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Birth Stories at StorkNet ~ your pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting community
Shantelle and Joel Dane
Vaginal Delivery -- Attempted Forceps, Attempted Vacuum, Attempted Epidural

My husband and I had been trying for a few months when one day at work I reeled violently from a workmate cooking something in the microwave. The male workmate gave me a knowing look and asked me, "was [I] pregnant?" I denied this and went on my nauseated way. The fact I had been feeling nauseated and was late never entered into my brain. One would have thought a nurse would know better. A few days later when I was being violently ill, a test confirmed what everyone had guessed but me.

I suffered from bad morning sickness and heart burn all through out the pregnancy and was plagued with many minor complaints: heartburn, sciatic and pelvic floor pain.

An initial test for gestational diabetes was positive but the 3 hour test was negative. At 35 weeks gestation I was measuring large for dates. An ultrasound showed a large baby in a transverse lie. I was given the week to consider my options; an elective cesarean or an attempt to turn it from the outside. In that week my mother had a heart attack. None of this was good for my blood pressure! The night before I had to tell them at the next ante-natal appointment, I had a period of stitch like pain. I took a midnight walk to see if that would help and it did. The next morning a scan showed the baby had done the right thing and turned head down. My mum was also discharged from hospital.

At my 40 week antenatal appointment I was booked in to be induced. This, after some initial confusion as there was already a person booked under a very similar sounding name, which isn't common. I was booked in the following Thursday for an induction, but had to present to the birthing unit on Wednesday night.

My husband and I went out to dinner on Tuesday night and retired to bed early. Several minutes later I realized I was having contractions. I labored overnight until my husband woke at 6 a.m. The contractions were starting to get closer. So off we went, stopping to pick up my mother one the way.

The contractions slowed right down by the time we got to the hospital. So I was checked and only 2 centimeters dilated. This, after having weeks and weeks of braxton hicks contractions that had done nothing. So I went and continued to labor over at the maternity unit.

After countless showers and walks around the unit, the contractions started to get more powerful and painful. Nothing in my belly, all in my back! I was taken back to the birthing unit and checked. "Sigh" all that work and now just 4 centimeters.

After some discussion, the register broke my waters. Things started to really move then. I started to give serious thought for an epidural but decided to see how far I could go. I started on the gas and this worked initially. After it was turned up again I asked for an epidural. They continued to monitor my baby but the attempts at using the internal monitor weren't successful. The probe had to replaced several times.

When the anesthetist finally arrived to put in the epidural, they had 5 attempts to get an intravenous line into me. After finally getting one in after 1/2 hour, they attempted to get the epidural in: just as I was entering transition! Two attempts were made at getting the needle into the correct position but each time they thought they were getting there another contraction would arrive. Several times I complained of pain radiating down my leg and decided that I would continue to tough it out.

I continued on the gas. When anyone attempted to take it away from me when a contraction had finished I clenched my teeth and continued inhaling. They put up an infusion (unsure of name) that was being trialed. So between having to push the button to get the drug and put the gas back in my mouth several times I got confused and either tried to bite or press the wrong thing.

About 8-8:30, I began to push. I never consciously noticed the urge to push but started grunting at the end of a contraction. I pushed and pushed with the midwife, my mum and my husband all cheering me on. Then the baby started to get distressed. They attempted to rotate his head with forceps but he had rotated his head back making the forceps too difficult. They tried several times.

What made the pushing part so difficult from my part was I also suffer a medical complaint. When I got into a really good series of pushing contractions it meant I would pass out momentarily. I would lose focus and have to start again with the next contraction. The amount of people in the room continued to build as time went on. The register attempted to use the suction cap and during a set of contractions was pulling. I vaguely remember hearing a twang and her saying, "Oh I have never had that happen before, the strings broke. Never mind, there is another string." She waited for the next set of contractions, pulled again and broke the other string!

They attempted the forceps again this time managing to pinch me instead. It made me squeal. Another attempt was made to put a suction cap on, but due to the previous trauma was unsuccessful. By this time we had 3 midwives, anesthetist, registra and a pediatrician, as they knew my baby was going to be in a bit of trouble when he came out.

A decision was made to give me an episiotomy while I continued to push with no luck. Just as I was starting to get desperate, thinking I was going to be there forever, the decision was made for me to have an emergency cesarean under a general anesthesia. The midwife began to prep me. When I was ready, I had to wait for a wardsmen to come take me to theatre. All the time, I was apologizing to my husband and mother as they would not be there.

They just had put the end on the bed back on and turned away when I had a powerful contraction heard some one say "hey there's the head" and then it was lost in noise of my baby shooting out onto the bed with no one ready to catch him.

Joel Dane was born at 1.20am 8 pound one ounce 11 May 06. He spent one week in the special care baby unit before I got to take him home.

And the other person with the unusual last name well we later found out was laboring at the same time. Our babies were born within 90 minutes of each other, and both ended up in special care. We are currently researching to see if they are related.

When people ask me about my labor, I tell them I failed at everything but delivering him! Failed forceps, failed vacuum, failed epidural and even failed the emergency cesarean.

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