Sept 15, 2012
Briar Hill Midwives

Hi Sue

On September 15, 2012 at 1:38pm we welcomed Lucca Orlando into the world. Lucca weighed 8lbs, 3oz and was 51cm long, with a 37cm head circumference!!!!

Cristina and I were all ready to go and planned to have a home birth with our midwives from Briar Hill.  Her labour started with her water breaking with a "gush" while we were lying in bed just before midnight on the 14th, which was good becasue we were 8 days overdue!! We phoned our midwives at Briar Hill and let Reanne know what had happened. Reanne was very supportive and told us to let her know when Cristina’s contractions had reached 4-1-1. She ensured us that everything was okay, and to call her if any questions or concerns should arise. Cristina contractions started pretty intense almost immediately after hanging up the phone with Reanne, so I guess our plan for the long haul and a glass of wine was out the window. Although the nice bottle of wine that I had picked out was out, I did have the opportunity to set up a nice environment for producing oxytocin. I dimmed the lights, played nice music, used ice, and heat compresses and massage.

Throughout the night, she was having quite a bit of back labour, but labour did move quickly. I provided intense counter pressure and this seemed to help her pain and her ability to work through the contraction. I have to say the power of knowing how to do this and talking her through the contraction with positive thoughts is what really worked for Cristina. She had reached 4-11 by about 4:30am and by the time I ended up phoning the midwives back at 5am, she was having pretty intense contractions at the rate of about 2.5 minutes. Reanne arrived at our house at about 5:30am and got set up. She checked Cristina and reported that she was about 5cm and nearly 100% effaced. She provided Cristina with some acupuncture, and some homeopathic treatment to try and turn the baby in a more favorable position.  Cristina then got into the bathtub, and with all these things together it seemed like the baby was now in a better position. She continued to have steady contractions in the bathtub till about 7:00am. 

Then suddenly, she just said, “I need to push”. It was quite neat actually, and it seemed like Cristina got a burst of energy. In hindsight, there was some frantic contractions right before that which I probably say was transition. Reanne checked Cristina again, reported she was fully dilated and then called the second midwife, Wendy. Cristina continued to push in the bathtub until about 8am and then started to change positions from the bed, to the toilet, to her hands and knees, and then back to the bed, etc. Lucca’s heart rate was very steady throughout the whole pushing stage at about 130bpm and having no deceleration of his heart rate. Although she pushed at home for about 4 hours, and the baby’s heart rate was strong and favorable, Reanne and Wendy felt at this point it might be  safe to go to Foothills Hospital and see if a vacuum would assist on this little guy coming out. Despite our birth plan being a home birth, our focus was the safety of the baby and Cristina, so collectively we made the decision to go to the hospital.

There is only so much pushing, apple juice and Emergency C you can have I guess!!!!!  We went by EMS and arrived at labour and delivery, where the midwives took control of the room. I have to say the level of comfort and ability with the midwives both at home and at the hospital was unbelievable and amazing. At this point, the obstetrician arrived and she was lovely! Cristina continued to push in L&D while OB and the anesthesiologist consulted on what they were going to do. They decided they were going to give her an epidural and try to vacuum this baby out with an augmentation of oxytocin.  At this point I had a very hard time with it, but Cristina became very clear and seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Remarkable woman!!! The midwives were very caring and assured us that it was going to be okay.  I was impressed on the speed and delivery of the consultation with all these doctors. The epidural was set up quick, and well, and Cristina was only given one dose, so at this point I was beginning to feel a little bit better about this. Once the epidural kicked in, they tried to vacuum out the baby.  The first attempt failed and the vacuum popped off the head of the baby! This is an awful sound, but they assured us that this can happen. They tried a second time, with no success. At this point, the forceps were used, and during a strong contraction, baby Lucca was delivered at 1:38pm. He cried right away and his APGAR score was a 8 after 1 minute and a 9 after 5 minutes. So very healthy and thriving!  I remember while we were waiting for a contraction and the forceps to be used, the OB said to Cristina, who is a red head, “you’re a red head so I am concerned that you might bleed!!! Cristina said, “While, I’m Italian, so I hope that this gene kicks in at this moment!!!”

She didn’t bleed all that much, but unfortunately did manage to get herself a 4th degree tear with a sphincter involvement due to the forceps use. The baby did though have a very good chance to bond with Cristina skin to skin, which we were happy about.

We spent the night in the postpartum unit, due to her tear, and were visited by the midwives and were told that Cristina is a trooper, did really well, and we have a great, cute and very healthy little boy!!!!!!! We ended up coming home late Sunday night to Lucca’s new and permanent home!!!!

We are very joyful with our birth experience, and value the time that we spent at home, labouring and pushing with the midwives. Cristina has said that hadn’t she learned how to push so well at home, it would have been difficult at the hospital to push once the epidural was in. Reanne and Wendy, our midwives were absolutely fantastic, and always made us feel like we were important. The midwives continue to care for us at home and Cristina, Lucca, and I are doing very well breastfeeding, adjusting, and learning about each other.

Thank you Sue, your classes sure helped us through this absolutely exhilarating and memorable experience.

Kris, Cristina and Lucca!