Monday, 8 May 2017

Eli's Birth Story - Being Induced

I've been wanting to write/video this for a while but just got to it now. Even though it was nine months ago I still remember just as much then as I do now. In order for you to understand everything completely I have to go back a bit.
 During my pregnancy I kept feeling really itchy which I suspected was an allergy, due to antihistamines being uite dangerous in pregnancy and the fact that it could be something else the doctor ordered for my LFTs, liver function test, a tet that can be used to determine whether you have OC, obstetric choletasis.
Obstetric cholestasis is an uncommon pregnancy condition that affects the way your liver functions and causes itching, I got told that it basically meant that my liver was starting to not be able to keep up with the pregnancy.
When the tests came back, my bile acids, were slightly high but not enough to be concerned for, and the rest of the results were higher than normal but because my bile acids weren't over the thresh hold they couldn't diagnose me.
Keep in mind that I only found all this out at a later date as no one really told me what was going on, so I only found out after asking Dr Google and speaking to my family nurse.
A family nurse is someone who helps prepare you and inform you of what's to come and gives you advice when you need/ask for it. They then also acts as your health visitor after the baby is born but see's you more often than a health visitor does, I believe, every two weeks. You can choose to opt in to the family nurse service if you get pregnant before you are 20 years old but I believe that they should be available to everyone, hopefully one day they will be, and if you ever get offered it I would highly recommend it.
I got my first set of LFTs at around 20 weeks which is apparently quite early to develop OC, but due to numerous GP and hospital visits due to reduced movements and continuous itching, after around 28 weeks I started to get my my LFT's done bi-weekly at the hospital with a consultant meeting nearly just as often.
I will go more into how the itching, due to OC, affected me and my pregnancy journey in general in another post, but for the purpose of this blog I'll skip back to closer to his birth.

At around 34 weeks I went to get my routine LFT. 5 days later I called to check on my results and found out that my bile acids were at the threshold, which worried me as I had recently heard through the vlog of yotuber Rhiannon Ashlee, that one of the mums at her group had unfortunately lost her little angel a few days before her scheduled induction due to her having OC. I got told that since I had a consultant meeting at 36+2 that I was just to wait until then. When I went in I got officially diagnosed with OC and told that it would be safer to deliver early, which I expected. Having said that I expected the doctor to tell me that they would wait until 37 weeks but that wasn't the case, she though it best that I get induced as early as possible which turned out to be the next day. Before I left the doctor told me that with being induced the chances of a cesarean increases which I was hoping wouldn't happen but knew that due to how my mum gave birth to me and my sister, it was a high probability. As soon as I left the room I got onto my phone to call rob, my husband, to tell him what was happening and then my mum, to update her so that she could make arrangements to come over from Belfast. Most of my things were already packed, because as a first time mum I was very excited and keen to do everything early, so when I got home I decided to relax. Night time came and I tried my best to get to sleep early as I'd heard that childbirth is extremely tiring, but I couldn't. I ended up sleeping around 3 hours in total that night, just thinking about what was to come. Cue the next day, Rob worked in the morning and when I called in to see if I could go in, everything was still according to plan. I waited for around 1-2 hours before getting the pessary inserted. Thirty minutes later I started to get these weird pains which I thought were due to the examination but later realised that they were contractions. Later that day My mum arrived at 5 pm, which made me feel so relieved as I didn't want my mum to miss the birth. That night I hardly slept due to all the excitement. I also felt contractions through most of the night and  bounced on the birth ball, but by the time the morning came, they were gone. When visiting hours started again, my mum and Rob came back and unfortunately due to hospital rules only one person can be with you at a time and so they alternated coming in, or sometimes we would all stay in the family room. We played crosswords and talked to pass the time until my next examination at 24 hours after the pessary was inserted. When time came I was so excited, 'I'm going to see my baby soon!!', I thought. All the pain of pgp, pelvic girdle pain, and stretch marks etc were all worth it and soon I'd get to meet him but unfortunately, I had made no progress :( time for the next stage, which was a propess pessary, after which I got some morphine as the pains were getting quite bad.
The propess pessary go in for 6 hours then , an examination after which, if there was no progress, you'd have to wait for 6 hours before having another propess inserted and the same continued. In total you get 2 lots of the propess pessary unless progress is detected, and guess what??? I was the one with no progress, which was quite annoying to be honest because I got all the painful contractions butbnothing to show for it. The doctor came to give me an examination and when she was finished she said, 'You're 2 cms, we can break your waters'... 'exqueeze me... you're talking about me ... you can break my waters... I could not believe what she was saying, because after having had no progress I thought that I might end up having to get a cesarean which I was trying to avoid.
I feel like I had this image in my head that I needed to give birth naturally or I was less of a woman, and although I felt this way about myself, I never once felt like that about other women. Another reason that was such good news... I would get moved to my own room!!! yes!!! Finally Rob and Mum didn't have to go home every time it reached 9 o'clock and I wouldn't have to be on my own :)

When we got into the delivery room I got fitted with a catheter then, my waters were broken. It felt so weird... it didn't quite feel like I was peeing myself, as I've heard some women say, it just felt warm and wet. They started the hormone drip and slowly increasing the dosage. We talked and did crosswords as the contractions started to get more intense. I got given gas and air and more morphine. As the contractions got stronger, the more gas and air I used but it served more as a distraction as supposed to pain relief as it didn't really work that way, this I agree on with other mummies. Due to the pain and exhaustion I wasn't really fully aware of the time, I was half asleep half awake and in pain. I didn't really pay attention to what was going on around me apart from when the midwife came to do the examination, and guess what I heard the most... the words 'I'm sorry, there's no progress' ... the cesarean I didn't want so much kept getting closer and closer to what might end up being my reality. The longer I was on the drip and the more painful the contractions, the more I was warming up to the idea getting a cesarean as I didn't know how much longer I would be able to deal with the pain and I couldn't imagine how good being in labour for that long would be for my cute little baby that I was so excited to see. 36 weeks and 6 days I had him just for me, we formed a bond that we'll never have with anyone else. He felt and heard my heart beat, heard me speak and sing to him. Where I went so did he, I felt his kicks, light and strong, sweet and painful. You will never be as close to another person as you are to your baby, and I just couldn't wait to meet him. After being on the drip all night and having another examination, we all saw that having a cesarean would be the best choice for me. I signed some papers, got taken off the drip, and now it was finally time to meet my angel. Since I could only choose to have one person in the room, my mum stayed behind in the labour room while they took Rob away into another room to get suited,while i made my way into theatre to get me ready. I got another catheter inserted into my hand, in case of any complications, and my spinal, which I must say surprised me as I'd also heard that an epidural/spinal was extremely painful to get, but I didn't think it was that bad. I got sat down on the table and the doctor tested to see if I could feel anything, which I couldn't, after which Rob was allowed in. Next thing I know, Rob is beside me and they tell me they're going to start. I don't know how long it took exactly from them starting to Eli coming out but to me, it felt like a quick 1-2 minutes. They took him out and put him up for us to see, the most beautiful being I'd ever laid eyes on, half me, half Rob. From that moment, nothing else mattered but this little guy that had come out of me, this little guy had changed me from an ordinary young adult to a mother, my baby.

Eli was born at 36+6 on Friday 29th July 2016, at 6:55 am weighing in at 3.1 Kg.

Soon he was in my arms and I got to hold him close, see all his little features, button nose, old man hair haha, chubby cheeks, plump little lips, the spit image of... MY MOTHER !!! Still, he was beautiful, perfect, my all, my everything.

We, Eli and I, stayed in the hospital for 2 days and finally got to go home on Sunday.

This was Eli's birth story, I hope you liked and enjoyed it. I will be writing a post about my pregnancy and going into more detail about OC as when I was pregnant and diagnosed, I couldn't find a lot of information, especially from someone who had it.

So, until next time...


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