Well, we didn’t make it to 37 weeks so this post is going to be mostly his birth story, which promises to be dramatic, full of twists and turns, a roller coaster of emotions, having to trust my intuition and surrender at a whole new level but with a very happy ending! Make a cuppa and settle in for this one, it will be long but possibly gripping story, however, I make no promises as this is more for me than you 🙂
So when we left off at the 36 weeks update (on Facebook), the drama had already begun with me having more and more “episodes” of intense contraction like pain for 20 – 30 minutes straight (like one loooooooooong ass contraction with peaks within the peak) and ongoing 5 – 10 minute apart regular contractions (or “aftershocks” as I called them) for up to an hour or so afterwards.
Multiple trips to the hospital and 2 overnight stays, and they were sure it was just “irritable uterus” regardless of the fact that the 20 – 30 minute intense ongoing contraction pain was “unusual”. I maintained through that whole thing that something was wrong, that the body doesn’t create pain like that for no reason and we HAD to find the reason.
I just knew in every part of me that something was not right.
Every time they checked bub, he was “fine”, he was not “showing any signs of distress” while being hooked up to the monitors for an hour or more. I wasn’t bleeding externally and there was nothing else that flew the red flag of concern for them. As long as he was ok, they were fine to just give me more drugs to manage the pain L I honestly felt like the second night they kept me in just because I was an emotional and anxious mess, I knew something was being missed and they weren’t looking hard enough, but they didn’t know what else to do/look for.
After they discharged me the second time, I’d had all the drugs to manage the pain overnight, had a small episode which they monitored but it didn’t show any uterine contractions, so when I got home I did my extra tree-huggin-hippy-stuff and it seemed to help because I didn’t get any more episodes after that, but I noticed he wasn’t as active as normal. I’d normally get at least one or two sessions of alien belly a day, but no, I’d get a few bumps just to let me know he was still there but it was so weak in comparison.
I rationalised that he did this occasionally; had a really active day and then a slow day or 2, but on the second day (Sunday), he had barely fist bumped me and from the afternoon onwards, I hadn’t felt him at all and I tried all the things; I drank ice water, laid down which usually signals him to do his yoga and dance practice, I even poked him and nothing… nadda…
Cue worried Mum. Something is STILL not right.
I kept putting off going back in though as I’d only been there 2 days before and felt like I’d been put into the box of “overly worried about nothing pregnant mother; high maintenance”. I consciously know I shouldn’t ever doubt my intuition and I definitely should not let what others think stop me, but sleep deprived and hormone fuelled, I was not at my strongest. We’re all human, right?
I called, we went in and they hooked me up to the monitors at 11pm on the Sunday night (1st Jan) and the midwives and Dr’s on that night were really good, they made it known I should definitely come in and check these things out.
Now the last umpteen million times I’d been in and they hooked me up to the monitoring, he would go nuts and try to kick the pads off or start his exercise routine but this time nothing. Initially I was just happy they picked up his little heart beating. I was honestly starting to worry that I’d left it too long and well, you know where that train of thought goes.
Heartbeat, YES! Ok, now to see what he does…
Nothing for a long time, then a little bit of activity. Only barely though, not his usual. I was on the monitor and he had a couple of periods where his heart rate went up and I’d feel a little bump but nowhere near the usual. The Dr on that night was great, she noted that he had ticked all the minimum boxes to be considered ok but was listening to me about his usual activity levels. She got the ultrasound machine out and looked at the fluid levels.
Side note: I have a number of psychic, intuitive and medical intuitive people in my life and I did reach out to them when I felt things weren’t right but couldn’t quite pinpoint what was going on. All of them said similar things; that he was ok BUT something was going on and he needed to get out very soon. Getting the fluid levels checked and getting a scan were things they all suggested to help find the issue but either way, he needed out now or asap. So this only confirmed what I was already intuitively feeling. Even as intuitive as I am, I still find myself sometimes getting external information to be sure it’s not just my own hormone fuelled emotional state talking. I highly recommend having people like this in your inner circle.
The fluid levels around him were fine, within normal parameters. She asked if I had any bleeding, I had a very little bit for a few days since the last internal (confirming I was 1cm dilated), which I just put down to either the internal itself (because it wasn’t fresh blood) or that things were starting, but no plug or waters had shown up so clearly I didn’t have enough “proof” that things were happening.
She was glad I had a growth scan booked for the Tuesday to be able to better see what was going on, but without any other evidence, there was nothing else she could do apart from send me home and hope I felt better knowing that he was still fine, or I could come back anytime and get checked again if it continues to concern me.
So home we went again feeling somewhat relieved, but I still had that underlying knot of anxiety in my stomach; “they’re missing something”.
Being spiritual and doing things the way I do them, when we settled into bed at 1:30am, I called on my Team in Spirit, I talked to my body and to my boy and said “if there is something serious going on and we need to get him out, you need to do something drastic to get their attention so we can get this caesarean asap because they aren’t getting enough information.” I let go at that point, surrendered to how it was all going to go because there was nothing else I could do. I put a movie on the iPad to distract myself so I could fall asleep…
3am I woke up, the movie was finishing and I had a weird sensation in my underwear. A place you never want to feel anything really weird… Right? I was wearing a panty liner and it felt like it was filling up?!? I put my hand around to the edge of my underwear (which sounds easy but when you’re walrus size, nothing is easy, it was totally awkward!)
Nothing… Must have imagined it.
A minute later, more… I very awkwardly reached around my own buxom butt and could feel wetness dripping down my butt cheeks. Hmmmm, waters broken? I bring my hand into the light of the iPad and I can see clearly that it’s more blood coloured than “clear or slightly pink” like waters are supposed to be. You’d think it would cue more panic, but for some strange reason it didn’t. Probably disbelief and a bit of shock lol.
And then I feel that all too familiar feeling of a period pain cramp start up… Goddamn it, contractions are starting, just like they did with Kadi when my waters broke with her. Really? I couldn’t be one of those ones where the waters break and nothing happens for daaaaaays?!
At this point I’m also in a bit of relief that now I have something they can’t ignore!!! HAHAHA, I WILL be right! I wake Kerry up to tell him the good news and having only been asleep for an hour and a half, it takes a moment to sink in that we need to get up and go again! Hurry up hubby, we’re need to go now, not because of the blood, no, but because of the potential pain if we wait too long! My sisters words that threaten I’d have no choice but to have him naturally, ringing in my ears. Bitch!
I get him to help me get up, the pillow that was between my legs has waters and blood on it and the bed underneath me has a lot more of it. Knowing there is going to be a lot more gushing when I stand up, we tried to put something on the floor to make sure it didn’t get on the whiteish carpet. Yeah, we didn’t do that very well either. I let him have a quick shower before we really clean me up and get me ready though.
I’m not sure what was going on in my head but even standing there looking a bit like Carrie with blood stained water dripping from between my legs, bloody water all over my side of the bed and now on the floor, I knew that it shouldn’t be that bloody and that it was a bad sign but was cruising on getting to the hospital. Kerry even asked if that was normal, I said it wasn’t and we need to get to hospital but I was still strangely calm and almost blasé about it?!
Kerry helped me get cleaned up, put a clean pad on, one that would actually soak up any more waters that came out, we threw some things into the mostly packed hospital bag we’d used the last 2 times. Kerry was confident now about where to go having been on a few dry runs in the last week so he didn’t have that stress. Part of the plan perhaps???
So now at this point in my head, I had it all mapped out how it would go and was feeling calm and quietly confident I was now going to get my caesarean in the next hour or so before any major contraction action started. I was already feeling them start up and was NOT keen to get to the intensity of the episodes. AT ALL. I’d present with my now broken waters and said plan would be actioned… Yeah?
“Let’s do an internal and see how dilated you are” and then “let’s give you some Panadine Forte and Endone to see if we can stop the contractions over the next few hours and give you a few more days since you’re only 36 weeks.” WHAAAAAAT?!?! Nooooooooooo! This is NOT my plan! Why are you people not on board with this?!?
I told them then and there, “this is not stopping so you need to get organised for a caesarean.” They reluctantly started taking some of the very preliminary steps, probably just to appease the hormonal pregnant woman more than anything, but I just knew this was a freight train they couldn’t stop and I was now in more pain than I wanted to be. Waaaaaayyyy more…!
And hello, what about all the blood?!?!
They put another pad on me and there was only minimal blood coming out even with the contractions coming every couple of minutes and getting stronger. I was 2 cm dilated and they put it down to some bleeding from the cervix… Post event, Kerry said I should have taken a picture of what came out of me in bed, they probably wouldn’t have been quite so casual about it all.
So between when we got there at about 3:30am until 8am ish, we played this game where I say I don’t want to go through natural labour and I want them to get the caesarean ready, and they do just enough for me to think they are organising a caesarean but still delaying to see what my body is doing, I want the pain to go away because the contractions are now coming thick and fast, they are hard to breathe through and this is already beyond the pain I was having in the episodes!!!! All the drugs ARE NOT WORKING and this is not part of my damn plan!!!
I had to make a decision in the moment early on when I realised they were in no hurry to get the spinal block into me for a nice calm caesarean… Do I keep resisting this and making it more painful for myself, or do I start working with my body, trust it, doing my best to relax to make the waves of contractions a bit easier on myself? Damnit, I knew I had to let go and allow, which meant I had some work to do.
So I went into my zone each contraction, I was totally in the present moment knowing they don’t last long and to just breathe into it, imagine the contractions working very effectively and to trust my body… until we can get to my plan A. Perhaps I didn’t let go completely lol, but the idea is what got me through each contraction. That plus Kerry put his hand on my heart every time, which also brought me straight back to being present and being totally connected to him. Seriously, his love took some of the pain away and allowed me to fully relax as best I could. #besthusbandever
I also took the drugs they offered, and eventually the gas to help take the edge off but it put me into la la land!
A few times over the course of the first few hours, the midwives had asked if I went to the toilet to clear my bladder, which I thought was strange but on the 3rd time I thought that maybe that was a sign that I needed to follow…
Things don’t tend to come at me repeatedly unless I really need to take that action.
I could feel each contraction possibly pushing on a full bladder so perhaps if I did that, it would ease the pain. Seriously, I was up for anything that would take the pain away that was coming every minute ish and killing me! Although the thought of getting to the toilet and needing to push was a bit of a deterrent but it was a gamble I was willing to take!
I had wire free monitors so I could get up and go to the toilet without taking them off (I’m sure this was part of the divine plan as I had only gotten on those once out of 7 times). So I waited until a contraction finished, Kerry helped me get to the toilet to pee, then another one hit so I had to stay there for it and try to breathe through it, you know, to make the pain less intense. When I get up to come back to the room, the midwife comes in and starts moving the monitor to see if it’s getting my heart beat or bubs… She hurries me back to the bed… This I was not keen on as moving made it all worse and I needed to be calm thanks woman! (Post event, I do appreciate her swift action lol)
Now this is where everything takes a big turn and twist. Like me actually having to go through labour pains wasn’t already a big twist in my damn plan! From this point on, I was not in the drivers seat and all I had was trust and allowing.
As I got back to the bed another contraction hit and she wanted me to lie on my side because she thought bub’s heart rate had dropped but had to be sure. Do you know how hard it is to breathe and relax to make it less painful when you have people making you move and roll to the other side and back again… ?!? Arghhh!
Next thing I know, some emergency button gets pushed and in come a team of people including a Dr, they are all talking to me but I’m trying to breathe just to make the pain go away!
They’re telling me that they are concerned that bub’s heart rate has dropped and they need to break my waters to put a monitor direct on bub’s head and she’s going to do an internal first, then proceed. Sure… Just lie down, relax and put my legs into their ideal position while my body is trying to pull a cervix apart and defaulting to the foetal position! All I can remember is that they were trying to move me and wanted me to help them, and all I could say is “I’m trying! It hurts!” I don’t think I was very cooperative but I was really trying to be…
This part is a bit hazy for me but based on what my husband said, when they broke my waters, they could finally see all the blood I was talking about and THEN they were really concerned. I was 4cm dilated so clearly I was right and my body was NOT teasing them (or me, which I knew because the pain was so intense, I knew it was working hard). Monitor on and not what they’d hoped, he was confirmed as in distress and they didn’t know where the blood was coming from so calls were made to all the emergency staff, we were off for a caesarean and STAT. Finally! 5 hours later my cesarean was on the way.
While all this was going on, I was clinging onto Kerry’s shorts just trying to get through the contractions laying on my side, as they were preparing me to move quickly down stairs. They weren’t sure at that point if I’d be having a spinal or a general anaesthetic so it was unsure if Kerry could be in the room. I already knew it was going to be a general and he wouldn’t be there. Again, I just knew and trusted it was meant to be that way.
In between contractions I managed to look up at him, his eyes were filled with tears and he had a terrified and very worried look on his face (understandably so with all the “Code 1” action going on), he said he was trying to be my rock (meaning not cry), I told him that he was, even in that state, he was still my rock.
I looked at him as best I could, and said to “please don’t be afraid, trust, we are both going to be ok, no matter what, we’ll be ok! Hold onto that thought!”
I knew at my core amidst all of this chaos, emergency and drama that bub was going to be absolutely fine, I was going to be fine. WE were going to be fine. I was in complete trust.
In that moment though, even with all the pain I was enduring, I was worried about hubby; knowing that that time alone and waiting for news about us was going to be excruciating and seem like an eternity to him, and I couldn’t be with him to make it easier or comfort him. That image stayed with me all the way into the OR. In fact it still breaks my heart and makes my eyes leak as I see that moment so clearly in my mind right now.
Into the operating room we went, contractions even more intense and coming almost back to back as I laid in the foetal position on the bed they wheeled me in on. I knew we were all going to be fine so in that moment, I just wanted the pain to stop. They were explaining everything to me and asking if I understood. The anaesthetist started talking to me about the 2 options and how a spinal block is possible but is an extra 15 minutes prep time. I looked directly at him and told him in no uncertain terms that 15 more minutes of this was NOT an option, knock me out NOW, stop the pain and get him out now – is the short version.
They got me onto the operating table without me having to move, which I appreciated but I just wanted them to hurry up so I didn’t have to feel another contraction! Then I found out they needed me to lay out on the operating table flat to put a catheter in and to wash my belly down BEFORE they can put me to sleep….
Nooooooooo, that’s way too long!
More contractions hit and I cried loudly as they rolled me over, pulled my legs down to get what they needed done, done. I tried really hard to work with them to speed things up but it was so hard… This was just all too much, not the calm caesarean birth I had planned, and all alone without my rock in the room but instead in his own version of hell outside.
Oxygen mask on, drugs administered and waiting for the sleep to take the pain away, I was still thinking about my poor husband being all alone outside, the tears in his eyes and intense fear he was feeling for us both and the wait he had ahead of him…
When I woke up, the Dr’s talked to me about what happened. I was in a drug filled haze so it’s all a little blurry but they said bub was fine, I’d had a “placenta abruption” and had lost a lot of blood, 1.5 litres I think they said? I remember thinking “oh, that doesn’t sound good” but didn’t fully grasp the seriousness of the whole situation. I was 7 cms dilated by the time they got me under so clearly my body knew the urgency of the situation and was in the process of “eject, eject, eject!!!”.
They were going to wait and see if I needed a blood transfusion though and that I needed to rest a lot to give my body a chance to recover from the ordeal. That’s the cliff notes anyway, I didn’t really know what any of that meant at the time. I asked if I could see bub, they said he was in the Special Care Nursery because his glucose levels were too low but his Dad was with him.
Eventually they wheeled me from recovery to my room where Kerry was patiently waiting, no bub with him and no idea how much time had passed. He did go up and check on him later in the day though.
I don’t remember most of this first day. Every time I woke up Kerry was there and just telling me that I needed to go back to sleep and rest. The drugs I was on made that pretty easy. He was born at 8:42am on Monday the 2nd of January, and at about 8:30pm I was finally coming out of the haze enough to be alert for longer and they arranged to take me up in my bed to see him in person.
Kerry had showed me pictures of our little Jakson repeatedly in the afternoon, I think he even sent some to my phone so I could see them. I remember thinking he wasn’t as cute as Tylah and what the hell was going on with his head?!? He looked like his Dad could have been a Klingon with that ridge!!! I wasn’t in love at first sight, I wasn’t rushing to see him, I was silently afraid I might not connect with him when I did see him so I was content to see him whenever.
We got up there and I finally got a cuddle that turned things around. This picture elegantly captures the essence of the day and that moment, for both of us. We both had tubes coming out of places, lots of needle marks, we were bruised, battered, exhausted, both in need of some serious recovery after the last few weeks, and finally we got to meet in person and share a moment of “I know what you’ve been through just to get here, but we survived and I’ve got you.”
It turns out that those “episodes” were my placenta in the process of pulling away from the uterus and bleeding internally so my poor little Jaks was drowning in blood filled amniotic fluid for a week or so. Unfortunately, there was nothing in the routine checks for the Dr’s to see the red flags so things had to get dire and I thank my Team in Spirit, my body and Jaks for orchestrating plan B to get him out safely. I wasn’t a huge fan of Plan B though, just sayin’.
This whole scenario would also have been a LOT more traumatic if I was in complete fear for his life and possibly my own, but because I was in complete trust and knowing we were both going to be ok, I wasn’t experiencing all the pain on top of the emotional stress of massive fear and terror for our lives. I just had the physical pain to focus on. Which really, was more than enough, don’t you think?!?
This was not the birth I imagined for us but at the end of the day all that matters is that we are still here to talk about it.
And while the road to recovery hasn’t been smooth, short or easy for either of us, there are a few things I can see very clearly now that we’re in the calmer waters again…
- Intuitive nudges and your own instincts are critical – LISTEN TO THEM! And do what you can on your side to make things happen or get attention when you need it, be demanding and pushy if you have to be.
- Call on your Team, let go and trust when things are out of your control and you’ve done everything you can, even if you can’t see the bigger picture of how it can all unfold, your Team (guides/Source etc) can. There are so many experiences where we just need to let go and stop trying to control what’s happening, the gold is in the allowing and honestly, we’re still uncovering it for ourselves with this experience 🙂
- You are stronger and more resilient than you think. If you’d told me this was going to be our experience, I would have said no, I can’t. I even had a pushy nurse who knew what I could do more than I could, she got me up and walking before I felt like I was ready and guess what, I was more ready than I thought. I kinda wish she was here at home with me but at the same time, not really lol.
- Intense experiences like these serve a purpose! They are no fun and not pleasant, in this case they were fucking painful on multiple levels, but in the wake of it, we are more bonded than ever, as partners and parents, and as a family. I’m more grateful for my little miracle, for my life and for Kerry; my rock, my soulmate, my partner in life. We are far more aware of how precious life is and how awesome we have it, other things we thought were “issues” have melted away.
- Surround yourself with people who support you physically, mentally, emotionally (SUPER important) and spiritually. When the system fails you, these people help you keep your sanity and faith in yourself. Even the most emotionally intelligent/mature people who know all about healing emotional stuff (yeah, me too) feel everything, we are not immune to the emotions that do show up and are normal to exist in situations like this. I was quite ok through the whole thing but post event, the emotions have come up to run through and I have allowed every single one of them. That will be in the 1 week update 🙂
Hopefully if you ever find yourself in a situation where you only have your intuition and your Team to trust, you will do so completely because everything was so carefully orchestrated to get him out safely but to be a catalyst in our lives for something even more to come that we aren’t even aware of yet.
Got a story to share where you have had to do something similar? We’d love to hear it and share it.