m feeling surprisingly calm at the moment, lying in the labour room, strapped to a machine that’s measuring baby girl’s heartbeat and my contraction activity, the drip has been administered, and my blood pressure is measured at regular intervals. Wyn’s just left, he’s coming back at about 6am. The nurse is going to induce me in the next hour, by inserting a gel vaginally. Then I must try and sleep a bit, it’ll be a few hours before it takes effect.
We left for the hospital just after 10pm, and in the car, Wyn played the two songs I will forever associate with my pregnancy. Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open”, and Live’s “Love Shines” – this had me in snot en trane of course! Wyn is a man of few words... but he spoke thousands of special words by playing these two songs for me. I love him so much – can’t wait to see him in his new role as a daddy!
Well, let me have a bit of a snooze – it’s a big day tomorrow!
Tuesday, 21st September 2010, 7h30
My contractions started in the early hours of the morning, but not terribly sore, felt like bad period pains coming and going. Wyn arrived just after 6am, and the anaesthetist shortly thereafter, to do his consultation for the epidural. I requested an epidural from the start, which my doctor was pleased about. She said often the pain of the contractions causes such stress and tension, that the whole process takes much longer. I do think I have a relatively high pain threshold, however, I didn’t want to test it in childbirth, and decided that seeing as medical technology is so advanced that things like epidurals are available – then why not make use of it!
The anaesthetist was a very friendly man, chatting and making jokes. He asked if I wanted him to explain the procedure, but I told him I know enough, he can go ahead. I sat on the bed, cross-legged, bent over forwards (as much as my preggy bump would allow) with my elbows resting on my legs, and my hands holding Wyn’s hands against my head. He did the anaesthetic injection, which was just a quick stinging sensation and pressure, and then passed quickly. The rest of the 5 minutes that he was busy, I was only aware of a strange pressure every now and then – nothing was sore, maybe a bit of discomfort sometimes, but no pain.
It took effect very quickly, I thought I would have absolutely no feeling or sensation in my legs, but it was like a light pins and needles type of feeling, I had some control over my right leg, could move it and even lift it a bit, but my left leg was more numb. The doc was happy with how the procedure had gone.
The nurse who has been assigned to me ruptured my membranes manually. I didn’t look at the instrument she used! Just felt some pressure, no pain, and then suddenly the sucking-type tube the nurse had was removing all the fluid that was draining. I also got something added to my drip that will help speed things up. It’s happening, it’s really happening!!
Wyn’s going to the coffee shop to have some breakfast, I’m going to snooze a while, I’ll be getting breakfast shortly soon.
It’s absolutely fascinating to watch the machine that’s tracking my contractions – the number goes really really high, sometimes I’m aware of a bit of pressure, or a feeling like a slight period cramp – but for the most of it, I’ve been sleeping through the contractions. Bliss!
I got given breakfast just now, but with a gentle warning to not eat too much, in case I have to go into theatre. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my all bran flakes and fruit!
My gynaecologist has just been to check on me – I’m 4cm dilated. She said she’s going to be back in an hour, and I must be at least 6cm dilated by then. The nurse made a comment after the doctor left, that I should know that baby’s head hasn’t dropped enough yet, and I will probably have to go into theatre. Although I would have preferred a natural birth, I still maintain that whatever is best for baby is fine with me, all I’m concerned about is her safe delivery into this world. I just hope the nurse isn’t rushing things according to her convenience. Well, let’s see how things go in the next hour! Wyn’s sitting here next to me, we’re chatting, and I’m dozing off a bit now and then.
The measurements of my contractions have really gone down in the last few minutes, not really sure what this means – I’m mentally preparing myself to be wheeled to theatre now. Still waiting for the doc to come and check on me and give her verdict, the nurse also hasn’t been here in quite a while. Hoping to be at least 6cm dilated! Here comes the doc...
I’m fully dilated!!! Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow! How amazing how things have progressed – the doctor’s grinning just as widely as I am.She wants to wait about half an hour, for baby girl’s head to drop a little bit more. Meanwhile, the nurse is going to prep the room with all the necessary equipment – I won’t spend too much time looking at everything she’s bringing in, hopefully none of it is necessary! Wyn and I are looking at each other in wide-eyed anticipation and excitement.
I’ve been given a quick lesson in how to push – it’s time to start! My gynea said she’s going to do an episiotomy, as she’s scared I tear too much, due to baby girl’s size. This is fine with me, I’m not going to start questioning or being fussy at a time like this! The doc is saying, “Oh wow, look, she’s just about ready to crown already.” There’s a really sweet midwife holding my one leg, the nurse is holding my other leg, I’m also holding my legs, and Wyn is supporting my shoulders. I take a deep breath, and start pushing – the nurse counts about 6 seconds, then I can take a quick breath, then a deep breath, and repeat the pushing. The midwife puts pressure on my tummy at the same time as I push.
The doctor and midwife are full of encouraging words, saying “well done” and “clever girl” and “almost there” – all the things one wants to hear at a time like this!After a few pushes, I’m getting quite out of breath and feeling some pressure going on down there, and I let go with a “ag nee, f#k dit!” – they all laughed and said come on, just a few more to go. OK, here goes!!!
“OK, stop pushing!” the doc says... And out slides my baby girl, and they immediately lift her up to my bare chest. I can’t stop saying, “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!” She is all pale and purple and covered in vernix and mucous, her little eyes are quite swollen – but she is just beautiful and perfect to me.
The nurse takes her and puts her in a crib in the corner of the room, seems baby girl swallowed some amniotic fluid and needs some suction to help clear her lungs. Suddenly she starts squealing like a lil piggy, wow! She got wrapped in a towel and brought back to me, and stopped crying but was making these litte grunting sounds, too precious. I just looked at Wyn through my tears, and he was standing next to me, looking at me and his baby daughter in total wonder and amazement. Wyn then went with the nurse for baby girl to be weighed.
During this time the doctor and midwife have delivered the placenta and are now doing the stitches, I’m not aware of them at all. After a few minutes Wyn returns holding his little daughter – what a precious sight! Her weight measured in at 3.65kg. Her Apgar score was 4/10 after one minute – due to the amniotic fluid she swallowed she was struggling a bit – but then her score after ten minutes was 10/10. Yay!
The nurse gave us a few minutes with our baby girl, but has now taken her to be placed in the incubator for a while – she is a bit cold.
I still can’t stop saying “Oh wow, oh wow, so awesome, oh wow” – and am now telling the doctor thanks for an amazing birth experience. I feel fantastic!! The nurse and midwife are giving me a bit of a wipe down – I’m just grinning away, it’s so awesome that it went so well and that I feel so good! We are so blessed.
Welcome, Mia Jill Viljoen – you’re my little angel straight out of heaven, an amazing gift from God. I am your mommy, and I promise to be the best mommy I know how to be. I love you!