At approximately 2am on November 6, 2008, I started to get back pain that woke me up. I was uncomfortable lying in bed so I went to the couch to try and get back to sleep. The couch was more comfortable because I could sit slightly upright, so I stayed there until my husband Al woke up to go to work and wondered where I had gone. When he found me on the couch, I told him that I thought I was in early labour because my back was really uncomfortable. He said he would stay home from work but I told him I was fine and to go.
After Al went to work, I pretty much tried to relax and rest for the day, watching tv or closing my eyes for a bit of a rest. I continued to have back pain and the odd tensing contraction but nothing to uncomfortable. At around 2 in the afternoon Al called to see how I was doing and asked if I was hungry because he was going to go pick up lunch, I said yes. He brought me Wendy’s (yes, lunch of champions lol) and asked if I was sure it was ok if he left, I said yes it was fine. He left and before I started my lunch, I got up to go to the washroom and luckily it was when I was getting up from the toilet that my water broke.
After my water broke I ate my lunch and continued to try and rest, but the back pains were getting a little more painful. Hazel (my mother in law), Chaara (my sister in law/doula), Keith (brother) and Nomi (niece) came over as Al came home from work and the next 12 hours after that become a blur of agonizing back pain that didn’t act anything like I had read about or been told about contractions. It was continual pain, not a contraction for a minute and then a three minute break or anything, it was just constant back pain. I laid on the floor, I laid in the bed, I tried to stand up while leaning on the counter or on Al or on Chaara. Hazel rubbed my back, I tried going in the tub (our tub was not deep enough at all), I tried letting the shower run over me and Chaara tried many of the doula techniques she had learned – nothing could alleviate any bit of the pain in my back. My midwife Jeanesse came to check me at around midnight and I was only 1 cm which was so frustrating and when she came back in the early morning I was only at 1-2 cm then. We decided since I was having such bad back pain that I should head to the hospital so I could get into one of their deep tubs.
The ride to the hospital while short was horrible, I couldn’t get comfortable and the start and stop of the car didn’t make the back pain any better. I checked into the hospital around 6am and got into the tub, which was sooo much better, because it took the pressure off my back. At this point my midwives Jeanesse and Susan switched. After a couple of hours in the tub, Susan checked me again and I was only 3-4 cm. She said that I wasn’t progressing and that I should get out of the tub and start walking around to speed things up. So I did, walked around the labour and delivery ward for an hour and half, when she checked me again I was 6 cm. Again she said I wasn’t progressing fast enough and that I should be put on pitocin to speed things up, and since I was already in a lot of pain, it would be a good idea to get an epidural.
Getting the epidural was just plain stupid. The anaesthesiologist was just plain rude, saying I was chubby but it was do-able, and when the resident couldn’t get the needle in my back, he came along and just shoved the needle along my spine until he could get it in. Chaara was a great support during this, getting me to focus on breathing through the pain.
Once the epidural was done, I rested in bed for about 4 hours. They checked me periodically and I seemed to be moving along although at a slow pace. Finally at around 6:30-7pm they said I was fully dilated, although I had a cervical lip. So I was ready to start pushing, but because my contractions were all over the place without proper intervals or strength and I had an epidural, I had to rely on watching the monitor to know when to push. I pushed hard for 3 hours, while my midwife held the cervical lip back. I pushed and pushed and the baby didn’t budge. After 2 hours of pushing the doctor on call said we may have to opt for a c-section but I asked for one more hour to try because I didn’t want a c-section, she gave me one more hour and after pushing hard again the baby didn’t budge. At that point the doctor on call came back and gave me 2 options. Go into the operating room and attempt a high forceps delivery, although there was no guarantee this would work, or go in for a c-section. So I opted for the c-section.
At this point things went from bad to worse. The nurse turned off the epidural and I proceeded to wait for an hour while they prepped the OR while I was feeling so much pressure I couldn’t keep still. Finally when the OR was ready I was wheeled in, but I was so swollen from pushing for so long that I couldn’t even lay down on the operating table properly. They got the epidural going again, prepped me, brought Al in and started. I could feel pain! Not the pressure they said I should feel but pain and they realized I had a patchy epidural! At this point things went very quickly, I felt a lot of pushing and tugging, I was freezing cold and my teeth were chattering and then I heard someone say, “You were wrong, it’s a boy!” My son was born at 11:51pm on Friday November 7th, 2008, after an emergency c-section, 3 hours of pushing and 46 hours of labour. At this point the new anaesthesiologist asked if I wanted more for the pain and I said let me kiss my son and my husband and then ok. So Al brought my son over and I looked at him, kissed him on the forehead, gave Al a kiss and that was all I remember because I was put under.
When I woke up 2 hours later in a recovery room, I could barely talk because I had been intubated when I was put under. All I wanted to do was see Al and my son, but they would only let Al come see me. I remember giving him a hug and asking how the baby was etc but I was so groggy I don’t remember much. After he left the doctor came in to explain to me how everything went.
I had had an emergency transverse c-section that had complications. I had lost a lot of blood because the incision had torn on my right side all the way down to my cervix and the back of my uterus had buckled forward giving the impression that it was the top of my uterus. They had to take my uterus out of my stomach to repair it after stitching it together the first time the wrong way. The doctor hinted that I almost had a hysterectomy, which was terrifying for me to think of.
Once I was moved from recovery into my room I was finally able to hold my son and try nursing him at about 2:30am. After that I was on so much morphine that I all I can say is people came to visit, I nursed and held my son and was in pain. We stayed in the hospital for a week because my son had bad jaundice mostly due in part to the huge bruise on his head from where he was stuck in labour.