- 2 years ago
- Wedding: July 2012 - Catholic Church
Better late than never, right? My baby is 3 months old 2 days from now. My month group finally motivated me to finish writing my birth story!
Labour started on the 25th of January. It actually started very early morning then, somewhere around 1-3am. I had mild contractions every 20 minutes lasting 30s for almost 24 hours with no real increase in intensity (but I didn’t sleep because I was too excited). I told DH to go to work though because I didn’t think things would happen soon and I’d let him now if he had to leave early. He told our ride to be on high alert since it seemed things were starting. I called my mom to let her know and she told me that my little sister had been claiming all week that I’d have the baby on the 25th. I also texted MIL to let that side know too. Around 10:30pm that night, I thought I lost my plug when I went to the bathroom and I started to have contractions every 5 minutes lasting 1 min, but I wanted to wait until I felt like things were going somewhere before I woke DH to go to the hospital because he was scheduled for work again and I didn’t want him to miss an extra day of pay only to be sent back. They continued at that rate but at the same intensity as before. When DH’s alarm went off at 5:30am I let him know about the increase and that I wanted to get ready and head to the hospital (note that I still hadn’t slept since the contractions started more than 24 hours prior to this). While we were waiting for our rid (~ half and hour), we baked some muffins up from some mix and packed them to bring to the hospital. Apparently he had only gone to bed at 5am because he was up all night gaming (he knew I was in labour though! Ugh!).
So, our ride arrived and we packed up and headed to the hospital. We arrived there around 6:30-7am on the 26th. We had to walk all the way from one end of the hospital to the other to get to the elevators which were the only ones that went to the maternity wing (WHY so far??? I’m in labour, hello!). Our ride parked while we finished registering and he came up to sit in the waiting room while we waited for me to be checked to see if I was admitted. They didn’t come to check me until 9am! I waited in the room for about an hour and a half. I also vomited once during that time. I was checked first by a new resident and she estimated me to be about 2.5cm (contractions were 3min apart lasting 1min). I was so dejected because that was nothing and it had been about a day and a half straight! The nurse checked me too because she had more experience and she said I was really only about 2cm. They said they wouldn’t admit me now and that I should either go walk the halls or go home to labour there longer since it could still be quite some time. They offered me something for the pain though since I was starting to struggle now that I couldn’t see an end in sight. I refused it but was so very tempted. After they left the room for us to decide, I cried because things were moving so slowly. We decided to go home to labour there more but our ride would stay with us since we’d probably be going back soon. They said to return if I started bleeding, if the pain increased dramatically for more than an hour, or if my water broke.
We got home around 10:30-11am and I went to lay down and labour on the bed since that’s what hurt least for me. Around 11:15am, things got a whole lot more intense! The pain became excruciating and my back would tense up very tightly with each one, though I don’t think it was back labour because the pain was in the front. Contractions were coming at the rate of 3 minutes apart and 1 min long still. I tried getting DH to massage my lower back during contractions, but it wasn’t working. So I had to do it myself. I tried labouring in our tub at some point too and it did nothing for me except make me feel cramped and the muscled tightened more because of that. I went pee several times with DH helping me from the bed to the bathroom because I kept feeling like I was peeing myself. My underwear were quite damp, but I wasn’t sure that it was my waters. By 1:30pm I couldn’t take it anymore and we went back to the hospital.
I had such a hard time walking across the hospital that time and the drive there was no picnic either! I could only get about 5 feet max before I had to stop and clutch DH’s arm through another contraction. They checked me almost right away this time because I seemed to be in distress. I couldn’t focus on my breathing, so I was hyperventilating and sounded panicky with each contraction. I was only at 3cm when they checked me though! I cried again when they weren’t around because I thought for sure that things would be further along. They told me that it seemed like laying wasn’t really working for me for progressing dilation and that I would have to walk if I wanted things to move along. I couldn’t do it though! I tried and had to go back after making it 10 feet. I was really tense and also dizzy and nauseous (I hadn’t slept at all since labour started and I had had very little to eat or drink). I drank a Poweraid and took 2 Tylenol and managed not to vomit again. I still couldn’t move well though. They offered me some sort of narcotic in pill form that would last a couple of hours and after lots of weighing the pros and cons with DH, I took it. They said it should wear off soon and would have very little effect on the baby but would help my muscles relax enough for me to finally dilate. About 20 minutes after I took it, I was able to walk. We walked about 80ft down the hall and then back. Oh, and I would stop and swivel my hips with each contraction because the nurse recommended it for getting the baby to drop and have gravity help the dilation along. When we got back to the entrance of the waiting room, our ride said he wanted to go home and sleep, so we got permission to keep our bags at the desk while waiting to be admitted. I sat in the waiting room rocking back an forth on a stationary chair while DH went and got the bags because there was no way that I could do the walking without him to hang onto. When he got back we walked 15ft down the hall and immediately turned around to go to the bathroom because I though I felt a gush. My Depend was slightly damp, as my underwear had been before, but there was also a teaspoon sized clot in there. I went to the desk and told them. They checked it out and said it might be my plug (it was just blood though, I had a bunch of mucous later). They also checked my progress again and I was between 3.5 and 4cm and that my waters appeared to be gone so they finally decided to admit me. I must have had a slow leak and that’s why my underwear had been damp. It probably broke about the time that the contractions started to intensify. They admitted me around 3pm or a little later.
We grabbed our stuff and went to the room they gave me. The nurse was named Tanya and was super nice. She was my favourite nurse the whole time we stayed. She asked if we had a birth plan and we gave it to her to read (I couldn’t remember most details because I was in labour and very focussed inside myself, but I knew the gist of it). She wrote the main points on the white board for quick reference for anyone who came in (med-free, minimal cervical checks, intermittent monitoring, tear naturally, DH announce the sex, delayed cord clamping, DH cut the cord). She offered to fill the jacuzzi for me to see if that would help me. Oh, I had finally started to be able to control my breathing better earlier when we were walking. I focussed more and really concentrated on breathing slowly and deeply in through my nose and blowing out through my mouth. The presence of this nurse was very comforting to me because she said that she had gone through med-free child birth before too and I was able to talk to her about things as they happened and she understood what was happening from personal experience and gave me tips. I went to the jacuzzi and was trying to get into my bikini to wear in the tub because I wanted a bit of decency left, but didn’t manage to get it on before a strong contraction hit and I practically jumped into the tub (or as close to jumping as you can get when you’re in the middle of a contraction :P). I never did get the bottoms on, but I got DH to tie the halter top onto me. The big tub was sooooo comforting! I was able to relax a little bit and felt like a lot of weight was off me. I talked to the nurse though and told her that I’d like to be checked around 5pm to make sure that things were still progressing because I’d change what I was doing if they weren’t. She checked baby’s heartbeat with the doppler every 15 minutes while I was in the tub. Being in the tub and having that edge off made me feel again like I might be able to do this med-free after all, because I had been seriously doubting it since the intensity had picked up.
At 5pm they checked me and I was at 7cm! I was elated and terrified at the same time since things had progressed so well but 7cm meant transition which I’d heard is the worst part. They were able to feel the baby’s head too! It was slightly turned, so we did a few gymnastics manoeuvres to try getting it turned the right way. I rolled across the bed one way then spun around at the foot of the bed and rolled across it again (difficult when you’re shaped like a beach ball!). I also did a couple of pelvic tilts by leaning forward and putting my hands on the ground with my hips above the level of my head and rotating them in the direction we wanted the baby’s head to turn. This was all at the recommendation of the nurse who said this was stuff that they often did and it usually worked to turn the babies. I got back to the tub and I told her that I was scared because of transition then even more scared about pushing. She said I shouldn’t be scared of pushing because it was the best and most satisfying part of labour because you have an incredible urge and you feel deeply satisfied every time you follow it. I wasn’t sure I believed her, but I clung to that hope. I said that I wanted to be checked next at 7pm unless things seemed ready to go before then and we continued as we had been before.
Shortly before 6:30pm, I started to involuntarily push with each contraction and the next time she came in I asked to be checked. As we were getting ready for that, shift change happened and Tanya was replaced with Rachel. The nurse from the beginning was the one to check me this time and I was at 9.5cm! She said there was still a lip in there. I was so angry because was so close and probably would have been there already had I not been so anxious to be checked and waited another half hour like I had planned. I was quite happy though that the intensity had never increased again with transition, so my transition must have begun back around 3-4cm because things progressed steadily since then with no change in intensity. I had gone from 3.5-10cm in 4 hours after a day and a half with almost no progress! I got back in the tub and they said they would probably check me again in about another 2 hours (Oh, hell no!). About 20 minutes later I convinced them to check me again because I had intense pressure and simply could not stop myself from pushing. I was at 10cm. (DUH! 2 hours my ass.)
They drained the tub and we started some practice pushes. The nurse told me that the delivery team had just gone in the OR and that I’d have to wait to do the real stuff but we could start practice pushes. They went well. She said there seemed to be some bulging when I pushed though almost as though there was a pocket of fluid in there still and it was holding back the baby’s descent. So I did an intense push and it popped! It shot at least a foot and a half and felt so weird! It was also green. I had told DH before that green meant meconium, but he had forgotten. I knew instantly that this would eliminate several aspects of the birth plan since the baby would need to be checked immediately. I knew this because there had been meconium complications at my birth too and I’d heard the story many times. The nurse informed them that we’d need a paediatric team when the baby finally came and we continued practice pushes. The first ones had been on my side, but after not too long we switched to inclined on my back. This felt most natural to me. At some point before the team arrived we started to do real pushes because I couldn’t hold myself back anymore. Tanya had been right about pushing being incredibly satisfying because it filled that primal urge that welled up inside me with each contraction.
The baby’s heartbeat was difficult for the nurse to catch with the doppler and seemed to be dropping with each contraction, so they hooked me up for constant monitoring. They had a hard time differentiating between the baby’s heartbeat and mine though but eventually discovered that the baby was much lower than they thought. The baby’s heartbeat continued to drop with each contraction but came up in between. I stepped up my pushing though just in case of complications. I didn’t want an emergency C-section this close to the end! I’d be able to push the baby out in the amount of time it would take to prep me for surgery. The baby’s head was coming a little further out with each push at this point though it would go back in a little between contractions so it felt like 2 steps forward and 1 step back every time. I also got a slight perineal tear at this time. Another nurse came in finally and the team started setting up for dealing with the meconium. I pushed harder and harder and finally the head was through! Then they had me pause for 1 contraction then guided the shoulders through and the baby came out on the 3rd push of that set! That was such a funny slithery feeling. You know that scene in the movies when the mother screams and the baby comes out? Well, I’d been holding my breath for pushed like they told me too but on that last push I couldn’t help myself and I let out a loud, intense yell like a weight lifter or something. It was satisfying and embarrassing, but I couldn’t hold it in. I feel like it made that push so much more powerful and DH says it was really awesome. The minutes after this are a bit hazy.
I pushed the baby out with that powerful yell at 9:24pm and then laid there panting a bit while they swiftly cut the cord and whisked the baby away to be suctioned. After maybe a minute I heard a cry and asked in disbelief if that was my baby. It was. I felt so proud and happy and in love and I still hadn’t even seen the baby, just heard that cry. Apparently they guided the placenta out at this time and started cleaning me up to stitch me. I had 2 tears. One was 2nd degree and the other they didn’t say. I still didn’t know the baby’s sex though! I called to DH to ask him and he was to enraptured to hear me. They wrapped the baby and gave it to DH and he carried it to me in his hands in front of him. He looked super awkward and terrified that he’d drop it. He handed the baby to me and said, “Rose, would you like to meet your daughter?”. I was so happy to finally know the sex and we spent the next several minutes gushing over her while they stitched me up and I did skin to skin. They used local anaesthetic, but I could still feel everything. Gushing over my baby girl helped distract me a bit though.
Once they finished stitching me up, I tried nursing and we got her to latch for a half hour. I was exhausted from labouring for a total of 44 hours but was so incredibly happy. They took the baby and weighed her then everyone left and DH watched her while I took a shower since we only had 2 hours from birth before we were moved to another room in the mother-baby unit. I almost passed out when I stood up because I suddenly got really dizzy. It’s apparently very common because of the blood loss. The shower was so very nice. I wasn’t able to pee either on the toilet or in the shower though, so the nurse said she’d have to do an in-out catheter on me. I agreed and she tried. She tried several times and it was extremely painful as she poked around. Eventually she said that she just couldn’t find my urethra and she would stop now. She said that I had to pee by 6 hours after birth though or else they’d have to try again. I started drinking massive amounts of water to really fill my bladder! I ended up just making it peeing exactly 6 hours after giving birth. I didn’t push or anything either, it just poured out as soon as I sat on the toilet and it continued to be like that every time I went to the bathroom for almost 2 days. We ran out of food for DH before we were released from the hospital and I was famished the whole time because their portions were so tiny. We nearly weren’t released on the 2nd day because baby girl’s jaundice levels rose too early, but they ended up letting us go on the condition that her levels be checked at her appointment within 48 hours of release. They were on the decline by that appointment. The nurse made us super paranoid about it though and we cried with worry several times those first few days about the jaundice and about the breastfeeding difficulties we were having.
We struggled with a shallow latch for nearly a month. It didn’t seem to affect her very much since she gained weight just fine, but my nipples were pinched and white after every feeding and quickly developed scabs along those pinch lines. It was all very painful and it made me cry frequently from both pain and frustration. None of the nurses showed me how to latch at the hospital and they never sent the lactation consultant I asked for to my room. When she was nearly a week old a public health nurse came to our home to give us information and she gave me a few tips on correcting the latch. It would work a bit, but she had already formed a bit of a habit. It took nearly a week to mostly correct that. However, my scabs would reopen with every feed and lanolin, ointments, and creams did nothing to help that. The day of her 2 week checkup she clawed the scab off my right nipple when I was trying to latch her and I bled everywhere. On my way home I picked up a nipple shield to use until the scabs healed and they were healed within 2 days. It took a further 1-2 weeks though before the new skin stopped being tender and before I was able to stop reminding her to keep latched on properly. Part of the issue may have also simply been the combination of my engorgement and her tiny little mouth not fitting together well, so it was difficult to get her on deep enough in the first place. There were several times in those first few weeks where I almost gave up on breastfeeding with all those issues, but I stubbornly stuck it out and it’s much more gratifying now.
My perineal tears were quite painful for about a week and all I could handle wearing were granny panties with giant Always Maxi pads (so soft and comfy!) under loose PJ pants. I continued taking my Tylenol and Motrin regularly that long too even though they only gave me a 2 day supply in the hospital. At 1 week I stopped taking it regularly and by 2 weeks the pain was almost gone and I could handle wearing tighter pants for a couple of hours at a time. We started attempting sex a couple of days before 6 weeks PP and it seemed like there was a lip like they’d stitched too far. I panicked a bit about that. We tried a few more times taking things very slowly all the time and about the 4th time at exactly 8 weeks PP we succeeded. It was not comfortable at all though. Now at 12 weeks PP it much more comfortable, but still rough at the beginning and afterwards it burns no matter how much lube we use or how often we reapply. Things are getting better though. The lip still seems to be there, but it stretches a lot better now.
Catriona<br /> Born January 26, 2014 at 9:24pm<br /> 7lb 3.7oz and 19.5in long
First mommy and baby picture
1 day old
4 weeks old
9 weeks old
A good face shot from Good Friday at 12 weeks
…And baby suiting at 9 weeks old thrown in for good measure.*Sorry about the oversized pictures. I can’t figure out how to resize in the new layout.*