December 2nd, 2009 10:32 pm
8lbs 14oz 54cm long
I’ve been meaning to write this up for a while now, but stealing away a moment of time has been difficult – I just can’t stop snuggling our new little lady! Hopefully this makes sense since I had to write it in a few different chunks of time!
**WARNING** There are some slightly graphic pictures below…so don’t scroll all the way to the bottom of the post if you don’t want to see some blood. Also, I’ve kept all the details of the birth story in…so don’t read if you don’t want to hear about my cervix! lol
ALSO – this is WAY longer than I had initially thought it would be
On December 1st (my due date) I had a midwife appointment which I kept telling them would be my last one, despite their booking me in for another appointment on the 8th, which I told them there would be no way I would still be pregnant then! The future Nana (my Mum) and I went up to Owen Sound for the appointment and I thought my feet would explode with swelling! Previously Whitney had told me that she would do a stretch and sweep (s&s) at this appointment depending on a few things going on. I was REALLY hoping that she would do it, as I was feeling quite ready. I had been taking Evening Primrose Oil, Red Raspberry Leaf tea and some tiny homeopathic pills that tasted like just a sugar pill (caulophyllum thalictroides is whats on the bottle) with hopes that it would help my body prepare, but not push it before it was ready. Whitney said everything was a go for the s&s (there weren’t a bunch of other Women in labour and they hadn’t been up for hours the night before), but that she was secretly hoping that I wouldn’t go into labour until Thursday when she was back on call. So…during the s&s Whitney said I was already 2cm dilated and my cervix was soft, but still thick. I also got the most hilarious compliment I’ve ever received – apparently I have a “great cervix”! I started bleeding pretty much right away which got my hopes up a bit, but I didn’t want to get too excited!
After my appointment we went up to WalMart to get some last few things for the hospital bag and the walking seemed to keep things going. I had a few stronger contractions (stronger than the Braxton hicks I had been having for the last 20 weeks or so), but nothing major. Whitney had suggested that I take an Advil and a Gravol that night to keep the cramping to a minimum while I tried to get some sleep. I’ve never taken Gravol before, so I just took an Advil and went to bed that night. I was up my usually insane number of times in the night to pee, but also noticed that a few of the contractions I was having were a lot stronger and actually getting a little painful.
When I got up at 5am on the 2nd with Matt while he got ready for work I told him to be sure to keep his pager close by as I thought she was going to come that day. I also called Laura to tell her to start faking sick when she got into work, just incase she had to leave during the day. Finally, I called my Mum to tell her I thought something was happening, but that nothing was too consistent yet. I had tried timing a few contractions, but they were all over the place – some 8 min apart, some 5 min apart, some an hour apart. I decided to take a Gravol with the hopes that I would get some sleep just incase it was “the” day and went back to bed.
The majority of the day is a blur – I slept for most of the day off and on, getting up a few times to let Toby out, check my email and answer the phone…oh, and to pee about a million times! I kept waking up with contractions here and there, and noticed that they were worse when I was standing up, but quite bearable while lying down so I didn’t think it was anything too exciting yet.
I decided it might be something around 3pm and decided to page Matt. When he called back I didn’t say I was in labour, but rather just asked him to come home right after work rather than going to the gym or anything which he said was his plan all day since I had told him in the morning that I thought she was coming that day. I still just felt crampy, so I just sat around until Matt got home at 5pm – he was shocked to see me just laying around and thought I would be ready to go then. I wasn’t even really finished packing and wasn’t ready to go to the birth centre at all. I decided that I wasn’t sure if it was real labour or not, so I wanted to go get in the jacuzzi at my parent’s house to see if the crampy feeling went away. There was no way I wanted to drive over to Walkerton if it was going to be nothing.
I had called my Mum to tell her we were going to go over to get in the tub and she said she would get home to meet us there (coincidentally, she was in Home Hardware buying Sloan’s Christmas stocking). We ran around throwing things in the suit case and packing food for Toby, I was convinced that it was still going to be a while, so we packed up the laptop and some movies incase we were at the birth centre for a while. We left the house around 5:30pm and when we got to my parents I got in the tub right away (which thoughtfully my Mum had filled and had waiting for me with lots of candles) and Matt started timing the contractions to see where we were at incase we had to page Whitney – the first timed contraction was at 5:43. This is when things started to get real – I finally was convinced that I was actually in labour! After about an hour of contractions that were about 4-6min apart, that I actually had to breath and focus through, Matt finally convinced me that we had to page someone and that we really should get to the birth centre, so I had my Mum page Whitney – I wasn’t even thinking that she wasn’t on call yet so the recording had her page Michelle…someone I had never even met! Michelle wanted to talk to me and this annoyed me as I thought she should know that I couldn’t chat right then! After though I realized she was trying to get a better idea of how I was actually feeling. Michelle encouraged me to eat something (she suggested bacon and eggs and I thought she was insane) to keep my energy up and we agreed to meet at the birth centre at 8pm. I then realized that I was starving and ate about 4 pieces of delicious crunchy peanut butter toast while trying not to get crumbs in the bath.
Starting at 7pm Matt kept trying to tell me we had to go, but I wanted to wait because I didn’t think it would take us that long to get to Walkerton and I wanted to stay in the bath for as long as possible, but the contractions were getting much more intense and I knew we needed to go soon. My Mum called Laura at this point to tell her we were going to go over to Walkerton but that she had no idea how far along I was or what was going on. I wasn’t sure if Laura should come or not because we were only allowed to have 2 support people in the room (stupid H1N1 ruining my birth plan). The last timed contraction was at 7:16 and then I got out of the tub… and OW! I felt like I needed to pee, so I sat on the toilet and didn’t want to get up…OW! I didn’t say it at the time, but I was a little worried we had waited too long at this point – the contractions were really intense now and I felt like I couldn’t get up. I actually considered going to Walkerton naked for a moment just to avoid having to get dressed! I made it all the way to the livingroom and then had to lay down – there was so much pressure when I was standing. Matt and my Dad had prepared the car – the seat was wrapped in a giant garbage bag and loaded with towels as my water still hadn’t broken.
As soon as we got out of the neighborhood I knew we had left it too long…I didn’t think I was going to make it. It seemed like the contractions were coming one on top of the other and I couldn’t get comfortable. Of course it was raining and we were behind a transport truck that Matt couldn’t seem to get a clear spot to pass. I kept telling him to go faster and to just hurry and to pass asap! Matt was the perfect partner – he kept reminding me to breath and held my hand when I wanted him to and kept putting the window up and down as I requested! With the window down I was too cold and getting rained on, with it up I was too hot – nothing was working for me! I had put the seat down and I couldn’t get back up!
About half way to Walkerton I started to feel the urge to push, I felt like I was going to have her right then and there, of course I was yelling this to Matt with each contraction and that was the only time that I saw him a little worried – he told me I had to wait because he didn’t even know where we were or how much longer it was. When we finally got in to Walkerton the entrance to the birth centre was under construction so we had to go in another way and I directed Matt the wrong way and we wound up at the parking lot for the retirement home next door…I thought I wasn’t going to make it if Matt didn’t hurry up at this point. So, we quickly got to the emergency entrance and I directed Matt to park in the ambulance entrance – I didn’t care what we were blocking!
While Matt went to tell them we were there and get a wheelchair, I went into the bathroom, and again felt like I couldn’t get up off the toilet because of the pressure when I was standing up. Matt wheeled me up to the birth centre and when we got up there a nurse was waiting for us. I stood up out of the wheelchair and told her to show me which room we were in because I needed to use the washroom asap (still really felt like I needed to pee…even though I didn’t). I was horribly annoyed with her and the lack of urgency she seemed to have when she was asking how I was – couldn’t she tell I was dying!?!?! When we got to the room (which felt like miles away, when it was actually probably just a few feet) I sat on the toilet right away and still couldn’t pee when that was all I wanted to do. The nurse told me Michelle wasn’t there yet and I remember looking at the clock and it was 8:20 and again I was annoyed because we were supposed to meet at 8pm. Moments later in came Michelle. Because I had tested positive for Group B Strep they had to start an IV, which had I known how fast everything would have gone, I wouldn’t have concented to. I have told Whitney about how I was more scared of the IV going in than actual child birth and she assured me that she would find the nurse with the most experience to do the IV so I wouldn’t need to worry. Well, wouldn’t you know, there was a student nurse on that night and they wanted her to start the IV. After fishing around for what seemed like forever, the other nurse stepped in and did it. I begged Michelle to check me at this point – I needed some reassurance that this pain was coming to an end soon. She checked me and said there was just a small lip left, but I wanted a number! I remember saying I didn’t know what she meant and asked how far that meant and when she said I was fully dilated and at TEN I wanted to hug her! At this point I asked for the gas and it was there before I knew it. I really hulled on it during the contractions, but it wasn’t taking the pain away – it was just making my lips dry and my eyes heavy, but it did make me feel like I could get a break and a good rest between contractions. Michelle wanted me to lay on my side to help the lip to go away and at this point we talked about the fact that the baby could be born in the cull (still in the sac if my water didn’t break) and how it’s not that uncommon. With a few contractions in this side position I felt the urge to push and Michelle wanted me to wait for a bit, but I couldn’t, it just seemed to be happening. Barb arrived then – she was going to be the secondary midwife and take care of little Fawn – another midwife I hadn’t met before that night – what are the odds! It seemed like once she arrived Michelle told me I could push if I really felt like I needed to. Barb checked the baby’s heartbeat quite a few times with the Doppler, while Michelle kept applying warm compresses which felt so good. Matt was still by my side, applying chapstick, and holding my water as needed and reminding me to breath! I felt the urge to push again and on the second contraction I did push and pop went my water…ALL over! Matt said it looked like Michelle had to dive out of the way and suddenly my foot was really wet and warm – there must have been a lot! Finally that pressure feeling of needing to pee was gone! Michelle said the baby was so low and the bag of water was resting right on my bladder so that was the needing to pee feeling. After my water broke it seemed like that feeling of wanting to push was even stronger with each contraction and Michelle told me I could push whenever I wanted, that little lip of cervix was gone and we were good to go. At first they wanted me to try pushing on my side with Barb holding up my left leg, but I felt like my leg was so heavy and wasn’t being supported enough and I was using all of my strength to hold up my leg and couldn’t’ get enough power behind the pushes so I moved onto my back. With my Mum on my left and Matt on my right and my eyes closed I started pushing with almost each contraction. Two things I remember most – I remember thinking it was so not like TV, my legs weren’t pulled behind my head and there wasn’t anyone counting to 10 yelling at me to push, and Michelle asking me if I wanted a mirror to see and saying no because I didn’t want her to have to leave the room to go get one! My Mum told me she could see the head and that was the greatest thing to hear – I was making progress! When Michelle asked if I wanted to reach down and feel her head I was surprised, it wasn’t that painful so I didn’t think there could possibly be much to feel, but sure enough I could feel her slimy little head! Only a couple pushes later Michelle was telling me to reach down and pull up my baby and next thing I knew, Sloan was on my chest and starting to cry almost right away! She was so perfect looking and ours!
We got to have a good snuggle, Matt cut the cord once it had stopped pulsating, and she laid on my chest while I delivered the placenta (which felt more painful than Sloan!). Then I noticed that there was blood ALL over my right side – somehow my IV had been pulled out which was my biggest fear in getting the stupid thing (my hand was still bruised a week after!)! We also noticed that there was poop ALL over! Sloan had managed to poop on me, herself and her Dad! We attempted to get her latched on, but she didn’t seem interested in eating so she had her exam from Barb at the end of my bed and got rave reviews!
Shortly after, things settled down and I realized that she was born at 10:32 just two short hours after we arrived at the hospital. It seemed so easy and fast! I knew then what people say about forgetting about the pain! I remember it was painful, but it’s so hard to describe! Nana got to have a snuggle with Sloan and I tried to pee…but still couldn’t! It wasn’t until about 1:30 that I finally peed and it was the greatest feeling ever! By about midnight everyone was on their way out and we were alone. Matt fell asleep quite quickly on the couch and I realized that basically everything we brought with us was unnecessary! I tried to get some sleep but couldn’t – I couldn’t stop looking at Sloan and making sure she was still breathing! She ate a couple times in the night, but only for a moment. By about 4:30 a nurse came in and brought me some toast as I realized that maybe I couldn’t sleep because I was starving!
I finally fell asleep around 5 and was up again at 7 with Matt. I said we were lucky we didn't want to stay or sleep in because shortly after 7am the construction started outside our room! We got up and Matt watched Sloan while I showered then we packed up and headed home - we were on the road and stopping for breakfast by 9am! It felt so crazy to just leave with Sloan…like someone should have told us we weren’t allowed to just leave with that baby!
The first couple of days at home were a little insane – we couldn’t get Sloan to latch too well, so she wasn’t eating a lot at each feed, so she was nursing a lot and up a lot at night, but we got it down and now she has been nursing like a champ! At her 3 day visit she was 8lbs5oz, and one week later she was 9lbs3oz...now...at 4 weeks she hasn't been weighed by the midwives yet, but I would guess she is about 12lbs almost!
All in all it was a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for it to go better! I think we’ll plan a homebirth for the next little one just incase things go as fast or faster!
Our new family (Sloan really likes to keep her hands up by her face!):
Her previous home (scroll quickly if you don't want to see the placenta):
First kiss from Nana:
First snuggle from Daddy:
Getting examined by Barb:
With Barb and Michelle:
All snuggled up for the ride home:And now, our little noodle today, all smiles!