In July 2009, I became pregnant for the first time. When I went to visit my GP to confirm the pregnancy, the test she gave me turned positive so quickly, she warned me to brace myself for morning sickness due to my elevated hormone rates. Soon after, I developed severe morning sickness. For the duration of the whole pregnancy, I was constantly nauseous and vomiting, day and night. I had a few hospital trips due to dehydration. I could not keep anything down most of the time, so on days when I was feeling better, I would eat to excess. My body was overwhelmed with the changes it was undergoing and I was completely oblivious to it, just going through the motions, barely paying attention to the pace I was going at. At the time, I was working a pattern of day, evening and night shift for a few months, and then was kept on the day and evening shifts only and taken off the nights. I worked up until 2 weeks before my due date despite my body and mind reaching their limits. At this stage, I was already feeling less than human.
when I reached my due date, the Maternity Hospital Consultants spoke to me about being induced, I now had a deadline: 10 days overdue was standard, it was not presented to me as an option. One Thursday evening, when I was ten days overdue I came to the CUMH with my husband, to be induced. I went through a long series of membrane sweeps, injections and drips to no avail; and finally, they broke my waters. Still, my baby had no intention of coming out of his first home, and so the induction process went on and on. I was sent to pace the corridors, told to keep walking up and down the stairs. Once in a while I would have a strong contraction that would send me to my knees, but mostly it felt like nothing would ever happen and I would remain pregnant for ever, caring for my baby on the inside without ever meeting him or her in person.
I was offered pethidine, which I was completely against, but 'had' to take it or remain in severe pain. I was nauseous, I got sick, I still felt the pain but felt too numb to complain.
My baby was in distress, I was in bed, strapped to the monitoring machine, asking for an epidural, but due to an irregular heartbeat, they couldn't give it to me. After what seemed like a life time of a continuous nightmare, they had a regular heartbeat for enough time to allow me the epidural.
The anaesthetist came along, talked me through the procedure and put up the epidural. I asked her how long it would take for it to work, but did not even have the time to finish the sentence. a great big feeling of, what I can only describe as emptiness and utter peace washed over me in one huge wave. I lay back down, and fell asleep.
When I woke up again, a midwife told me I was ready to push and showed me on the monitoring machine where to read the contractions, as I probably would not feel anything with the epidural. each time a contraction came, I could feel the sensation of it, the tightening deep inside my womb, my baby slowly moving down, every muscle contracting in unison, but no pain!
I finally felt like I was about to wake up from this nightmare. until the midwife called for the doctor because my baby had gotten stuck and was not progressing anymore. She saw signs of meconium. The Doctor came and she told me she had to perform an episiotomy to be able to use the forceps and suction devices.
I was asked to breath in deeply to allow for the instruments to go in, and to push as strongly as I could to allow for my baby to be pulled out.
On Saturday the 13th of March at 3.23am, my baby boy was finally born.