I did not have the easiest of pregnancies. I suffer from something called Klippel Trenaunay Webbers syndrome. This means my circulation is very poor, affected by capillary malformation and my soft tissues are affected by some limb enlargement. All my right side is mottled by what looks like a deep purple coloured birthmark. It can be very painful when cold and if I cut myself the blood finds it difficult to clot. This meant I was put in the dreaded ‘High Risk’ category for my pregnancy and labour. I was in and out of hospital during the last 3 months of my pregnancy with high blood pressure, migraines, and my circulation dropping to dangerous levels. I had a series of MRI’s and scans on my veins and a slight malformation was found in my spine that completely ruled out my chances of an epidural if I ever wanted one. I always said I would never have an epidural, but upon hearing the news that I couldn’t have one even if I wanted, at that moment I realised that deep down that I had wanted one and was now very…ahem…scared! A wonderful anesthetist had agreed, with the hospital, that a special drug, similar to an epidural would be brought in for me if I decided I’d had enough with pain! (HA!)
In the end the hospital decided to induce me at 38+1 weeks. My dad has a theory that the reason they decided to do this was because they actually got fed up with me being at the hospital 24/7 and got bored with seeing my face more than their own husbands. So this is how the story goes…
Wednesday night: I prepare by having a nice long bath. Not to make myself smell nice but to de-fuzz my entire 9 months of hair growth my body seemed to have developed. Once I had emptied the bath, the only way to describe the mess left behind is to imagine what the bathroom would look like if a Yeti had broken into your home, had a bath with 3 tubes of Veet and left without a thought of ‘What would Kim and Aggie Do?’ I then sat on the sofa with Jay and watched One Born Every Minute, which is a usual Wednesday night ritual in our home. This did in fact scare the living day lights out of me because I knew that in 10 hours time I would be at the hospital preparing for my induction.
Thursday: After a night of absolutely no sleep I was up at 6 am, showered, fed and sat waiting for my mother to pick us up for my 8am appointment. Picture the scene: Jay’s stood excited in the door way, suitcases in hand and a big grin. Mum’s stood excited at the car door with a lunch box in hand and a big grin. And I’m sat on the loo, frozen with fear.
After I eventually gathered my guts and got in the car, we made our way to the hospitals Day Assessment Unit. There I am given a pessary at 9am and sent to the cafe for brekkie. Nothing happened. Another pessary at 3pm and still nothing happened. We were moved up to the delivery unit where we ended up staying the night. My mum drove home and Jay stayed by my side. I started get some small cramps but nothing too exciting. The good midwives decided to bring Jay a reclining chair to sleep on for the night, knowing that he too has a rough 20 years ahead of him. The only problem with the reclining chair was that it didn’t actually recline. So instead of a baby that night, all he got was a stiff neck and a crumpled coat.
I on the other hand had a dose of Cocodamol and Temazepam, and was out for the night 🙂
Friday: Woke up at 6 am with some more cramping. I had my BP taken and monitored for half an hour and yet another pessary! The midwife who was with me that morning was in fact the mother of a good friend of mine. He now, as a result, gets a lot of stick from me with the usual jokes about his mothers briskness in removing my PJ bottoms ‘Just to get the job over and done with!’ poor lad… We passed the rest of the morning doing cross-stitch, cross-words and eating hot cross-buns!
At mid day I was ready for my waters to be broken! (how exciting!!) POP! And it was all go from there. I was given the induction drip that made my contractions come hard and fast. The only thing I never knew was that once that drip was in, I was no longer allowed to eat anything and only drink clear fluids. Now… this is devastating news to me as for the last 9 months the world revolved around my eating habits and I love food… lots of it!! Mum was sneaking me spoonfuls of yogurt and sips of tea. Naughty I know, but I swear that if I never had that teaspoon of Lidl’s Cherry goodness, I would have famished! The rest of my labour is a slight blur to me now, but my highlights definitely include… witnessing Jay knitting, Jay killing a wasp from the over head lights and giving a student midwife tips on how to take a good BP reading! (don’t ask about the knitting or the wasp, touchy subjects!)
Labour progressed nicely and at 20:42 I delivered a little baby Willow, weighing in at 7lb 4oz. With Jay and my mother watching every happy, life-changing moment. Best day of my life so far! Despite what the doctors and consultants had worried about, I lost very little blood and didn’t even need to take my special drugs that were brought in for me. And I only had one stitch, that wasn’t necessarily needed as it was only scratch from one of her nails. Now, if I must say so myself… I am one lucky bugger!! someone from above was looking down at me that day!