Ironically enough, right after writing my last post on feeling scared of another labour and delivery, I stood up from my desk and pop – my waters released! It was exactly one week from my due date and I was immediately overrun with a trillion emotions – but oddly enough, being scared wasn’t one of them! Here is my birth story…
Being GBS+, I knew I had to head to the hospital right away so I could start my 2 doses of antibiotics. I phoned the L&D ward at our local Birth Centre and let them know I was on my way. I wasn’t having regular contractions at this point, in fact I only described them as mild cramps that came and went without any rhyme or reason. By the time my parents arrived at our house to care for our boys, the hubster and I left for the hospital. Leave it up to him to ask to stop by a Tim Horton’s on the way for a coffee. Umm no honey, let’s get to the hospital, you can grab a coffee once I’m admitted…lol.
So we arrive at the birth centre and by this time my cramps were a little stronger but still inconsistent in both timing and intensity so I knew it would be a while until I could meet our newest addition. I was hooked up to an IV and was receiving my first dose of antibiotics while hooked up to the fetal heart monitor. All was good in baby land, so we decided to get up and walk around. After a few long hours of walking, nothing had changed. I wans’t in active labour and feeling a bit defeated. The doctor on duty was pushing me to take pitocin to speed things up. His reasoning? I was GBS+ so the longer I waited to give birth, the bigger the chance I was putting my unborn child in danger. Thanks for the guilt trip doc, but no thank you. I was content having my antibiotics (I was also GBS+ for my first son, but not my second and didn’t even get to the hospital in time for the antibiotics so I wasn’t persuaded by his scare tactics) and didn’t want to be induced because I wanted an all natural labour and delivery. Needless to say, the attending nurse and doctor continued to pressure me but I held my ground.
12 hours later, I was still pregnant and not progressing. In fact, I wasn’t dilated more than 1cm and at that point wasn’t even contracting. It was now 8am and I began to pray things would pick up soon because I knew they wanted to induce me by 9am and would be back to lay the pressure on me. I was given another dose of antibiotics at this point, which the nurse had pouring into my veins instead of the slow drip, drip like my first dose. I knew what she was doing, she wanted it all in me so they could go ahead with the induction. She kindly excused herself from the room letting me know that another nurse would return in 1 hour to start pitocin because her shift was now over. I immediately turned away and the tears flooded my face. At that point I looked at my husband and told him I needed the baby to come now. He said I had an hour so let’s get walking.
So I walked over to the nurses station and asked to be unhooked from the IV stand since my antibiotics had already been dispensed and I wanted to walk freely. My newly assigned nurse agreed, unhooked me and let me know she needed me back in the birthing room in 1 hour. I asked if she would be checking my cervix seeing as I don’t want pitocin in the first place because I have issues with having an over-stimulated uterus in labour that put both my boys at risk and I definitely wouldn’t agree to it should I actually be progressing on my own. She said simply replied with, no. In shock, I simply walked away from her, grunting under baited breath.
At exactly 8:45 I had a very strong contraction. One that came out of nowhere and had me leaning against the wall railing in the halls. 5 minutes later, another one hit me and I needed to stop, breathe and focus. By 9am they were coming every 3 minutes so I instructed the hubster to keep me hidden from my nurse until I was contracting closer and closer so I could escape her pleas to induce me. By 9:15am she managed to hunt us down in a far away corridor and told me to head back to the room. We followed her, whom at the time felt like a principal after I was caught doing something wrong at school.
We walked into the room and the first thing that popped out of my mouth was “I don’t need to be induced. The baby’s coming!” She proceeded to come closer to me in hopes of checking my cervix but I swiftly thew myself over the nearest table and breathed through the contraction. She knew I meant what I was saying and asked to check me. I gave her permission and she said I was 100% effaced and already 4cms. I was so happy I started to cry. I told her I knew once I got started things would progress quickly!
About 15 minutes later I was entering the moaning and groaning stage. You know what I’m talking about ladies, the part where we sound devilish. At one point I went into a screeching voice and she said, “okay, okay, things are getting closer – do you feel the need to bear down?” I snipped “no” hastily at her and continued focusing through the contraction. She asked to check my cervical progress and I agreed – and get this: I was already at 7cms!
Jokingly, I said, okay transition phase – let me see what you’ve got. Knowing this is the most intense but shortest stage, I was fueled with adrenaline and determination to birth my baby quickly and peacefully.
10 minutes later I felt the urge to pee during each contraction. I told my nurse and she said the baby wasn’t facing the right way. This came to me as no surprise since both my older children were born sunny-side up. She instructed me to get on the bed, lean over the birthing ball to encourage the baby to turn. Within 2 contractions the urge to pee vanished completely and I was feeling the need to bear down. She checked my progress and told me I had a cervical lip and not to push. Ha – ya right!
She frantically tried calling the doctor on duty to come deliver the baby, while in between telling me to pant through the contractions and not to push. Ummm that’s just not possible – and I made her aware that I was pushing, I couldn’t stop and that the baby was coming. She told me the doctor’s phone wasn’t working and she would have to deliver the baby for me in the event the doctor could’t get there in time. I nodded and said get ready!
As I pushed, the baby began to crown and the nurse slipped the fetal heart monitor up against my belly. The baby’s heart rate had dropped to 80bpm and wasn’t coming back up in between contractions … deja vu for me seeing as my first son’s heart beat dropped to 34bpm during the pushing phase and they immediately gave me a spinal epidural which ultimately stopped my about and allowed him time to recover. Remember that hyper-active uterus I was telling you about? Yep, it was up to it’s old tricks again.
The doctor still hadn’t arrived, and the nurse said to me, you need to push your baby out right now with a sense of urgency in her voice that told me I better listen or else. So I pushed, and the contraction ended but she instructed me to push again, without the contractions because I had to birth him/her right then. At that point the doctor rushed in and saw what was happening. She told me to push (duh!) and I did – and his head was born. Then she instructed me to pause while the shoulders were being birthed. With a pop HE slid out and the hubster was told to cut the cord NOW. As he was cutting (who can do it in 1 shot? that stuff is thick!) he was urged to hurry up. He snipped the cord and they took our baby away and we listened for his first cry. It felt like forever but the sound came out and I was in tears. He was absolutely perfect. Just Perfect. Here’s the proof:
After delivering the placenta, the shakes hit me hard from all the adrenaline. I must have been hyper-ventilating too because my entire hands and arms were pins and needles. I was shaking so hard I couldn’t breast feed him right away. Since I have a history of hemorrhaging after delivery, I was given pitocin to stop the bleeding. I then passed large clots so my nurse put all her weight on my uterus to push them out. It was more painful than birthing naturally. Seriously. Unbelievably painful. Let’s just say no one could mistake me for a superhero at that point in time.
I then happily nursed our newest member of the family for almost an hour. He is a natural – he has the perfect latch every time and I eats like a champ. Born one week early at 39 weeks, he weighed 8 pounds and 9 ounces. He’s our biggest baby yet
This labour and delivery was just 1.5 hours long from start to finish and I didn’t have any pain medications. How long was your’s and did you opt for any pain relief?