Friday, May 26, 2017

Birth Story Number 3

I feel like this story starts well before the contraction even began. I feel it really starts with how Keith decided that is was best to stay in almost the bitter end before entering this world.

I guess I was a little naive as I truly thought that because the girls were born either on their due date or just a few days before, I assumed that Keith would show up about the same time. So each day after the due date was a bit of a mental game for me. I needed to keep telling myself, "the due date is just a guess, he will come when he is ready." "No big deal, you are only a few days over." "You are only 5 days over and if we went by my menstruation cycle instead of the scan the 15th would be the due date, so your right on time." "We are only 7 days over, that's fine, no big deal that you are huge!! And can't pick anything up off the ground or the fact that at this point any movement is pretty difficult to do, but that is totally fine, he will come when he is ready!!"  I was living in limbo land, I didn't want to plan or do anything just in case the baby decided to come. It was a big mental challenge to stay positive and relaxed as the days ticked by the due date.

So once we passed the 41 week mark, I went in for a biophysical profile which is a test that measures the health of baby. They look at the baby's heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and the amount of amniotic fluid. You need to score 8 out 8. Well both times I went in, baby Keith got 8 out of 8 and looked very happy to stay inside for a little bit longer. 

Mike and I at first decided to go get induced on April 21st just because it was pretty close to the 42 week mark (April 24th) and I was getting really tired of being pregnant. But as the 21st came closer I got cold feet, as I started to worry about the increased chances of having a C-section after getting induced so I convinced myself that it would be worth it to wait those 3 days just to give Keith every opportunity to come on his own. I told himself that he had passed all his tests and was doing fine and moving around a lot so 3 more days of being pregnant wouldn't be that bad. 

So instead of going into get induced on friday, I went and got some acupuncture done, which is one of those things that is suppose to help get labour going. Then afterwards I went in for a regular appointment with my midwives. Where she did another sweep, my 4th one at this point! But this time my body finally seemed ready for that little push over the edge to get things going as the midwife said she finally felt a change in my cervix! It had finally changed and now felt like it was getting ready to have a baby!!! 

And just for fun I thought I would take this moment to share this lovely little informational video about cervical sweep. Just in case some of you were wondering was it was all about.  Enjoy! 

Well for me that sweep was the gentle push (well, more like a very uncomfortable push) that my body needed to get things going! 

At about 4:30 that afternoon, I got my first contraction, it wasn't very strong at all but it was finally that first time I thought "Is this it!?!?!, are we finally going to have this baby!?!?

I didn't get my next contraction till about 5:30pm and even though it was only the second contraction I just knew this was it, we were finally going to meet this baby! 

From about 5:30pm to 9:30pm I continued to have contraction but they were very irregular in both time between them and the intensity of them. I consider it the warm up stage. Things really got going around 9:30pm, and although things were getting intense, I recall feeling excited and happy that he was finally coming and that I would get to finally meet this little human that I had been waiting so long for. I also remember thinking how grateful I was to have Mike there by my side comforting me and being the best coach one could ask.

It was around 12:30am that I finally called the midwife, as I felt that the contraction were close enough and lasting long enough that it was time to go to the hospital. After tell her all about my contractions she agreed that it was time to go. So off we went! We ended up at the RockyView Hospital, which I was really happy about as that was where we had Rose so it felt good to be going somewhere familiar. Although when we got there I quickly learned that since been there  for Rose, we had forgotten when to turn and where! In other words we got lost! Poor Mike, I got very mad very quickly as he was wheeling me around trying to remember where to! I got continually more and more upset as I strongly suggested that he found someone to ask where to go! Thankfully a hospital worker (a porter) appeared out of a doorway. Unfortunately I asked him where to go a lot more forcefully  than I meant to.  I did try to apologies but with all the contractions I feel like he probably didn't catch it. Poor guy I felt bad. 

Once we were in the room, the midwife check where I was at, 6 cm which I was really happy to hear as I'm always a little nervous that they are going to tell me that there is no change and that I need to go home and wait a bit longer.  After she checked me I just stayed on the bed. I just didn't want to move, I got into a pattern and rhythm for each contraction, I know this may sound silly but doing those things over and over helped me feel better. I curled up into a ball rocked back and forth, rub the bed a certain way. I did this over and over again.  Somewhere in there it was getting too much for me and I demand the gas, that helped relax me and really just calm me down. I don't know what I would do without the gas! Also during this time the midwife did have me get up a few time to go to the bathroom, which I don't know how she convinced me because I felt so glued to that bed. 

After about 3 hours ( I didn't know how long it had been at the time) the midwife check me again, I was only 7 cm. This was a devastating blow, the contractions were so intense and at that point I was beginning to fight off the increasingly strong desire to push. And yet I was only 7 cm after what felt like forever. I'm surprised I didn't cry because I definitely was on the inside.

She broke my water to help get things moving a little fast. Which worked really well because from this point forward things happened so quickly and were so intense that when I try to recall this last little bit it feels like I'm trying to remember a dream, all very fuzzy. So I had to ask Mike and Rachel (our midwife) to fill in some of the holes for me.

What I do recall is not being able to fight the desire to push at all! So I'm pretty sure that is what I did. I do remember that the midwives needed to monitor the baby's heart rate. First they did it with an external monitor, but then they needed to use an  internal monitor. I feel like shortly after they put in the internal monitor they told me that Keith's heart rate was dropping too much and they needed to call for a doctor. The next thing I knew the doctor and nurses were buzzing all around. At first they tried getting me to push, but as Mike told me I was not listening to their instructions and was not pushing correctly. Which I find a little hard to believe since this was not the first time I had done this but for whatever reason whether it was due to the fact I was really tired at this point, and just having a hard time focusing, he was taking too long to come out and his heart rate was still low. So at this point the doctor decided to use the vacuum to get him out and make sure he was okay. Mike said that they took a while to get it on as they wanted to make sure his head was in a good position. He said that part took the longest and he told that as soon as they got it on his head, his head popped right out and then with the next contraction he came out with minimal help from the vacuum. 

I would like to take another little break here to share another fun informally video. This one is great! The music and dummies! I know it is only 3 minutes but you really should make some popcorn and just sit back and enjoy!

Now if you are feel like you are ready for the next level go to youtube and search "vacuum assisted birth" and then you can see some real life births. 

Now back to Keith's story. 

And just like that it was all over, my little man was finally here. I kept asking over and over "Is he okay?" "Is he okay?" worried that because his heart rate had drop that it meant something was wrong. But thankfully over and over again they told me he was completely fine,  apparently he just didn't like getting squished on the way out. He was born 5:25am about an hour after Rachel broke my water. He weighed 9 pounds 1 ounce and was 22 inches long, mine biggest baby! 

After they looked him over, they asked me asked him if I would like to hold him, and although I did, I felt so worn out and weak that I said I wanted to wait till I felt a little strong as I truly was worried that I would drop him. So Mike held him first, he sat in one of the big comfy chairs they had in the room and had some nice bonding skin to skin time. It was the sweetest thing to look over and watch Mike holding his son for the first time. Watching Mike hold him and have that sweet little moment filled my heart with such joy, having Keith here finally and knowing that he has such a great father. It was a tender moment. 

Once they were done poking and pulling at me I finally felt ready to hold my little boy. Holding him I felt relieved that he was happy and healthy, relieved that labour was done, and I felt so grateful that I lived in such a great country where I had access to great health care both with the outstanding midwives that were there with me every step of the way and the great doctor and nurses that came so quickly when there was concerns about Keith's health.

Welcome to the Family little man.


Although overall I'm pleased with how things went, mainly the fact that both Keith and I are in perfect health. And that Mike was amazing and was so support every step of the way.

There are a few things that I really wish I did differently. First I first I wish I would have walked around more. For some reason I just wanted to lay in bed which I wonder if it that didn't help me progress in labour. 

And then I wish I had gotten more mentally ready for this labour. I was pretty distracted by two things. First how overdue I was, like I said at the beginning of this post that was very mentally challenging for me. And then second I was so sure that things would go like Violet's birth, that I didn't give this labour the proper respect it deserved. In the last hour before Keith was born, I completely fell apart and I was done mentally and physically. I feel like if I did more mental prep like I did with Violet's birth it would have gone a little better.

But all those thought are in hindsight and who really knows if it would have helped or not. Like I said in the beginning overall things went well, and I do feel good about labour went. Both Keith and I are doing well. I have healed pretty quickly and besides missing a few hours of sleep, feel really good. 

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful little family. 

Epilogue Part 2

One last fun little video for you. I feel like this woman must be sort of magical birthing unicorn because she is just way too calm and looks way too good for pushing out a baby. And yes I'm a little jealous, this is what I secretly wish my labours would look like. To see the shorten version start at 1:50 and go to 5:50. She must have birthing super powers!


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