I expected, I knew, delivery couldn’t be easy for the likes of me. A complicated delivery has to follow a complicated pregnancy.
I was not wrong.
Gestational diabetes, a bigger than normal baby, more water in the womb, premature contractions. It seemed like the baby just wanted out.
Apparently, he was in no hurry. At 36 weeks, I counted myself lucky for having lasted successfully this long and prepared myself for delivery and ….. waited…..
At 39 weeks, nothing.
The doc decided it is time to induce. The diabetes was a risk factor and the baby was now full term. I was asked to come in at 9AM the next day for an examination and if all was ok, I would be induced that night.
At 9AM, the doc came in, probed me and then said casually “I am going to do a sweep now. It’ll be mildly uncomfortable. ” That was all the notice I got. Immediately she began a membrane sweep. The suddenness and radiating pain muted my objections. I could only grip the bed, squeeze my eyes and stop myself from crying out in pain. In less than a minute she was done.
I was dazed. Didn’t you say you would induce by night? Oh… that was the injection if needed. Wait what? I am not prepared! I had wanted to pray, to spend time with family before the delivery. Did I just lost those precious moments?
I limped back to the car and hurried home. I found I couldn’t sit for more than a couple of minutes. I couldn’t stand. I could only hobble. What was this pain? It felt like a magnified version of fibroid pain (more on this in a later post) that had haunted me for months.
By 2PM, the pain was debilitating. I could do absoluteIy nothing. I rushed to the hospital to ask for tablets for pain relief before the contractions came in. As soon as I entered, my water broke – and it was green. Apparently, I had got contractions immediately! And the baby had pooped in womb making the delivery high risk!!
No one tells you how contractions feel. It pains yes. Feels like explosive menstrual cramps yes. It is the worst pain yes.
Nobody told me it would feel like my insides crushing from within. It was an exquisite form of torture with excruciating pain.
Crying was the only outlet. By now, I was ready to do anything to make the pain go away.
They hooked me to a fetal heart rate monitor. If at any time, the heart rate dropped, baby was at risk and I had to be wheeled in to surgery. Panic and pain drowned me. I needed help – right away. I begged for pain relief and was told I had to wait for the doctor to come in.
Finally after checks, I got an epidural. The relief was instantaneous. (God bless the person who invented this medicine).
The shivering also was almost instantaneous. Every part of my body, teeth – shaking. Blankets and quilts had no effect. I couldn’t breathe well with the shivering and the baby’s heart rate started to drop. More panic. I was put on oxygen and somehow willed myself to take deep breaths. The heart rate stabilized. This happened over and over again.
Finally, I slept from sheer exhaustion despite the shivering.
Then I felt it. The pressure. It was unmistakable. The baby wanted out – now. In a matter of a few minutes, I was fully dilated and the hospital team swung into action.
Despite the epidural, I could sense the contractions. I pushed and pushed with each contraction. After 8 months of bed rest, my body fiercely refused to cooperate.
Come on PUSH! Nothing…. the doctor made a cut to help the baby. Nothing. Forceps. Nothing. Vacuum. Nothing. The baby’s head would emerge and go back in…
She ordered for a larger vacuum head. Finally, after what felt like hours, my son emerged into the world.
And I felt …. nothing.
I was supposed to feel elated, cry the happy tears, want to hold this miracle, want to thank God. But I was simply empty of all emotion
I saw the baby, smiled and just put my head on the pillow and allowed the doctors to finish stitching me up. It was all I had the strength for.
Did you suffer from a traumatic delivery? How did you cope? Let’s talk.