The Joy of Labour!

Back at the hospital I was shown to my birthing room where the toilet facilities were shared with the room next door.  The midwife did not seem overly concerned about my loss of blood earlier.  She strapped up my belly in order to monitor the baby's heartbeat.  For now all appeared to be fine but I was still not having any contractions.  It wasn't a case of they were happening but I couldn't feel them; they actually weren't coming. This was evidence by the ticker tape that was coming out of the machine.

A few hours passed by and it was soon evening, and still nothing was happening.  The midwife decided that it was best to induce the labour as the baby had been without it waters for such a long time now.  She put the catheter into a vessel in my hand, which was the most excruciating pain that I had ever experienced prior to this moment.  It hurt so much that it made me cry.  They hooked up a bag of solution which was then fed into the catheter.  The amount was controlled by a slight turn of a tap near the top end of the tube that was attached to the bag.  Following the ordeal I waited for labour to start.

My contractions started off very slowly and I had hooked myself up to a tens machine I had borrowed from a friend.  With every contraction I had I turned the voltage to its highest setting but it still didn't take the edge of the pain.  At the same time I was on gas and air.  Neither of these things helped with the pain.

A few hours later, which seemed like forever, the midwife advised that perhaps I ought to have some pain relief.  I gladly consented to a dose of pethedine.  Even so, that didn't really do much to help alleviate the pains of the contractions.  All the while my belly was being monitored and the contractions were getting more frequent but I was way too tired to even notice what was going on.

Throughout the ordeal I was constantly being checked over for signs of further dilation and things were not happening as quickly as I had hoped.

Very late that night, the midwife advised that I should have an epidural as it was clear that the pain relief I currently used was not helping a lot.  Also it would help me get some rest in order to regain whatever energy I could muster for the final stages of labour.

Again, I gladly consented and she sent for the Consultant Anaesthetist to put me out of my misery.  When I exposed my spine he examined it closely to locate the best spot to insert the needle.  It was then that he said I had a slight kink in my spine near the part where he needed to get to.  I thought "Great! Does that mean you can't do it?"  Little did I know that I was thinking aloud and he calmly reassured me that it shouldn't be a problem and he continued with the procedure.  I hadn't felt a thing, nor did had I seen the size of the catheter and needle used beforehand, otherwise I think I might not have chosen to go ahead with it!  I have heard stories of some horrendous side affects that an epidural can cause, such as neck and back pain, but I was confident that I would not be one of those statistics.  At this moment in time I was ready to have anything going just to get rid of the pain I was experiencing.

It was now about midnight and the epidural was the best thing ever.  I could still feel the muscles contracting but could not feel any pain.  I began to dose in and out of sleep and was glad to not think about or feel the pain anymore.

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