Today I am 4 days postpartum! I really wanted to at least write out my labour and delivery story while it is still fresh in my mind. Not that I could ever forget, but I want to be as detailed as I possibly can. I do still plan on telling my story on YouTube because that is the most highly requested videos at this time, but for now, I don't have time to do so as filming and editing is quite a lot of work and my son is taking up 100% of my time. Currently, he's napping with Daddy so now onto my story!
Thursday, December 5th, 2013.
Today was my 40 week mark, Alexander's due date! I had an OB appointment scheduled for 1:55 pm and I was very excited to see how far along I had come since last week and if I would be meeting my son soon. My OB said at my 39 week appointment that I was "right on time", but I didn't think, literally, he would be right! At my appointment I was 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced. At 39 weeks I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I was going to be VERY surprised if I hadn't made any progress since the following week because the night of my 39 week appointment I thought I was in early labour for 5 hours and then my contractions petered off. At my 40 week appointment my OB did a "sweep" which can bring on labour within 48 hours if your body and baby is ready. Otherwise, it won't work and some woman have to get multiple sweeps and some woman won't labour on their own and need a little help to get things going. Well, the "sweep" definitely worked because I felt contractions start pretty much right away. Nothing too painful, but I just assumed that what happened at my 39 week appointment was just happening again so I didn't think too much about it, even though ever time I have a contraction I would be a little more excited. LOL At about 9:00 pm I decided to start timing my contractions because they were becoming more regular/stronger and lasting a bit longer. When my contractions were almost 5 minutes apart, lasting one minute, for over 1 hour I decided to call the labour and delivery ward, tell them I thought I was in early labour, that I might be coming in and ask them how much longer I should wait before doing so. I live about 5 minutes away from the hospital so I wasn't too worried about getting there in time. They told me to go take a shower, wait around another hour or so and see where I was at. I did just that, had two contractions in the shower and went to lay back down and labour a bit more.
Friday, December 6th, 2013.
At around midnight, I thought to myself that if this isn't labour this time, I don't want to know what REAL labour feels like. I was in lots and lots of pain. By the time I went into the hospital, my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each and it hadn't quite been an hour, but I couldn't wait any longer! The nurse brought me into the labour lounge to check me and see if I could be admitted. They only admit you to the hospital when you are in "active" labour, and they don't count "early" labour as labour. Active labour you have to be 4 cm dilated and they monitor your contractions for 20 minutes to make sure it's the real deal. I was hooked up to the monitor and the nurse checked my cervix and said I was a little over 3 cm dilated, but not quite 4. On average it takes about 1 hour for each cm dilation, so she suggested I go back home since I wanted to do a natural birth and labour a bit more in the comforts of my own room. In my mind I thought she was telling me I wasn't in labour, telling me to go home and wouldn't admit me. I was really frustrated and started to cry because I thought my body was faking it again and this wasn't the real thing. I KNEW I was in labour and it had to be and didn't understand why they were sending me home. When I got home it was around 2:00 am (I think) and my husband and I went back to bed. I didn't sleep at all and I don't think he did either because I was moaning and grabbing the bed frame each time a new contraction hit. I did this for 2-3 more hours until I COULD NOT take being at home anymore. I NEEDED to be in the hospital because I was so uncomfortable and I wanted to be admitted before it got any worse. I could barely walk once I got to the hospital for the second time, they brought me back to the labour lounge and checked me again. This time I was at least 4 cms and they brought me to my birthing suite. It was 4:45 am and I was finally admitted!
My contractions were really strong, but manageable. It hurt, trust me, but as long as I focused on my breathing, I knew I could do it. I had my own nurse, Brittney, the whole time. My OB, Dr. Smith, came in to check on me and said I was a good 5 cms at this point. At 5:45 am, Dr. Smith broke my water. My contractions felt stronger, but weren't as long at this point and I thought "Man, this is easy!" I spoke too soon because as soon as I said that, my contractions felt like they were one on top of another and were EXTREMELY painful! I couldn't stop my body from shaking and I was gripping the side of the bed so hard I was shaking the bed as well. I had to really focus on my breathing, but as soon as each contraction hit its "peak" I felt like I was going to vomit every time. I had a try laying beside my face because I couldn't move and I just shook and moaned and tried to breath the entire time. Every break felt like heaven and then hell would start all over again. I could feel the build up of each contraction and the "peak" was like anything I ever imagined. I felt like something had drastically changed in my labour because it was SO painful now. Up until this point my nurse and other nurses who came in to see me and monitor said I was handling everything really well and that I could do it naturally. They said they didn't know what my pain tolerance was but they couldn't tell I was labour. It was around 6:20 am at this point and I told my nurse that I didn't think I could handle the pain anymore and I asked about the epidural, how long it would take, if the anethesiologist was available…etc. I felt like a failure for giving up, but I've never felt anything like what I was experiencing and I just wanted it to stop. My nurse was supportive of my plan to have a natural birth and ask me if I wanted her to check me first to see how much further I was dilated before she called in the epidural. I said, "Yes, check me, if I have progressed I will keep going, if not, I want the epidural". The nurse proceeded to check my cervix and I was still only 5 cm after almost an hour since the last check. I promptly told her to call in the epidural because I knew 30 min from now, I couldn't imagine the pain. My parents came, what felt like MINUTES after asking for the epidural. I saw them and they saw me at the worst time during my labour. I was in so much pain, but they distracted me a bit. With each contraction I continued to shake and almost vomit and I couldn't control my body. I felt like I was permanently seizing. At 6:40 am the nurse administered my IV. I have good veins, but they aren't straight so she couldn't get it the first time. The second time she was able to get the IV in, but I honestly didn't notice anything that she was doing because I was in such bad pain. My dad had to leave at this point because I was only aloud 2 support persons in the room and they couldn't change. With all my shaking, I'm surprised she could even get it in. I wanted what felt like HOURS for my epidural to finally arrive. In fact, it was an hour before the anesthiologist did arrive. Before he came, I kept asking "Where is he, I can't do this". Everyone was telling me I can and I am. I was pretty much begging for relief at this point. The anesthiologist couldn't administer the epidural to me while I was having a contraction because I couldn't keep still. They were coming so close together, he didn't have much room to play with when administering it. They had me sit up, lay over the beside table and have my husband hold me down. It was 7:40 am. The anethsiologist told me that the baby's head was directly on my spin and that what I was experiencing was back labour. I heard about back labour before and that it was the worst kind of labour. If I didn't have back labour, I KNOW I could have made it through naturally. I honestly wasn't that surprised to hear it because I kept saying "My back, my back" the entire time I was contracting. The epidural felt like heaven and they had only administered a local anethestic to insert the actual needle. It took 20-30 minutes to feel any sort of relief. At 8:00 am I was 7 cm dilated and they had to give me an oxygen mask. I pretty much wore this for the rest of my labour, but had it removed during delivery. My baby's heart rate kept dropping and almost stopping EACH TIME I had a contraction. It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced. I could hear the heart rate monitor slow down each time, plus I still felt contractions in my ribs (only below the belly button did I not feel anything). They thought the baby's cord was wrapped around the neck or another area of the body because this was happening. Typically your baby's heart rate is suppose to elevate each time a contraction hits, not go down. I was so worried, I kept looking at my mom and husband's face to see their reactions because I couldn't see the monitor at all, just hear the slowing down of his poor little heart. This kept going on for pretty much the duration of my labour. They had to keep manually stimulated the head of the baby with their hands to get the heart rate back up. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. At 9:45, the OB that would deliver my baby, Dr. A., came in. Dr. Smith had been delivering babies for the past 2 days straight so he left at 9:00 am and couldn't deliver my baby. There was a baby boom at my hospital the past couple weeks, apparently. My nurse told me that babies were born now because of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy and when it was released. LOL I told her I only go half way through book 2 and lost interest, so we just laughed. When Dr. A arrived, he drained my bladder and performed an ultrasound to see what was going on with the bad. He couldn't tell, but said that the bad was in an anterior/postier position (whichever one is the one he's not suppose to be in) and that the baby needed to turn before being delivered. Basically, the baby was facing up and we were spine to spine for my labour, hence the back labour. Dr. A left, and we waited for me to dilate to 10 cm because you are not suppose to push before then. At 11:30, I was still only 9 cm dilated (possibly 9.5), but he could still see a little bit of cervix. He decided to put me up in stirrups and try and push the baby into position even though I wasn't fully dilated. He put an electrode on the top of the baby's head so that we could better tell the heart rate. Dr A. turned the baby while I pushed and INSTANTLY the baby's heart rate improved. I couldn't be happier. We stopped the pushing and I laboured until I was 10 cm dilated. I could hear baby's heart rate steady and strong on the monitor and was able to relax and get a little bit of sleep because I was already so exhausted, emotionally and physically, and I hadn't even started pushing. Finally, at 1:05 pm I was fully dilated! I couldn't believe how long it took me to get from 9-10 cm and at this point, I was so happy I had chosen to get an epidural because they had to talk to me about the possibility of me having a c-section which was the one thing I really, really didn't want, but obviously you can't control. I was prepared the entire time to have a c-section because of all the drama that was happening with baby. At 1:35 pm, we started pushing! I was extremely effective at pushing, but the nurse told me that the baby's head was very large and I had a very small pelvis (who knew with these child bearing hips of mine! lol). After 2 hours of pushing, they had to call in Dr. A. and get his advice. They informed him that I was very good at pushing, it was just because of the large head and small pelvis that I was having a hard time getting him over my pelvic bone. The Dr. proceeded to ask me if I wanted "assistance" and asked me if I'm too tired. "Assistance" meant a variety of things, in this case, forceps or episiotomy. Two things I also didn't want. I told him "I am tired, but I think I can do this on my own". He said ok and was going to let me try. I ended up delivering baby vaginally, WITH NO ASSISTANCE, at 4:01 pm! I had a mirror the whole time so I could see everything that was going on. I saw his head come out and it was MASSIVE. I couldn't believe that I pushed that out of me! I ended up having a second degree tear, boarding third, but at least I tore on my own. The Dr. held up the baby's bum, showed me the genitals and, sure enough, it was a BOY! I thought so all along my pregnancy. I was so happy and overjoyed to see my little, Alexander! I did skin to skin right away, my husband cut the cord and meanwhile my mom was snapping pictures that I hope she never puts on Facebook. LOL. I was crying my husband was overjoyed, so was my mom and as soon as Alex was put in my arms he stopped crying and just looked at me. Then he peed on me. LOL It was the most amazing experience ever. LOL. I was so so happy. Just thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes because I was just so thrilled to have him in my arms after such a scary experience. In the end, though things didn't go EXACTLY how I had planned I would have chosen the same things I did looking back. Everything happens for a reason and I believe I made all the right choices given my long labour and circumstance. Alex turned out to be 7 lbs 15 oz, measuring 21 inches! I breastfed shortly after and Alex latched on right away! He was tongue tied, which my husband noticed right away, but that didn't interfere with his latch (which it can). We had the tongue cut our second day there along with having him circumcised. We had to wait until Alex peed before we were able to be discharged from the hospital. I started to cry again because it took almost all day for him to pee! I thought I had destroyed his penis. My husband and I were both changing his diaper, looking for any sign of wetness and I said "Look! I think the tip is a bit wet". Charles and I looked a little closer, just in time for Alex to give us both a golden shower. Yes, we got pee in our faces and hair and I was smiling from ear to ear the entire time. I never thought I would be so happy to be peed on! We are now at home, getting into our own little routine, I am exclusively breastfeeding and it is going very well! I'm getting little sleep and my recovery has been unpleasant, but each day gets better and better. I won't get into too much details about my recovery, but lets just say, it looked like my insides were on my outside.
I now must go breastfeed, again! Life of a new mommy! I love it!
**UPDATE** I forgot to mention that the reason his heart rate kept dropping was because he was gripping his umbilical cord, slowing down his own heart!
MEET MY SON ON YOUTUBE!