Meeting Eden

I had a very smooth pregnancy up until 33+6 weeks when I started to get unbearable itchy soles of my feet and palms of my hands. I knew exactly what it was, cholestasis. My best friend had it while pregnant with her second baby a few months before.

Luckily the next day, I had a midwife appointment with my MGP midwife. I mentioned to her that I'm pretty sure I had cholestasis, and she gave me the blood test referrals and sent me off to be monitored. It was confirmed that day and my levels were quite high, above 50. I started urso the next day to help with the itching. It stopped the itch entirely but doesn't make the cholestasis go away. I had lots of blood tests and monitoring after that until 36 weeks.

My midwife and I had an appointment with an OB to discuss induction in the next week or so. We decided to book it in for 36+6 weeks as my levels were quite high. The OB took my blood pressure. It was high. This was odd as my blood pressure was always normal. They waited 5 mins and took it again, nope, still high. SHIT, I thought, and I'm sure my amazing midwife thought as well! My midwife told me to go straight to maternity to be monitored. I also had a growth scan that was already booked in prior.

She did a urine sample and found the dreaded protein in my urine. I had some BP meds at this point, and she took my BP again about 30 mins later, still high. I saw another OB after that, and it was decided I was to be admitted that night for monitoring as my bp was so high, I can't remember how high, but they were very concerned. I wasn't showing any other signs of preeclampsia. I got to go home the next day. My BP was finally cooperating with the meds.

I was told to return the following day (Saturday 19th October 2019) to be monitored. I also had a pregnancy massage booked in that morning at the Torquay RACV resort. It was incredible! Just what I needed.

We took our time to get back to the hospital. I had a shower, repacked my hospital bag and ate some lunch. I was told to call before going in to make sure there was a chair for me to be monitored. At the time Geelong Hospital had a cyber attack (I know so random), a lot of their systems were down.

The midwife I spoke to said I didn't need to come in, there was nothing in my notes about it, and to just go to the chemist to have my BP checked…. Righto. I called my MGP midwife, and she said, "let me deal with it" 😅 She called back and apologised, saying that the midwife clearly didn't know what was going on, and because of the systems being down, there weren't any notes in my file.

We went in around 4 pm. A lovely midwife took us into a low-risk massive birth suite as the monitoring room was closed; whoops, I didn't know that was a thing! My BP was high again. Argh. I was on the CTA, baby was happy, so that was reassuring. I was given multiple bp meds, and it was still high. About 5 hours later, numerous registrars were coming in and out, asking me questions. Not much was really being said to me. A doctor put a cannula in my hand, and this was when I knew I wasn't leaving.

An OB eventually told me they would induce me that night instead of the Monday as my bp was unstable and what was two days in the long run! Great, finally! I'm so excited! They moved me to another birth suite. James went to get my bags and some dinner. I had had a cervical check a few days before, and I was already 2cm dilated. They decided to use cervidil to soften my cervix. James went home, and I watched Harry Potter. I fell asleep around 12 am but was regularly woken by a midwife checking my bp or screaming women in labour 😂

I had period like cramps all night. Around 5.30 am, I woke up and noticed they were getting strong, and I couldn't sleep through them now. I got up and walked around the room for about an hour, called James at 6.30 am, and he came in around 7.30 am with Maccas coffee. The cramps had picked up at this point but were manageable. I was given some panadeine forte which took the edge off. We played a card game while I ate breakfast.

At 8.30 am, some doctors came in to break my waters. That was a fun experience! The cramps went from 0-100 at this point, and I vomited not long after. I was comfortable kneeling on the floor leaning over the bed; the CTG wasn't working very well, so they put on one of the electronic monitoring clips. I remember that being really painful! I got back onto the floor and stayed there until 11 am when I asked for the epidural. The anaesthetist came within 20 mins, and the epi started working about 30-40 mins after it was administered. Omg bliss!!!!!

I finally got to open my eyes again, ate some food, have a conversation with the midwife and James. I decided to have a nap while using the peanut ball. About 2 hours later, I started feeling this burning sensation in my right hip; my midwife got me a hot pack to put on my back which helped a little. I continued to try to sleep until I couldn't lie down anymore. The pain was back full force, but it was all in my back! I vomited again. My midwife checked me as she thought I was transitioning. 9cm!!!

In 2 hours, I went from 4cm to 9cm with no hormones! Amazing, not long now, my midwife says. I'm up on the bed, leaning over the back of it, visualising all the calm birth techniques and focusing on my breathing. 5 HOURS passes.

The contractions are full-on; they're coming one after the other with no break. My midwife decides to check me again, still 9cm with a lip. Hmm, interesting. She tells me that baby is posterior with her head up instead of tucked down into her chest. Great. A doctor comes in and suggests trying to turn the baby. Oh my lord, it is so painful! It doesn't work. Shit, now I'm out of my zone and being on my back is awful!

My midwife and a doctor suggest a potential c-section. I burst into tears. What! Why! We're so close. Baby is fine. She hasn't shown any signs of distress the whole time. They give us a minute to ourselves. Obviously, we want to do what's best for the baby. They tell us they're are concerned that if I continue labouring, the baby could go into distress, and they want to avoid that. We completely understand and agree.

My midwife steps out with the doctors and suggests that instead of going straight in with the c-section, can they reassess for vaginal birth once I'm in theatre. They agree, and I sign the papers. Another midwife from the MGP comes in and shows me a position to do that is meant to help posterior babies move down. The bottom half of the bed is dropped down, and I wiggle my booty to the edge and spread my legs into a butterfly shape. I tried to do this for 5 mins, but omfg, it is so painful on my back, I couldn't hold it for very long.

At this point, it's about 6/615pm. The OR is ready for me. I get wheeled down to theatre, James is thrown some scrubs. I remember laying there waiting to go into theatre, digging my fingers into my palms. It was awful being on my back and not having a break between contractions.

Finally, I get wheeled into the little room before theatre. A lovely gentleman tops up my epidural to as high as it could go—instant relief. I could feel the coldness of the medication going down the catheter on my back. Into the theatre I go, and holy shit, I'm so calm. I didn't care what happened at that point; I was just so happy to be out of pain. They lift me over to the operating table, which is an odd feeling, haha.

The anaesthetist is asking where I'm numb up to using ice, it's a bit low, so they give it a bit more time. The ob puts my legs into stirrups, and omg! The baby has moved down, and I'm 10cm! They tell me to push. I push twice.

Everyone is cheering me on; I feel like I'm breaking my midwife's hand 😂

The ob says she's going to use the ventouse to turn babies head. She also has to do an episiotomy. Go for it, I say! Babies head is half out, and I push once more. They tell me to reach down and pull her up.

6.52 pm 20th October 2019 Eden Charlotte is here!

She's screaming and crying very loudly. I put her on my chest, and the docs do all the initial checks while she's on my chest. She's healthy! I was stitched up for about 30 mins, and James took baby Eden with my midwife to recovery to be weighed etc. 2990g; she's a big girl for 36+5 weeks!

I met them there not long after and latched Eden onto my nipple. I was in recovery for about an hour then taken to the maternity ward around 830pm. Unfortunately, James couldn't stay, so we did all the quick family calls, then James went home around 10 pm. He said he's never fallen asleep so quickly before 😂

That first night was amazing. Eden had low blood sugar and needed some formula and glucose. She was a little jaundice as well; poor thing had so many heels pricks that night. Luckily she didn't need to go under the purple lights.

She slept a lot the first night, which I'm sure was from how full she was from the formula! I got to have a shower and made friends with my roommate, we spoke most of the night, and the midwives told us to go to sleep 🤣

The next day they decided to keep us another night for more monitoring just because Eden was technically prem, her blood sugar was low, and I didn't have the GBS swab. The second night was rough, just from how exhausted I was.

We went home on 22nd October; that was surreal driving home with a baby! My episiotomy was quite sore that first day home, especially after the car ride. I definitely recommend keeping up with Nurofen and Panadol regularly!

My stitches healed quite quickly. I stopped taking the pain meds by day 4. Breastfeeding was really difficult as I have awfully flat nipples. I made it to 8 weeks before deciding to pump and use formula, which was the best decision I ever made! We were all happier with this, and eventually, at 13 weeks, I stopped pumping completely.

She's a chill, nearly two year old now. She's always a super chill baby and such a character. We're having our second baby in a few weeks. I'll be induced again due to IUGR; I'm hoping for a similar experience again 🤞🏼🤞🏼

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