December 19, 2011

Here is the birth story for our little sweetheart, Sophie Irene.  Sophie was born on Monday December 19 at 12:58 pm, 6 lbs 12 1/4 ounces and 19 inches long.

Our story begins the morning of December 19, I woke up at 12:45 am and felt sick to my stomach.  I didn’t think it was much at first, as I had a huge supper the night before, and thought maybe it was just not sitting well. An hour later (1:45 am) I was up again and in the bathroom.  Mike wasn’t due to come home from work until later that night, so I called him and said I thought maybe he might need to come home.  He said that he would get packed up and to call him back and let him know if he should leave.  At 2:30 am, I was in the bathroom again and that is when I saw the bloody show.  I called Mike and said that he should leave, as he had a six hour drive ahead of him.  In the meantime my best friend, Robyn, came to the house so I didn’t have to be alone.  She had her daughter at home with a midwife and had taken Sue’s class as well as and was the perfect person to help me through labour until Mike was home.

Robyn got to the house around 3:30 am.  I felt most comfortable in labour sitting on the toilet, which I had thought would be the last place I would want to be.  So between the toilet, hanging over a chair or on all fours in my bedroom, this is where I laboured for the first three hours.  Laying down or being in bed was completely uncomfortable.  Also, any counter pressure techniques or massage did not help, I thought that this would feel good but I actually didn’t want anybody touching me.  Robyn kept an eye on my contractions, made sure I drank plenty of water, instructed me to switch positions and made sure I had a few snacks throughout.

Around 6:30 am contractions were getting closer together.  Along with the positions above, I started walking around a bit more as well.  Closer to 8:00 am I asked Robyn to call Mike to see where he was at as I felt things starting to change.  She called and he was about 40 minutes from home.  I think I started to get worried about him making it home and sure enough Robyn let me know that my contractions started getting further apart and that I was slowing things down.  So I did some stairs, walked around and got back on track.  Mike got home at 8:45 am and got right into his coaching role.  Robyn stayed to help time contractions.

At 9:30 am my water broke, clear fluid.  After this my contractions got really intense.  I started making the low moaning noises.  Robyn said I would feel better if I got in the shower.  I crawled in and let the water hit my lower back for at least 30 minutes.  It felt great.  Mike could tell that I was getting a bit anxious and thought we should head to the hospital.  I got dressed and we headed out the door to Peter Lougheed.

The ride to the hospital was terrible.  Every single bump in the road just about sent me through the roof and of course I couldn’t get myself comfortable.  Coming from Airdrie I was glad we were past rush hour and the roads were good, but it still took a good 25 minutes to get there.  I kept my eyes closed and just focused on breathing through the contractions.  We arrived at the hospital at 10:45 am, Mike dropped me off and a nurse took me up to the third floor to be assessed.  I told her I really wanted to push so she rushed her way up. The whole way there I probably sounded like a cow as I was moaning away, but did not care.   As soon as I got to the assessment area, the doctor on call from my clinic (she was one I had met and actually liked to best, how lucky!), checked me and said I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push!  She and the nurse were completely shocked that I stayed at home until this point.  They didn’t hook me up to a monitor and sent me directly to labour and delivery where Mike was waiting.

I got situated in bed (around 11:30 am), which was pretty much vertical as I did not like being on my back at all.  The nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitor and baby was doing great.  She told me I could push when I felt a contraction.  I did what we learned in class and could definitely feel what was a good and effective push compared to one that wasn’t getting me any further.  After a half an hour things were going well but it seemed that the baby wasn’t moving through the birth canal as quickly as they thought.  The doctor had a look and said that there was a a bit of fore water left on the top of the baby’s head and that she wanted to break it.  She did and after pushing progressed much faster.  After a few more pushes the nurse got the doctor again and said we were close and that she could see the head.

The doctor let me push when I was ready and only instructed to slow down as the baby came out.  She noticed some meconium around the head and called for a few more people to enter the room in case the baby was to breath it in.  After three big and long pushes the baby emerged, and didn’t gasp for air immediately which allowed them to clear the meconium away and the baby took a breath and let out a bit of a cry.  The last half an hour of pushing I had my eyes closed and was completely focused on the contractions and making sure to make progress with each and every push.  When the baby was here and the doctor said it was a girl and they placed her on my chest,  I was so incredibly happy, amazed and a bit in shock.  Mike was able to cut the cord after it finished pulsing.  Sophie was able to stay right with me on my chest, they did not take her away to be weighed and they waited to give her the Vitamin K shot/eye cream until I started to feed her.  The placenta came quickly after.  I could not believe how alert and strong she was.

The OB/GYN on call at the time had to come into the room as I tore (third degree) and needed stitches.  I didn’t push too hard or too fast so I think it was inevitable and it couldn’t have been avoided.  While I was getting stitches, Mike took the baby.  As soon as I was done I was able to feed her.  She took quickly.  After and hour or so we were sent to Postpartum and were lucky enough and got a private room.  We stayed the night and were discharged 24 hours later with a perfectly healthy baby girl!

Sophie’s birth was the most amazing experience ever.  I attribute our great birth story to everything we learned in Sue’s class, Mike’s coaching and the help of my friend Robyn.  Everything I had hoped for turned out the way we wanted.  Natural child birth was definitely painful, I was surprised at my tolerance, but think that by educating ourselves and preparing for labour made it all that much easier.  I would do it the same again!

Sophie, for her small size is super strong, lifts her head and can almost role herself over already.  Breastfeeding is going fairly well but I think has been almost more difficult than labour itself.  A few times, at a breaking point, I have thought about getting a bottle and formula and that I couldn’t do it anymore and then I remember all the benefits to my daughter and I know we will make it through.

Thanks so much to Sue for a great class and I can’t wait to meet all the babies.

Traci and Mike

Welcome Sophie – Hospital Birth
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