I am feeling so happy and blessed to be able to introduce my son, William Christopher who was born on Friday, April 7th at 3:04am. Early bird! I thought this would be a good time to share my birth story. It may be a bit graphic for some, and if so just skip down to the adorable photos.
I’d say this labour story starts on Sunday night when I had one of the worst cases of “heartburn” (only to find out now it’s actually gallstones – more on that in an upcoming post) which lasted from 10pm-Monday at 3:30pm. It was excruciating, as gallbladder attacks are, and I was insanely dehydrated due to being sick all night long. One of the joys of gallbladder attacks. I called my midwife Kate in the morning and we made a plan to meet at the hospital at 3, for a non-stress test, and to chat with the doctor about possible induction as I couldn’t handle this pain anymore. We were under the impression it would subside after I had the baby.
At 3 Chris and I made our way to the hospital, and j I was hooked up to the non-stress test, and also got an IV of fluids to rehydrate. I was so dehydrated that they couldn’t find a vein in my arm, and when pulling out the needle I didn’t even bleed. It felt amazing to get some fluid in me. After a few hours of being monitored, and discussing induction with Kate and the doctor we decided we wanted to go for it later in the week.
We planned to use Cervidil, which essentially is a little wafer on a string they place by your cervix, which helps soften it, and prepare for labour. Then once my cervix was “ripe” and ready they were going to use Oxytocin which gives you contractions and induces labour. You usually get to have 3 doses of the Cervidil before Oxytocin.
Mondsy night after being home for a while, Kate had called me saying they wanted me to come in the next morning to have another non-stress test(NST) as the doctor was a little concerned with something he saw with William’s heart rate. So Tuesday morning, 7:30am we were back at the hospital for the next NST, which was exhausting due to the sleepless night we had before. We made the plan to come in Wednesday morning(yep, 7:30) for Kate to give me the first dose of Cervidil. My mom was up here, so she was able to take me in as Chris had to work. So Wednesday we arrive bright and early, have the hour long NST, again, only to find out I couldn’t get the Cervidil that day! Kate was super busy with two other moms about to give birth, so it made sense not to add a third in case the Cervidil worked really well for me. So it was postponed until Thursday. At 7:30. My oncall midwife switched over to Selina at this point, and she inserted the Cervidil at 8:30am, and I was 2cm dilated at the time.
My mom and I ran some errands around town, then headed back to my house to rest. The Cervidil makes you super crampy, and I was exhausted so I napped. Around 5pm, Chris got home from work, my mom went back to her place, and I called Tanesha (my Doula) to come over as I was having some contractions. These contractions were painless, so I wasn’t actually in labour at all, just cramping. Come 9pm the cramps were really regular so we decided to call Selina and meet her at the hospital. Is this really labour? This is easy!
We meet Selina and she checks my cervix. 2cm dilated. Are you kidding? I was bummed. So she decided to take out the Cervidil and give me the second dose Friday at 7:30. At this point, I am utterly exhausted and crampy, so she gave me a shot of morphine and Gravol to help me get some sleep, so I’m nice and rested come the morning. We leave the hospital and get gas, gatorade, and head back to Lake Cowichan. By the time we got home it was about 11:30pm, and I actually managed to fall asleep.
Come 12am, I wake up with the most painful contractions. For about half an hour I lay there in bed, trying to breathe through, but they were so painful I just had to yell out. Tanesha woke up and was helping me through while Chris tried to get some sleep. We knew he needed it. We tried so many different positions; standing, sitting, laying, bathing, but nothing was helping. I was having some double up contractions where the pain gets to his highest point, then stops, but comes right back immediately. Those were hard. I toughed it out at home for about 1 1/2 hours, then Tanesha called Selina saying it was time for us to come back to the hospital. As soon as she hung up I felt intense pressure, and the urge to push. I remember saying “WE WAITED TOO LONG!!!” Haha. I decided to go pee before we left, only to lose my entire mucous plug on the toilet paper. I told Tanesha and she said let’s go!!
On our way to the hospital was intense. I was resisting the urge to push the entire drive from Lake Cowichan to Duncan. Chris’s poor hand…. we arrived to the hospital at 2:37am, and rushed right through emergency. The nurses asked if I was ok, and Tanesha just yelled out that I was in labour. I had to stop halfway to the door because of the pain and it was intense. Finally made it up to the maternity ward, no sign of my midwife yet so the nurse took me into the exam room. I begged for the epidural. I wanted it so bad. Sitting on the side of the bed, fully clothed, my water broke, so the nurse tells me to take off my pants so she can check my cervix.
Please give me the drugs. Please.
She checks me and says oh no, you are fully dilated, and ready to go. What? 3 hours of labour, and I’m fully dilated!? 2cm-10cm in 3 hours?! When does that happen! So they get me into the delivery room and I guess she went and called Selina (who was luckily downstairs) saying “Where are you?!? She’s ready to push!?” Thinking back we should have called Selina and tell her that I lost my plug and felt pressure. Oh well!
She gets there and basically I’m ready to start pushing as soon as she does. Before pushing, they try to find William’s heartbeat but they couldn’t. Pushed through a contraction. Finally found his heartbeat but it was dropping and was at about 60 or 70 bpm which is super low. (Usually it’s anywhere from 120-170). Selina said to me “okay, we need to get this baby out, we are calling the doctor to come up with the vacuum, but I want you to push him out before the doctor gets here.” Pushed through another 2 contractions, and his heart rate was still super low. Selina made the choice to do an episiotomy on me, which is a decision she did not make lightly. It’s a lot easier to heal from a tear, than a cut, and she knew it would be uncomfortable, but also knew that it was important to get this baby out asap. On the last contraction, after a few pushes, she made the cut. One last push, and he was here. 3:04am, less than half an hour after arriving at the hospital When he came out, the rest of the amniotic fluid followed and it shot out of me. It was crazy!! I couldn’t believe how fast my labour went.
10 minutes of pushing. TEN! They brought him right to my chest, and he was perfect. Chris immediately started crying and I just couldn’t take my eyes off of my sweet baby boy. They clamped his cord fairly quickly, and Chris made the cut. After they took him over to get weighed and measured, they realized they hadn’t given me the Shot of Oxytocin. (It’s common to give it to moms as the babies head is just pushed out, to keep the body contracting so it lessens blood loss, and gets the placenta delivered.) so I got to have the huge needle in my leg with no distractions unfortunately. Compared to the contraction pain, it was nothing. Then it was time for the stitches. The inner ones didn’t hurt all that much, but the outer ones killed. I was so so sore. It was then time for a shower, and then to our private room. With our baby. He’s ours? We can just take him? It was surreal. We could not sleep, of course. And we layed on the hospital bed, with our sweet son on my chest. He was perfect.
Stay tuned for my next few posts… his first 48 hours, and my experience with my gallbladder, and check out these pics!