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January 19: One week before my due date, my second day of mat leave (technically I was still working I was taking my last two vacation days) and I was feeling great! I got up at 8:30 and putted around the house a bit before heading downtown to meet Angelina for lunch. After a huge buffet (yum!) I hung around her office for a bit chatting then hopped on the train to head home. I got home around 2:30 and goofed around on the computer, I was starting to feel crampy and tired, nothing unusual, I had been feeling this way for weeks. I called Gustavo and told him I was going to take a nap and I went off to bed. During a couple of my many zombie state trips to the bathroom I noticed I was actually pooping ( a rare occurrence during my pregnancy). Of course I didn't even think this was a labour sign because I always thought it would be explosive. You know my body telling me "I AM NOW GETTING READY FOR LABOUR. TIME FOR SOME HOUSE CLEANING. BOOM."...But it wasn't.
Gustavo got home around 7:00 and I decided to drag my butt out of bed. I rolled over onto my back to get ready to roll off the bed (the only way to get out of bed when your completely round) and I felt a really weird sensation. Not a pop. More like the baby straightened out and kicked my ribs and head butted my whoo-haa at the same time. When I finally got up a felt a little trickle. I thought I peed myself! I ran to the bathroom, and there was no gush. Just my wet underwear. I thought to myself "I'm losing badder control and I could be pregnant for another 3 weeks! UGH, could it get anyway worse" Then I yelled for Gustavo to get me some clean underwear, of course he asked why and I had to yell "I peed my pants", something I haven't said since I was five. I put on pad in case of any future accidents and sat down to watch the Ellen Show. About 7:50 I got up to pee again and that's when it happened. Niagara falls in my pants! I yelled to Gustavo "I think my water just broke!" and did the wet pants waddle down the hall. Of course he didn't see the gush because of my pad and black pants so he said "Are you sure? Isn't it supposed to be a lot?". So I pulled down my pants so he could see for himself! Then we made our way to the bathroom so I could sit on the toilet.
Of course then we had to call family/friends and tell them the baby was coming! I called labour and delivery and they told me to come on n. I asked if I could take a shower and stuff first and they said sure. My contractions had already started bu they were mild and I was describing them to Gustavo as cramps. My whole labour was in the front, I had no back pain at all. We killed some time at home by showering, finishing packing, and calling some more people. Around 10:00 my contractions were 5-7 minutes apart and getting painful so we head out. We stopped at Safeway or some snacks and when the cashier asked when we were due we told her we were on the way to the hospital to have the baby right now!
Heading to the hospital
We arrived at the hospital and I was hooked up to the monitors in triage. We spent the first hour joking around and breathing through contractions. By 11:30 they were getting more painful and closer together. The nurse checked me and I was 2-3 cm and ~80% effaced. Yay progress! I was 0cm and only 25% at my last Dr's appointment. Then she told me they would usually give me some morphine and gravol and send me home to sleep. WHAT! I AM IN SERIOUS PAIN. HOW COULD I SLEEP.
Hooked up in Triage
I wasn't planning a totally drug free child birth. I went in the with idea that if I needed something I would ask for it, but once I went into labour I knew that I couldn't take narcotics or get an epidural. I had this weird feeling that I needed to have total control of my mind and body in order to deal with the contractions. I told her that they were really starting to hurt and I would rather stay and walk around, I can't take gravol (makes me sick) and I didn't want any narcotics. She said they would leave me on the monitor for a bit and then talk to the Dr. Well "a bit" turned into an hour because of a shift change and the monitor was totally useless because I would NOT lie down during contractions. I had to sit up to deal with the pain. When they checked me at 12:30 I was 5-6 cm and we were getting a room!
They unhooked me and sent Gustavo down to admitting. I spent the next few minutes labour on the floor on my hands and knees waiting for Gustavo and my nurses. I walked to my room during a contraction, luckily it was right next door! We had two nurses and a HUGE room. The nurses asked me if I wanted to gt in the shower and I just started stripping down. I stayed in the shower for an hour. On my hands and knees breathing through contractions (with my head out the shower door to cool off) and sitting back during my breaks. At 1:30 I went to the bed to be checked. I was 7 cm. I told Gustavo that there was no way I was going to be able to handle transition. The nurses told me this WAS transition. I went back to the shower and after lots of groaning and gagging at 2:00 (I lost track of time here, so this could have been 2:30) I asked to be checked again. 8 cm, only 1 cm progress! We tried some new positions, with the squat bar, the birthing ball, leaning over the bed. I also tried the gas but I couldn't handle it during a contraction I used it a few times to calm down in between contractions when I was getting really worked up.
I felt like I had to pee so I went to the bathroom and spent the last 30 min of labour on the toilet. The nurse checked me on the toilet and all I had was a little cervical lip. The last six or so contractions were very close together and EXTREMELY intense and painful. My body was pushing even though I wasn't (the nurses were totally cool with this, they said just let your body do what it wants). During these contractions I SCREAMED what I like to call my death scream. During the peak I really felt like I was losing control and my breathing techniques flew right out the window. But then it was 3:30 and I was ready to push!!
I was scared of pushing. I thought "all this pain of contractions plus pushing I'm not going to be able to do it.". But pushing DID feel better. It still hurt, but more of a grunting moaning hurt not a death scream hurt. The nurses said I was pushing really well, and its true, it is like trying to have a poop. Seems like all that constipation is just practice for labour! Anyway I pushed, and pushed and pushed. We tried lots of different positions, even tried a birthing stool. Violeta had he head slightly turned so she was not coming down easy! They had called my Dr (not one I had met! He was covering the on call for my Dr's, he was from a different practice!) The nurses use warm compresses to stretch my perineum. After 2 hours of pushing I told Gustavo to go take a nap in the lazy boy chair (he has been up for over 24 hours). After 3 hours of pushing my contractions were becoming weaker and I was doing most of the pushing myself (which is not as effective). The nurses suggested and IV to rehydrate me and a small dose of an oxytocin. Of course this meant I had to be hooked up to the monitors. But this could be done in my preferred pushing position: sitting slightly reclined with my legs on the squat bar. My mom was like " No stirrups?", things have changed so much!. The DR came in at this point and started to apply mineral oil and stretch my perineum while pushing so I wouldn't tear. He was a FABULOUS Dr and we really lucked out. The oxytocin was helping my pushing a lot, the extra help from the contractions made a HUGE difference. But I was exhausted physically and mentally so I asked the Dr if he thought we could get her out in a few pushes if he used the vacuum to help me. Of course we discussed how it would work, the risks, he should me the equipment, etc. All this while still pushing!
We woke up Gustavo and he got the camera ready (I'm still pushing). They had to call in a pediatrician but told me if she looked good to my Dr at birth the pediatrician wouldn't be needed and she would be given straight to me. We had also asked earlier about delaying her tests/shots until we were ready and they had agreed to this. One contraction (four pushes) with the help of the vacuum and she was down around my pelvis. The next contraction I pushed her head out. I'm pretty sure I did the death scream at this point, it burned A LOT, like a blow torch to you crotch! Next contraction I pushed out her shoulders and then I reached down and pulled her up on to my stomach.She started crying right away! Violeta Lourdes born at 7:22 am after four hours of pushing!
It was instant physical relief, no more contractions. I was SO happy. For labour to be over, to meet my baby girl! Gustavo cut the cord and they wrapped her on my chest. After a few minutes I handed her to Gustavo so I could deliver the placenta and get more comfortable (my legs were still up in the air), Delivering the placenta felt like a "sploosh". The DR showed me all the parts. It was gross and cool. I wish I would have taken a picture! They did her 5 min APGAR test (she scored 9 and 9!) and Gustavo handed her back to me . We spent the next hour or so starring at her. She wasn't interested in breastfeeding at all, we tried a few times but she was a sleepy baby!. Pretty much all the staff left the room right after the birth. We had one nurse (a new one, shift change) but I had no tearing or complications so they left us alone. Eventually the nurse weighed and measured her with Gustavo's help. We made some phone calls, Gustavo went and grabbed our bag, then held Violeta while I got a much needed shower. It was at this point she got her eye drops and vitamin K shot (They asked if we wanted these). She didn't cry when she got either. She is one tough cookie!
We had a baby!
We were all tagged (with wristbands) and set up in a wheel chair and wheeled to our room......And that is the birth story of our beautiful baby girl..