We wanted to let you know that we have earth-side our beautiful son, Suske Lee, born at 11:26pm on 21 April 2017.
As you know, at 34 weeks, we were told that he was SGA (small for gestational age), which meant regular monitoring and a recommended induction at 37 weeks. Although this was not our original plan, we asked lots of questions, weighed all the information, and felt that this was the safest path for our birth.
Due to his size, the approach to induction was very conservative, but still quite intense. A Cook’s Catheter was inserted to try to open the cervix & left in for 12 hours, producing quite significant pressure on my cervix – not pleasant! The next step was to break my waters. However, due to the fact that I was only 37 weeks, the opening to the cervix was still ‘hiding’, so this was a very painful procedure.
I was advised that, if contractions didn’t start naturally within 4 hours, they would recommend Syntocin to begin contractions. Luckily I had an excellent midwife who immediately got me on the double breast pump, which worked an absolute treat to get my surges established within an hour and a half!
From there things moved very quickly. After two hours, I was dilated 5cm and things were going well. However, over the next hour, things changed. At the same time as the midwife noticed that my surges were slowing down, I felt that things were getting more intense and I was feeling like I could not handle anymore.
The midwife recommended that we use the Syntocin. However, I knew that this could bring on more intense surges and I was exhausted and did not feel that I could handle that. Seeing my distress and exhaustion, the midwife asked me if I wanted to consider an epidural. Although this had also not been part of my original plan, I knew that I was emotionally and physically exhausted and I was concerned about how I would handle the Syntocin – and about the stress prolonging things would have on my baby. I agreed to the epidural.
The anesthetist was called and did a wonderful job of putting the catheter into my spine. However, just as he was about to start the epidural, I had a surge and I told the midwife that I needed to push! She had a quick look and suggested that I might want to get up on all fours.
I said “What about the epidural?” and she replied “You’re having a baby instead!” I had gone from 5cm to fully dilated in 61 minutes and this baby was ready to come out! From that point, it took 16 minutes of pushing for baby to come out and, despite my constant protestations that I couldn’t do it, I had my baby with no drugs, no chemical assistance and only 5 hours of labour! Because of his size and the speed of labour, it took several contractions to stretch things enough for him to come out, but when he did, he practically flew out in one push! Luckily I had two very good midwives who caught him! 🙂
He is perfect and amazing, feeding well and small but healthy!
Although I doubted myself at the time, I see now that everything I was feeling and experiencing was my body telling me exactly what I needed to do. I knew when it was time to push and I listened to that instinct – thankfully just at the right time!
I thought that I could not handle any more, but somehow I found the strength when I needed it. I truly cannot believe what I did. I feel like a warrior!
Very relieved that our beautiful son has arrived safely into our arms.
Thank you for all of your support and amazing tools to help us prepare for this journey.
Djalinda & Justin