Now that it has officially been a week since little missy was born I think I am finally ready to post about the labour and delivery that brought her here! Our doula is writing up our birth story too, I will post it when she gets it as I am curious to see how similar/different they are. One thing that I have noticed is that when you have a baby everyone wants to know about the labour and delivery, I think it’s like the car accident scene phenomenon, people can’t resist gory details! So as per many requests, I bring you the gory details (he he he)…
I woke up around 6:15 and had this weird feeling that I may have peed in my pants. Now by this point in the pregnancy I figured anything was possible and it didn’t immediately occur to me that it could have been amneotic fluid because there was not a real noticeable gush. Movies and television prepare you for a waterfall in your pants and as I have learned this usually isn’t the case in real life- thanks movies, way to let me down again with your nonsensical facts. I noticed that after about 20 minutes of waking I started to get cramps that were similar to period cramps.
By 7:30 I decided that it was time to wake up Brandon (who up to this point had been blissfully unaware of what his day had in store!). He used his handy dandy iphone to determine through various online literature that yes, indeed we were probably in genuine labour! We decided it was time to call our midwife Julia and our Doula Jay. Julai said it sounded like my waters could have broken but that it wasn’t for sure, she said would call us back in an hour to see how things were going. By the time she called back the contractions were about 3 minutes apart, lasting for 45 seconds and pretty strong. Because of the fact that I was Strep B positive she asked us to go to the hospital right away so we could start the course of antibiotics.
We met Julia and Jay at Victoria General around 9:30am. There was no room ready when we arrived, so lucky me I got to sit in the common area waiting room and have painful contractions in front of strangers- yipee! When we got into our room finally Julia put in the IV and “checked me…” I was 4 centimetres and fully effaced- officially in active labour; I think at that time it was shortly after 10:00am. Now I just have to say here that I love the way they use the term “check” you. I find this phrase does not do that actual deed of “checking” any justice AT ALL! They should call it: “reaching in and making you feel uncomfortable when you are uncomfortable enough already, only to give you news that really doesn’t mean much to you other than how much more time and pain you have ahead of you.” I realize this is a long sentence but I am sure that some sort of acronym could be created. Medical people like acronyms. Anyway…
Julia suggested that I try going into the shower; apparently the water can be soothing. Yes, water can be soothing, I agree, but when said water is presented in an outdated, nasty sprayer that falls off the wall and hits you in the head it is anything but soothing. And it’s ugly. Some people might say if you are in pain you don’t notice those kinds of things, but I sure did. between contractions I remember thinking gawd this is an ugly bathroom, it’s worse than the ones at campgrounds. I think birthing rooms should be the most beautiful and posh (while still serviceable) rooms that an expecting mother has ever seen. But in the end, ugly as it was, the shower came through! I was in there for about an hour and 15 minutes, actually the only reason I got out is because I thought I had to poop and obviously was not about to poop in the shower.
Julia and Jay both said it was likely a false poop alarm and just the baby being in posterior position against my lower bowel. They asked me to get up on the bed and said I could use some laughing gas. So I got about 5 contractions in on the gas, all the while telling them that I felt pushing pressure. Julia said that she would “check me” (ahem) during my next contraction but that it likely wasn’t time yet. During the next contraction she discoverd that in fact I was 10 centimetres dilated! It was time to push… and then they took away the gas. I was sad that they took away the gas. It wasn’t like it really did anything to dull the pain, but it helped me to slow down my breathing and focus. Things moved really quickly after that.
I remember saying to my midwife at this point that I just wanted the pain to stop, she said it will stop when she comes out so just get her out. Well that was all I needed to hear and I pushed as hard as I could. After a few pushes they said that her heartrate was dropping between contractions to around 70 (which for those of you not in the know is NOT GOOD!). Suddenly an OB was in the room with a Pediatrician and a pediatric nurse and they were going to use a vacuum to help her out. The OB inserted the vacuum (yes I have since had a nightmare about this) and they urged me to push to get her out and safe. After one contraction (aka two of the biggest pushes ever!) her head was out. The head was out. Mothers reading that sentence will all feel the same thing, that sense of relief that no your body did not rip in two despite the feeling that it was going to. Whoever dubbed crowning the “ring of fire” was speaking the honest to goodness truth. After her head was out and they were sure that the cord wasn’t around her neck the rest of her was delivered. She was quickly passed to the pediatrician for her very first ever tests (APGAR Scales) and I am happy to report that she got perfect scores both times!
I was totally in shock at this point. I had been so scared that something was going to be wrong with her. When Brandon went over to greet her he called over to me and said that she has the longest eyelashes he has ever seen, I knew that she was okay and I relaxed a little. I had a little hemmorage that took about 45 minutes for them to get under control and as a result we had to stay in the hospital overnight- I was not to thrilled about that but at least we were both healthy. brandon thought I was being tough because I didn’t cry when she was born, but really it all just happened so fast and being in shock it didn’t hit me until they handed her to me as we were moving to our room for the night. Then it sunk in… this is our baby, she is here at last and of course there were the alligator tears.