Thursday, 24 October 2013

Labour and Birth: The Recovery

I have previously posted about my labour and birthLabour and Birth , albeit a very short post. However I now feel that the time has come to expand upon that post! I will tell you how it was, like it was! So advance warning now you may find this post has a little tmi for your liking!
At our 20 week scan my daughter was diagnosed with a duplex kidney, see postDuplex Kidney 20 week scan
Prior to my labour starting I received 3 sweeps (don’t worry, not all in one day!) they were over the course of the week/two weeks.
My labour started with some mild back ache in the morning and as the day progressed it gradually got worse and was accompanied by contractions. By about 5pm I couldn’t take much more and we left for the hospital.
As my labour progressed at the hospital I was given another sweep to encourage my waters to break, as at this point I was still only having contractions, two at a time I might add! Big ouchy!
During the last stages of my labour, due to the epidural I could not feel any contractions and had absolutely no urge to push. Apparantly I was senstive to the epidural. I kept asking the midwife to let me know when I was having a contraction so I would know when to push, however she didn’t do this. Which in my opinion led to me pushing at the wrong time, this resulted in me tearing, a second degree laceration to be precise. I was later told that there was no impending sign that I was going to tear so they did not feel the need to perform an episiotomy (small cut to the opening of the vagina to help with delivery).
After my baby was born she was taken over to a medical table as she was not crying, but she soon came round and let out a squeak! I had to stay on the bed for a further hour whilst I was stitched. By this time the epidural had started to wear off I was able to feel some of this. It took a long long time to heal and even then "it" was not the same as before, but I know that can be the case in a lot of women after pregnancy.
Once on the ward I noticed that my baby was having difficulty latching on to the breast, I requested help on a number on occassions but never received it! There is an ongoing debate about breast or bottle feeding babies, and it is true that not all women can breastfeed for one reason or another. I found it a very experience although I did enjoy the closeness I felt towards my baby when I was trying to feed her. Throughout the night she cried quite a bit and didn’t sleep much at all. The next morning a consultant came round who asked how my daugher had been feeding I explained not very well from what I could tell. She examined my daughter and diagnosed a tongue-tie. Please see my postBreast Feeding Tongue Tied for more information on this.
Whilst lying on the very uncomfortable hospital bed, I was still having contractions after the placenta had been delivered. Now I know it is normal to feel contractions as your womb returns to its previous size, but these just didn't feel right. They continued even after I had returned home. A while later and I was having aches and cramps in my tummy, and I continued to bleed more than the usual after birth and for a longer period of time than usual. I went to see my GP and I was referred for an internal scan (not pleasant at all, the device used looks like what I can only describe as microphone shaped!). This scan showed a very small fleck on the screen which was diagnosed as retained products of conception. I was sent home with antibiotics to prevent any infection and told that the products should naturally pass. However after the course of antibiotics had finished I was still having the aches, cramps and the bleeding. I returned for another scan which again showed the same small fleck, I was sent up to one of the wards and it was decided that as there was something present in my womb and as I was still bleeding they would carry out some blood tests. The result of this test would determine whether I needed to stay on the ward overnight and be booked in for a surgical scrape or whether I could be sent home with antibiotics. I was sent home with antibiotics. The aches and cramps and the bleeding seemed to be settling and luckily a few weeks later a new scan came back clear.
Although it wasn’t all plane sailing for my first pregnancy I can say that I feel truly blessed that I was able to conceive so quickly, and have a natural birth to welcome my daughter into the world.

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