Unfortunately my blood pressure was super high and we were advised that we needed to stay put to be monitored. Initially it was "just for half an hour then you can go home"... "hmmmm, it is still very high, we will just keep you another hour"... "hmmmm, Ive checked with the doctor, its still too high to send you home, we will keep you another hour".
In the meantime my contractions started!!
Me sporting the very fashionable "Fetal Heart Monitor" belt
(grainy fuzzy photo taken on Andee's phone, due to our good camera being AT HOME! DAMMIT!)
To keep my nerves under control and to stay focussed I had Andee writing down the contraction times on the little white board on the wall. The contractions were very irregular, 7 minutes, 4 minutes, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 10 minutes, 4 minutes. As each hour ticked by we kept contemplating whether Andee should try to race home and get our bags (or whether the hospital would be sending us home and it would be a waste of time?). Eventually the sun started to rise, my contractions were around 4 minutes apart (although still irregular) and the pains were getting stronger. I was still able to breathe deeply, pant and moan thru them (and had only taken some Panadeine Forte to take the edge off).
In the early hours of the morning a young asian male doctor came in to examine me. Had I not been in labour his lack of English and strange quirks would have seemed more like something from faulty towers and less like a trainee doctor in the burbs with a lack of experience and bedside manner. He started off by trying to explain how he was going to examine me with the plastic speculum to see how far I was dilated. However he kept getting his English muddled up and would look at the midwife when stuck for the relevant word. He also kept coughing heavily into the crook of his arm (charming!) I just kept thinking, please don't cough directly into my vagina upon inspection. Below is a brief script of some of the funnier CHING-GLISH moments of our conversation.
Doctor: Okay, we want to examine you to see how far you are along, then we probably twy to send you home to labour. (COUGH, COUGH, COUGH). Your contraction still very irregular, this not WEAL LABOUR yet... just weee-member your body,, it never done'd this before, it just getting weady. Okay, so this is NOT WEAL LABOUR, Okay... (COUGH, COUGH, COUGH)
Bron (thoughts in head only, not spoken aloud): Even if this is NOT "REAL LABOUR" could you bloody STOP SAYING THAT!! FFS! It is obviously the "start" of my labour, we perhaps don't need to continually point out how flippin far I have to go!!!
Doctor: Okay, we going to inspect you...because there is a hole in the baby...OH NO, NO NO sorry there is not hole in the baby, the hole in the membrane from waters leaking. So we check how far you are progressed now, OKAY? (COUGH, COUGH, COUGH)
Bron (thoughts in head only, not spoken aloud): Oh god,,, he is going to cough directly into my vagina...
Doctor: we can only use the plastic speculum because it is sterile, we cant use the finger because it is dirty... oh, no no, not that we just use a finger,,, I mean it would have a glove on... just it is dirty.
I mean it is a clean glove, but just not sterile. (COUGH, COUGH, COUGH)
Bron (thoughts in head only, not spoken aloud): Is this guy for real? (sneaks a look at Andee, exchange WTF face, without being rude or giving our thoughts away).
Doctor: Okay we do the speculum now
Bron-Shouts out loud in discomfort and pain as plastic tongs are shoved in, opened out and the doctor and nurse have a look and poke around.
Nurse: 2-3 CMS?? (looks at Doctor for confirmation and agreement)
Doctor: (nods at nurse, removes speculum and gloves) Okay, so as we thought this just the very start, Your contraction still very irregular, this not WEAL LABOUR yet... just weee-member your body,, it never done'd this before, it just getting weady. Okay, so this is NOT WEAL LABOUR, Okay... (COUGH, COUGH, COUGH) So soon we going to send you home, better to labour at home, OKAY?? These things can take some long time, so better at home...
Bron (thoughts in head only, not spoken aloud): We have been wanting to go HOME SINCE WE DAM WELL GOT HERE!! you guys are the ones that have told us to stay!! and now its really starting to hurt and I am 2-3 cms and NOW you want me to go home??
Doctor: We just monitor for a little while more and then we send you home, OKAY???
Doctor and Nurse leave room speaking in hushed tones
Bron and Andee exchange exaggerated rolled eyes, no words are even relevant for the ridiculousness that had just ensued... EXCEPT...
Andee: Did he say because there is a hole in the baby??
Giggles ensue as another contraction starts up...
Ha Ha Ha! I am still smiling... for now...
Eventually the sun rises, on Thursday the 20th of February 2014. We have still not been "sent home" despite being told repeatedly, by multiple different people that we will be going soon and that we should be at home (THANKS, THEN LET US GO!). Andee decides to make the move to race home and grab our bags and we ask the midwife on duty to come and sit with me in the meantime (as the contractions are coming once every 4 minutes and its really not nice being alone when they hit.
Of course 15 minutes after Andee leaves the doctor gives me the "ALL CLEAR" to finally GO HOME!! Plus the nice midwife who has been sitting with me and helping me to breathe thru the contractions announces her shift is finished and does a hand over with another midwife (who turns out to be one part WITCH, one part COW and two parts BITCH).
"Witch-Cow-Bitch" or "WCB" for short announces its time for me to go home, our conversation goes something along the lines below
WCB: Hi, I am WCB, I am taking over the shift this morning. You are still in the early stages of labour so we are going to send you home now to progress further, how do you feel about that?
Me: I feel a bit scared actually,,, the contractions are getting more intense, I kind of want to stay here now...
WCB: Righhhttt... So what are you scared of? Is there a "Problem" at home??
Me: ummm, no, I am just in labour for the first time and a little apprehensive that's all...
WCB: Is this because you have an anxiety problem? I saw you're on some medication...
Me: No... its nothing to do with that.
WCB: Perhaps you should be on more medication??
Me: (mouth open, did she really just say that?) No, I shouldn't, its nothing to do with that! Look my husband is still not back yet from going home to get our bags so I can't go now anyway
(Another contraction starts)
WCB: How about you hop in the shower a lot of women find that helps with the pain and we can discuss it again when your husband returns...
(After a shower I return to the room where I find all our bags packed, cups taken away and bed stripped of the blankets and sheets). Andee has returned and the WCB has informed him in my absence that I am a high risk patient for Post Natal Depression! (seriously! I am in labour for the first time, give us a break! How about my husband's ANXIETY LEVELS! I am sure he is pretty stressed right now about his wife giving birth for the first time, about the health of the baby, about whether her vagina will ever be the same again, about how we will both cope with the sleepless nights in the weeks ahead. Perhaps he doesn't also need to be told that his wife could also suffer from major depression after giving birth AS WELL!!
Finally we agree, yes we will go home, FINE! We understand there could be many more hours to follow! YES, we heard this is "early labour" not WEAL LABOUR! Right let's get out of here!
But before we could go...
We are told that we need to spend another 20 minutes on the Fetal Heart Monitor!
WHAT?? When we first got here all we wanted to do was leave (and were required to stay for hours on end) now the contractions are 4 minutes apart and the pain is getting bad and you want us to leave. Now we finally agree to leave and you need us to stay some more?
Eventually we make it home! With one sleepless night behind us and the unknown territory or "WEAL LABOUR" stretching out ahead...
To be continued IN The Epic Journey called Birth- PART 3 (haemorrhoids, stitches and THE "F" WORD)