Monday, June 21, 2010

Eli's birth story 3 years on!

I've never written Eli's birth story as it's been hard to deal with. I'll try to keep it short!

Eli was in a good position for his birth. My waters broke at about 10am and I went into labour at 8pm that night and he was born about 2am. Labour progressed smoothly and reasonably easily. I was at home, the pool was full and warm and I utilised it in the later stages of my labour. Eli's heart rate was good. I opted to let the midwife use the Doppler so I didn't have to get out of the pool. When I shared the feeling of an urge to push I was encouraged to feel for the babies head. I was fully dilated and it was obvious that I had experienced transition. When I felt for Eli's head I described it as soft and squishy. The midwife was a bit puzzled by this and assumed that his waters hadn't broken completely. I followed the next urge to push and Eli's umbilical cord prolapsed (a loop fell out of me).

For those who don't know, this is a major emergency. As Eli was attempted to birth he was cutting off his own oxygen by compressing his cord. My husband was the only person to ask a question about this rare ( between 0.14% and 0.62%) event in our antenatal classes! In class we were told head down, bum up, keep the cord safe and moist etc and get to the hospital. Well that just wasn't going to happen. I was fully dilated, ready to birth and needed to get Eli out fast! My husband called an ambulance without a prompt. We all knew this was serious. My midwife looked at me and said 'We need to get this baby out now'. I said 'Ok, I'm pushing.' I pushed regardless of contractions, as hard as I could. Our backup midwife arrived, thinking she was coming to a swift moving, easy birth. My yells were the first indication to her as she got out of her car that things may have changed. She helped me out of the pool as our LMC (Lead Maternity Carer) had decided that an episiotomy would help get my baby out as fast as possible. At one stage I was told to have a rest and refused. As our LMC got the anesthetic ready I yelled 'Just cut me'. So she did and it hurt, but I wasn't going to risk taking any more time!

Eli was born in 12 minutes from the moment his cord prolapsed. He was blue and limp and not breathing very well. But he was breathing! He was alive. Many babies don't survive a prolapsed cord. His heart never stopped, though it got as low as 6o beats per minute (I think?). To sum up, the ambulance arrived, we went to the hospital, nasal oxygen helped Eli instantaneously and he had a few hours in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit NICU (at 8.3lbs he was by far the biggest healthiest baby there!). I was stitched up, while my husband stayed with Eli. We were convinced to give him antibiotics 'in case' of infection, grrrr! I wasn't allowed to feed him for 10 hours while his breathing was monitored. He was on a glucose drip. We were allowed home after one night in hospital.

Eli is a happy, healthy, clever almost 3 year old so we were very lucky. On visiting Eli in NICU and learning of his birth a consultant doctor at the hospital said of the birth, something along the lines of 'It was a strange happening within a rare event'. It was reassuring to know that. I had done everything I knew (and I'd read a lot!) to have a healthy, safe pregnancy and birth and I felt pretty disappointed at what happened. Put in perspective I had a live and healthy baby!!!!

Well this post started off as a post on Hypnobirthing as now 33 weeks pregnant with our second child my husband and I have just finished a hypnobirthing course. The greatest benefit of the course was the opportunity to finish processing Eli's birth and go into this one without fear.

We are having this baby at home, in the pool and it's all going to be great! We have the same midwives and I know this one will happen the way I envision it.

Now that this story is told I'll post about Hypnobirthing! :)