Let’s talk labour or rather the lack of!

Posted by Danica Quabba on

Hi all let’s talk labour or rather the lack of!

Disclaimer: Always follow direction from a medical professional.

So following on from my intro, I thought I should take things back to the beginning. I remember returning from my honeymoon quite sick, I had previously been told I would struggle to ever fall pregnant naturally due to endometriosis, so I honestly thought I had a virus. Long story short for some reason on the 1st of July 2016 I took a pregnancy test and got the shock of my life when it came back positive, to say we were over the moon was an understatement.

I remember seeing that little heartbeat on the screen for the first time and the overwhelming love I felt for that small jellybean. The pregnancy was eventful to say the least, I had hyperemesis for the first half of the pregnancy, a suspected sinus thrombosis in my brain at 11 weeks which landed me a 1 week stay in hospital and later on heartburn and pelvic seperation.

At 32 weeks I was hospitalised for hypoglycemia which was honestly scare as f**k! We got to my 36 week check up and just my luck little miss had turned breach and was LGA (large for gestational age). I booked for a c-section and had my date. I feel like as a first time mum there is this overwhelming pressure to have a "natural birth" so reluctantly made the decision to have an ECV, this is where they turn the baby manually. Looking back now (hindsight is a wonderful thing) this was the worst decision I have ever made and I don't say that lightly.

I got to 40 weeks and I remember Jason and I going for an amazing brunch waterside at Cardwell. The following day at 40+1 I was offered a stretch and sweep at my midwife appointment which I happily took, I was huge, swollen and just over pregnancy by that stage. The s&s worked and I started having irregular very uncomfortable contractions immediately. I thought yessssss labour finally!! Ummmm nope little did I know there is this little thing called latent phase of labour so back when I had Abigail active labour was defined as dilation of 3cm and regular strong contractions of 3 in 10 minutes. It got to Wednesday morning at 7:30am and I honestly couldn't handle these contractions but my water hadn't yet broken, I rang the midwife and was told someone would come to the house at 9am to assess. Keep in mind at this point I had barely slept since Monday and my oral intake was reduced due to morning sickness being back.

By 9am Wednesday morning I was finally 3cm, the midwife checked on me throughout the day but waited until 6pm that night and rechecked, I was only 5cm but membranes bulging so off to the hospital I went to have my waters broken to hopefully speed things along. Get ready because here is where things go south! I got to the hospital and immediately wanted to get into the birth pool. I laboured for about 2.5-3hrs in the birth pool until they decided my waters had to be broken, I was only 6cm dilated, the midwife used this amnio hook thing to break my waters while I was sucking for dear life on that gas. Bad news for me bub had pooped in her waters so no more birth pool. I got onto the birth ball so that bubs head could apply more pressure to get my cervix to dilate quicker. Unfortunately the CTG kept losing bubs heart rate so they had to put a heart rate clip on bubs head, so I ended up in the hospital bed. At this point contractions were unbearable, I begged for the epidural, lets just keep it polite and say I didn't get the epidural. I finally got to 9.5cm and I had to push, by this point it was around 1230am, I was tired, dehydrated and just over it, I honestly didn't even have enough energy to push effectively.

I started pushing and I remember the midwives getting me into all these different positions but bub just wasn't coming. Her reading was showing signs of distress so this baby needed out ASAP. Next thing I know several extra people came into the room and the OB said we need to get baby out we need to cut you, I said do whatever you need to. They gave me an episiotomy and told me next contraction to push with everything I have, I still couldn't get her out, the OB had to extend the episiotomy and manually help her head out. I was then placed into a position to minimise the risk of shoulder dystocia for bub. A couple more pushes and she was finally out, I was done 2:36am 16th March 2017 Abigail Rose Quabba was born 8lb 1oz 52cm long and a whopping 35cm head!!!

All these ideals I had in my head of delayed cord clamping and skin to skin were thrown out the window as soon as I saw her, now I'm no medical professional but I can tell you right now this child was lifeless with no colour apart from grey and pastel purple. I got to see her for a split second before they cut her cord and whisked her away. My mum and sister were kicked out and I was left laying on the bed having just birthed our baby looking at my husband with this look of despair. At that point I was begging someone to tell me what was wrong where is my baby, at the time I was told she was having a little trouble breathing. Now I know that she didn't take her first breath until she was 3 minutes old and had no muscle tone until 4.5 minutes. Basically my baby had to be resuscitated. Finally I was handed this beautiful very bruised little bundle and I felt everything click into place. This is what I was made for to love this little person. At 17 minutes old I called the midwife over "she's not breathing", the midwife rubbed her back and I repeated hysterically she's not breathing!! Off they went back to resus and I lost it thinking surely this can't be normal. I was finally stitched back together and baby given back and wheeled off to maternity suite. Over the next 12 hours we battled to stabilise her temperature and she wasn't waking for feeds, again we were told these things were all okay. We were discharged from the hospital Friday the 17th in the morning. Abigail had her first seizure 3 days post birth.

I know now that this birth was not normal, it was not okay and as a first time mum you have the right to feel listened to and respected. You have choices and they are yours to make and no one should judge you for that. It took me a long time to realise that things are not my fault. I made decisions based on opinions of professionals and I know now I should have listened to my own feelings a little more and stood by my initial decisions. As a first time mum you are impressionable and want to do right by your unborn child. If there is one thing to take away from this is that YOU as the MOTHER or FATHER of that child are the only people who know what is right, take advice with a grain of salt. There is no trophy for how you bring a child into this world, regardless of how you do it you are AMAZING and STRONG and a bloody legend. Trust your gut instincts.

The Medicalised Mumma x

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