Monday, April 30, 2007

No drugs; no stitches.

Right, let's face it, I'm never going to find the time to update this from home, so I've logged on at work. Ah, stuff 'em. (Don't fret - it is lunchtime.)

So - back in the birthing pool...

Mrs T was relaxed. Very relaxed. Eventually, we decided perhaps a little too relaxed, as her contractions had started to slow down and become less severe. And so, several hours after entering the pool at 5cm dilated, they had another probe - and see was only 7cm. The midwives (for our independent midwife friend V had now arrived) were clearly disappointed, and we all agreed that it would be better for Mrs T to get back onto dry land.

They suggested that she could carry on for another couple of hours to see what happened, but that they'd then want to put her on the drip to speed things up a bit. We quickly decided "why wait the two hours?", and agreed that they should put her on the drip. Can't remember what the stuff is in the drip, but it's the same stuff they use to induce. (Mrs T's labour isn't on record as having been induced, merely "augmented" - which sounds like a musical term to me.)

Very quickly the contractions changed. She was kneeling on the bed leaning forward against the raised bedhead and has since described the difference: it wasn't that they were harder or more severe - just that they came without any warning. Gas and Air, previously rejected as doing nothing, became Mrs T's friend. Contractions came thick and fast, and Mrs T became increasingly desperate for the whole thing to be over. Our friend V was, as we'd expected, absolutely brilliant. She was working with the midwife, but kept getting up tot the head end and looking Mrs T straight in the eye, explaining what was happening and how well she was doing. She'll probably never read this, but we've been very sure to tell her just how much she did for us that day.

Mrs T needed to be on even firmer ground, so we got her of the bed and onto all fours on the ground. I sat on a chair at her head, and she leaned - very heavily - on my lap. When contractions came, she pulled on my shirt with all her might, bit my belt hard (thankfully my belt), and went through the whole denial thing. She really didn't think she had the strength to go on any longer, and had started to cry "I don't want this baby". By this stage - when we weren't even sure if it was still Sunday, the Midwives were getting excited, and encouraging Mrs T to keep at it. "the doctors will be wanting to get involved and we don't want that, do we", they were saying. And, although Mrs T had suggested cutting it out of her, sucking it out, pulling it out, whatever, she remarkable found the determination to finish what she'd started.

And finally, at 11:12 pm, Flicker made his entrance.

We’d asked for skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after the birth. Mrs T was exhausted and needed to get back onto the bed and recover a bit from the shock of it all, so they wrapped Flicker and gave him to me initially. What an amazing feeling. A baby in my hands only minutes old. My Baby. Our baby. As soon as she was ready, we unwrapped him and laid him on Mrs T’s chest, where he stayed while she birthed the placenta and they checked her out. She’d torn a tiny amount, but only internally and no stitches were needed.

Although it seemed to us to have gone on all day and been bloody hard work, it was officially a normal, average labour. But even so, she did it without any pain relief aside from the pool and gas and air.

Mrs T. What an amazing woman.

1 comment:

Alli said...

I am completely in awe! Way to go, Mrs. T!

How is little Flicker these days?