===== パート１ 出産編 =====
The Royal London Hospitalの分娩病棟の病室。Qualified（正規）助産婦、スペイン人のStudent（見習い）助産婦が私の担当。助産婦の内診。２CM 開いているので、子宮口を軟化させて陣痛を促進するジェル(prostaglandin)の使用はしないことに。やったー。（これで分娩誘発は避けられたと勘違いしてしまうのだが。）しばらく病室、廊下などを歩きながら陣痛を促す。TENSも使用してみるがいまいちピンと来ない。ところで、子宮口近くになにかあると、医者がもう一度内診した。子宮筋腫がそこにあるらしいが、助産婦はへその緒かもしれないと思ったようだ。
パサディーンを勧められるが拒否。エピデュラル（硬膜外麻酔）をして～と懇願。たまたま担当のQualifiedが昼休みに行っていたため、 Studentが代わりに指示を仰いだ別のQualifiedは「担当の彼女が帰ってきたらエピデュラルしましょう。」でも、その彼女、予定通りにランチから帰ってこない。結果的に麻酔医がエピデュラルの準備をしにきた時は、もう地獄でなにが起きてるかもわからない状態。だいたい、Royal Londonには、Student助産婦、医者がいて、陣痛誘発剤のドリップをつけるために、手の甲の血管に長い針を刺す時も、Studentドクターがやろうとして、途中まで針を刺してもできず、オブザーブしていた医者が逆の手にやり直すなんてことも。Studentうんぬんが何かする時は拒否もできるけど・・・ちょっとねえ。
エピデュラル、2回目の投与。一時間半おきにトップアップできる。今回は、投与後、少し右を向いて横になるなった。これで、薬が右側に流れて右も効いてきた。が、下の方の効きが悪い。病室設置のCDプレイヤーでLondon MagicやJazz FM、クラシックFMなどを流しながら陣痛に耐える。
Arata's one month birthday! I've decided to write about what happened on the day he was born.....
===== Part 1 - Arata was born! =====
He was born at 23.14 on 27/12/2004 by Caesarian. He was 3.12Kg. It was a long long day.....
I felt I'd had enough. I wanted to finish off 'maternity life'. I'd already made up my mind to go to hospital for the induction in the morning. But I anyway tried 'breast massage' which is said to cause contractions. Well, it really worked well and within a couple of minutes, contractions, different sort of pains, started. At 2 AM, I decided to stop massaging because I didn't want the labour started without any sleep. I went to bed. By the way, I must have massaged the breasts too hard. I found a bruise around a nipple. The midwife who showed me how to breastfeed may have got a wrong idea....
Woken up by contractions. I saw slight bright red bleeding. Rang the Labour Ward. A midwife told me nothing to worry but come to hospital for the induction appointment at 8 AM.
Before 7 AM
Contractions became more intense, every 10 to 15 minutes, which lasted for about 40 seconds. I was moving around the living room, cooking rice and making rice balls to take to hospital. I then started to surf on the intenet and exchanging e-mails with my friends in Japan. My last message to them was, 'I'm going into labour!'
At Royal London Hospital. One qualified and one student midwives were looking after me. The qualified one checked the cervix. It was dilated 2CM. They decided not to use the prostaglandin. (I thought I could have avoided the induction but I was wrong.) I was walking around to stimulate contractions. Tried TENS but didn't seem to work. A doctor checked me again as the midwife wasn't sure about something near the cervix, she thought it may be a part of the cord. It was actually one of the fibroids.
Checked the cervix again. No development. The qualified midlife told me that they were going to break the waters if it was still the same in one hour.
Checked by midwife. No development. The student midwife broke the waters. She was at first struggling to do it, which made me a bit nervous. It wasn't painful though. I then put on a sanitary pad and was allowed to move around. Contractions became stronger but TENS didn't work on me.
The water on the sanitary pad was a bit greenish brown. The baby might have been a bit distressed and pooed. Baby and I had to be monitored. I now could not move round but had to lie in bed with some monitor attached around my bump. This was quite bad as I could not use gravity to push the baby down or stimulate and manage contractions. As TENS did not work, I was given gas and air but this didn't work either. I felt a bit sick instead.
I was offered pethadene but declined. I begged them to give me epidural. Unfortunately, the qualified midwife was out for lunch and the midwife who covered her told me that we had to wait till the qualified was back. But the qualified didn't come back after one hour.... she must have taken longer lunch without telling them! When an anaesthetist came round to set up epidural at last, I was in a state of panic from terrible pain and couldn't remember much. By the way, at Royal London Hospital, there are so many 'student' something. Student midwives, student nursees, student doctors..... When a long needle was inserted to the back of my hand for the Oxytocin drip, a student doctor tried to do it first but she couldn't and the doctor observing took her over to do it on the other hand! It horrified me! We of course have a right to reject student something but I wonder how many people say no.
First dose of epidural. Oxytocin, 6ML, started. Without epidural, it must have been terrible since Oxytocin brought strong contractions. Epidural started to work immediately except for the right hand side of the uterus. The qualified midwife, who was a bit worried about my bleeding, asked a doctor for advice. The bleeding is from one of the fibroides.
Second dose of epidural was topped up. It can be topped up every 1.5 hours. I was asked to lie on my right to make epidural flow to the right side of my body, too. It then started to work. But the lower side of my tummy still felt pain.... We tuned into London Magic, Classic FM, Jazz FM....
3rd dose of epidural. It started to work on the lower tummy. With epidural, I can still feel contractions but easy to put up with. As I could not go to the toilet, a tube was inserted to my bladder. I felt hungry but was not allowed to eat anything, in case I might go for the Caesarian. I could only take plain water but no tea. I was wise enough to fill up my stomach with rice balls around the noon, but still getting really hungry.
Epidural, 4th top-up. Worked very well. Midwife and doctor checked the cervix but still only 6CM. A bit slower than doctor expected. The baby's heartbeat always slowed down temporarily immediately after the top-up, which made us a bit worried. The doctor seemed to want to go for the Caesarian just before his shift change at 9 PM.
Midwives and doctors' shift change. (This was actually the crucial point for me!) They did handover in front of me. The cervix dilated 7 CM. The new doctor ordered the new midwife to increase the amount of drip, Oxytocin, to 12ML. The contractions became really intense, and without epidural, I would have definitely passed out!
The new midwife hadn't topped up epidural after 1.5 hours. She even told a doctor that when she came, I'd been just topped up. Well, that's 1.5 hours ago, though! The Oxytocin had been increased but no epidural.... the pain started to be so strong but I couldn't understand why they didn't give me more drug...
The pains started to come and go without break. I couldn't stand any more and I was crying, screaming, holding onto Jason and rolling in bed. Probably it's the main reason but anyway, it became difficult to take baby's heartbeat from outside of my bump. The baby had a monitor cord clipped to his head directly. A doctor inserted the cord through the cervix. Well, so many things and hands have passed through my vagina today.... The midwife said to the doctor, 'When I took over her, she was quite stable. But suddenly started to scream.' It's YOU who hasn't given me extra epidural!, I thought, but it was too painful for me to make any proper complaints.
5th epidural, at last, after the doctor returned for his checkup to find I was still in intense pain. But baby's heart beat was getting unstable again. I'm sure it's because it was so painful and I moved a lot. If epidural had been working ok, baby should have been ok. Once the epidural was topped up, it immediately started to work again. The cervix was dilated 9CM. It's nearly there but the doctor checked inside said the baby wasn't lowered enough and it would still take some time till the baby was ready.
3 doctors gathered to discuss in a corner of the room. I was then told, 'You have been doing very well but your baby has had enough.' They decided to go for caesarian. Later Jason told me that he'd overheard one of the doctors asking another 'Have you ever seen a uterus shaped like this before?' What does this mean?
More doctors and midwives rushed into the room to get it ready. Double doses of epidural was topped up. One of the doctors came to me and read out the terms and conditions of the operation. My head was really drowsy from epidural but I signed the paper of consent.
Just after 23.00 PM
Got into the operation theatre. I was injected with diamorphine as well. I could hear London Magic FM from the radio there...
Within one minute after the operation started, the anaesthetist said to us, 'Congratulations! You have a baby boy.' I could hear 'Fugnyaaa... Fugnyaaa..' At last, it's out! I felt so relieved. By the way, as I was somehow expecting a huge baby, my first words to the anaesthetist was 'How big is he?' Having checked the baby, a midwife brought the baby briefly to us. My first impression on him was 'he doesn't look like me!'
Just before 24.00 AM
Local anaesthetic was working perfectly but I could still feel something being taken out and in from the lower part of the body. Just before midnight, the operation was completed and I was transfered to another room. Jason and the baby were already there. I had a better look at the baby. His eyes are long but thin, ears, hands and mouth are big. Probably his forehead and nose are from me? From the anaesthetic, my whole body was still shaking. I was so hungry and asked a midwife if I could eat anything. but I wasn't allowed to eat... She then brought me a nice cup of tea. I was starving and asked her to put some sugar. Well, the tea was the best I had ever had in my life!
Transfered to the postnatal ward. Jason went home.
What I learnt...
I hadn't made up my mind till the day before but I should have cancelled the induction appointment. If the waters hadn't been broken so early for example, I should have been able to move around longer and the labour must have been much easier. In addition, NHS nurses, midwives and doctors are a bit dodgy, aren't they? A couple of episodes are like jokes! And epidural is a 'must'. Compared to the 9 months ordeal of being pregnant, labour lasts only for one day at most and not that bad. I don't mind giving birth again.
I hope you don't mind - I was just surfing the web, looking up things re babies - my daughter Victoria is due today, 15th August 2005 but no sign yet of the birth - and somehow found your site! I was captivated and have been reading all about your new baby and his birth for the last couple of hours!! It was all very interesting - and strange too. You see I was born in London, and grew up in Kent. Then, I met my husband - in a DOJO doing Aikido! He is from Edinburgh - and we married in 1977 and went to live in New Malden (I noticed you were looking for a house there at one time!) I had two children - a girl called Victoria and exactly four years later (they have the same birthday) a boy called Robin. When Vicky was 2 we were asked to look after the Japanese Shihan, Nariyama Shihan for a fortnight with us the following year - he was taking an Aikido Workshop in London. I panicked a bit - and made friends with a lovely Japanese lady called Machiko san and her little son Kotaro chan. She would come to my house each week and we would chat - she improved her English and I learned some Japanese so that I could talk to Shihan the next year! We remain friends to this day - we had our second children (Kanako chan and Robin) a month or so apart so had lots to talk about and share. She now lives back in Tokyo but we write to each other regularly. She moved home Christmas 1986 and we moved up to Scotland nearer David, my husband's parents. David still goes to Aikido - he is nidan. We both go to Tai Chi Chuan too (about 13 years now) - I cannot do Aikido as I have back problems but I miss it terribly!
About 5 years ago, a young lady teacher from Mie prefecture came to live with us for about 1 months and she helped me lear some more Japanese. Unfortunately since she left and went back home I have not spoken any Japanese so I expect it is even more terrible than it was already!! David and I always planned to go to Japan for our 25th Wedding Anniversary - but despite having a great job in IT (he's a test analyst) that year he lost his job and he couldn't find another so the savings we had made to go to Japan got used up on food and house bills!! Never mind! One day we will get there!!
Your baby Arato chan is beautiful - kirena desu! I hope you are all very happy and the birth a distant memory!
(My friend had her baby at Queen Charlottes - but that was a long time ago.)
My labours with both my children were horrible - not really the hospital's fault but just the fact the babies just didn't want to be born!! My cervix didn't open until the last minute either time - and I went through the whole induction / speed up thing too. Not fun at all. I do think its about time that having babies was made a lot easier and more comfortable don't you? In Britain we say that if men had babies the pain problem would have been stopped hundreds of years ago - or that after the first few babies humans would have died out as the men wouldn't have had any more!!
Thank you once again for allowing me to read your 'diary'. Good luck to you all.
Susan, thank you for your comment. I'm sure you have become a grandmum by now!! Jason used to live in Mie prefecture when he was an exchange student!>
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