Well they say babies come at the most inconvenient time ever, and although this could have been worse it was in that ball park of inconvenient for sure.
Saturday Sept 21, husband and I were invited over to a good friends house (another couple that we’ve known for years) for a good old Settlers of Catan battle. We accepted knowing that we could both sleep in the next morning as we desperately needed it after fighting off food poisoning on Friday and husband catching a bad cold. As we left our friends house they mentioned, as all friends have, that hopefully we would be parents soon and good luck. When we got home I had a cramp on my right side, similar to a gas pain. As I had been in false labour for over a week now and had been having contractions and cramping on and off so I didn’t think anything of it. I jokely mentioned to husband though that if there was a night where we could jump start labour this would be it but that it wasn’t worth it because our Dr was out of town until Monday and I would rather wait for her.
Around 3am (Sept 22) I woke up with horrible acid reflux and that wonderful acid puke in my mouth thing. It happens pretty regularly so I got up and had a Gaviscon (as I had already taken a zantac). I find when I lay down it makes the reflux worse so I sat up in bed and cuddled our cat Shredder for a bit and went back to bed.
At 5am (almost on the dot) I woke up to what I can only describe as a *pop…gush* I sat straight up in bed and kinda hit husband and said, “honey my water just broke! Its go time” I cannot even believe how much fluid came out. It completely soaked through my underwear and pjs onto the bed (luckily I had a previously laid a puppy pad under the sheet just in case and it did all manage to hit the pad) and as I ran to the bathroom it actually gushed out over the floor. I am so lucky one of my girlfriends told me to have pads on hand for when it popped! TMI? Perhaps but I was seriously unprepared for just how much fluid it would be. Amniotic fluid doesn’t have a smell really and its clear so it really did just look and smelt like water everywhere. I put a pad on and by this time husband had gotten out of bed and let the dog out and was gathering the last minute items for our hospital bags. He asked me if I was positive that it was my water breaking and I said yes but to prove it I took a strip of the Ph paper that our Dr gave us and tested it. The strip didn’t change blue like it was supposed to. I looked at husband and assured him that the paper was wrong and I was right and by 5:30 we were on our way to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital and got checked in and they confirmed that my water did break but because I was not having any serious regular contractions they asked if I would hang tight while they talked to my on call Dr., Dr. Ching. They told us that because I was not having contractions they may decide to send us home for 12 hours so we could go get some breakfast and do more of the labour at home. As we were waiting for the Dr i started having more noticeable contractions. They went from nothing to very painful very quickly. Dr Ching arrived and told us we could stay and they would prepare a room for us upstairs and that she would be in to check on us soon. She asked me if I needed anything for pain management and I said yes please give me all ya got! She mentioned that when we got upstairs I should have a shower and sit on the birthing ball for a while to see if either of those helped, if they didn’t she said she could give me some morphine until I was 4cm dialated at which time they could give the epidural. While they were getting things ready, the nurses encouraged us to walk the halls, so we did, but the contractions were coming about 5 minutes apart and were so painful that every few steps we took we had to stop and I would lean on husband and rock and try to take deep breaths through the pain. At this point I was already starting to doubt my ability to do this as the pain was getting so severe so quickly. I grabbed some water but ended up throwing it out because I was worried I would drop it on the floor during a contraction.
We were finally moved up to our room and our nurse Kara (a literal angel from heaven) was going to get things ready for me to take a shower when I had another contraction. Seeing how much pain I was in, She asked if I would rather be checked first and I said yes. She checked me and found that I was already 4cm dialated and asked if I would rather just have the epidural now. I again said yes please. She went and got the Dr who came in and also checked me and confirmed that I was 4-5cm and could get the epidural now. Before they could give it to me they would have to give me an IV and a liter of fluids. Being fair skinned with little veins they had a hard time finding a place to put the IV in. Of the whole labour process this was by far the worst part. My contractions were so strong that it literally took everything in me to breath through them and not bawl through them. I would start crying and swearing and the nurses and husband would have to remind me to take deep breaths. With every contraction Jacobs heart beat dropped drastically (like 140 one second to 60 the next) and taking breaths was the thing helping to bring it back up. I just kept closing my eyes trying to fight through the contractions. I remember one in particular I pulled husband down onto the bed so he was sitting and I was laying down and I just hugged him and buried my face into his back while he rubbed my back and reminded me to breath. It took 3 attempts to get the IV in and each time I had to try and sit very still through contractions for them to get it in. I felt so hopeless, I was ok’d for the epidural and all that was standing in the way between me and pain relief was this stupid IV. They were having such a hard time they started discussing calling in an anesthesiologist just to get the IV in. Finally a nurse found a working vein and got it in. The fluids were pumping but I still had to wait a bit.
Next the anesthesiologist came in for my epidural. He was also an angel. Getting the tape that held the epidural in taken off was more painful then getting the actual epidural. They just had me sit at the side of the bed and hug a pillow while he numbed my back then put it in. He said that it would take effect in 10-15 minutes. I literally stared at the clock. After 10 minutes I was still feeling my contractions but they were back to being bearable. By 12 minutes my feet were pools of pins and needles. By 15 minutes I felt like myself again. I would get a contraction but it was just pressure (kinda like when you have to poop) and not pain. I was able to talk and joke with everyone again and the swearing stopped. They checked me again and I was now 6-7 cm.
We all just hung out for a little bit. I was still having lots of contractions but they were just pressure and easy to talk through. They were monitoring me pretty heavily checking my blood pressure and everything frequently. We used this time to update our parents and chat.
We all expected to hang out like this for a while. Our nurse would come and go, my parents called to see if husband wanted a coffee (which he did). However Jacob had a different idea. My parents arrived about 20 minutes later but just before they arrived the nurse checked me again to find out I was 9cm. She called the dr who came about 5 minutes later and said well you ready to push? Just as my parents arrived. Husband declined the coffee now as we were going into the delivery now.
I remember looking at the Dr like she was crazy when she asked me if I was ready to push, my water had only been broken for 7 hours and I started with no contractions. With this being my first child everyone was expecting it to be a 12+ hour labor.
After pushing for about 45 minutes (I’m guessing) the Dr told us that Jacob was rocking in the canal. I would push and he would come forward then the contraction would stop and he would rock back. My contractions were incredibly irregular. I would have one then another 2 minutes out then we would sit for 10 min. She started to explain to me that they could give me some oxytocin in the form of pitocin so help make the contractions more regular and started explaining what that meant. Thankfully I already knew and just stopped her and said do it. I was so exhausted! (keep in mind I hadn’t eaten since the previous night and only had a few hours of sleep…also we were playing board games I was drinking pop not water so I was super dehydrated).
They started the pitocin and my contractions became so strong! they started hurting so bad it was hard to focus on pushing so they up’d my epidural. That slowed the contractions so they upped the pitocin. We played around with this until about an hour and a half of pushing was up. Then the dr started talking about bringing out the vacuum. I was so beyond exhausted at this point. I was having a really hard time holding the pushes for 10 seconds and was only getting one or two pushes in per contractions instead of three or four. I told her to go ahead with the vacuum.
Suddenly our room erupted! I don’t even know where all these people came from. Suddenly the dr was in a gown with big gloves, we had extra nurses, several students, then some respiratory therapists and I don’t even know who else. The room was full!
The dr hooked up the vacuum and explained that this was still all on me. The vacuum was to assist but I still had to push really hard. The next contraction came and I pushed with everything I had. Suddenly all these voices yelled stop pushing! Stop stop stop!!!!
I stopped at looked down. This gorgeously disgusting perfect white and bloody blob of a baby was in the drs arms and crying! I looked up at husband and back down at our baby and burst into tears. Husband cut the umbilical chord and I just watched and bawled. They asked if they could take him to clean him and check him and we said yup do whatcha gotta do.
Next I noticed the dr delivering my placenta. I still cannot get over how massive that thing was! I was really confused cause I thought I would have to push the placenta but it just kinda fell out it seemed. The Dr and her resident began stitching me up and they took forever. I couldn’t feel a thing but she was down there for quite a while. They continued to run tests etc. on Jacob while I was getting stitched. Husband went and took some photos of him and brought them back. I stared at the photos of our son while she finished the stitches and kept looking at husband thinking I can’t believe I just delivered a baby!!!
They brought Jacob over and I instantly fell in love with him. The dr explained that I had 3rd degree tearing and would probably be quite sore. Essentially she said I ripped all the way back to my bum but not through the anal muscles.
We invited our families in to see Jacob and shortly after our nurse asked me to go sit on the toilet and use the perri bottle (not actually pee as I had a catheter in) and then have a shower.
Our bags were still in the car so I didn’t have shampoo or anything. I got into the shower and let the water pour over me but just kept thinking I don’t really know what to do so I rubbed the water everywhere and realized that she didn’t give me a towel for my face (I hate water in my face and always bring a towel in the shower with me so I can dry it) I stood there waiting for her to return and just kept thinking omg I had a baby, omg I’m a mom, I’m a mom. I have a son!!!
The nurse came back with a towel and I got out. Suddenly I felt very light headed and told the nurse I was blacking out. She called husband to bring me a chair. The next thing I knew I was crumpled on the floor staring at the toilet with a loud ringing in my ears. It took me a few moments to remember where I was and piece together what just happened. Husband and the nurse helped me back into bed. We had some visitors come in then and our nurse wanted to take Jacobs footprints and give him a bath. I was really nervous about giving our baby a bath because it seemed really difficult so I wanted to watch her and ask questions. We were all uncomfortable with the idea of me getting out of bed again so soon so she wheeled my bed over to the sink so I could watch and encouraged husband to take photos.
Our first night there was hard. Jacob did feed but he was crying a lot and we had been through such a long exhausting day that I ended up asking the nurses if they could take him for a couple hours so we could get some sleep. He was breast feeding like a champ though and so they brought him back a couple hours later to feed.
The next morning we woke up and the Dr that delivered came around as well as our actual Dr. They gave us both a clean bill of health of we were discharged. After handing in some paperwork and getting the car seat checked we were on our way. 29 hours after my water breaking we got to take our son home.
It was such an amazing amazing experience! We could not possibly be happier with anything.