Saturday, July 12, 2008

The birth story - Part 3

Contd from Part 1: It begins and Part 2: Endless night

Rollercoaster Ride

I had had enough. Over 10 hours of painful labour and just 2 cms dilated? Cut me open, I moaned. Get this child out NOW!

Hang in there, the husband told me gently, stroking my forehead. You can do it. Come on, let's give it another hour or so.

The next 2 hours were a bit of a blur. The contractions appeared to have slowed down and were coming at 10 minute intervals. The pain was intense, but I know it was not so much the pain as the despair I was feeling that brought on tears with each contraction.

At 8.30 am, my doc finally put in an appearance. How're you doing, she asked. Not good Doc, I replied miserably, it's going too slowly. She examined me and looked up in surprise - but you're already almost 5 cm dilated, she said. I almost fell off the bed in shock. The husband gave me a huge grin and a 'see-i-told-you-so' look.

Then things really got moving - by 9 am, I was 7 cm dilated and the doc told me that since we were trying for a VBAC, I had to have an IV inserted and be hooked up to the fetal monitor for continuous monitoring from this point on. That effectively left me strapped to the bed, a terrible position for dealing with the contractions.

Having almost killed the husband by crushing his neck with my one free arm for the next few contractions, I finally gave up and asked for an epidural. I was exhausted from the all night labour, the puking, the lack of sleep, and being tied up on the bed was making it worse. Also, I knew that if for any reason I had to go in for a C-sec, having an epidural block already inserted would ensure that I could have the procedure without general anaesthesia, even if it was an emergency.

I got the epidural and though it was a low dose and I could still feel the contractions and slight pain, what blessed relief! The doc estimated that in two hours time I should be ready to push and left with a cheery I'll be back. The husband and I grinned at each other like maniacs and settled down to chat, get some updates from home on how Moppet was doing (absolutely fine, like the meltdown of the night before had never happened) and generally relax for the first time in more than 12 hours.

After an hour, the nurse came in to check on me and left looking rather unhappy. Not much progress, she said. The doc came in another hour and left looking unhappy too. Still at 7 cms, let's give it another hour, she said.

The third hour was tense. The husband watched the monitor and kept up a running commentary on my contractions in an effort to raise my flagging spirits. Wow, that's a big one; ooh that one hit 100; I bet you'll be ready in another hour; man, this kid's a strong one - look at his heartbeat etc...

The doc came back and there was still no progress. The contractions were strong, but the cervix was refusing to open further, and the baby's head was still high. The doc said that this could be an indication of CPD (cephalo pelvic disproportion) - and that we'd wait one more hour before taking a call on a C-sec.

Hour 4 seemed like it would never end. The husband was still trying to cheer me up, pointing out how strong the contractions were and reminding me of how quickly I had progressed from 2cm to 7cm, but my hope was fast fading. My body was failing me, and I felt a deep sense of disappointment.

When finally the doc came back, I knew even before she examined me that there had been no further progress. We should consider a C-sec, she said. Continuing this will put unnecessary strain on the baby, and increase the risk of uterine rupture.

I agreed. I had been mentally preparing myself for this over the last hour, but once I signed the forms, I couldn't help being consumed by bitter disappointment. The husband wiped my tears and held my hand in silence, instinctively knowing there was nothing to say at that point.

The rest was a familiar routine for me. Being prepped for the surgery. Lying in the operation theatre, staring up at the light, numb from the waist down, arms spread out like I was nailed to a fallen crucifix. A tug and a push, the sound of a baby's wail. Congratulations being offered. The husband's masked face hovering concernedly over mine. A pink squalling bundle laid next to my cheek. Tears. Joy. Relief. Exhaustion.

My son. Worth every single second of the pain and more.

Then someone turned up the morphine and I slept.

Coming shortly: Recovery room reflections.


B o o said...

Wow Maggie! Every birth story sends a little shiver down my spine. You are truly a strong woman to have gone through such a long labor. Was wishing a VBAC for you but everything happens for a reason, does nt it? (Ok, ok. Gotta say something to cheer us up when we are disappointed, no? ;) Take care and hugs to M & M! :) Waiting for the next post.

dipali said...

Aww Maggie, poor you! All those hours and then a c-sec. But as long as you and Munchie boy are doing fine, iss okay. How's the big sistah?

Suki said...

OMG Maggie, that's SCARY. Sooo glad you, Moppet, Munch are all safe :)

SUR NOTES said...

hey there. glad to know it all worked out fine.

but you know, all the birth stories, mine included( no, mine most of all), i keep wondering about the c-section.

little moppet was a c-section baby too?

somehow i just cant shake off this feeling that there are too many c-sections happening. atleast you were not in india- so the whole indian medical scene can not be brought into question. but i am still wondering...

~nm said...

Hugs Maggie! I always get this feeling of being overwhelmed whenever I read birth stories!

Especially at the part when the mommy meets the baby for the first time! Its such a precious moment.

Wishing you happy times with you little bundle of joy and but ofcourse our dear moppet!

Kodi's Mom said...

Huge hugs! i can't believe you held on to it for over 10 hours + 2 + 4 - mostly painful hours. your strenght of spirit is incredible, Maggie, and I say that from the bottom of my heart.
Hope Li'L Munch reads this someday and realizes the marathon you ran for him.
ps: I was also quite moved by your husband's rock solid support. congrats once again to the three of you!!

RJ said...

Hats off to you for not taking the epidural sooner. I think I would take the epidural at home if I could :D.
Wish you joyous times ahead with your little ones!

desigirl said...

aw you brave girl!!! big hugs to u. no other words!

Mona said...

aw, maggie - sucks that you didn't get the vbac you wanted but oh well, you have beautiful little munch and you're okay and in the end, isn't that ALL that should matter?

p.s. sorry for being in such a hurry to know the end :)

Random Vignettes said...

*hugs* what an awesome job Mags..C-sec or not Munch looks like he was worth every single second of that night...

Parul said...

Hey Maggie,

I know that you had your heart set on a VBAC but a c-sec is a god-sent option when a normal delivery isn't I personally think you did GREAT! Well done and much love to your SON and DAUGHTER...there, hearing that feels good, no?


Rohini said...

You brave girl! I suspect I might have thrown in the towel a LOT earlier!!! Anyway, the only thing that matters is that you have a lovely little boy - doesn't really matter how he got here in the final analysis!

Poppins said...

Even when I had heard this from you, somehow reading abt it makes it harder(as always). I was teary when I read the part about being strapped down :(

Well, you know what we all say - healthy baby, healthy mother, thats what matters at the end of the day no?

Many many hugs for having the courage to undergo a trial of labor despite knowing that a C-Sec was always looming ahead..

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

I was so hoping your VBAC was successful as I read through the Birth stories series...
Personally I did not have a supporting doctor ...if not my heart was really on trying VBAC.
But anyways, alls well that ends well ... take care.

Wunderyearz said...

My eyes are filled with tears......Aww poor you, had to go through such a long labour.But at the end of those eventful and painful hours you have a lovely bundle of joy in your hand and thats all that matters.
Love to Moppet and Munch

Swati said...

Aww..hugs and love ..I have no words as of now

Sue said...


And yes, he's totally worth it. Even if he turns out to be cast in a Bhablet mould. :) He's so handsome right now, extremely edible.

the mad momma said...

I was crying by the end of your post. this was the VBAC I had prayed for since my own didnt work out. And the same emotion as the last time except that i didnt even get so far. when you wrote the bit out the lights in the OT I could feel my stomach clenching.

you poor poor baby. i know how bad you wanted this. hang in there. we have our beautiful healthy babies and we're grateful for that arent we?


Collection Of Stars said...

Oh Maggie, that must have been so tough.
You are really brave to have gone through so much pain. I have always thougth that second deliveries are much easier than the first.
Anyways, all's well that ends well :)
Hugs to you. Hope you have recovered now.
You have written these parts so beuatifully. Am looking forward to reading the next one :)

Anonymous said...

Everything happens for the best. I had a painful and unpleasant natural delivery, the effects of which I am still bearing… I keep cursing the doctor for not doing a c-section.
Natural delivery is just overhyped!

DotThoughts said...

All's well that ends well, right? That was a rough delivery. Kudos to you for aving the will and the strength to go through it. The posts were so well written. I felt I was there waiting for Munch to make hos grand entry :) Glad you are recovering well after that ordeal. On a positive note, I think it will be a great story, not only for Munch but for the grandkids as well :)

ddmom said...

aww.. Maggie.. Read all the 3 parts, bought tears and nostalgic memories. I can understand that sense of disappointment at the mention of c-sec. But that feeling is only short lived. Once you see the hale and healthy baby, none of those matter. Just as you say, worth every second of pain and more.
Hugs and hats off to you for having pulled it through the tough and long one. All's well that ends well.
Waiting to hear Moppet's reaction to Munch..

WhatsInAName said...

The baby is worth everything. I know the disappointment you must have felt. I felt it both the times but its OK :) Whatever God does is for our best!
My best wishes to you and family!

BangaloreMom said...

Oh dear!!

Nothing new to say M! All that matters is that you are healthy and have a nice, beautiful baby boy to hold right now. Good luck to all 4 of you!

Sunita said...

Dear!! I dont know what to say. HUGS!!!
I am glad both you and munch are doing good.
Hugs again!!

Mystic Margarita said...

You're such a brave girl. But you've a precious Munch to show for it. :) Thanks much for sharing.

bird's eye view said...

Mags - poor you. Sounds terrible, and I think you were really brave to hang in there for so long and keep trying for VBAC. Anyway, all's well that ends well, so thank God you and Munch are doing fine.

Mama - Mia said...


as long as mum and the baby are OK who cares about HOW?! :)

that story made quite a read! glad that alls well!



Tharini said...

Dear dear Mags...

I am just about catching up on your lovely posts and the birth story has moved me so much. It may sound cliched to you, but you had been so sooo brave to withstand all those gruelling hours with so little progress and still have the heart to stomach more. I think its infinitely hard getting to the hospital, finding out its only 1cm and then sticking it out there the rest of the time, until you did what you had to do for the baby's own good. Its truly amazing!

I am glad you are back on your feet now and enjoying both your babies. Isn't being a Mom of 2 really precious?