September 25, 2011

Our story begins with a due date that came and went. Our original due date was September 20th, however this due date was revised at our 3 month ultrasound to September 12th. We always had a feeling that our original due date was more accurate, so it came as no surprise when Meyer did not arrive by the 12th.  We tried absolutely every natural induction method under the sun. We tried multiple acupuncture appointments, reflexology, herbal remedies, red raspberry leaf tea, EZ Birth pills, evening primrose oil, daily walks and all of the other recommended methods.  The doctor wanted to induce Eden on the 23rd but based on our ultrasounds looking great and baby being healthy, we were able to negotiate 2 extra days. The day before we were to be induced, we pulled out our last ditch efforts. We drove on bumpy roads, went on a long walk and Eden started taking homeopathic Blue Cohosh. Eden felt a little labourish Saturday evening and went to sleep at midnight. An hour later, Eden woke up thinking she may finally be in labour. Dan woke up to Eden’s stirring and convinced her she was indeed in labour. We couldn’t believe that after weeks of trying we were actually going to beat our scheduled induction by a matter of hours!

At this point, Eden’s contractions were about a minute in length and 2-3 minutes apart. Eden was handling the contractions well and breathing through them.  The fact that she was 3 minutes apart and her contractions were lasting a full minute had us wondering if we should be thinking about going to the hospital. After some debate and putting guilt aside, we decided to rouse Sue from her slumber for some advice. She was amazingly coherent and genuinely excited for the call. Dan explained where we were at and Sue suggested Eden get in the shower to see how the contractions progressed and we could make a decision based on if they sped up or slowed down. After hopping in the shower, contractions started to be generally 4 minutes apart and 1 minute along. The time between contractions still varied between 3 to 5 minutes however, which we found confusing. After a few more hours at home and a few more phone calls to Sue, we decided to head to the Rockyview at 5:00 am since Eden was seeing some bleeding and starting to feel like it was time.

Once we arrived in the hospital we were put in a triage room and Eden was assessed to be 5 cm dilated. We were hopeful that this meant we would be getting a birthing room soon, but that was not meant to be. Eden was handling her contractions a little too well apparently and she was passed over for another patient who was not as progressed, but not handling contractions well.  We kept enquiring as to when we would be getting a room and they kept telling us it would be a half hour. Eden was starting to get upset as contractions intensified. At around 9:00 am, Eden was assessed again and she was 7cm dilated and starting to enter the transition phase. We could tell this because she was having a mini meltdown.  She was feeling very unsettled and desperately needed to get in a shower for some pain relief.  Throughout all of this, Eden was getting some relief from the counter pressure Dan was applying with each contraction. A heating pad we brought from home was also helpful.

At 9:30 in the morning we finally got a room and Eden hopped in the shower, where the nurse used the doptone to see how baby was doing. Baby was doing fine, however the contractions were getting way more intense. Eden was in full blown transition and was starting to have doubts whether she could carry on or not. At this point Eden was using the nitrous gas, which didn’t provide any pain relief, it just made her feel drunk.  After some time in the shower, Eden was really feeling the need to push, which the nurse told us was the signal to get out of the shower and onto the bed for another assessment. At this point, Eden was 9cm dilated with a lip of cervix.  The doctor came in to reassess and Eden was now 10cm, with the same lip of cervix so the doctor tried to push it out of the way. The doctor thought she had pushed the lip away enough and we were given the ok to push. After 2 hours of pushing, baby was not making enough progress and the doctor and nurse were getting concerned. Our baby’s heart rate was dipping after contractions, but still coming back to normal afterwards. The doctor explained that after 2 hours, the baby should be making more progress than it had made and that it didn’t seem to be the cervix that was the problem.  Contractions were slowing down to every 5 minutes and the doctor felt that this wasn’t going to be strong enough to push our baby out.   The doctor explained that she wanted to start an oxytocin drip to make the contractions stronger.  Exhaustion was also setting in, since Eden had only 1 hour of sleep in the last 2 days.  This was also the first time the doctor mentioned a c-section as being a possibility. We considered our options and decided on a course. We decided that even though it was not in our birth plan, Eden would have an epidural, since she needed to get some rest in order to have the strength to make the big push and avoid a c-section.  We rested for an hour, and then commenced with our pushing again. Fast forward two hours and we were having some progress but not enough to pop the little guy out.  The obstetrician on call was brought in to see whether a vacuum would be possible since he had descended some.  Up to this point we had been fortunate enough to be labouring with just our nurse and doctor. Once we were told that a vacuum could be attempted, everyone and their dog showed up. The pediatric team, two extra nurses, two obstetricians, and an anesthesiologist were all on hand for the delivery. We think the guy from the snack bar was also there.

The delivery was a blur for both of us. Another 2 hours of pushing and with the obstetrician pulling on the vacuum with all her might, all of a sudden out popped our beautiful baby boy! Before Dan could say “can I cut the cord?” Meyer was out and whisked away by the pediatrics team to be evaluated and weighed. His AGPAR scores were good and he had a good set of pipes on him. Once he was weighed, it was off to mom’s chest where he fell asleep snoring like a little old man. Eden was very fortunate to only have first-degree tears, which we attribute to luck, the amazing medical team that we had and possibly some of the prep work we had done in the weeks leading up to the delivery.

Even though we didn’t have the exact birth that we had envisioned, we were definitely equipped to handle the birth that we had. Someone else in the class mentioned she felt like she had two birth experiences, which we totally identify with. Eden laboured naturally to 10cm dilated and pushed hard for two hours. We then had a second experience full of medical interventions. It turns out little Meyer’s shoulder was twisted in a way that prevented him from descending properly. By using our class knowledge we were able to make informed decisions confidently and we have no regrets about the choices that we made. We are still amazed at the perfect little creation we have today and are very grateful to Sue for all the teachings and continued support.

Eden, Dan and Meyer