Editor’s note: We believe that all birth stories and all birth experiences matter. This post is part of an ongoing series of birth stories submitted by readers and fellow bloggers, featuring a diverse range of women and their birth experiences. This is Louise’s second birth story here, an easier and much quicker vaginal birth than her first. As a maternity nurse and mother of two, she encourages women to view birth as doable and nothing to fear. If you would like to share your own birth story, please visit this post to learn how. ~Olivia
This pregnancy was very different than the first. They say all pregnancies are different, but I never realized just how different they could be. Having moved to a rural area after the birth of our first child, no longer working in health care, and being followed by a group of obstetricians as opposed to my family doctor made me feel a little overwhelmed. All along the pregnancy I kept telling my husband I hoped first time moms weren’t all treated the way I was because there was a severe lack in care and information. I felt like I had to question everything and point out my medical history every single visit. Maybe it was just a more laid back setting, but the care was definitely different.
The hardest thing was traveling to appointments. Each one was over 100 kms away from where we lived. Although our health care is great, when there are cuts it affects the people living outside the city the most. My husband made sure there were towels, tarps and clean towels in our vehicle in case we didn’t make it!
On the 25th of March, I started to have contractions lasting 1 minute every 10 or so minutes. I was sure this was it. We let our 3 year old watch TV most of the day while we napped on and off. By supper time the contractions were gone.
On the 26th, I decided to deep clean everything to help the contractions come on again, but I just made myself sore for the next day.
The 27th was Easter. No contractions were felt and no vigorous cleaning was done either. I just ate a lot of food! Ham mostly.
At 4:30 am on the 28th, I got up to pee as I normally had been for the last 9 months. I heard a faint ‘pop’ but it didn’t appear as though my water had broken. I went back to bed but became restless and got up again. Contractions were coming and going very irregularly at this point and some contractions necessitated walking out.
At 6 am I woke my husband up so that he would have time to take a shower and have breakfast before heading up to the hospital. I called my mom who was going to come over to watch my daughter while we were gone. I tried to do some last minute packing, get my daughter’s things in order and fold a load of laundry. By 6:45, the contractions took my breath away and everyone agreed it was time to go.
The drive to the hospital was painful but quick. No longer able to walk through the contractions, I was severely uncomfortable. The usual hour ride took about half the time; we got there at 7:30 am.
Once at the hospital, we went straight up to Labour and Delivery. I was brought to a room where I was asked to provide a urine sample. Not an easy feat between contractions. Then I was put on the monitor and told the nurses would be listening to report and be back shortly. The contractions came on stronger, and my husband went out to get the nurses. Two of them came back with the doctor who checked me and informed us all that I was at 8 cm. The nurses got a move on and set up the whole room. I began feeling sick and threw up in a kidney basin. “She is sure acting like an 8,” the doctor stated, then a nurse came and inserted an IV to provide some pain relief.
The next few moments were much better but it wasn’t long before the urge to push came over me. The doctor had to ground me and bring me back before she allowed me to start pushing. The fog of the medication lifted and I was able to follow instructions. It didn’t take very long and at 8:58 am a healthy baby boy with a really short and twisted umbilical cord was born. The cord had to be cut before I could take my new nameless baby in my arms.
The nurses wagered how much he weighed and we were all shocked to find out he was a whopping 9lbs, 6oz. During his check up some question arose about the gestational age due to the plantar creases. There were some signs of baby being only 36 weeks, but seeing as his size was great and the Apgar scores were high, this possibility was dismissed.
I had some repairs done and by lunch time we got transferred to our own room ready to debate what to call this new bundle of joy. Thomas was 9 lbs, 6 oz and measured 22 1/4 inches.
And here they are! Both my babies were born on Easter Monday almost exactly 3 years apart. Both had issues with jaundice and breastfeeding, but with a little help from lactation consultants and formula we were able to make sure they gained appropriate amounts of weight.