Monday the 5th I was at work all day, super uncomfortable and tired but I was there. I was joking with my co-workers that I would need a doctors note soon as life was hard and uncomfortable and I really just wanted to evict myself from work, however I didn't want the baby to come yet as she wasn't full term.
That night I went to bed early (never happens) my husband stayed up late as the next day was his day off, he was going to detail his car and pack everything for the hospital the next day. Mike came to bed around 1 am, and at 3 am I felt what I am positive was a little baby punch and a little liquid. I shot out of bed faster than one would think possible, felt another punch and more liquid and was in the bathroom right away (thank God for mattress pads, although I didn't get any fluid in the bed, just on the floor). I said "Mike I don't think that was pee" and he was at the bathroom door in a flash. We just kind of sat there looking at each other stunned, mentioned how it was so early and that I probably just peed myself and then rationally made the decision to get moving and go to the hospital to get checked just in case. We ran around the house gathering everything we could, cord blood kit, my partially packed hospital bag, stuffing things into the baby's bag, Mike grabbed the car seat and some things for him while I fed the animals and gave my cat her insulin. We were in the car driving to Calgary in about 15 minutes. Monday night we had a blizzard, the roads were completely snow covered and no one had driven on them yet, no plows, nothing..so we called Mikes mom and talked to her on the way to the hospital so some one would know where we were if we got in a wreck. During the drive I started having contractions and they were gaining in force and frequency quite fast. Once we arrived at the South Health Campus we went to the triage desk and I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and contraction monitor, they tested my fluid to see if it was amniotic fluid, it was, they started the penicillin because I was positive for the strep test that they had done on New Years.
My contractions at this point were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting around 40-60 seconds each, they were all in my lower back and hurt way more than I had even imagined. I wasn't able to stand or sit, really the only position that was remotely tolerable was on my side griping the hospital bed like my life depended on it and trying to breathe. Finally we were taken to our labour, delivery and recovery room and I was checked (6 cm dilated at around 7 am) given laughing gas, which I hated, I wouldn't even take more that 3 breathes of it. I was trying so hard to breathe through the contractions and was able to settle a little bit between them however they kept getting stronger and stronger. I have always said that I am not a martyr and if I needed meds I would take them, Mike supported me in this 100% and said if I needed meds there would be no resistance from him. We decided to try the Fentenol first, I wanted to go at it with the least medication in my system as I was worried about Eadie being affected. I was given the fentenol and asked Mike in slurred words after a contraction how long the meds took to kick in. I was told they were in and I told the nurse that "this shit doesn't work" and asked for the epidural (it literally took none of the pain away). During this time we also were told that Eadie was facing up, apparently pushing babies out that are face up is a long and hard ordeal, especially for a first time mama, but I was told that the doctor would try to flip her around for me once I had the epidural.
The anesthesiologist was very thorough, he took what felt like a thousand years to review my chart and explain the risks of the medication. By the time he was done I had begun involuntarily pushing...weirdest things ever, I had zero control over my body and no matter how hard I tried couldn't stop myself (it was to early to push as my contractions were to far apart despite my being 10 cm's dilated when they checked me again). When I heard that I was 10 cm's dilated I was a little devastated as I thought they wouldn't give me the epidural, however my amazing nurse and the anesthesiologist decided that they would based on Eadie's presentation, my involuntary pushing and the fact that this was my first delivery. I was so relieved and grateful when the epidural was in and working. The nurse said that I needed to contract for a while longer and not push as the contractions were still to far apart and short and pushing would not be effective. We also decided to do small amounts of Oxy to pick them up a little bit (1 mg at first and only increased by 1 mg at a time). It was really neat to feel my body after the epidural. I had always thought that it would numb you and worried that I wouldn't know what was happening but that's not at all what happened. I was not in pain per say, I was still uncomfortable and was able to feel the pressure of the contractions but it made this bearable. It also took away the involuntary pushing and I was able to rest and really just enjoy the labour. I know you may think it is weird that I use the word enjoy, but I really did, I liked feeling the contractions and how they were changing, I could feel Eadie moving lower and between the contractions Mike and I snoozed or chatted with our lovely nurses, chatted with family and really just relaxed, it was lovely.
At some point the doctor came in to check me out and tried to turn Eadie, she was able to mostly flip her which I thought was encouraging (it wasn't, little monkey flipped back around, she wanted to come out looking up!).
After about an hour or two of contractions I was beginning to feel the pressure in my bum (I had the whole time though) but also in my vagina, (in addition to lower abs and lower back) I mentioned this to the nurse and said I thought that we may be close to pushing soon. She checked and said that we were and could start pushing now as Eadie had moved low enough. I started pushing on my back for a few pushes and then flipped to my right side and later my left side. It seemed like I was making more progress on my left so I stayed there for the majority of the pushing. Apparently I am an efficient pusher (It's just like pooping, I'm super good at pooping) and the nurse said I was making good progress. After one push I felt something move down there and asked what happened. The nurse said "Oh she moved back up a bit" my response to this was "hell no, that's not allowed" and I made a point not to release all the tension after each push so she couldn't move up as much as normal. The doctor used mineral oil to massage me during the pushing, and I highly recommend this to anyone delivering vaginally, I only had one stitch! Eventually after an hour and 18 minutes of pushing little Eadie was born! They had a NICU team in the room as she was pre-term however she came out red, alert and screaming so they didn't even need to check her!
There is no feeling more amazing than the moment that little head is delivered, it's such a relief and the delivery of the shoulders and body is a piece of cake, it was wonderful and so satisfying. Even better than that was hearing Eadie's cries right away after delivery, they put this screaming and wiggly little human on my belly and I was able to cuddle her and look at her and watch her root around and suck her thumb and it was amazing. Mike and I just looked at each other in awe of who we had created, it was incredible.
So that is my labour and delivery story, I am so happy with how everything went, I felt supported and well taken care of by the staff at the hospital, I was comfortable with all the medication decisions that we made and I truly believe that if I hadn't received the Epidural I would have needed a section. I was also happy to see that Eadie wasn't all dopey and drugged after delivery, she was able to feed right away and did such a good job! And now I get to cuddle my baby all the time and she is the most amazing little person in the world! I am sure I will blog more in the coming days now that her milk coma's are lasting a little longer since my milk came in :) I have lots of friends who are currently pregnant and I hope and pray that they experience the same sense of satisfaction and pride from their deliveries, it's not easy but it's amazing and so worth it and in the end you have this amazing baby to love and raise.
Awe she is smiling (trying to poop) Seriously, I can't even handle the cute.