Saturday, 5 November 2005

A year ago today...

my little star was born. Here is the story of her birth:

After my third night of disturbed sleep I still woke up without an inkling that F would be born later on.

That soon changed – about half an hour after waking up I started feeling twinges – nothing painful just regular small contractions. I took O to school and when I got back phoned J to tell him to keep his mobile with him.

By 9.45am the contractions were coming every 7 minutes and lasting about a minute. I was easily able to breathe through them but as it was unchartered territory for me I rang the hospital. They told me to come in and get checked out – for peace of mind if nothing else. I rang J and asked him to come home. He arrived 20 minutes later, changed and we left – leaving his parents in charge of picking up O later in the day.

The contractions were getting nearer together and shortly after arriving in hospital I was checked and told that baby would be here that day – already three cm. I was taken to the delivery room where I met the two midwives who would take care of me the whole time – Martine and Nadia. The latter was a 4th year student but I soon felt at ease with her and felt confident about letting her be the primary midwife under the supervision of Martine.

As is normal in France I was hooked up – no walking about here! The contractions were now at every 4 minutes lasting a minute. When I was checked an hour later I had moved to 4-5cm dilated. J was brilliant at helping me breathe through the contractions by telling me to blow out the candles on birthday cakes which he described!

Another hour – and it was getting painful! Contractions every two minutes lasting a minute. It was now about 2pm. When checked I was 9cm – nearly there. But there was a big but. Baby’s head was still not engaged and was turned the wrong way which would make it difficult for her to move into the birth canal. This was deja vu as exactly the same thing had happened with O necessitating a C-section. The difference was that they felt that her signs were good after taking a blood sample from her head and that we had time on our side. But as a c-section was becoming a distinct possibility and the very minimum would be the use of spatulas to turn her I agreed to an epidural. I was tired and the midwives were talking about a 2 hour transition time.

The two hours passed – she was still high but getting reachable. The OB was called – he agreed that I should be prepped to go to the operating room to try to get her out vaginally using spatulas with an end view of the c-section!

So with about 10 people in the theatre the doctor started on turning her – fortunately she did very quickly and less than 5 pushes later, and nearly 4 hours after reaching 10cm dilation, F was born. The wonderful thing was that owing to a bright metal plate holding a light on the ceiling I could see all the “action” – so I actually saw her coming out! Seconds later she was placed on my chest – I couldn’t believe that she was at last here. She weighed a healthy 3.93kg, was 51.5 cm tall with a head circumference of 36.5cm. Her apgars were 10 and 10!!

After all my fears over the birth it was a wonderful experience – and while I wanted to avoid an epidural I was proud of myself for getting to full dilation on my own (well with J’s help)!

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