Wednesday February 29, 2012
They wheeled me into the Labour Ward and I started to get settled in. I changed out of my clothes and into a long blue maternity t-shirt. I find it really interesting that they don't provide gowns to labouring moms in the UK. It's up to you to bring whatever you want to wear during labour. I was really comfortable in my t-shirt because it was a good mix of allowing me to move freely while still keeping me covered up. At this point, I was moving around to cope with the pain- sitting on the ball or leaning against the bed.
I met the midwife and student midwife who would be with us for the majority of the labour. The main midwife was fine, but a bit chirpy and flighty (she irritated Ross more than me, but because I was so focused on managing the pain I didn't notice). The student was great- very calming and supportive. I don't remember their names (or the names of any other midwives who helped us... it's just all a blur!) even though they were with us for hours and hours.
They wanted to monitor the baby's heart rate, so hooked me up. For a while they let me keep moving around, but they found that they kept losing the baby's heartbeat, so made me lie down in the bed. I'd been warned ahead of time that laying in the bed was the worst position for labour and I definitely found that to be true. It was instantly harder to cope with the contractions. I remember being really irritated that I couldn't move around any more, but continued with my technique of going zen and focusing through each contraction.
They examined me again and found that I had progressed a bit, but not as much as hoped. In came, a very chirpy young woman doctor who talked to me about Syntocin (similar to Pitocin). They wanted to administer it to help speed things up. Ross and I tried to argue that things were progressing on their own (albeit more slowly than expected) and that my being stuck in the bed wasn't helping matters. The doctor made a comment that I "obviously wasn't truly in labour because I wasn't distressed enough". Ross could tell I was about to show her distressed and interjected that my way of coping with the contractions was a quiet one and so if she was looking for yelling or hysterics she was out of luck. I could tell she didn't believe him and I wanted to smack her cheerful, patronizing face. It was so irritating to basically be told that I was coping with labour too well.
Ross and I took a few moments to discuss our options. I was so torn because I badly wanted to have an intervention-free birth, but I was also worried about complications. The doctor explained that we had the option to be sent back home and allowed to labour on our own as long as I didn't have a rise in my temperature. I looked at Ross with the question in my eyes. I felt awful, but I couldn't imagine going back home and continuing on at this pace. We were still in the midst of discussions, but were leaning towards allowing the intervention when the doctor made an announcement. I had developed a small fever. The decision was out of our hands, we needed to get labour going!
They gave me a cannula with two ports in it- one for antibiotics and one for fluids. It was just before midnight and I knew we'd be having a March 1st baby.