Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Isla's Birth Story

I woke up the morning of March 7th feeling a little crampy but didn't think much of it as I had had contractions before, just irregular with no rhythm. It took me almost an hour before I came to the conclusion that I may be in early labour, as the contractions were coming every ten minutes or so.

Ben was still sleeping and I was smiling through every short contraction, I eventually went into the bedroom woke him up quietly and said, “I think we might have a baby today.” He smiled quite sleepily but seemed rather pleased. I went on to call my mom and let her know that I was pretty sure I was in early labour. I was very concerned about making a leap and saying I was in labour because I really didn't want for it to be false. My mom asked me a few questions and then after discussing things with me dad decided she needed to leave promptly to try and make it to my wee ones birth, a trip that usually takes almost 14 hours.

By 10 o'clock Ben was up and I was having contractions about eight minutes apart that were lasting about thirty seconds. We were getting pretty excited. I had a bath and then the contractions slowed, there was more space between them and I thought maybe I was dealing with false labour. I became pretty worried as my mom had already started on her way and I would feel so guilty if it wasn't the real thing. Ben and I went for a walk in hopes to speed things along and make things fall back into a rhythm.

We got home from our walk and Ben's mom was there shortly after us. She spent some time tidying up our wee place and then made us lunch. I sat on the couch waiting for more contractions to hit, I really wanted to feel them so that I would know they were real. It took sometime but by 4:00 we were at a place where they were consistent again, I was so relieved.

Now, I had always planned on labouring and birthing without any medical interventions but, after dealing with my contractions slowing down I was even more adamant that I wanted to feel them. I wanted to be sure that they were still happening and I was still going to have this baby. Feeling them was the most reassuring thing for me.

By 8:00 the contractions were coming every seven minutes or so and were lasting from 45 seconds to a minutes long. Ben's parents decided it was time they head home, they prayed over us and the for the safe arrival of our wee babe then headed off. We heard from my mom, she was not far off from arriving just waiting for the ferry, she would be here around 1:00am. Ben called the hospital and I soaked myself in the bath, swaying and humming myself through each contraction as it passed through my body. I had a rhythm. I wanted to labour at home as long as possible. Home was comfortable. The nurse on the phone let me know that as long as my membranes were still intact I could labour at home until my contractions were closer together. So I paced and swayed up and down the kitchen, feeling as though I was wearing a line in the floor. When a contraction hit I would lean up against the closest object and and sway back and forth.

Throughout my entire labour Ben was so in tune to my needs I hardly had to speak. He was a perfect partner holding me when I needed to be held, giving me the silence I needed to focus on the contraction and breath through it. He knew what I wanted and helped me achieve it. He was amazing.

By 11:00 my contractions were closer together and we thought it best to head up to the hospital. I was really nervous we would be sent back home or that they would stall out again, so getting me to finally say yes to going to the hospital was a task of itself. Once we got there we were directed to the perinatal unit I remember looking at Ben and just grinning, we were there!

I got checked out, and I was indeed in active labour and five centimeters dilated! The rest of my labour at this point just seemed to flow and I can't remember time or space really. I remember being asked if I wanted them to call my family doctor and being so excited to have my doctor rather than the on-call. I sat in the bath for quite sometime swaying and breathing as my nurse poured the warm water over my contracting belly. Ben was making me laugh between contractions and keeping me up to date with my mom's travels. Reading me as I asked for silence through the contractions, shushing people as I swayed and rocked as waves passed through my body bringing my wee one closer to arrival.

My mom and Auntie Vonnie finally arrived at 1:45 am, as I sat in the tub rocking back and forth. My Auntie Vonnie who once was a nurse and quickly started timing contractions. “Wow, that one was close....and a minute and a half long.”, “Lainey you hit the peak on that contraction, not much longer now.” My mom and Vonnie would make conversation and I would laugh, Ben would sit there watching me for my signals. Ben knew exactly when a contraction hit and would help remind others that I wanted quiet. I wanted silence and would “shhhhh” anyone talking to me while I was contracting.
(Auntie Vonnie said, "Lainey look and smile!" I did my best.)
Eventually, probably an hour or so later, my doctor came in and I had to move from the bath to the bed. I felt as though every step I took I contracted. My doctor did an internal and found that I was about 7 cm so we went ahead and ruptured my membranes. Things did get fairly intense and progressed quite quickly from this point on. I had initially intended to go back to the bath after this but my contractions were coming back to back and I was not wanting to walk at all, instead I waved my head from side to side breathing through each contraction as they pushed through me. Rocking my body back and forth with my head against the pillow and my backside in the air feeling the pressure knowing my body was preparing and soon my baby girl would be in my arms.

Within an hour I was fully dilated and was able to start pushing around 4:00am. I had heard that pushing was a relief, that it felt good, and was so looking forward to being able to start. I in the hour between my membranes being ruptured and my being fully dilated I had such an urge to push I was saying, “I want to push” over and over again to Ben in whispers. I said everything in whispers. Unfortunately, my little Isla was not in the most optimal position to be pushed and it made for a long 2 hours. At one point I was so done with pushing that I allowed the contractions to wave right through me, ignoring them and resting myself. My nurses and doctor didn't realizing this and thought I had stopped contracting, they started discussing the idea of putting me pitocin, luckily my mom advocated for me as I wasn't very coherent at this time and pleaded with them to just give me a little more time. The threat of having medical intervention was all I needed and within the hour my little girl was born.
(letting some contractions pass through me as I recoup.)

The moment they placed her perfect little body on my chest was bliss. Her cry was music to my ears and then the perfect calm as she curled up against me making me whole. She was mine. After carrying and nurturing her inside me and nearly 24 hours of labour she was finally in my arms, and I was completely and entirely in love.