March 31, 2012
Briar Hill Midwives

So, no one was more surprised than my husband and I when Ollie decided to come a little earlier than expected.  Funny baby already - he played the ultimate April Fool's day joke on us and our midwives and was born by emergency c-section at 11:56pm on March 31, 2012.  In the end we are so pleased that we are both healthy and finally home after having to both stay at the hospital.

I woke up on Saturday morning at 2am to find that my membrane had prematurely and spontaneously ruptured.  Labour hadn't started fully, so I went about starting to eat and prepare when the first contractions started.  I held off on labouring in the shower until the pain really started, which I'm glad I did, though I did slip off the birthing ball in the shower (DO NOT DO THAT, oww oww oww!)  By the time the midwives told us to go to the hospital, it was 7:30am and I was halfway there for  (Whoo hoo!)

When I got to the hospital, we were into the full swing of things and it did not take us long to get a delivery room.  One of the great things of labouring naturally and then holding off going to the hospital is that by the time you get there, you are at the front of the line for a room.  I had to get IV fluids because I got SO sick in early labour and because we still had not received the results of the Group B strep test.

And then we finally got to 10cm and came to a GRINDING HALT!  The baby was fine the whole time, I was fine, but the baby was still at -3, and being fully effaced, it was not fun to be there for 9+ hours in the hospital delivery room.  We did every position in the book and even came up with our own versions (I came up with the "Captain Morgan" - one leg up in half squat / lunge while facing the back of the bed and pelvic rock).  Ollie just did not want to come down and in fact, turned the wrong way, with his chin up and his shoulder stuck.  Our midwife suggested we do the epidural and an OB/Gyn was called.  In fact, the OB gave us more time so that he could possibly use forceps, but it was becoming obvious that Oliver was not a front door baby.

In the end, our midwife told us that this was one of the rare cases where they would suggest C-section.  We didn't come to it lightly, and I fought it tooth and nail (or is it head and tail) to the end.  Ollie was the main objective and we are SO glad he made it.

Oliver was 36 weeks, and 4 days gestation, and 6lbs, 7oz of awesomeness and hilarity.  He's a little smaller than the other nursery babies, but he's happy, healthy, and delightful.  He teaches us something new everyday.

Lessons learned: breastfeed as soon as possible after the birth.  Even though I was frozen from my chest down in the recovery room immediately following the surgery, my midwife was with me and hand expressing me on one side while I did the other.  It made Ollie so much stronger in the first few hours and he is still exclusively on breastmilk.  I was getting lots of pressure to feed formula and I stood my ground and steadfastly refused, instead opting to pump to supplement.  And if you have to stay in the hospital for longer, like we did, have lots of outside support.  He lost 11% of his body weight in 3 days and turned a lovely shade of yellow which is now clearing up.

Michelle Fernandes