Birth is one of those amazing, life changing events that is completely unpredictable. The birth of my son is a testament to that as you are about to read.
This is the story of the arrival of my son, Ryan in November, 2008.
It all started on a typical spring day – I had had the feeling all day that labour wasn’t far off, as I had niggling, intermittent abdominal pains and felt a bit irritable. My daughter had been born in 2005 and it was a very long and difficult labour, so I was hoping that my second child would arrive more quickly and with more ease!
That evening, at around 10:30pm, just as I was settling down into bed to go to sleep, my waters broke. I didn’t really have any pain at this time, so thought I’d just ring the midwives to see what I should do. They told me that some women don’t go into labour immediately, so I should just have a couple of panadol, put lots of pads in and towels on the bed, and go off to sleep for a few hours. I did just that, but by 11:30 I was starting to get contractions which became stronger by the minute and closer together. I dealt with them for about an hour before I decided it was time to go to hospital – I rang my friend to come to look after my daughter, and my hubby packed me into the car and off we went to hospital.
As soon as I got to hospital, I was checked out – only 3cm dilated, so awhile to go yet. I hopped into a spa bath for a while until the contractions became more painful – this was relaxing and put me in quite a positive state of mind. My labour with my daughter 3 years previously had been quite difficult and I had little control over it, so this time I was determined to be in control of my labour and to be relaxed!
I spent the first stages of my labour in complete control, relaxed and calm and only needing the occasional puff of gas.
Finally, I think it was a bit after 5 am, I felt like it was time to push. I wanted to keep upright during the actual delivery, but my midwife advised me, due to the difficulties I had during my daughter’s birth, that it would be better to deliver on the bed. So up I hopped, and started to push. Eventually the head did come out, but that’s when the chaos began. The midwife saw that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Ryan’s neck, so he had to be delivered quickly. She called for help, and proceeded to cut the cord. She was encouraging me to push really hard to deliver the rest of him, but by this stage I was in immense pain and absolutely exhausted, and I just couldn’t push hard enough. I think at this stage Ryan was becoming distressed, as one of the midwives suddenly ran over to the emergency buzzer and called out for available staff. They had to deliver Ryan NOW!!
Everyone was yelling at me to keep pushing, but I was becoming more distressed as the pain was unbearable and I was panicking. I started to feel quite detached from the whole situation, I guess almost like I was outside my own body – that must have been the shock setting in. The obstetric registrar appeared, and virtually pulled my baby out of me. All of a sudden, the pain and contractions just stopped, but they took Ryan away so quickly, I didn’t even get to see him. All the doctors and nurses were across the room with him, and I could see the top of his head was a horrible grey colour. My hubby and I both just held each other and cried. I remember saying “What’s happening to my baby?” over and over, and eventually, after what felt like hours, my midwife came over and said that they had to resuscitate my baby as he’d stopped breathing and had no heartbeat for about a minute. By this stage my hubby and I were hysterical, and we were faced with the real possibility that we could lose our little boy before we had even had the chance to meet him. The emotional pain was unbearable (much worse than any physical pain I had ever had) – like someone had ripped my heart out of my chest. After about ten minutes, they whisked Ryan off to Special Care, and the midwives came to attend to me.
After a while, the nurses allowed me to get in a wheelchair and go to the SCU to see my baby. I burst into tears when I saw my boy…..he was all puffy from excess fluid, and was in a humidicrib with all these tubes everywhere. He had a CPAP breathing apparatus, an IV drip, and a tube going into his mouth down to his stomach to drain excess stomach contents.
It was all so overwhelming, as it’s something you never expect could happen to you, especially considering the trouble-free pregnancy I had.
As the day went on, Ryan’s condition improved rapidly, so much so, that by about 7 pm that night he was off the oxygen, and I was able to give him his first little breastfeed. Once I held him in my arms, I just knew everything would be ok. He and I spent another six days in hospital, to make sure we would recover. His birth weight was 4.2 kg (approximately 9lb 5oz), which was pretty huge considering my small 57kg frame! The medicos believe that his size probably saved him in the end.
Now my beautiful boy is three years old, and as normal as any three year old could be – I am not a very religious person, but I truly believe there was some divine intervention happening the day of my son’s birth – he was meant to be here!
Submitted by Cara