A long wait and some unexpected complications: one mama shares her dramatic birth story and its happy ending.
18 days late. 18 days. 18.
That's a lot of days. I remember his due date more than his actual birth date. It was July 20th + 1...+ 2...+ 2 weeks. He just didn’t want to come out!
He loves hearing this story every time I tell him about it. Loves the idea that he was just happy to swim a little longer. Loves to hear how hard he could kick me. Loves to hear about hanging in the hammock together.
My aunt, whom I spoke to regularly on the phone that summer, kept telling me that I was sending him the wrong signals by biking (blocking the passageway)? It was all I could do to stay sane. Those slow bike rides through the countryside were part of my necessary daily routine – as was buying daily groceries, having a nap, reading and talking to my mother on the phone.
I was “stripped” by the midwives and by the gynecologists. I ate a lot of pineapple cores (apparently an inducing technique in Indonesia). I had acupuncture and slept like a baby. I was told to drink beer and have sex. Erm...right. He just wasn’t coming.
My sister came and left and my spirit got tired. My midwife, who happened to be the famous Beatrix from the Geboortecentrum, told me that it was time to let go of any expectations that I had – it would be a hospital birth, which was my plan all along.
We had appointments every other day and, once we entered the 2-week point, I was in the hospital every morning for check-ups. Everything was fine. Enough water + good heartbeat = go home. Then, finally, they said I was ready to be induced.
We drove to the hospital again, checked-in, shook everyone’s hand. They tubed me up and broke my water and then started the oxytocin drip. The first contractions were manageable – my husband thought it was great to watch the monitor. “Here comes one, here comes one!” For the first hour, that was funny. Then I told him to stuff it and shut the F up.
Contraction storm came upon me and I lost it – forgot all my breathing technique and remembered something about shouting (which kinda pissed the nurses off). I managed to find a moment to tell my husband to get me an epidural - and stat. We had talked about this before labour – I was undecided but wanted to have the possibility. And yes, at that moment, it’s the only thing I wanted in the world.
He sorted it out and they wheeled me off to “recovery room” where the anesthesiologist usually works. He was actually a friend of a friend of ours and very quickly became my most favorite person in the whole wide world.
A couple of “blissful” hours later, it was time. I pushed my son out in minutes and there I was...a mother.
Unfortunately, this is not where the story ends. My placenta didn’t come out and I lost a lot of blood. All of a sudden I went from a rosy happy mother with a baby on her chest to a very white, very cold and very scared Lianne. I was rushed to the OR and luckily I still had my epidural spout in there so they just had to pump up the volume and could then operate.
I spent 5 days in the hospital. At the time, the Lucas Andreas Hospital preferred not to give a blood transfusion if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. But on day 3, I passed out when I tried to have my first “independent” pee and they changed their mind: in came the blood. Two packs of ruby red gold.
I was better within hours and was given a couple more days to build up my strength while my newborn son hung out under the UV lamps. He had turned a bit yellow while we were there (jaundice) but was good to go as soon as I was.
We left and never looked back. My son's birth date is August 7th, 2003.
Did you know that only 4.5% of the Dutch population are registered blood donors? Help another mother like Lianne recover quickly from complications after birth and become a donor by contacting Sanquin: 0800-256 33 22 65
Lianne is Canadian and mother of 4. She is an author and entrepreneur who can often be found biking on her bicycle built for 6. She has recently published the first of a series of booklets called: Lianne's Quick Guide for the busy woman - Babies 0-6 months. To find out more about her go to Lianne's Quick Guide.