Dec 05, 2012
Well, I fully intended to get this written months ago but the time just has disappeared since Saffi's arrival!!
It all began 11 days earlier than my due date on 14 August.. I had just got home from an appointment at the hospital when the cramps started .. an hour later I realised that there had been 4 of them that hour and thought, hmmm .. could this be the beginning?? Well, I have to say that I really enjoyed the beginning of my labour, the periods between contractions I felt calm and awash with lovely endorphins and was chatting to a good friend who was giving me loads of tips. My DH arrived home about 5 hours after the contractions began (I had told him I was fine and not to hurry) to find me screaming at the top of my voice and he panicked!! I've never seen him like it .. running everywhere trying to get everything on our list done (I hadn't even finished packing). I kept telling him I was fine and then another contraction would hit and I would be screaming all over again.
I phoned the birth centre around 8pm (9 hours after it had started) to say that although my contractions were still sporadic in time, they were now so powerful that I couldn't speak, stand or do anything but yell during them .. they told me that they needed to be less than 5 mins apart and regular .. well, some were 5 mins, some were 8 then 4 then 10 but they were so crazy full on that I knew I was progressing!
I tried to rest between but by midnight I was getting so tired but they just told me to get in the bath again and take painkillers .. I did this and screamed through the bath .. the neighbours must have got no sleep!! then finally at 2am they were suddenly coming every 4 mins so we got the green light to go in.
When we arrived we were so happy we'd made the birth centre decision .. it was so nice and comfortable in there and really quiet too .. that is until I started yelling at the top of my lungs! After my exam where I was 4-5 cms dilated, I asked for pain relief and they said to try the shower first .. half an hour into being covered hot water from 3 shower heads (very nice) .. I got in the huge bath .. but the pain was really becoming unbearable so I got a morphine shot .. this was great as although the contractions were just as painful, I was able to relax inbetween .. my DH dosed beside me (queen bed) while I quietly talked to the wonderful midwife who was starting IVF ... it was a wonderful 3 hours!
She then examined me again and to our dismay, I was still only 4-5cms!! I cried then .. I was so tired and to know that nothing had progressed over 4 hours was really upsetting .. our lovely midwife's shift ended then and we got an equally lovely one next who broke my waters and then made me start moving around .. I was sucking on the gas like no tomorrow and it was doing nothing .. the pain was off the chart!! After another 4 hours of this I was crying with every contraction and couldn't believe it with the next exam that I still hadn't progressed .. this was the end of my birth centre experience
I was whisked through to the labour ward and I promptly begged for an epidural as they put me on a drip to speed things up .. all my natural birth ideas went out the window then after 24 hours of labour .. well, I have to say .. I needed it as they had to pump me full of syntocinon to get the contractions happening faster .. they upped the dose 4 times and told me each time that without the epidural this would have been incredibly painful .. I knew I had made the right decision then. 8 hours after being moved to the labour ward and getting the epi I was fully dilated and ready to push .. at this stage they were saying that Saffi was taking longer to recover from each contraction so I just wanted her out safely!! .. well, after what seemed like an eternity of pushing and pushing and nothing happening, they scanned me and discovered that Saffi was sitting posterier and her head was deflexed .. meaning it was bent back as far as she could get it .. they told me then that unless they could turn her manually, she wouldn't be able to come out the birth canal as she had wedged herself in by bending her neck back so far .. and they couldn't use vacuum or forseps as only her forehead was showing and they had to attach to the crown of the head.
Well, everything went into overdrive then, I was whisked through to theatre and prepped before they tried to manually turn her but when that didn't work, they had to push her back up the birth canal and then in what seemed like seconds, they had me open and she was here! 15 August 2012 at 7.21pm, 10 days early, Saffi Elizabeth Gumley entered our lives.