Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Harvesting of a Spud Part One

Okay, here it is: How The Spud Was Harvested in two exciting installments, because not even the most die-hard Spudly fan could be bothered reading through 6 pages of this stuff in one sitting.

The first part is taken straight from my journal entries that I made in the hospital. The second part is from memory, so there's bound to be bits I've missed/forgotten/blocked out.


Tuesday April 4

Spudly is now 8 days late with no signs of movement at the station, so its time for an induction. I don’t know what I feel. A million different things all rolled into one, no doubt, that together make my brain go “lalalala”.

Last night was the last time we went to bed without a baby next to us. This morning is the last time we have breakfast in bed as non-parents. I don’t even know how I feel about that since what comes next is such a huge unknown. Today we step into the void. I hope its nice to us.

Arrived at the hospital at 3pm. Had CTG at 4ish. Cervidil (a tampon-like tape impregnated with prostaglandins) went in at 4.30. Spudly’s heart rate started going up, and up, and up, to a baseline of 180bpm. The staff start panicking, and out comes the Cervidil. 2 hours of more CTG monitoring and his heart rate is back to normal at 145bpm. The doctor tells me that if we had used gels instead of Cervidil he would have had to do a c-section immediately. Fuck.

So now he’s settled down, and I’ll be examined again in a couple of hours to see if the membranes can be ruptured tonight or in the morning. We’re not sure what happens after that, especially if they cant do an ARM. Possibly another try at Cervidil. If I cant use prostaglandins, we’re looking at a c-section.

I wont think about that now. The is the Scarlett O’Hara school of labouring. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Wednesday 5 April


Had another internal at 11pm last night. My cervix has softened and shortened but I’m still only 1cm dilated. CTG trace was fine, so at 11.50pm they put the Cervidil back in. And OH.MY.GOD did that hurt. I think I nearly broke Monkey Boy’s hand. The trace afterwards was perfect, so they are sure that he’s not reacting to the prostaglandins, but that it was a combination of factors that pushed his heart rate up previously.

The plan now: get some sleep and in the morning have my waters broken.


Woke up at 2.45am. Started having intense period pain that didn’t seem to ease up at all for 45mins. Called midwife. Woke up Monkey Boy. Contractions are officially 3 minutes apart.

The midwife suggested I try a shower to ease the pain. Glorious wonderful shower! As soon as the water hit my back the pain eased. I love that shower. I think I stayed in there for about an hour.


Managed to get 2 1/2 hours sleep. CTG at 7am showed Spudly still happy, and I’m having contractions about 5 minutes apart, lasting 30seconds.

Internal exam showed his head has moved down a little., but he is now posterior presentation, with his back against mine. He’s decided to turn over NOW after all this time being anterior? Difficult child. The cervix has shortened a little and dilated a little. But for having had 9 hours of Cervidil it hasn’t done anywhere near what it should. The only good thing is that at least I am contracting, and Spudly is happy. The doctor attempted ARM but couldn’t get the crochet hook up there. She tried to stretch the cervix a little which is about as much fun as…something that isn’t fun at all. Words fail me. It fucking hurt.

Will be re-examined at 12pm. Am going for a walk soon.

Thursday April 6


Went for that walk yesterday, which got the contractions going quite well. We wandered down to the kiosk at the main entrance to the hospital, which is a marathon effort when you are having contractions every 3 minutes along the way. Several people asked if I was alright when I had to stop suddenly and hang off Monkey Boy.

Unfortunately, sometime close to midday the Cervidil fell out, Yes, fell out. So another painful internal and another Cervidil went in at 1pm. That makes three. Unheard of, apparently.

Intense contractions started pretty much straight away. And I mean INTENSE. Much longer and stronger than before. They really are indescribable. At some point it just got too much - they were coming fast and furious. Hot packs and showers weren’t helping, and the bath that I was so sure I would use and love was horrible. I felt disconnected and confined, and it did nothing to ease the pain. So much for my Earth Mother idea of a water birth!

I caved and had the gas. The second contraction I had while using it, I made the mistake of holding my breath for too long and ended up in fits of uncontrollable giggles right through the next contraction. I think I started the gas around 7.30pm. Time started getting a bit hazy around this stage.

Contractions were now up to a minute long and about 2 minutes apart. They felt like a giant hand was squeezing me around my abdomen. Because Spud is posterior, my back is bearing the brunt of the pain. For each contraction, Monkey Boy pushes on my lower back to counteract the pressure. I lost it several times, crying and saying I couldn’t do it. Monkey Boy kept bringing me back to focus on my breathing, and on the 3d photo of Spudly we have with us.

By 10.30pm I was exhausted. I cant stand or sit, so the only position I can tolerate is on all fours, either on the ball or beanbag. Standing makes the contractions unbearable. I’ve taken the seat cushion off the couch and kneel on that with my body draped over the ball, rocking back and forth with each contraction while I inhale for all its worth on the gas. Its like breathing in pain. Another internal was done, this time by the midwife which is far less painful that the others and the cervix has done nothing. 1cm dilated. Soft. Posterior. Not ARM-able.

And so we decide to go for the Pethidine. The gas wasn’t cutting it and certainly wouldn’t keep up throughout the night. And I need to rest.

So Pethidine - my new friend - has relaxed me and taken the edge off the pain. Though I must say that the injection hurt just as much as the contractions. Now I shall try to rest if not sleep, and we shall see where we go to from here. But Spudly will definitely be born today, one way or another. The doctors will not let me go another night. I have to face the prospect of having a c-section again since the prostaglandin is just not working, and when told this I completely lose the plot. My brain cannot handle to prospect of being operated on whilst awake. Monkey Boy holds me while I cry from fear.

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