Grae’s Birth Story
Hello again friends!!
If you caught my post about my labour with my daughter Yael, you would know I was 3 days overdue, it was approx 24hrs from the first sign of things happening to birth and we hit a few roadblocks along the way. This labour could not be any more different and I think there were 2 things that helped with that (with the exception of my body having done this before).
The first is that this time I went to the chiropractor. I had never gone to a chiropractor ever before so I was a bit skeptical and nervous, but I do think it made a difference with my pregnancy and labour. It was one of those things where I thought I was feeling fine until after I had an appointment and then I realized all the small aches and pains I was ignoring. I went from feeling ‘good’ to ACTUALLY feeling good. I also feel like it helped with babies positioning which make for a quicker labour then my last. I would recommend it to any pregnant mama!!
The second thing that I felt made a big difference in my pregnancy and labour was my midwife. I CANNOT express to you how much I loved the whole midwife experience. It was totally random how I got one because it was not on my radar AT ALL and I knew nothing about what they really did, but that will be for another post. Moral of the story is- I loved it and would also highly recommend getting one!
Anyways, enough rambling…
It was about a month before my due date and I was getting insane braxton hicks EVERYDAY. With my first pregnancy I had absolutely no signs labour was even close and with this one I felt like I had aaaaalllllllll the signs. In my head I thought “this baby is coming early. Yay!”.
Then my due date came and still no baby. Even though I was still having a million braxton hicks (that seemed to be getting stronger and worse by the day) and I was still having a million signs.
I had an appointment with my midwife and I asked her if it’s possible that I could be more overdue on this pregnancy then my first and she said yes but it’s not that common. I thought; OK. Probably only 3 more days of being pregnant.
Then she was prepping to do a sweep and I completely lost it. I was bawling my eyes out. I had 3 unsuccessful and very painful sweeps with my first pregnancy and 1 with this one and I just could not handle being at my due date and having another painful sweep where I was told there’s no progress. My midwife was amazing at calming me down and making sure that I was getting this done because I actually wanted to and not because I felt like I had to. But I wanted to, I was 100% sure. I wanted to try and help things along and I wanted to know where I was at. I was just nervous at what she was going to say.
Anyways, she completed the sweep and it was not nearly as painful or uncomfortable as my other ones and she said this was because things were progressing. Phewf. I was so relieved. We left hoping to see each other in a few days, meaning I was in labour, but she still made me book a 41 week appointment. I thought that was pointless, because there is NO way I’d be at that appointment.
The following Monday I was driving to my midwife’s for my 41 week appointment… WTF.
Let me just say that week was probably one of the worst weeks of my life (dramatic, I know). Every night my braxton hicks felt stronger than the night before and I would even time them and they would be consistently 20 min apart. Once this happened I always went to bed so I could make sure I got some rest. Then morning would come, nothing ended up happening and I would roll over and cry to Dan. The let down every morning and the tease EVERY NIGHT killed me. I was like the boy who cried wolf telling Dan every night that I thought this could actually be the night. “These ones feel different….”
But back to my 10 am midwife appointment. Dan met us there and at the start of the appointment we all agreed that a Thursday induction would be best. Then Dan took Yael to play and we were going to do another sweep. This one, although still uncomfortable, was so quick and not painful at all. Before I knew it she said she was done and that she thought I’d go into labour any minute. She said baby was low (she touched his head when she checked me!), I was 2-3cm dilated and she could have broke my waters during the sweep. She said everything was ready it just had to start. Even though I was so anxious, having booked the induction actually made me relax about being overdue. Now I knew FOR SURE how much time I had left to be pregnant.
After that appointment we went straight for an ultrasound. This is standard to do at 41 weeks. I was having cramping from the sweep, which happened last time, so I wasn’t thinking much of it but it made laying for the ultrasound very uncomfortable. I was able to get through it and they said everything looked good but if I didn’t go into labour within 3-4 days I should get induced. Perfect, we’ve already planned that! I am so thankful my midwife wanted to meet me BEFORE my ultrasound so she could prep me on what they were going to say. This helped because had I not known beforehand that after 41 weeks you start to lose fluid I might have been nervous when hearing that.
After the appointment Yael and I went home and Dan went back to work. Not long after being home I started getting more uncomfortable. I facetimed my mom around 1:30 to tell her about my appointments and that I was feeling crampy but I still just thought it was because of the sweep and I didn’t want to get fooled by those damn braxton hicks again.
After that FaceTime call things started happening. I started timing my contractions to see how far apart they were and if they were consistent because that would indicate labour vs a braxton hicks. They weren’t consistently timed because each one got closer and closer (20min apart, then 15, then 10) and they felt different from before (but actually 😉) so I was 95% sure this was it. I text Dan around 2pm and told him to be home by 3. Then all of a sudden they were coming consistently 5 min apart and I knew what was happening and it was happening quick. I text Dan again to get home NOW!
Before he got home the contractions were pretty manageable and luckily Yael was playing well independently and didn’t notice. Once Dan got home he took care of Yael so she didn’t have to see me in pain. Before I left to labour alone in my room I started crying. I felt so overwhelmed for Yael and what was to come for her and our family. But then I had another contraction and forgot about it pretty quick.
At this point the contractions were close together, but not strong enough that I felt like I needed to go to the hospital. I was confused at my progress and needed some guidance from my midwife. When I called her she asked a few questions like how many min apart are they, are they getting stronger each time, are they consistent in duration, are they consistent in pain, etc. They weren’t consistent at all so she said she would get things ready on her end and call me in 30 min to see where I’m at.
At that point I jumped in the shower because I needed something to do to pass by those 30 min and water is suppose to ease the pain.
Shortly after getting out of the shower (which did feel good) the midwife called and said we’re all good to go when I felt ready. Things still felt like they were progressing quickly so I said we need to go now!
Once Dans sister arrived to watch Yael, we hit the road. It was just after 4 so there was rush hour! Ugggh! I was having such a hard time sitting during my contractions but the handle on the roof really helped. Haha.
When we got to the hospital we parked and headed to triage at Rockyview general hospital. Floor 6. This really nice girl at the emergency reception got me a wheelchair and escorted us to where we need to be. At first I said I didn’t need a wheelchair and I could walk, but then after a few contractions and it taking me 5 minutes to walk 2 steps, I decided the wheelchair was a good idea.
We got to our room and turns out we weren’t even in a delivery room, they made a makeshift for us out of a triage room! Originally we wanted Foothills hospital but I guess when the Midwife called every hospital was full so this was the best they could do. Oh well!
As soon as I had a few contractions my midwife said she wanted to check me to see where we were at. She later told me that when I walked in and she saw how I was handling everything she didn’t think I was too far along because I was coping so well. But she checked me and realized I was 8cm dilated and this was happening! She said this baby would be coming very quick once my water broke.
My contractions started getting more and more intense and I asked for an epidural. They said we didn’t have time so I tried the gas. The gas did nothing (they said it should take the edge off but I felt all the edges). It did help me control my breathing and focus my mind towards something other then the pain. Which I guess was good, but it did not take away any pain.
During each intense contraction I told myself to breathe through to ten (breath in, 1, breath out, breath in 2, breath out, etc..) and that it would be over soon. It won’t last forever. Talking to myself was the only way I could keep myself from going crazy during every contraction.
About 30 min went by and my water still hadn’t broke so I asked them to break it for me. She said it would be really uncomfortable if she did and suggested sitting on the toilet and letting gravity break it. The toilet felt better and I did a few contractions on there but it didn’t break my water fast enough and I was starting to feel the need to push. At this point things were so intense and the gas barely did anything so I told them to break my water, I was done!
She wasn’t kidding when she said it would be uncomfortable when she broke my water. I let out a loud “arrrrg” in pain but after I felt a sense of relief. I had my water broken with Yael too, however, I had the epidural so it was very different this time! But it was quick and it was done and it was time to push! I could feel him coming. Looking back, what a crazy and amazing feeling that was.
At this point Dan was having a hard time seeing me in so much pain and because of the lay out of our room and him not wanting to see anything below the belt, he was stuck in a little corner. My midwife quickly noticed he needed something to take his mind off of the state I was in and she got him a bucket of cold water and a face cloth and told him to keep it cold for me. This felt amazing and I was so happy she did that and in that moment was just as attentive to Dan as she was to me. I think Dan was also happy to feel like he was contributing, even if it was in a small way.
I started pushing laying on my back. This felt ok but I wasn’t doing a great job. I felt like I was too focused on the pain that I couldn’t focus on the pushing. They also weren’t able to find the baby’s heartbeat very well so they made me move to a different position. Now I was resting my arms against the back, top of the incline bed and kneeling. This felt way better and I was able to give better pushes.
After a few contractions of pushing I could feel it was time for the head to come out. Oh. My. God. When they say burning ring of fire they are not joking. It was the most pain I’ve ever felt and I didn’t think I’d get through it.
My contraction ended and I could feel the head was half in, half out. OUCH!!! I felt like I HAD to keep pushing to get it out but the midwife sternly told me to stop. I felt like I would die if I had to keep it like this until the next contraction but luckily the midwife coached me to give tiny little pushes and then out it came. For a second I felt relief but then it was time to get the body out. Omg, when is this pushing over!
On the next contraction I gave some more big pushes and out slithered the baby, this felt like nothing compared to the head and as soon as he was out it was immediate relief.
Since I was kneeling on the bed, they had to catch him as he came out. After that they brought him up to my chest for a hug. It was such a beautiful moment meeting him for the first time. I was in disbelief that I had just done that without an epidural and that he was here in my arms. My little Grae had finally arrived. Dan got a picture and video of this moment and it is my favourite picture of all time. In the video I kept saying “I can’t believe I did that. I can’t believe I did that”.
After we shared a moment together and all that pain and work felt worth it, they took him so I could lay down and clean the bed a bit. Then they gave him back to me. He was so amazing! A perfectly round head and the cutest grumpy old man face.
During this time I got a needle in my leg to help get my placenta out to avoid what happened last time. I felt no cramping or contractions but after about 10min I was told to push and out it came. Soooo much easier than last time! This is suppose to be how it happens!
Then they gave Grae to Dan for some skin to skin and they stitched me up. Ouch – Again! Feeling everything this time was definitely a new experience. Grae was screaming his little head off and trying to eat Dans arm and Dan was doing his best to be patient but I couldn’t hold him while I was being stitched up. I needed to focus on getting through that. Even though they froze me, it still hurt and stung in some places. It felt like once I got through one painful thing, there was another one waiting around the corner. I couldn’t wait to not be in pain anymore.
Once I was all stitched up it felt like such a relief. Baby was out, placenta was out, stitching done- everything was done! We tried nursing and he latched on right away and had a great feed. Little man was hungry!!
After the feed they took him to measure him and do his check. Everything looked great. Then they went to weigh him they asked what all our guesses were. He was sooo long and skinny so everyone was guessing in the low to mid 7’s. The one midwife was the only one to guess over 8 because even though he was skinny, he was very long. Sure enough, 8lbs. Almost 2 lbs bigger then Yael! It’s so hard to believe she was smaller than him because he felt SO tiny!
Then the midwives gave me the option to stay the night in the hospital or go home. I kinda wanted to stay because that’s all I knew from last time and newborns are kinda scary. She talked to me about the benefits of both and the more they talked about going home, the more I thought that was a better idea. In order to go home we both had to pass a few tests and we did almost instantly! It was all happening so fast but I was happy that it didn’t feel rushed at any point. Except when the head was half in, half out. That I wanted to rush…
Then it was time to go! This was crazy. We left the hospital and when Dan looked at our parking ticket, it said we checked in at 4:30pm and we were checking out at 9pm. Someone joked we had a drive through labour- it didn’t feel like that at the time but now looking back it seems crazy how it all happened so fast.
Once we got home My mom, dad and Dans mom were there to meet us. They all took turns holding Grae and Dan and I were able to eat a meal that my parents got us. It was so relaxing. I was 100% happy we chose to be home instead of the hospital.
Then it was time for bed and the midwife would be over to check us in the morning.
What a beautiful afternoon. Even though I was in so much pain and I felt like I’d never make it through, I would go back and relive that day over and over. My wish for everyone is that you feel that way afterwards. I have such fond memories of that whole experience. So much so that I crave to do it again. Hmmmm….. lol