Monday, June 5, 2017

B's Birth Story

Last time it took me a month to write out my birth story - this time little B baby is just a day old and I'm already keen to get it written out, which goes to show you how different the two labours were (and how different it is to have a second baby)! My first labour was 4 days of labour, my second was 2 days. 20 minutes of pushing the first time, 8 minutes this time. The first time the pain felt it would last forever, as the days continued. This time, it all felt manageable and ordered somehow. From start to finish, this labour was proof that the second birth is often easier. Let me tell you about it.

Edited to add: Ironically, I am only now finishing this a month after little B made her way into our lives. Started out so strong, haha. 

Edited to add again: even worse, I finished the post but then took 4.5 months to get the photos uploaded to post #lifewithtwokids #momlife

My due date was Sunday, December 11th. Not much happened in the days following my due date. My Auntie Sandy came on Thursday the 8th. She was amazing. She cooked our dinners and took care of Avie in the day so I could work and rest. It was amazing. I felt so loved and cared for. During this time I had steady Braxton Hicks but no real contractions. Then on Friday the 16th I woke up with contractions about 10 minutes apart. Throughout the day they continued this way. Sandy left by 2pm, and I was scheduled to pick up Paul's mom at 3pm at the airport. Only an hour without additional help. Thankfully around 2:30pm Paul's sister Katie appeared to help, which I was most thankful for with the contractions continuing. We drove to the airport to pick Nancy up. Then we picked up Paul. We headed out for hearty German food for Paul's bday. We enjoyed schnitzel and spaetzle, beer and wine (non-alcoholic beer for me), through contractions, still 10 minutes apart. Eventually, we headed home and I was able to sleep all night. Contractions were 10 minutes apart through the night but not so painful that I couldn't sleep through them. It was only when I would wake up to pee that I would notice the contractions.

Out at dinner - last pregnancy selfie!

Cuddles after dinner with my first born

I had been hoping to have my baby at my due date, or after the 18th so I could attend our church's Christmas Banquet that night. Other people were hoping I would have my baby on the 17th since that is my dying mom's bday (and her mom!). Neither of team got it's wish.

I woke up Saturday the 17th still contracting - Nancy and Katie were up bright and early with Avie, so that I could labour with Paul at my side. Nancy made us breakfast. Then I headed to the tub in our room to labour - the hot water makes such a difference. Paul sat outside of the bathroom timing my contractions while I read between and ended up starting and finishing a book about a couple stranded on a deserted island - it was actually quite lovely. Halfway through Nancy and Katie sent me up a bowl of Kraft Dinner. Which I enjoyed in the tub. With my book. Not a bad way to spend a day of labour. By this time my contractions were 5 minutes apart and quite painful. I was still quite concerned that I would stall like I did the last time so we gave the doctor on call a ring to find out what he thought I should do. He suggested waiting another hour or two and then coming into the hospital if I continued to progress. We decided to help the contractions along by walking. It was still very much a snowy winter wonderland. I invited my sister to come help at that point - we walked amidst the ice and snow (slipping occasionally). Contractions (and conversation) came steadily. 

Stuck between mine and Jenna's giant bellies!

Within the next couple hours the contractions intensified. We ate dinner and then eventually decided it was time to head to the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital to see Dr. Rossi she determined that I was at 3cm dilated (which was amazing since last time it was at day 4 and only with inducement that I reached 3cm). She suggested having a shot of morphine and gravol to ripen the cervix and to get some rest. At this point it was 8pm. Going home would mean that most likely I would not be having a baby on my mom's birthday. It was hard to swallow that. Expectations are unhelpful in labour. Things rarely go according to plan. Eventually, I put my expectations/hope aside and was able to agree that heading home was the best option.

The morphine did its job and I felt high like a kite. We picked up Vietnamese on our way home. I read and ate (#29, lemongrass pork on vermicelli with spring rolls). I felt like a drunk college student eating a middle of the night meal. It was quite fun. Though the doctor had sent us home to sleep, ultimately I could not rest, the contractions came steadily and with more pain. Paul slept and I contracted. I began to get more and more frustrated. It was now getting past mom's bday, Paul was asleep and I was in pain and not getting any sleep. I got out of bed and stood in the shower - the hot water helping with contractions. Paul woke up and came to check on me. When he saw the pain I was in, he suggested going back to the hospital. It was about midnight. The snow was beginning to come down. It seemed extra wise to head over right away. When we arrived at BC Women's Hospital they told us they were on redirect, which means anyone less than 6/7cm dilated had to go to a different hospital. They checked me and I was only at 4cm dilated. They weren't sure what to do though. I was obviously in labour. There was a bit of a snow storm outside AND all the other hospitals in the area were also on redirect. They suggested waiting an hour and seeing what had happened in that time. While I continued having contractions, Paul tried to stay awake but by then it was late (1am). So we called on my friend Lyndsay to join us (she was part of my labour team) so Paul could nap.

During my last labour, we had my friend Hanne with us. She was a NICU nurse and was amazing during labour. When I realized I would have to give birth without her (she had since moved back to South Africa) I started to think of a new addition to my labour team. I got talking to my friend Lyndsay about how if she ever were to go overseas to do missions she would probably look into being a midwife, which prompted me to ask her if she wanted to be at my labour and birth. Which she did :) It was her first! and she was amazing. She jumped in and immediately was supportive and helpful. Plus she has cold strong hands - a real plus for any support person.

After 2 hours they came back to check on me. And boy was I glad, I was in so much pain from the contractions. It was about 2:30am. When they checked I was 7cm dilated! I had progressed so much in the two hours, I was thrilled. We met our nurse and headed to the labour and delivery room. Jenna was called and she also headed in to help us. As we went to the hospital room I let the nurse know that I was VERY keen to get an epidural ordered ASAP, since I didn't want to miss the window that you could get one. We got to the hospital room around 3am. I was in a lot of pain. I asked the very sweet nurse at what point I could expect the epidural to be administered and working, so that I could prepare myself for the next while of painful contractions. She said I would be pain free by 4:30am for sure. I could handle that. 

Waiting on the epidural; hospital bag bottom right.

Lyndsay and Paul were with me as I contracted, and at some point, Jenna came to join also. As always this window just before the epidural is the worst part; so painful. The doctor came to administer the epidural (the second worst part, since you have to sit still through contractions, and the doctor always has a lot to say and ask, and it's the one time I find myself less than pleasant to any of the staff) and by 4:15am I was pain free! Woot. Then it became a party!

Laughing gas to get through contractions while the doctor administered the drugs

This is where the epidural kicked in. You can see the immediate relaxation

Drugs for mama equals a party for the room!

Our nurse was a lovely girl (that it turns out we had a few friends in common with), who also had a student nurse with her (who knew another of our friends up in Yellowknife - so of course we had to take a selfie with her to send to our joint friend). These nurses were lovely. The whole thing really did, honestly, feel like a party. Lots of laughter. No pain. Smiles and fun. Orange juice for everyone. Paul napped, and my body continued to contract without me feeling it. 

Our labour team selfie

Our wonderful nurse

Our last joint pregnancy shot!

There was so much laughter during this time. I loved it. Knowing that Bailey was birthed after a couple hours of fun and laughter with friends brings such happiness to my heart.

Around 5:45am the doctor came to check me and we discovered that the baby was super ready, I was 10cm dilated and the head was right there. At 6am my doctor was done with her other patients and was ready to help me. She let me know that I could push if I wanted. It was one of those weird moments - just starting to push felt funny. She kept telling me I could wait, but why would I wait? Plus the nurses wanted to see a baby born (and I liked that they wanted to meet her!) and they were going to be off shift at 7. So I decided I would push and have a baby right away. It felt weird to just start pushing without too much feeling but pretty quickly got into the swing of it.

I started pushing at 6:22 and baby B was born at 6:30am. It was fast and fun. Epidural's make a huge difference. Everyone was shocked by how fast it was going. Paul was going to be delivering the baby and after a couple minutes of pushing they were shouting at him to get his gloves on so he could be prepped, it was all happening so fast!

I found it interesting what a different feeling this birth was. Because labour was SO MUCH shorter, I was way less exhausted. Last time I woke up Tuesday morning and didn't sleep again until after I had the baby Friday morning. This time I woke up Saturday and had a baby early Sunday morning. Way better way to start the newborn days. Last time when they put A on me it felt like I was faking. I was just so exhausted, it was hard to engage. This time, I was immediately more engaged when B was placed on me. The whole thing felt a lot more manageable.

B was a bit fussier than A when she was first born, but holding Mom's hand calmed her down.

Riding the wave of post birth euphoria!

The adoring Dad

Being weighed

Paul and B

Auntie Jenna and B

Lyndsay and B

Our new family

And there we were - with a baby! Parents with two kids. What! Crazy. It's been 1 month and 2 days since she was born and I am so thankful that Paul is home on paternity leave for 3 months. He is a fantastic Dad. Avie is a wonderful big sister (at times aggressive in her love, but wonderful). And Bailey is as sweet as can be. And that concludes the second birth story that I have the privilege to write. 

B! The newest member of our family.

Edited to add: Having Paul home for paternity leave was amazing. I'll writemore about it shortly but oh man  - best decision ever. Not only was it helpful in the moment, it has set us up so well for the transition to working life with kids. And it gave us a change to go to Europe with our two littles which was epic. More to come on that also. 

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1 comment:

LeAnna said...

I definitely teared up -- I love this, especially the delivery room party. Annie came so fast that my epidural plans were scuppered, but I got an opiate that kicked in as she came out so best high ever, lol. Also, you have to get a C name for #3, eh?


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