I wrote this post in February 2014 but then made a few edits after re-reading it.
Last week i decided to take a nap with my little guy instead of laying him in his crib; we went downstairs, turned on the tv and watched treehouse for about 15 minutes before he curled up with his head on my shoulder. i covered us both up with a warm, fuzzy blanket (that has a hole in it from our dog who likes to scissor it with his teeth, but that’s another story) and turned the boob-tube off. after about 5 minutes of finding the right position, he let out a big sigh and was out. as i lay there with him it reminded me of when he was only a few months old and how that used to be our daily routine. we’d get up in the morning, head downstairs and just sleep on and off on the couch all day; sometimes we’d both sleep, both of us in our jammies. as sweet memories of cuddling with him ran through my mind, it made me realize how fast this past year has gone by. on Thursday he had his first birthday, he turned 1 year old, ONE! where has the time gone? it seems like only a few months ago that he was so tiny; breastmilk his only nourishment; not eating solids, not feeding himself, definitely not talking and not crawling and definitely not walking. i remember his birth like it was only a few weeks ago instead of a year ago. i remember last year, early Februrary, my hubby and i trying all the old wives tales of how to induce labour so that our baby would be born on my husband’s birthday (which didn’t work by the way); massage, pressure points, bouncing on a birthing ball (big exercise ball), walking on the treadmill, eating spicy foods, etc etc. … little did we know the little guy wouldn’t arrive for a while yet (but hey, it was worth a shot, right?) …
this is the part where i talk about his birth; if you don’t want to read further, i’m not offended (well maybe a little haha), just wanted to give you a heads up.
my labour was long, and by long, i mean 34 hours long. thankfully i wasn’t experiencing crazy contractions that whole time, but still. i think that was the longest i’ve ever been awake and asleep at the same time.
my water broke while i was in bed on a Tuesday morning. thankfully i had a waterproof pad/blanket that i had been sleeping on for about a month (a very handy thing my mother lent to me that i plan on keeping until she asks for it back, hehe). i remember getting up to go pee around 9am and then crawled back into bed (i wanted to sleep just a little longer). about 15 minutes later i felt a trickle alongside my leg and thought, crap! i wet myself! then i felt whoooooosh! i thought, uh oh! that’s definitely not pee! i stood up as it started trickling down my leg and i ran to the washroom. i remember sitting on the toilet thinking, holy crap, this is the start of it! my hubby was at work on day shift at the time so it was just me and the hound dog at home. i calmly put on some comfy clothes, went downstairs and grabbed a glass of juice. then i thought, well, i should probably call my hubby to tell him what’s going on. i remember calling his supervisor’s cell number and saying, yeah can you please have him call me? about 10 minutes go by and the phone rings, hi. hey! so guess what happened about 15 minutes ago? uh … my water broke. holy crap, what should i do? well, i’m not having contractions so if you wanna stay until noon or whatever it’s ok by me, not much is going on. ok, i’ll see you in a bit … and 15 minutes later he was home, lol. he said he was sitting having his break with a friend of his when the supervisor came by and said, your wife needs you to call her. he said he looked at his buddy, his eyes got big and he thought, uh oh, this must be it, but tried to remain calm, haha. when he got home he looked a little anxious and i said to him, it’s all good, i haven’t had any contractions yet. i’m just running to the washroom a lot as i keep feeling my water trickling down and then a whoosh after (fun times, i know). we called my sister, as she was the other person i wanted in the room with me when our baby was born, to tell her what was happening. she sounded soooo excited! i told her, don’t rush over, we’ll keep you posted. our day went on with not a lot happening except me running to the washroom every half hour or so.
my sis came over mid-afternoon, she was pretty excited when i told her what was going on! after she arrived we figured we should call the midwife to let her know what was going on. she told me she’d come by around 6/6:30 to see how i was doing and we could figure things out from there. she and our student midwife arrived, took my temperature asked me some questions and told me just to relax and wait until my contractions started. very nice and mellow 🙂 … they said if things weren’t really progressing over night then we’d plan to meet at the hospital at 7am.
my contractions started about an hour after the midwives left, about 20-30 mins apart and very mild. i was sitting on our exercise ball (or birth ball, since they’re pretty much the same thing) bouncing around hoping to get things going as i was already tired (i usually would have an afternoon nap but with all the excitement of labour having started i couldn’t really rest). i tried walking on the treadmill to get things going but that didn’t really do much either, lol. my sister went home after a few more hours (to try to snooze). i told her we’d call her to keep her updated. the contractions slowly progressed but i figured we should try to get some sleep considering we’d likely have a big day ahead of us! my hubby had downloaded a contraction timer app for the iPad so he gave it to me so i could hit the start button when i had one, and then stop when it ended. i didn’t sleep much that night as they kept progressing. around 2/2:30am they were 10 minutes apart and about 1-2 minutes long. they felt like achey period cramps, not fun, but tolerable. i basically slept in 10 minute bouts, between contractions. around 5am i called the midwife to let her know what was going on and ask if we should still plan for 7am or if we should head to the hospital sooner. she said if things stayed the same to still meet at 7, but if they changed to call her back. we ended up just meeting her and my sister at 7am. my sis looked like she’d slept about as little as i had, lol.
we checked into our birthing room, the midwives checked me and i was only 1cm dilated but fully effaced! talk about frustrating! LOL … they told us to walk around the hospital for about 3 hours and just relax and then they’d check me again. my sis, hubby and i made our rounds, took breaks, had a few snacks and then made our way back to the room. around 10:30am they checked me again and i was only at 2-3cm, grr!
because my water had been broke for over 24 hours the midwives said they needed to speed things up (as the chance of infection increases the longer your water has broke, especially if things aren’t progressing, which they clearly weren’t) … they started me on pitocin which i really didn’t want because it causes contractions to be SO much more intense than they naturally would be (BOOOOO!) … the dose was increased every hour; my contractions starting getting more intense and they checked me again 3 hours after that and i was only at 4cm! talk about frustrating. i think i needed to relax more at the point, but with it being so long since things had started and with it being our first child it was hard to do just that.
they waited another 3 hours and checked me again and i was still only at 4cm. i pretty much sat on a birth ball with my hands on the edge of the hospital bed the entire time i was having contractions as it was the only position that was somewhat comfortable to handle them. as they increased the levels of pitocin, my nausea increased and i became ill with every contraction. i don’t think i’ve ever thrown up that much in such a short time frame. i am so thankful for my hubby and sister being there, holding the garbage can, rubbing my back, doing whatever was needed.
… around 4:30/5pm my midwife came over to talk to me, she knew i really didn’t want to have an epidural or c-section and that i wanted to go as natural as i could but since things weren’t progressing and since my water had broke so long ago, she suggested me having an epidural … she said that i likely would be able to rest for a few hours and that since i’d been up since 9am the day before i needed to have as much energy as possible for when it was time to push. i was so against having one as i didn’t want to numb my body and basically throw away feeling the experience of birthing a baby.
i didn’t end up resting much, as when she checked me after another hour i was already at 9cm! YAY! … i pushed for only 40 minutes and the little man arrived safe and sound. i know there are a lot of women who wouldn’t necessarily want to go natural, especially during the last stage (where the brunt of the work takes place) but i wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. i remember feeling my whole midsection “heave” downward and i looked at my hubby and said, i didn’t do that! my body did! after that, i heard my midwife say, when you feel the urge to push, go with it, do go against it. i remember laying there with my eyes closed, holding onto the edge of the bedrail and gripping it hard each time i felt a big contraction and the urge to push. i know i pooped on the delivery table, twice. i fully admit it, i’m not embarrassed and i don’t care. it’s a good sign that you’re using all the right muscles 😉
once the baby’s head was out, it wasn’t long after that i felt the most crazy, amazing and beautiful feeling when the little body slipped out. i remember thinking, holy crap! i just pushed out a baby! they placed the baby on top of me, wrapped in a blanket and my midwife said to my husband, well is it a boy or girl? he looked under the blanket and said, it’s a boy! i remember the tears streaming down my face; a wonderful, healthy, perfect little boy. i’m welling up with tears as i type this now. i remember the overwhelming feeling of love as i looked at his tiny little features, dark hair and big, wide eyes, staring up at me. hello baby boy. my baby, my boy. my little man.
my sister took the first pics of him with her cell phone and the first short video. it’s so fantastic that we have that. i watch it all the time and it all comes back. every little moment. the laughter between contractions talking with the midwives about what kind of booze we like to drink (well, what kind i used to drink, lol), wearing my own gown for the birth, having my hubby and sister by my side throughout the whole experience. holding my little boy for the first time.
once the cord finished pulsing, my hubby cut it and we cuddled with our little man for about an hour before the rest of the family came in to meet him. my midwife said i’d be an ideal candidate for a home birth if we have another baby, so i told her i’d think about it. i’m honestly not sure if i’d go that route or not, but it’s something to think about if we decide to have another one. it’d be wonderful to be at home. after the family gave their hugs, love and blessings. i got to have a shower! it wasn’t an amazing shower (the midwife basically hosed me down as i stood leaning agains the wall, lol) but i was wonderful none the less! after that, i got dressed, sat in the wheelchair and i was able to go home with my perfect little baby boy, only 2.5 hours after he was born. it was amazing! i remember coming home, laying down in our bed and saying to my hubby, just put him right here in my arms, and we’ll go to sleep. i didn’t move until he stirred to be fed. i nursed him and we both fell right back asleep. it was the most relaxing sleep i’d had in months. and it was even better because i had our little baby to cuddle with.
the next day when the midwife came to the house to check on us she said that basically i just had an “hour break” with the epidural … she said that normally if you have one you can’t feel anything on your lower half (waist down into your thighs), your legs are somewhat numb/wobbly etc … she said that it all worked out in the end for me with having a natural birth and that was why i was able to go home so soon after.
i loved having a midwife. i loved that she came to see us the day after the birth, 3 days after, 5 days after and 7 days after. we didn’t have to go anywhere until his first 2 week check up. (although we did go to have his hearing tested on day 5). it was so nice to have the care and attentiveness that the midwives provide; and to have it for the first 6 weeks postpartum was incredible! (i’ll post more about that another time).
our little baby boy is now a little toddler, who’s walking around at an alarming rate now. walking, talking (babbling), squealing, laughing, growing and learning more and more every day. i always wondered what it’d be like to be a mom, what it would feel like being pregnant, giving birth and caring for a baby. i no longer wonder, but now lovingly remember and cherish my experience with the pregnancy and birth, and eagerly anticipate the life ahead of my precious little boy.