pregnancy

'The wince-inducing birth moment I've tried to suppress for more than six years.'

Isn’t it funny how some things in life you repress so deeply that you forget they even happened? Until a stupid dream, or should I say nightmare decides to remind you in extremely vivid detail.

It has been over six years since I had my first baby, so over six years since the event, the thing I call the ‘probe’ happened.

Due to particular circumstances my labour was induced, I was firstly given cream on my cervix to try and get things underway and for my waters to naturally break. But as Murphy’s Law would dictate when things are meant to naturally happen, they do not.

The next morning after examination it turned out the special cream didn’t do the greatest of jobs and now I would need to have my waters broken in a way I can only describe as ‘unnaturally’. This is the incident I refer to as ‘the probe’ and the one that was my far the most horrific part of my labour experience.

Mums and non-mums answer questions about childbirth. The answers differed… a lot.

Video by MMC

Firstly, my Obstetrician explained what he was about to do and that it might be a little “uncomfortable” but not painful. Well I am here to tell you that information was INCORRECT. It hurt like hell, but he was indeed correct about the uncomfortable part, it was the most uncomfortable one can ever be.

The first tool (yes there was more than one) was his special glove with a hook at the end (official name – amnicot) that was meant to rupture the membranes. So, with legs spread, lubricant placed and the obligatory comment to “relax” off he went in search of the illusive bag of waters. And illusive it was because after about 15 minutes (which I must say felt like 15 hours) he told me it was being very “tricky” and that he would have to try something else. Just what every woman wants to hear “tricky membranes” and the fact that having someone’s hand up your vagina that had a hook at the end of it, for fifteen minutes resulted in nothing.

“Have a rest”, he told me, “I’ll get everything ready”. Rest, yep that is what I was going to do.

So, while ‘resting’ I watched as the next device was retrieved. The amnihook, described as “a large crochet hook type of device with a small sharp end” or what I like to describe as a medieval type torture device, was prepared and I shut my legs as quickly and as tightly as I should have nine months prior, so this situation wouldn’t have occurred.

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The moment that made it all worth it. Getting to meet Addi. Image: Supplied.
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My gut, or leg reaction resulted in the stirrups being set up and my legs strapped in, so he was able to perform the procedure “effectively” (I think he was just scared I’d clamp his hands so hard he would ever be able to move them again).

The next ten minutes were a blur, I winced countless times, I held my breath inadvertently to try and stop feeling the pain, people said things to me that were meant to comfort me and make me feel at ease, I did not listen, I just thought there is no way I am ever doing this again. Finally, after I thought even my obstetrician was about to give up the bag of bloody (literally) waters finally broke.

The breaking I do remember because it was the only good thing (other than my daughter being born) that happened that day. The waters flooded out with such force that the inflictor of pain (my obstetrician) had to duck and slide back in his chair to avoid being covered by them. Although they missed (narrowly) I felt some sort of retribution with this ‘natural’ act, as if my membranes were saying a big F you.

They say writing things down is meant to help you deal with things, so sorry not sorry for the oversharing but if this is the way I will forget ‘the probe’ I am doing it.

Shona Hendley is a freelance writer from Victoria with a a passion for education, animal welfare and trying to raise her children. You can follow her on Instagram here.

Do you have a story about getting an induced labour to share? Tell us in the comments below.

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