Tuesday 5 August 2008

The Birth Story

I've told this story so many times but there are still people asking - What happened? Why did he arrive so much earlier than expected? So here it is in all it's gory detail.

From before I even fell pregnant this second time my OB had said that in light of what had happened with Banjo she wanted me to deliver any future babies at 37 weeks (anything from 37 weeks is considered full-term even though most pregnancies go to 40 weeks). So although Noah's due date was technically August 27th we expected to be induced today August 5th.

For the last 4 or 5 weeks I had been going to the hospital twice a week for CTG monitoring just to keep an eye on things and it had always shown a perfect heartbeat. On Tuesday July 22nd the same was the case except the midwife who does the monitoring felt that I had gotten too large too quickly and that I may be carrying excess amniotic fluid. She really didn't want me to leave the hospital until my OB Margo had seen me and organised for me to have an emergency appointment. I saw my doctor and she gave me a quick scan and then no more than 5 minutes later was calling the ward and having me admitted.

Apparently I had a condition called polyhydramnios - literally too much water. The concern was that I would go into early labour and as Noah wasn't engaged the cord can fall through causing complications. I was going to need a Caesar and until then needed to do everything possible not to go into natural labour. (Here is a link to some more information about my condition http://www.babycenter.com.au/pregnancy/complications/polyhydramnios)

I was in complete shock - I had shown up for a routine check and wasn't going home again. At this point a very preliminary plan of action was laid out for me before she raced off to deliver a baby. I was to be admitted and have bed rest for a week then have a Caesar the following Wednesday July 30th ( a week earlier than originally planned). She sent me for a full scan then I was to check in to my room and wait for her to come and talk to me a couple of hours later. Rob raced to the hospital from work so he could be present when Margo came to give us more info about what was happening.

When Margo came and saw the results of my full scan it turned out the extent of my polyhydramnios was worse than originally thought and coupled with the fact that Noah was a large baby already she advised us she would be moving the Caesar forward to Friday August 1st.

Mine and Rob's heads were spinning - we weren't ready. The baby's bassinet was still in the box, my hospital bag wasn't packed, the house was a mess, the laundry basket was overflowing and worst of all I hadn't had my waxing done and my haircut!! I convinced Margo to give me a chance to come home and at least pack my own bag. I was a woman possessed - I tidied the house, put on loads of washing, dropped the rest off to mum and went and had my haircut. It really helped me feel more in control of an out of control situation. Little did I know what was to come.

I spent an uneventful night in the hospital then it all happened. Wednesday morning the nurses did all the standard observations on me - blood pressure, temperature etc then started some routine heart monitoring on the baby. Unlike every other time I've been monitored this time the baby's heart rate was dropping down below 90 (usually around 145). The midwife told me that something was wrong and she would have to call Margo to come and see me. Margo was in theatre doing a Caesar but was in my room within 10 minutes telling me that this baby was coming out now. It was 9.50am when they told me I was having my Caesar immediately and Noah was born at 11.00am. Luckily Rob was already on route to the hospital to visit me before starting his days work or he may have missed the whole thing.

The drama didn't end there though - the Caesar itself turned out to be very eventful as well.

I was rushed to theatre with a midwife monitoring the baby, the anaesthetist was trying to put a cannula in my arm, other nurses were putting on pressure stockings - there were people everywhere. There was some talk of putting me under a general but the decision was made to try for the spinal block and see how it went. Once the spinal was in place everything should have calmed down but for some reason I was having strange reactions. I was losing consciousness and vomiting (all over the anaesthetist). There was a lot of concern about the amount of blood I was losing and an emergency call for blood to transfuse was made (It turned out I lost nearly 2 litres and had a half a litre transfusion that evening but it was not the disaster they had originally thought). Some of the details are a bit sketchy but essentially after it was all over the anaesthetist told Rob and I he had not a scare like that from a patient in several years - seemingly he thought I was in really big trouble.

They ended up concluding that it may have only been a severe compression of the vein that runs down the left side of the body which cut off oxygen supply to my brain. It's really normal to have a mild compression of the vein in pregnancy and it's what makes pregnant women feel lightheaded and unable to sleep on their back.

No matter how it transpired Noah arrived safe and sound and tomorrow he'll be two weeks old. We are the happiest two people on the planet and can't wipe the smiles off our faces.

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Hi thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. It is nice to know someone is listening.


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