I am finally sitting down, while holding and feeding my newborn, to write out his birth story. That’s my life now, because the only way he stays asleep is if he’s in mom or dad’s arms. And I’m okay with that.
March 7th I went in for what I didn’t know was going to be my last OB appointment before my precious son was here. My mom came along as she was here from Ontario for his birth and to be here when he arrived. It was the day before my due date and the fact that I was so over being pregnant was an understatement. My OB checked to see if I was dilated and I was about 1cm and somewhat effaced (I can’t remember exactly how much she said). We talked about her doing a membrane sweep and that she thought it could work based on those numbers, the fact that I had had a few false starts already and that I was due any day anyway. I decided to let her go ahead, as I really wanted him here. If it worked, he could be here within the next 24 hours!
We booked another appointment for me for the following week and another one for about a week and a half later to talk about possible induction, if it came to that. On the drive back home, I told my mom I was starting to feel crampy, but I was told I would whether it worked or not. I hoped it was real this time! I was tired of the false labour and the waiting.
Later that evening, around 5 or 6pm, I started getting some bad back pain, but not like the back pain I had been feeling recently. This felt more like a continuous spasm of pain in my lower back. I thought it was probably just something like I had been feeling, but the regular stretches, massages and heat pads were not helping. I went to bed that night still feeling it, but I was able to get some sleep somehow.
Around 4 am on the 8th, his due date, I started feeling cramps that matched up with the back pain, and it was starting to happen at regular intervals rather than continuously. It wasn’t too bad so I tried to get more sleep before getting up and starting to time what I figured was now contractions. I still had my doubts that this was really happening this time, but I timed them all morning and afternoon, and they stayed regular. I went to the hospital around 2pm to get things checked out. They hooked me up to monitor the baby and after about 20 minutes they saw that I was indeed having mild contractions. They asked if I thought my water had broken and I told the nurse maybe, as I was having some fluid leakage but didn’t know if it was my water or not. She gave me a pad to wear and told me to walk around for an hour and then they would test it.
By this time my sister had arrived, so my mom, my sister, my husband and I walked around the hospital for an hour. Contractions were definitely getting a little worse, but still manageable. Hubby rubbed my back every time I had to stop and let them pass. We walked around, went up and down stairs, and I believe this must have helped things along.
After an hour we went back up, she tested the pad and it wasn’t my water. She sent me home, as things were happening but still mild, baby was doing fine, and my water hadn’t broken. On the way home, I could still feel things getting a little worse but still fine.
We got back home around 4:30pm, I took a hot bath and then came out and tried to eat. All of a sudden, things were bad. I could barely sit and eat. By 5pm I was crying through a few really hard contractions, and still feeling them all in my back too. We ended up heading back to the hospital almost as soon as we got back home.
I couldn’t even lay down for them to hook my up to the monitor, it was too uncomfortable for me to lay down through the contractions. So, the nurse put the monitor on me while I was standing. Contractions were definitely stronger, and baby was doing fine. The nurse checked to see how dilated I was and said I was about 6 centimeters already, so they moved me and checked me into our room. Things were happening fast now.
At some point, someone came in to take some blood. My OB came in and checked me and told me I was more like 9 centimeters, not 6, and pretty much completely effaced. Through the evening they checked me and did some quick monitoring of the baby, and everything continued to be fine.
I continued to breathe through the contractions, which were pretty much one right after the other for a few hours. I felt them all in my back. I tried a hot shower but it didn’t really help. Hubby rolled a piece of pool noodle on my lower back through the contractions, which really helped. The nurse asked me if I wanted any pain relief and offered me the gas, but I told her I was planning on doing this drug free. The nurses and my OB were all amazed at how well I was laboring, just breathing through contractions, and how quiet I was. I had a plan in mind and I just let my body do its thing!
I was starting to feel like I had to push. The nurse asked me what my plan was for pushing and I asked for a squat bar. They say there’s a transition period before you feel like pushing where you usually get a break between contractions and needing to push, but I didn’t really get this.
It must have been around 9:30 I started getting ready to push. I did get a random little break in the middle of pushing. I rotated between using the squat bar to hold on to and laying back with my back and head raised a little to push. I apparently pushed for two hours, but it didn’t really feel like that long. Honestly, even though it obviously hurt more, I felt better pushing than going through the contractions. Probably because I didn’t really feel them in my back while I was pushing, and my body really just took over.
At 11:26pm our baby boy came crying into the world. They immediately put him on my chest for skin to skin. They cleaned him up a little, and about 30 minutes later I was stitched up. After all that was done, I got a little help with feeding him and then we were left alone.
We were then moved into my recovery room and my mom, my sister, and hubby’s parents, who had arrived a few hours earlier, came in to see us for a few minutes before leaving us again to have some time as a brand-new family of three.
Recovery is no joke and taking care of a new baby is hard. I would go through labour twice if I didn’t have to go through postpartum recovery. But time really does go by fast because my son is now a month old and I’m feeling so much better. I’m so thankful for how smoothly my labour and delivery went, because I know it doesn’t always happen that way. We are settling into our new roles as parents quite nicely and it’s hard to even imagine a time without our son.