My son was born exactly a month ago today. It was a more difficult birth than I had anticipated – we knew he was big, but he was also slow to descend, so in the end they used forceps to bring him out (and an episiotomy). He also had his hand in front of his face (apparently known as a nuchal hand presentation), which must have added to the head circumference. From what I understand, this is the most common of weird presentations (other ones include breech etc).
I also decided to go with fentanyl, as it was way more painful than I expected, and gas was doing nothing for me. I was asking for an epidural, in fact, but they told me I had to be dilated a certain amount first, and by the time they checked and I was dilated that much it was too late (I was almost in stage two [i.e. pushing]), and it wouldn’t have done much to help.
My waters broke at 11.30 pm or so, and Mum and I went into the hospital around 5ish am. The contractions were still fairly minor at this point, pain-wise, but were coming relatively often. The midwife did a vaginal exam, and I was only 1cm dilated (the exam was incredibly painful as a result of the lack of dilation, by the way). She said I had the option of going home again for a while or augmenting labour with syntocinon (an oxytocin analogue), but in the end recommended augmentation, as my waters had broken and she was aware of the risk of infection as a result of the vaginal exam as well. So I started fentanyl and syntocinon, and boy was that painful. Stage one lasted until about 1pm.
I pushed for two hours, but he didn’t come out, and in the end he started exhibiting signs of distress, so the midwife called the doctor in and they pulled him out with forceps.
He was slightly jaundiced, but otherwise healthy – he got very good Apgar scores.
Right now he is alert and cooing, and smiling occasionally (not quite learned about smiling yet I think). Unfortunately I have to give top-ups of expressed milk and/or formula with every feed, as he is not gaining weight fast enough, which means I have to pump every feed as well – this is very time consuming. But he is sleeping very well at night, so there are only two night feeds, and I am allowed to only breastfeed for these, which makes life easier (for a while I was having to pump and top up for these ones too).
Anyway – all in all a successful outcome of my fertility journey! Perfect baby, happy mother.
I am planning on continuing this blog, but it may be even more sporadic now – I am still not feeling quite human (lack of sleep, lack of time to do anything much beside eat, sleep, feed, pump, repeat), and I imagine this will last a while.