Thursday, 2 January 2014

Itchy Liver - Part Two - The Rest of the Context

*DISCLAIMER* This post was originally written when I thought I was going to be induced and that all would be fine and dandy.  As many of you now know, things did not go according to plan, but I felt it was important to still post this prior to posting the main birth story in due course as it provides the rest of the context leading up to the eventual events on 17th/18th December 2013.

The post was originally intended to be released to coincide with my being admitted to hospital on the morning on the 16th December 2013.

So, as I said, by Tuesday 10th December and our appointment with the Consultant's team I was so ready to just have the baby here safely, by hook or by crook as Andy had said, the significance of that will become clear...

We finally got to see a Registrar in the team 45 minutes after our appointment time (which always seems to be the case with them!) and explained what had been happening.  She explained that having had the itching and a raised liver function meant I definitely had OC and was surprised I hadn't been prescribed anything for it.

She agreed that the best course of action would be to continue to monitor the situation in MAU with more blood tests and monitoring and she would see when the first available slot was for an Elective Caesarean Section.  In the meantime, could she please examine me.  So off she went to get me a slot whilst I lay on the bed awaiting my fate.  She came back 5 minutes later to say that the first slot they had for a Caesarean was the 23rd of December.  Right, no thanks.  For SO many reasons.  Who wants to be in hospital for Christmas?!  I have a 5 year old, seeing her at Christmas is one of the most important things ever.  She could sense my disappointment and continued with her exam...

Where she was thoroughly surprised and said, "You won't make it to the 23rd!"  She did a sweep and asked me to make myself decent again (yeah, I've massively edited all of that!)

After that she said she needed to discuss the options with my actual consultant, who was in a meeting which was due to finish any minute so she went to wait for her whilst we went to see the lovely midwife Zeni from the 'fat clinic'.  We felt very encouraged by what the Registrar had said about my innards and so was Zeni.  She said she couldn't believe how different I looked to when she saw me before the appointment (when I had resigned myself to a Caesarean)!  Zeni booked me in for another sweep on the 19th December and suggested I ask them to do one on the 12th December when I was due back in MAU for more monitoring.

I felt positive things were going in the right direction so felt confident we'd just get the baby out in good time ourselves.  The Registrar came back with another option for us.  I'd be admitted to the Labour Ward to have my waters broken in the hopes of kick starting me into labour.  The date written on her piece of paper was 16/12/13.  Oh, that'd be Monday then, less than a week after our appointment!  Eeeeek!

She explained that they'd break my waters, let me move around for a couple of hours to try and get things moving and if that didn't work, they'd stick me on a Syntocinon drip.  Oh, what now?  Syntocinon?  Yeah, fake hormones.  The stuff that the whole way through my pregnancy had been a massive red flag to pretty much everyone because of the strain it could put on my scar.  And yet, here we were actively agreeing to it.  I mentioned to the Registrar I was worried about this and she said it would be in tiny amounts just to speed things along a little.

I said how my plan had always been to try a natural approach to pain relief and I was worried the Syntocinon was going to amp things up to a level where I had no option but to have an Epidural.  She appreciated this but also said that an early Epidural would probably be recommended in case I have to have a Caesarean which she assured me, they would try to do in daylight hours when the full complement of staff would still be available.

Wait, what now?!  Hmmm.  Yes, alarm bells probably should be ringing, which is what led me to be writing this post.  It would seem that basically this 'Induction' is a way of me bypassing the Elective Section list.  By agreeing to an induction (something I'm actually not opposed to because I'm hoping my body does the right thing and goes into labour so I can achieve my VBAC) I am basically then classed as an 'Emergency Section' when things don't progress.

So here's what I understand will be happening tomorrow (Monday 16th December 2013 remember)...

  • I'll have my waters broken - hopefully labour will start by itself at that point (It bloody better do!!)
  • If that doesn't work, I'll be put on a Syntocinon drip - at which point my brain starts to panic because I worry that'll be too painful to cope with on Natal Hypnotherapy and Entonox alone.
  • If that doesn't work, I'll be taken in for a Caesarean - not overly worried about this, just the implications it has; staying on a very busy ward for 2 days afterwards (6 beds to the ward, too many in my opinion) and not being able to get into town later in the week to finish my Christmas shopping (PRIORITIES!!!)
So it's all left me in a funny old mood today.

Excited - tomorrow, (by hook or by crook...) we'll be meeting our son finally.  They aren't going to 'let me' (another blog post for another time) labour for too long, especially not if I've had Syntocinon because they won't want the scar to be put under too much duress.  My one saving grace might be the Midwife assigned to me in the morning, when we visited the Labour Ward the Midwife who showed us round said they'll do their best to help me achieve a VBAC - they try to keep the doctors at arm's length (not sure whether that will still apply tomorrow...!)

Sad - I'm going to miss my bump.  My funny shaped bump (and Lord knows I have had bump envy!!).  I'm going to miss the movements, and wriggles and hiccups.  The things that were shared just between me and our boy.  It's been the bane of my life at times - not being able to move comfortably, not being able to sleep on my back, the FUCKING INDIGESTION!!  But I am going to miss it when it's not there to stroke and comfort me (and be a good excuse for being slightly lazy....!!)

Scared (nay terrified at times) - I've never experienced labour before.  I've been having Braxton Hicks so I know how they'll feel but just not what the pain will be like.  What if I do have to have the Syntocinon, will it make it all unbearable?  Will I be able to cope?  Will I be a puddle of the floor begging for an Epidural?

And actually, as I write this, I'm able to answer each of my own questions.  So what if I have an Epidural?  Well I suppose because if I have an Epidural I then can't move which means labour might slow down to a progression that they're not happy with which will lead to me having a Caesarean.  But what does it matter if I have a Caesarean?  I coped with one before and will cope with one again.  As long as he's safe and healthy.

And that's the one overriding thought I need to carry with me tomorrow, as long as he's safe and healthy.  Sod me, sod my foof, sod my tummy getting cut open again.  As long as he's safe and healthy.

So think of me today readers, pray for a speedy delivery.  Hope for me that I'm one of these lucky ladies who has quick labours!  Fingers crossed they don't have to intervene too much and slow it down too much.

Above all, pray for us that he's safe and healthy.

Catch you all on the flipside.....

*REMINDER: This was all written on Sunday 15th December 2013, the night before I was due to have my induction.  For reasons that I shall explain in due course, none of it went according to plan.*