Sunday, November 20, 2011

Birth Story

Wrote it the other day. Sorry for the length! No time to write a short version for the blog :p

Birth Story

I was 2 days overdue when I went to the doctor’s office on Halloween for my regular appointment. We decided to strip my membranes to see if it would get things going. I was at that point 1.5 cm and 50% effaced which was the same as 2 weeks earlier when we last checked.

I didn’t really want to give birth on Halloween. Not only because I wanted to go out trick or treating with Nora, but also because I feel he would always be overshadowed by this day. Every child is busy on Halloween!

I had a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions that afternoon but there was no pain at all so I knew this meant nothing – I could still stay pregnant for days more. But by late afternoon/evening when I went out trick or treating with Nora, I was getting either strong BH contractions or early labour contractions. They didn’t hurt so much as they made me feel pressure whenever I was standing or walking. I took advantage of Halloween to continue walking even if it was uncomfortable. Every time I sat down, they stopped. It was obviously not real labour… But *something* was happening.

We got home and they continued every time I stood so I decided to go to bed early in case I had to get up in the middle of the night to have my baby. I don’t deal well with fatigue. I went to bed… But right away I started to get contractions – and they were real ones this time. Not very painful, but very regular coming every 4 minutes or so. After 1.5h of those, I called the hospital to see what they suggest. I wasn’t ready to go there yet because they were not very strong and I was dealing with them just fine, but I wanted to see what they’ say anyway. They told me to take a bath and see if that helped stop them or if they continued. Well, they continued and got stronger. By midnight which was 3h after they started, they were starting to be even closer together and were starting to be more painful so we decided to go in. Actually, my husband hadn’t been with me much because I felt better able to deal with it all alone and when he came in, he threw me off my coping routine a little and I wound up panicked and vomiting. I realized then that they were actually pretty strong. I had just been dealing with them well.

After arriving at the birthing floor, they put me on the monitor for 20 minutes to see how steady the contractions were and they checked me. I was 5cm! They admitted me and put me in my birthing room. Things continued to go well. My husband left to get a few things at home that we forgot – we live 5 minutes away so it was no big deal – and I continued to deal with the contractions like I had been at home. I got information on the epidural since I knew the fatigue was kicking in (it was maybe 1am at this point) and that it meant I’d be having more trouble dealing with pain and I’d be having more pain to deal with… They called my doctor and she approved since I was far enough along in the labour. I didn’t want it at that exact time though and the nurse was kind of trying to convince me not to because I was not at the point of being in so much intolerable pain yet…

I didn’t really want to get there so I decided to ask for it about an hour later when things were harder to deal with but still going well. I’m so glad I did. I can honestly say that I went through the whole labouring process without ever getting to the point where I was having intolerable pain. With Nora, I was fighting every contraction, having so much trouble dealing with the pain, and I was completely stalled in my progress. I was probably fighting the contractions as hard as they were working. The combination of using good coping strategies and getting the epidural made me have the easiest most pain free birth I could have imagined!

I really respect women who are able to go through the whole process without pain medication, A LOT, and that was what I wanted for my children’s births originally, but I have to say that at this point, I have no regrets whatsoever and I would want to have another epidural if I had another child.

With the epidural, I managed to take a nap and relax. When a nurse checked me a bit later, she got the impression that the baby was facing backwards, so I also spent some time on my knees rocking my hips to try to get him in a better position. I don’t know who the women are who can’t move at all when they have the epidural because I was not allowed to get out of bed or anything, but I could lie down in any position and as I wrote also spent time on my hands and knees.

I found it interesting that there was a nurse with me at all times after I had the epidural. She checked the contractions, checked blood pressure, told me when I needed to change positions if the heart rate was changing. They are very careful in making sure everything goes well. She also got me water and juice :P My husband was sleeping on the chair in the corner of the room that whole time until I was ready to push.

After the epidural, they checked me and I was already at 8cm. It had probably been 2-3h since the epidural. They called in my doctor and she broke my waters since the head was kinda floating up there, not right on the cervix. I have a posterior cervix. The doctor said she didn’t believe the baby was facing the wrong direction from what she felt (the nurse was probably wrong). But I still went back on my hands and knees to try and get the baby to move down. It worked well and I was 10cm an hour later. And no, I didn’t spend 1h on my hands and knees. Maybe 15 minutes!

My doctor is great. When I told her I didn’t feel the urge to push she gave me the choice to either push anyway since I was 10cm, or delay pushing until I felt the need. I decided to wait. I knew the pushes would be more effective if I waited until I felt it. When she came back to see how it was going, I was definitely feeling the pressure a lot and getting the need to push. She checked me and the head was actually “right there”. Three contractions later, he was out!

He had the cord wrapped around his neck because we’d made him turn in there with the whole hands and knees thing when he was actually probably in the right position all along, but there was no damage. He cried with a strong voice right after birth. A beautiful healthy baby boy! :D

My husband really seemed happy and proud to now be the father of two children. He wasn’t there for Nora’s birth so it was his first time too and I think it built a bond between them from birth that he wasn’t able to have with Nora. It was beautiful to see – it was like love at first sight. He finally can understand exactly what I went through with Nora and why she became my whole world so fast. We are a happy little family.


Everything continued to go well post-birth. The way it works at my hospital is that the first 2 hours of life are spent on the mother, skin-to-skin unless there’s a real reason not to. Both mom and baby are cared for by a nurse (each) while the doctor finishes up “down there” (placenta, stitches, whatever else). It really just felt like I was having one-on-one time with my baby – I didn’t notice the nurses doing whatever they were doing.

I really like that they put importance on the baby-mother bond before anything else. It’s only after those couple hours that they take the baby to check his reflexes, to weigh him, to dress him before giving him back. The babies spend all their time in the room with the mom. Nurses will only take the baby if he or she has problems or possibly (and they did with me) if the mom needs to sleep badly and no one else is there. They took him in the middle of the night and from what they told me they spent about 1h getting him to sleep and after that he spent the next 3h sleeping while I was able to rest knowing they’d roll him back over when he needed me.

They are strongly pro-breastfeeding. I don’t think any mothers give their baby formula at the hospital. Ones who plan on not breastfeeding will mostly wait until they get home. It’s not banned or anything, but they just really encourage it for all of its health benefits and I really respect that. They are not judgemental either so I think if a mom said she didn’t want to breastfeed, that would be that. When I asked about the epidural, I was kind of uncomfortable asking. I asked and then added “I don’t deal very well with fatigue and I’m really afraid I won’t be able to go through with it without the epidural” and from two different nurses, I got the same response “You have no excuses to make. If you want it, you will get it.”

I stayed at the hospital for 36h after the birth even if they normally only let moms and babies go after 48h. Since I kinda knew what I was doing and both mom and baby were in good shape, they allowed us to leave in the evening instead of making us stay another night. I was glad to be in my own apartment!!

3 Comentários:

Mona Z said...

Great to read that things went well, alhamdulillah. Sounds like a great place to give birth. Congrats once again!

Amalia said...

It sounds like it went really well alhamdulillah!

Becky said...

Awww thank you for sharing your birth story! Really enjoyed reading about it all :)

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