Also known as Amy, but the majority of the time it's 'Mammy'. I'm Mammy to my little munchkin Oskar (born Oct '10) a little diva, Erika (born Mar '13) two cats; Sid and Nancy and three fishies. I'm partial to a spot of leopard print, Hello Kitty and anything cat related. I love the sea and want to live right by it one day. Rock and Roll is my music of choice, and I enjoy a glass of wine, or three. Taking photographs and eating cheese and olives are also very important.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Erika's birth story - preeclampsia and a VBAC

At around 32 weeks I developed preeclampsia - every pregnant lady's fear! As scary as it sounds, it's easily controlled (for a short amount of time) and not really as scary as it sounds. I think everyone around you is more worried about you than you are about yourself..
Anyway I was on the maximum dosage of labetalol (blood pressure medication) as I'd been in and out of hospital from about 33 weeks, every time I went for a check up I'd get admitted to hospital as my blood pressure was high and I had traces of protein in my wee. The doctors said they were just trying to hold off inducing me until I was 37 weeks.
The day before I turned 37 weeks (Wednesday 20th March) I went for an appointment with my consultant, Dr. Ranka (who was lovely) she gave me an internal and a sweep as she wanted to get things going sooner rather than later. She then admitted me as my blood pressure was high, yet again. And she booked my induction for Friday 22nd March. It was scary to think she'd be here so soon, as Oskar was 2 weeks late, I couldn't get my head around having a baby 3 weeks early!
On the Thursday they gave me a Prostaglandin pessary in my cervix to 'ripen' it so they could break my waters the following day. If my cervix still wasn't 'favourable' on the Friday morning they would then give me a c-section. As I'd had a previous c-section they could only give me one pessary as it would cause too much strain on my scar from the previous section.
Trying to sleep on that Thursday night was like a cross between Christmas Eve and the night before a big exam. Well I didn't manage to get any sleep before I started to get contractions just before 1am. I buzzed the midwife and she felt my tummy and she confirmed they were contractions but advised I try to sleep through them and in the morning she'd then admit me to the labour ward. So I tried to sleep then had to get up around 10 minutes later to use the toilet and that's when I knew I was in labour. I then buzzed the midwife again who took my blood pressure, which was 162/110 (high) she felt my tummy again and sent me straight to the labour ward.
My god the contractions hurt! But what hurt more was the sharp pain in my head everytime I got a contraction, which the doctor put down to my blood pressure being so high. It got up to 168/113, ao they gave me a labetalol injection to try and lower it which gave me the most insane hot flushes all over my body. The next hour was a total blur, but I know that the pain in my head was not going away, and my blood pressure was still high, so they put me on a magnesium drip to stop me having a fit or a stroke. The anaesthetist didn't want to give me an epidural before they saw how I reacted to the magnesium (I think that's why, but as I said; it was a total blur)
The doctor had to sit with me at all times as well as the midwives to keep an eye on me, he then broke my waters as they'd not gone yet gone. When that was all done I rang Shaun and my Mam and Shaun went to pick my Mam up and they got there at 03:05. The nurse checked how dilated I was at around 03:20 and she said a was around 6cm. I then got the overwhelming urge to push and I told the nurse who said that I wasn't ready as I was just 6cm, she then looked again around 30 seconds later and they could see her head!
I pushed for around 5 minutes (which surprisingly didn't hurt anywhere near the contractions did) and very quickly little Erika Jane Denham was born, at 03:27 weighing a teeny 6lb 3oz. The midwives said that she had the longest cord they'd ever seen. At that point I felt so proud of myself that I'd managed to have my VBAC, and that I didn't even have time for an epidural! I also couldn't believe how quick it was, Shaun cut the cord this time which he couldn't do with Oskar as I had to have a c-section with him.
The birth was totally perfect, but after that I had to stay in recovery for over 24 hours on a magnesium drip to stop me fitting with a machine taking my blood pressure every 15 minutes, and not to mention the catheter. Erika had trouble maintaining her temperature and her blood sugar levels so she needed her blood talking every few hours. She was given a feeding tube up her nose, and given formula to top up every breastfeed she was given so try and get her blood sugar levels up.
After the horrendous week we had to stay in hospital trying to control her jaundice (away from my little Oskar, which was the most painful part) we were finally allowed home the following Friday. She then needed a further 3 days light therapy (luckily we were allowed the light machine home) and now she's doing great after a totally tough start.
As much as I'd love 3 children, after this pregnancy - with the hyperemesis at the beginning and the preeclampsia at the end, and all the complications afterwards - Oskar and Erika will be my only babies, but they're both amazing and I'm so lucky to have one of each sex.