It all began …Wednesday 7th March 2018 I felt funny but nothing out of the ordinary , collected the boys from school at 3pm ( my stepson’s , being a Stepmum I will write another blog post about as I’m sure lots of you can relate ) this being day 3 past my due date , made tea put the boys in the bath and put them to bed and we went to bed as usual ourselves like any other normal night , but tonight was going to be the start of a long intense journey ! I woke at 1am with my waters breaking in bed I jumped up and woke the other half , this being my first I was unsure what to do , we rang our delivery suite who advised I should go in but as we had other young children as long as I didn’t have any contractions I could take them to school at 8 ( If I got that far ) and then go in to be assessed , we then rang my mum and mother in law who both preferred it if we went straight in , so we woke the boys at 1:30am , who were very excited although didn’t realise understand what was going to happen and we dropped them at their nana and grandads, it couldn’t have happened on a better night the boys were due to go home that day and we get them back the next week so it meant no plans or routines for them needed to be changed , and if you know me you’ll know how much i like organisation and routine so this was just perfect ! Off we went to James Cook University Hospital Maternity Unit , they were amazing ! Checked me out checked the fluid and all was okay but baby wasn’t on the way just yet so they booked me in for midnight that night to go back in and be induced as they only allow you to go 24 hours after your water break, not all hospitals do this which I found astounding as if you lose too much fluid it can put baby at risk, so we went home , even went out for coffee to costa coffee with the in-laws for lunch , but what I was most shocked at was the fact when your water go they continue to leak and leak and leak until you go into full labour , no one prepared me for that ! It felt as if i was peeing all day !We had a labrador puppy at this point , the other half and him went for a lovely long walk to tire him out and I relaxed on the couch we got to about 4pm and my pains started to get stronger although manageable but soon got close together so we thought we better set off as the hospital is around 30 minutes away so car packed and off we went again … this was it ! A very surreal feeling came over me in the car and one I will never forget, i was going to hospital as me and coming home as a mum, how would I manage, would I get it right , will my baby love me , what if I can’t give birth, all sorts and I was suddenly very teary !When we arrived we were seen straight away and examined , I was only 1cm and it was the most painful assessment ever ..and I mean ever .My mum and dad were no with us too and I was in a side room but not on delivery suite just yet , the pains were intense and making my eyes water, I was given paracetamol and codeine for this ( I’m not the bets with pain anyway ) , I had my mind-set on a water birth and little to no pain relief if I could, at this point my dad was amazing rubbing my back calming me down , I totally didn’t expect this from him but it was just what I needed.
Next onto the delivery suite, again staff at all points were fabulous and nothing was too much trouble, as soon as we were in the room and settled they ran me a huge nice warm bath and I got in , expecting to be able to manage my pain through the water , how wrong I was , or more how unprepared for the pain I was, I soon needed to get out the bath and realised I needed something to help me through this , I was helped out of the bath and into some comfy pyjamas and given gas and air….now i’m not one for drinking as I don’t like the feeling of not being in control , and the gas and air soon made me feel like this and very scared they offered me an epidural and I accepted , soon the anaesthetist was in the room and prepping me for this ( this i cannot remember and is what I have been told from my mum and partner ) I became delirious and scared of the anaesthatist I thought he was there to hurt me and my baby but felt unable to speak to tell anyone, my partners face looked like it was made from playdoh and melting ! because of this I moved as he put the epidural into my back ( more on this later ) soon the epidural began to work and I stopped using the gas and air and felt more in control although unable to feel much , I felt the need to push and the midwife checked me and i wasnt fully dilated, she advised me an hour or two and baby would start to come down , but much sooner than that she nipped out of the room and my mum noticed something on the monitor connected to baby, I thought she was worrying for no reason but when the midwife came back in my mum asked her and she was very concerned within minutes an amazing team of nurses midwives and a doctor were present and trying to get my baby out , I was being told to push but baby wasnt moving ,i was rolled from side to side to try to get baby moving but nothing helped, next my legs were put in stirrups and the doctors tried to suck baby out , this again didn’t work , again I don’t remember much of this and all still feels very surreal, after only 5 minutes of trying the doctor just simply said “get her to theatre” , they gowned up my other half and i was wheeled down , laid in the prep room watching him stood in blue scrubs , the next words were awful, my epidural was blocked and I’d have to be completely put to sleep , meaning he wasnt able to come to theatre, as I watched the doors close and I was put to sleep , mine and my baby’s life were completely in their hands. I was taken to theatre around 2:40 and out gorgeous girl was born at 2:47am on friday 9th march weighing a tiny but gorgeous 6lbs 2 oz, I was brought round around 45 minutes later, and took to a room where they brought her in ( her gender was a surprise ) neither me or my partner met her until i came out of theatre and he was allowed to tell me we had a girl, completely and utterly amazing after 25 hours of trauma , we had our baby safe and sound and we were now a family, i was a mummy ! I looked at my other half and still do , and love him now more than I ever thought possible ! Happy ever after right ?
Wrong ! I was kept in for 3 days , being allowed home at tea time on the sunday 11th ,mothers day , my first ! by the Tuesday morning I couldn’t get out of bed for pain in my head , horrific pain , I couldn’t even lift my head, it took me 4 hours to get from my bed to the couch then we decided it was probably best to go back to hospital, we got there and again the staff were amazing and quickly the anaesthetists were back in my room , as Imentioned earlier because of my distress I moved when having my epidural inserted and because of this the epidural didn’t go into the correct dural space and instead punctured into my spine causing the fluid around my brain to leak and my brain to drop, this causing the awful pain. It was soon arranged that I needed to go back to theatre for a second op, called a blood patch to TRY and stop the leak, luckily for me I hadn’t given myself my bloodthining injecting that day as id been too poorly which meant I could go to theatre that night , so 6pm came and I was taken back to theatre awake this time ! In I went and given another epidural, one which I was much calmer for this time as I was fully aware of what was going on and what was needed from me , absolutely stillness ! they sterilised all of my shoulder and arm and placed into a sterile area while I laid on my side , they extracted blood from my arm and passed it over to the other surgeon to inject into an area in my back to hopefully block the leak , after the procedure I was taken back to my side room where my partner and baby were allowed to stay which definitely helped, I had to lie completely flat for 6 hours, no getting up for the toilet or anything , awful 6 hours but soo worth it in the end, I was allowed up about 2am for the toilet and then back to bed to sleep, once I woke the next day i was seen again by the anaesthetist , who checked everything with me again and were pleased with my response to the second op, as at this point I was told a 3rd of people the op fixes them in 24 hours ( which it seemed to have me ) a third, need a second blood patch, and a 3rd it doesn’t work for, the headaches learn to be lived with and managed, im so please di wasnt in this third,I simply couldn’t of coped ! but from that day I havent suffered anymore and I am so very thankful to the amazing team at the james cook hospital for their work looking after me and my baby, as only recently my mum has told me that she really thought at one point I had lost her, something which was so hard to hear as because of the gas and air I wasnt with it and never thought it was that bad, but luckily she is here and just perfect almost 6 months now !
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Jessica – Lifeasweknowit