April 21, 2010

1:15am – woke up to a contraction but was able to go back to sleep until 2:20ish

2:20am – woke up to a contraction and an incredible urge to poop! I sat on the toilet for a while (I didn’t have to go, it just felt like it) and then woke Chris up and he went and got the birth ball – I’m so happy we bought one. It was such a life saver. I sat on the ball until around 3 am and then Chris suggested I hop in the bath. The water was such a relief. I stayed in the bath until 3:40am.

3:40am – back on the ball leaning against the back of the bed. Chris was lying on the bed facing me

4:00am to 7:30am – we went down stairs, Chris made me raisin toast and I settled down on the couch. Chris heated up the magic bags and got me the hot water bottle. I had one Magic bag on my neck; one on my lower belly and the hot water bottle on my side. It was quite comfortable. I was having contractions every 10-15 minutes. I was able to sleep between them and when they woke me up I just moaned my way through them.

7:30am – back on the ball

7:40am – went and had a hot shower. Chris brought me fresh pineapple and fed it to me while I sat in the shower. He also brought me water.

8:10am – got out of the shower and blow dried my hair having to stop when a contraction hit.

9:00am – emailed Rhonda and Shannon; had a little something to eat

11:00am – Chris and I went to South Centre mall; we walked around for a bit. All the while I was having contractions. When one would hit, I would have to lean against a railing or find the nearest place to sit down. I bought a light, super soft robe for the hospital visit from La Senza – I used the gift card from Cesar and Chelsea that I got for my birthday

We ate lunch at the mall. We had Arby’s (beef and cheddar.) I had a contraction right after I finished eating. I just put my head down while it was happening.

Chris purchased chocolate cigars from Purdy’s chocolates. I had a contraction in the chocolate shop. Chris knew exactly what was happening from my body language, so he told the lady we would be back shortly to pick up the cigars. We went and found the nearest bench to contract on.

We walked some more. Both Chris and I sat in the TV area (for tired husbands – there is always sports on TV.) We both fell asleep, but only for a few minutes.

We picked up the chocolate cigars and decided to head back home. While walking to the car, I had a huge contraction outside. I had to lean on Chris and moan it out. It was so windy outside; my hair was blowing in every direction. (It’s funny the small things you remember when you’re in labor)

1:30pm – We both got comfortable on the couch and were able to fall asleep for a bit. I woke up and had a small snack (guacamole and chips) and finished my slurpee

(We stopped at Macs at Southland and Fairmont and got a slurpee – we wanted the HUGE straws for my Lululemon water bottle. The straws were long enough and fat enough that one suck was all I needed to get me enough water. I had a contraction right in front of the slurpee machines. I just made it look like I was deciding on a flavor. Since they had about 15 different flavors, nobody was the wiser that I was in labor in a Macs store.)

3:30pm – After my snack, I needed the comfort of the bath tub. I sat in the tub for a while and thought about being a mom and how excited and scared I was at the same time

4:00pm – Out of the tub and back on the ball – what a relief the ball was. I tried to use side relaxation in bed but that wasn’t comfortable at all. Chris made me some soup and I was able to eat it. We watched a bit of TV (2 and ½ men.) Then I had to get up and move around. I was walking back and forth up stairs from our bedroom window to the baby’s bedroom window. I also sat in the glider for a bit (little did I know how many hours I would clock in that very glider nursing and bonding with my new baby)

6:00pm – Chris decided it was time to call Rhonda. They talked for a bit and decided that she would call us back in an hour to check my progress

6:30pm – Cesar came and picked up Eddie – I love that little dog, but it was easier when he was gone. Chris could really focus on being a coach – and what a great coach he turned out to be

7:00pm – Rhonda called back and Chris talked to her. She said I was doing great moaning through my contractions. They again decided to wait another hour before we decided on anything.

7:30pm – I lost my mucus plug! I was still walking around…in between my visits to the toilet with my urges to poop…but not really having to poop. How annoying!

8:00pm – Rhonda called back – Chris and her with my input decided that it was time to head to the hospital.

Chris loaded the car up with our bags (packed since we went to the hospital on Saturday April 17, 2010- I had a high blood pressure scare) and baby seat. The ride to the hospital was tough. The bumps were brutal and they weren’t even big ones. I remember having a contraction and looking at the people in the car next to us thinking these people have no idea I’m in labor.

From here on, time was a blur!

We arrived at the hospital. Chris got a wheel chair for me – what a relief it was not having to walk! They admitted me and checked me and I was 5 centimeters dilated so I was thinking that the next 5 centimeters would just fly by – WRONG! After being checked and hooked up to an antibiotic IV because I was positive for group B strep, they moved us to a Labor and Delivery room.

I immediately got in the shower. Chris hooked my IV bag to the shower curtain hook. The nurse came in every once and a while and checked the baby’s heart rate. I remember her saying “The baby is one happy camper!” It was cute but at the same time, it made me think the baby would never come out! In the shower, I had to tell myself “I can do this, I am strong enough, I can do this, I am strong enough…” I was praying to every God out there, just in case mine was on another call. ;)

After the shower, I moved to the recliner chair and really got in the “zone.” I was focused on my breathing and was feeling pretty good. After a while, my body was telling me I needed to be in the shower. So back I went. I had to sit on the floor because the bench was so hard and uncomfortable. After the shower, Nurse Pat checked me and I was only 6 cm! Hearing that really took the wind out of my sails. Nurse Pat brought the resident doctor in and the doctor asked me if breaking my water was anywhere in the equation. Chris and I talked about it and decided that it would be best to speed things up. We also decided to accept the gas to make my harder and faster contractions more bearable. I am so happy I agreed to the gas. I still felt the pain but it definitely took the edge off.

About an hour later I mildly panicked when my gas started to run out. Nurse Pat tried franticly to change the tank out while I was feeling the start of a contraction. I kept telling her “Please hurry!” She finally ran out of the room and brought in a different tank. I looked at the gauge and it was at half. I said to her “Please don’t let this one run out!” She replied “Don’t worry; I have another one on back up!”

The nurses at the Rocky View were fantastic! Each nurse had me try a different position. One nurse even applied a hot compress to my lady parts!

I remember doing my deep abdominal breathing when my body just started to “push” on its own. I told the nurse and she checked me – finally 10 cm! They got me positioned to push and I have to say pushing was a relief, still painful but easier than contractions. So, I am guessing it was around 3 am at this time since I pushed for 2 and ½ hours (Carly was born at 5:22am – Wednesday, April 21, 2010)

The next nurse that came in had me move to the toilet and to do 2 contractions – let me tell you that got things moving! I did 2 contractions and all of a sudden, I felt massive pressure in my bottom. (I remember walking from the toilet to the bed without a stitch of clothing on and not caring who was in the room) They tried to get me to lie down but I couldn’t – there was too much pressure and pain. The nurse checked me and there was a huge bulge – the baby’s head. The nurse got me to hang over the top of the bed with my knees on the mattress – what a relief that position was. She told me to do little grunts and not to push because she could not deliver the baby in that position. She needed me to wait for the doctors. When the doctors arrived (Dr, Allen, a resident and an intern), that was when things really started to move. I remember doing a few big pushes and feeling my lady parts tearing (and not caring!) I just wanted to see my baby. All of a sudden, I felt a massive burning sensation and then euphoria, my little baby girl was born. Carly was born at 5:22am 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and 19 and ½ inches long.

When the doctors were trying to remove my placenta, the umbilical cord detached. They tried and tried to get my placenta out but it wasn’t working and I was hemorrhaging pretty badly; they decided that they needed to take me to the OR to get my placenta out. The anesthesiologist came in, his name was Ruben. He quickly explained to us the spinal that I would be receiving. He was so nice! I was wheeled to the OR and when I got there, I remember seeing huge bright lights and feeling how cold it was in there. I guess it didn’t help that I was bleeding like crazy. The doctors worked on me and finally got my placenta out. It was and still is amazing to me how many people were in the operating room and how everyone had their own specific role – they all worked together like a well oiled machine. Very Impressive!

They put me in recovery and I remember hearing the doctors talking about giving me a blood transfusion. No way was I getting one! Turns out I didn’t need one since I was so healthy in my pregnancy. While laying in recovery, I remember starting to cry; I was thinking about my new daughter and my amazing husband, and how scared they both must be not knowing what’s happening to me. All I wanted to do was see the two of them.

They wheeled me to my new room where I finally got to see my new baby and my husband. I think that was one of the happiest moments of my life – after the birth of Carly. She is so beautiful.

The end part to Carly’s birth didn’t go exactly as planned but I wouldn’t change a single thing. I achieved my goal of having a drug free birth – even though I had to have drugs in the end. At least Carly didn’t have to be drugged. I can handle a bit of medication. I have a beautiful and healthy baby girl to show for it and I’m thankful.

Chris was beyond a fantastic coach. He handled everything perfectly and did a great job of keeping me calm. The nurses even commented on what a great team we were. I could not have achieved a drug free birth without him. There were a few time where I wanted to give up but he just kept encouraging me to keep going and reminding me why we decided on a drug free birth. I also remember him timing my contractions at home and writing them down and telling Rhonda the start and duration of each of them. He did a great job of keeping me hydrated; he gave me a sip of water after every contraction.

Chris has brought me breakfast in bed every morning since Carly has been home and he has made me lunch and dinner every day (I’m not looking forward to him returning to work next week). Also, he makes sure I drink water while I am breast feeding even in the middle of the night! He makes sure that the house is clean and that the animals are cared for. He is so great and I am lucky to have him. Chris is the world’s best husband and I love him so much.

Chris, I’m forever in debt to you, for all your love, support and encouragement. Carly & I are lucky ladies to have a father and husband as great as you.

I look at Carly everyday and think “I can’t believe how perfect she is and I can’t believe we created her.” I love her more than I ever thought possible! She is my little angel and I love her more with each passing day!

I love you Carly and I love you Chris!

Calgary natural birth stories