My husband and I are from Durban, South Africa. We had been married for a year and a half, together for eight years, when we decided to try for a baby. I stopped taking my pill and basically forgot about it. Six weeks later I still had not had my period and had extremely tender breasts but was just convinced that my body was getting itself back into working order after having been on the pill for a while. My husband convinced me to buy a pregnancy test and at five the next morning, 29 September, I woke up and took the test. Two pink lines showed up immediately. I sat on the toilet for about five minutes just staring at the test and then went and told my husband. After the initial shock of falling pregnant so quickly, both of us were ecstatic. This would be the first grandchild on my husband's side and second on mine.
My due date was 28 May 2003 and right from the beginning I was convinced I was having a boy and my husband, a girl. My first trimester went very well. I suffered no morning sickness but was always very tired. I used to get home from work, fall asleep on the couch, wake up and have supper, then go to bed. I slept my first three months away!! In the first trimester I did not gain any weight but I certainly made up for it in the next trimesters. By the time I gave birth I had put on 23 kg's (51 pounds)! Both my second and third trimesters went very well. I did not have any backache or heartburn and felt energetic the whole way through.
Throughout the pregnancy I had three scans, at 11, 22 and 32 weeks and we were able to tape each of them. We did not want to find out the sex of the baby and we would not have been able to anyway as at the 22 week scan the legs were crossed and at the 32 week scan the umbilical cord was between the legs. I was told that the baby had a lot of hair and was going to be quite big.
At my 38 week appointment, 16 May 2003, I was a fingertip dilated and had a softened cervix. My gynae, Dr M, said that he would be on holiday the week that I was due and that he did not want me to go over my due date as my baby would possibly be to big to have naturally. At this point I should mention that I did not want to have a caesarean unless absolutely necessary as the thought of surgery really scared me. We decided then that we would induce on Monday, 19 May 2003. The only condition that Dr M had for an induction was that I had to have an epidural as "he did not like to see his ladies in pain". I did not argue. All I wanted right then was to meet my baby. We decided not to tell any of our friends or family we were being induced and rather to surprise them on Monday when I was in labour.
On Sunday, 18 May 2003, my husband cooked me a wonderful roast lamb with all the trimmings for supper and we sat and chatted for an hour or two before we left for the hospital. I was booked in at about 9pm and given a sleeping pill and my husband was able to stay with me until about 11pm when I started to get sleepy. At 4am the nurse came and inserted a pill to my cervix and then again at 6am. At 6:30am I was given an enema, which is really not as bad as I had heard, and flew to the toilet a couple of minutes later to be cleansed!! About 10 minutes later my husband arrived for our big day. At 7am I was taken through to the labour ward and the anaesthetist was there almost immediately to put in the IV for the Oxytocin, to induce labour, and to administer the epidural. Two monitors were put around my enormous stomach to monitor both my contractions and the baby's heartbeat. I also had a blood pressure cuff put on that kept on going off every 15 minutes and had a catheter inserted.
At this stage I was dilated to 3cm's and had not felt a single contraction. For about four hours my husband and I sat and watched a WWE wrestling special and chatted about anything and everything that came to mind. When the nurse came in at 1pm and checked the monitors it showed there were no contractions. I was quickly checked and found to be dilated to 7cm's and the monitor was changed. The next monitor was also not picking up any contractions either! At about 2pm I felt really nauseous and was handed this stupid little metal kidney shaped bowl that I could not even have spit in had I tried. Needless to say I puked up over almost everything. At 3pm I was checked again and found to be fully dilated. Dr M told me that the baby was still sitting high and not yet engaged. He said that he would turn off the epidural and leave me for another hour to see if the baby would possibly drop.
At 4pm the nurse phoned Dr M and told him that the baby was still high and he told her to leave it for another half hour and then to try pushing. If nothing happened then I would have to have a caesarean - this was not an option for me! At this stage the epidural had totally worn off for at least an hour and it felt like my stomach was one huge cramp and very uncomfortable but not painful as such. At 4:30pm the nurse told me to try a practice push and the baby engaged immediately. She told me to stop and phoned Dr M and told him to come straight away. He arrived about 10 minutes later and told me to push again and the baby started crowning. I was asked if I would like to see and a mirror was brought for me. It was absolutely incredible seeing the top of the head with this thick black hair. I pushed twice more and as I was pushing her out Dr M told me to catch my baby. I leaned forward without thinking and caught my baby and then lay back with it on my chest staring in awe and amazement - this was at 4:50pm. About fifteen minutes later I delivered the placenta and then my husband cut the cord.
While my husband and I were bonding with the baby I was being stitched up. I tore up to my urethra which required five stitches and three and two on each labia. Sometime during this Dr M said congratulations on your daughter and my husband and I realised we had a beautiful little girl. I was obviously surprised as I had been expecting a boy but was delighted. She had thick black hair and big blue eyes. After an hour she was taken to the nursery with my husband. I had a problem with bleeding and had large clots in my uterus so I had to keep the catheter in and carry on with the oxytocin drip to contract my uterus until the next morning.
On Wednesday we were released but had to return on Friday and were re-admitted until Sunday as Kaiden developed quite bad jaundice and had to be under bilirubin lights for 24 hours for three days. I breastfed her until she was three months. I found it to be very painful and was relieved to stop.
In two days Kaiden will be a year old and she has been incredible. We have learnt so much from her and are still learning and I didn't think I could love anyone as much as my husband but I have been proven wrong. This has been an incredible journey and it is only the beginning. We will possibly be trying for another one next year.
Thank you for reading my lengthy birth story and good luck and best wishes to all those mothers and expectant mothers out there.
Leigh Hayes - mom of:
Kaiden Jade Hayes
19 May 2003
Weight: 3.72kg's - 8.2 pounds (9 days early!)
Length: 50 cm's - 20 inches
COH: 35 cm's - 14 inches