February 7, 2012
Edmonton Hospital Birth Story -
Grey Nuns

Tuesday February 7, 2012 – 23:23 – 7lbs 10 oz – 20 inches

Mason's due date was supposed to be February 23, 2012 and later was changed to February 20th...but he had other plans... ;)

Tuesday February 7th I woke up and started having a contraction around 6:45 am – it wasn’t very strong but more intense than the Braxton hicks contractions I had been experiencing for the last 2 weeks.  I have an app on my iPhone (yep they have an app for that! Lol) in order to time my contractions and keep track.  Again, like I said they weren’t very strong and were happening about 1 hour apart and lasting for about 30-40 seconds to the peak. I kept myself busy all day, walking the house, squatting, bouncing on the ball, cleaning and getting last minute things ready…I thought it could be false labour but I think in my heart of hearts I knew it was time.

(A little back story for the weeks prior – I had been feeling constant pressure and sort of like muscle surges in my cervix area for about two weeks – I had been checked the Thursday before and was dilated 4cms and effacing)

So by around 5:30 the contractions were around 25 minutes apart – I was getting really tired and I started to think, man I should get some rest because if this is it I am going to be exhausted! So I went upstairs around 6:00 and had a nice bath then crawled into bed around 6:30. I was asleep for 15 minutes and was woken up by a contraction followed by what felt like a huge hit to my cervix and a loud POP – the contraction immediately intensified and I felt panicked – Jay was there and he helped me get up and when I got up a huge gush of fluid came out. My water broke! We got to the bathroom and I was still trying to gain composure after the startling intensity of that contraction. I changed into my clothes for the hospital and we were on our way.

We arrived at the Grey Nuns Hospital at 7:15pm – I had one more contraction in the vehicle and one in the parking lot. We were admitted and taken to be assessed, the nurse took my blood pressure and asked me a bunch of questions. I told her about my water breaking and then she checked me. She said I was  5cms dilated and my cervix was paper thin. She said she didn’t think my water broke though. My blood pressure was a bit high so they said they would pay close attention, but it hadn’t been high throughout my pregnancy so she said she wasn’t too worried.

My parents arrived about the same time and it was my mom, my dad and Jay in the room with me. Their support was invaluable to me and everyone worked so well together.  The nurse we had was AMAZING, I can’t say enough good things about her also – we gave her our birth plan told her that I wanted to do this completely natural and gave her a checklist of things we wanted/didn’t want to have happen and she went through each item with us and respected everything we wanted. I was taken to the birthing room and contractions started to get closer together and really intense – about 2-3 mins apart and up to 1 min to the peak. The room was quiet, dark and no residents or students were allowed to come in – just my main nurse. I wasn’t hooked up to an IV or an monitor so I was free to do what I wanted – although my contractions were so close together I didn’t have a chance to move very much at all. So basically I just laboured with Jay, my mom and my dad. Jay was so amazing, when the contractions started getting super intense he propped  himself up behind me and I leaned back on him so I could completely relax all my muscles, my shoulders and back, my face etc and just let the contractions take over. It helped me get through them so much easier. My mom was feeding me ice chips after each contraction and encouraging me and my dad was timing contractions and getting ice chips etc. The nurse came in again a few times to check the baby’s heart rate and it stayed consistent around 145-148 – she checked me again and said that I was 8 cms. The nurse said she couldn’t believe that I was in labour and had progressed to 8 cms – she said you would never have known I was in labour because I just shut my eyes during a contraction, did deep breathing and leaned on my husband in an upright sitting position.  She just kept saying that I was making her job way too easy. (my husband and mom told me this stuff afterwards because I was too busy focusing!)

Soon after I started feeling immense pressure in my bottom – I told the nurse and she decided to check me again. This was around 10:30pm. She checked me and said “oh my gosh you are 10 cms!” she rushed to call Dr. Chua to come quickly because I was starting to feel the urge to push. She told me I had to wait! I was like...you have GOT TO BE KIDDING!! This was the hardest part for me. I had to do panting type breathing and it was just like my body was taking over – I had to go through 3 contractions before Dr. Chua arrived. That was really one of the hardest parts...I mean when it's time it's TIME lol

Once Dr. Chua arrived they set me up so I could start pushing. Jay stayed behind me so I could use him as support. My mom and the nurse each took one of my legs and we were all ready. Then the contractions slowed down a bit, I think it was my body's way of giving me a bit of a break. But not for long…contractions started back up and the urge to push was unmistakeable. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it and Dr Chua let me know that Mason was sunny side up and that he was going to get in there and try to turn him around while I pushed.  He was successful, thank goodness!

I pushed Mason John William into this world in 23 minutes. He was born at 23:23 February 7, 2012 - he also had a perfect knot in his umbilical cord, it wasn’t tight thank goodness and there were no issues with it.

Mason was put to my chest straight after he was born and we had them not cut the cord until it stopped pulsing. It was such a surreal moment once he was out and on my chest – I can’t even describe it! We were also allowed to have all the tests, weighing, vitamin K, and eye gel delayed while we bonded and just got to take each other in.

The labour and birth of my son is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed to have had the experience I did. It was truly amazing - way more amazing than I could have ever imagined. I have to say I am so proud of myself and feel such an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride. The nurses checking me afterwards couldn’t believe I didn’t have an IV and kept asking to check my back thinking I had an epidural. One nurse even sat with me and said, “how did you do it? Did it hurt?” like she had never seen a natural birth before. It was pretty crazy the reactions I was getting from the nurses but it made me feel good at the same time because I had my doubts going into this that I would be able to do it, and I surprised myself in the best possible way. I also have to say that my team – Jay, my mom & my dad were the best team anyone could have asked for! I know 100% for sure that if they hadn’t been there and worked together like they did, and if Jay didn’t take such an interest in learning as much as he possibly could about how to help me during labour and to be the support I needed, my experience wouldn’t have been nearly as good as it was. I am so thankful.

Mason and I are home now and doing really well, just getting the hang of breast feeding! He is such a good baby and being a mom is just so much more amazing than I ever could have imagined. We are so in love and so incredibly happy!

Rayna & Jason