Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Labour of Love

May 8, 2010
At 4:30 a.m. I noticed that my more consistent Braxton Hicks contractions were more constant and painful, so I started to write down the time intervals between each and found that they were about 15-20 minutes apart. This continued on throughout the day as I went about our regular Saturday activities. By about 7:00 p.m. or so, the contractions were closer together and I now needed the support of Jason to get through them. They were not super painful, but I was a lot more comfortable getting through them if he held me and we "slow danced" through each one.

By this time a very "important" NHL Playoff game (Detroit Red Wings) was on T.V. so Jason made sure that our little "dances" that were happening about 10 minutes apart, were strategically "danced" so he could see the T.V. and I really did not care. I just needed him to lean on and sway with me.

By 11:30 p.m. contractions were 6 minutes apart and I had a HUGE need to get to the hospital. We had decided to have our baby in a rural hospital, 30 minutes from our house, so we began the bumpy ride to the hospital. I quickly put in a labour CD my dear friend Monica sent us, and rode each wave of a contraction, letting the music flow over me. As we approached the hospital Jason put in a song that has been special to us and we listened to it, tears flowing down our faces, knowing this day or the next would change our lives forever. When we entered the ER I was so thankful to see that Dr. Langer (our doc) was on call for the weekend. PERFECT. They checked me in and checked my progress: 4 cm dilated and he expected to have a baby in our arms by 6 a.m.

May 9, 2010
We were brought to a private room and quietly laboured naturally until 9 a.m. when Dr. Langer checked my progress again, only to find that I was only 4-5 cm dilated. Labour had basically stalled. Because this hospital does not do surgeries, epidurals and c-sections are not possible there. Dr. Langer suggested that I be ambulanced to the Grande Prairie hospital where they would administer and epidural and petocin to get labour going again. At this point I was still quite energetic and thought I could conquer this labour thing on my own, but I asked why he was recommending this and as soon as he said for the health of me and our baby, Jason and I both agreed that it was the best move. So, I was transferred to the ambulance and we too THE bumpiest most painful drive I have ever experienced to the QEII Hospital. Up until this point labour had been manageable, but add terrible roads to increasingly more painful contractions, I was ready for the epidural that was awaiting me. The thought of natural labour was out the window after that ambulance ride. What kept me going was seeing Jason in the truck right behind the ambulance. The poor ambulance attendant must have thought I was a little loco as I rode each wave of a contraction with a very audible "Sweet Jesus, take this away from me" or "Sweet Jesus, you can move mountains, so fix the road ahead of us." Those prayers did not get answered like I had hoped :-) but we eventually got there and I had made it!!

When we got to the hospital, around 10 or 11 a.m. (I am not exactly sure when--after that ambulance ride everything got blurry), Jason was already there and I was so grateful to see him, as I had been left in the ER waiting room with people all around me, strapped to a gurney in painful labour. Talk about feeling vulnerable. After what seemed like forever, they had our paper work done and I was off to labour and delivery where an epidural was immediately administered. What joyous relief--for at least an hour, but after that I could not feel the effects of the epidural at all. I had warned the anesthesiologist that my metabolism eats through meds really quickly, but I do not think she believed me through my already 31 hours of labour land delirium. So, I laboured through the petocin induced labour without feeling the effects of the epidural. Finally at 5 p.m. I was 10 c.m. dilated and it was time to push. At this point everything and everyone was annoying me to no end. The only voice I wanted to hear was that of one particular nurse who had a very commanding voice and was very rhythmic in telling me what to do. Finally I asked that hers be the only voice I hear. Pushing went a lot better from that point forward. I had one voice to focus on and listen to. At about 5:50 p.m. the doctor said that the baby was sunny side up and twisted and we had the choice of using forceps or the vacuum. We asked what he suggested and he said that we should try the vacuum for a maximum of three contractions. In the back of my mind I knew I did not want this, but he was the professional. He knew what was best for me and our baby after 37 hours of labour. After all, he did this every day, right? So we tried the vacuum, to no avail and I was then rushed into the O.R. for a Cesarean Birth.

From that point forward things went really quickly. I was strapped down onto the O.R. table just as described in our prenatal classes (thank goodness we were pre-warned, otherwise I might have had a panic attack) and then Jason was let into the room to come sit beside me and hold my strapped down hand. It took them a while to get my belly numbed to the point where I just felt pressure compared to whatever they were poking me with (had I not told the anesthesiologist this?). In no time I heard the doctor say that our baby had really dark hair and lots of it and shortly after wards they announced that we had a baby BOY. Jason and I both burst into tears and I kept repeating 'Baby you've got to cry. Mama has to hear you cry.' The doctor's or nurses from behind the curtain in front of me kept repeating that he was fine and that he didn't 'need' to cry. I heard them rush him to a table behind us and finally after much prodding from a Mama who 'needed' to hear her baby cry, he did and then they brought him over and nestled his face against mine and allowed me to kiss him before they and Jason took him up to the nursery to observe his breathing.

At this time I remember thinking that I could now finally sleep and sleep I did. I was in the recovery area until around 9 p.m. when I woke up and asked about the baby. Shortly after I was wheeled into our private room where Jason was waiting for me. Mikail joined us an hour later and once again the 38 hours of labour were worth every single second. EVERY single second--how could it not be?

Holding Mikail for the first time.


Anonymous said...

Did you initially intend to give birth at the Beaverlodge hospital by any chance? :)

Iris said...

Yes, I did initially intend ti give birth at Beaverlodge. We LOVE our doctor and he is out of Beaverlodge/Hythe, so that was the plan.