Where to begin......Thursday night (Nov 18), I went to bed at around midnight. I awoke very alert at 2:30am with fairly bad cramps, I went to the bathroom several times, and couldn't get back into bed to sleep. I waited it out a couple of hours, just standing around seeing if anything changed. It did. The cramps lessened and the feeling of something else came about. I called Joelene, and we talked about timings and such and she thought I was in real labour, I think I knew I was as well. I went online to a contraction tracker and started timing them. The site was really helpful to determine how far apart and the length of each. (Google: contraction master). Alan and I weren't sure if we should head to the hospital or not. We decided when the contractions were about 2-3 mins apart and lasting over 45 seconds, we should start the car (it was -23'C or something), install the car seat, and get all of our stuff together. Because it was 6:30am, we also wanted to get on the road before rush hour traffic as a 10 minute drive could take an hour with the road conditions and traffic as well. We made it to the hospital no problem at all, and I was admitted into assessment. There was no doubt in anyones mind though, that I was in real labour.
They wanted to check me, and I couldn't lie down. With every contraction, I had to be standing, or leaning over a chair with Alan applying pressure to my lower back. Lying down was the worst feeling ever, even sitting was impossible. With every red light on the way to the hospital, I had to get out of the car and stand. I can only imagine what other drivers were thinking.
Anyway, they checked me, and it was the worst pain ever!!!! I literally had to be held down and had a couple different nurses attempt it. We discovered that I was 3cm and 75% effaced. Still a while to go yet. We walked around the corridors and I spent a lot of time on the toilet. My body was cleaning itself out and prepping for labour. I look back now and can't believe what Alan and I experienced together. It was such an embarrassing time or was it all new experiences, I am not sure, yet neither of us even thought about that I think. I did apologize several times to Alan though that he had to witness what my body was doing. It wasn't me though, it was my body, and we both knew this was all part of the process we call childbirth!
The nurses asked me about pain medications, and even though I didn't want anything, I did ask what they had to offer. They suggested morphine and the gas. The morphine had too many risks. I wasn't able to have the gas as they didn't have a portable tank and I needed to be 4cm to go to Labour and Delivery, and no way was I going to be checked again any time soon. That was too much to endure. We waited a bit longer, then they admitted me anyway.
This is when my water broke and stuff was coming out of my body like crazy. I was standing and leaning on the bed, and the nurse suggested I get on the bed. I was on my knees with my head and hands resting on the top part of the bed in an upright position, I still couldn't sit or lie down. Eventually, the urge to push was so strong, and I was check and was 8cm. Within an hour, I went from 3cm to 8cm. I was continuously told not to push, and the noise that came out of me when trying to hold back against a push was unreal. How you can stop yourself from that, I have NO idea. I continued to wait, and fight each urge to push with each contraction, but continued to be sick.
Eventually, I couldn't take holding it back anymore, and was checked again, I was 10cm....so, let's get this show on the road!!!! I stayed on my knees, as I couldn't move. The nurse told me how to push and how to breathe, and I missed it that time. I had no idea what to do. Alan was amazing though.....of course. He told me when to breathe, and to open my legs, bear down and push for the count of 8. Without him, I think I would still be in labour, he was so supportive and did a wonderful job encouraging me, and of course applying very firm pressure to my lower back.
The doctor came in, I pushed, and I felt something, I had to ask what it was, as I couldn't see anything, she informed me it was a head. Then another big push, and I felt this huge gush of something large and watery, bubbly, I am not sure how to describe it. I then asked what that was, and she said that it was the whole body. I was done, we were done, my son was born at 10:45am. I remember asking several times throughout the morning what time it was. I figured I pushed for maybe 30 minutes. A very quick 30 minutes.
At this point, I turned around, saw Alan hand back the scissors from the cord cutting, and held my beautiful son for the first time. I said hello to him, kissed him, and then he peed on me!
I was pretty numb for the next hour or so. I think the exhaustion and the high just hit me. I didn't cry, and didn't express much for emotion. Labour was over, and our son was healthy and in Daddy's arms. I simply just sat and didn't think about much. (Although, Alan informs me, I did call my mom, I don't really remember!!!) I was so pumped with adrenaline, I was shaking. The doctor cleaned me up, and started to examine me, and had to repair a little tear. Funny how I was so scared of tearing. No biggie, you don't know until after you tore, so I don't know why I was so terrified.
Something things I learned/experienced:
1. The pressure on your bum is unreal...I literally reached back and had to feel and asked Alan to see if the baby was coming out of my bum. (Of all the stuff people told me, NO ONE mentioned the pressure on your bum)
2. The power women gain to deliver a baby is phenomenal.
3. I have the greatest husband.
4. I delivered a baby naturally and with NO pain medication.
5. Hypnobirthing is hard to practice in the moment.
6. When at home timing contractions, I knew I was in labour but didn't realize I was having a baby.
7. I am not quiet when delivering a baby. With each moan/grunt, it helped me to push, and was very effective.
8. Being naked is mandatory, and it's true, it doesn't matter at the time who's around.
9. Sutton came on his due date! How odd!
10. The Royal Alex staff were all superb and supportive of our birthing plan, even the last minute changing. Nothing was done without our full comprehension and permission.
11. I am a woman of super strength and power.
12. I have a family, I love it!
Nov 19, 2:30am - Awoke with contractions
Nov 19, 6:30am - Left home to go to the hospital
Nov 19, 7:00am - Admitted into hospital
Nov 19, 9:00am - Admitted into Labour and Delivery
Nov 19, 10:45am - Sutton was born
Nov 19, 12:00pm - Sent to our room for recovery
Nov 19, 3:00pm - Alan went home to nap and check on Lewis and Kobe
Nov 19, 6:00pm - Danny, Christina, Karl, Janelle, and Maddy came to the hospital to visit
Nov 19, 9:00pm - Alan left again to go home and sleep and be with the pets
Nov 20, 10:00am - Discharged from the hospital
Nov 20, 6:00pm - First home visitors - The Springers, came with a "Birth Day" Cake
The entire experience was surreal. It all happened so quickly, I didn't even have time to rationalize what was happening. At times I think I told Alan I couldn't do it. He told me that I was doing it, and I was doing just fine. I remember afterwards saying that it was easy and wasn't a big deal at all. Now I wonder how I did it, and am terrified to do it again.
Neither Alan nor myself could have imagined it going better than it did. It went better than we planned, and better than we could have hoped for.
One thing I wish I would have done differently, is to go home and rest afterwards. I had a giant burst of energy the first couple days, and nested like crazy. I was out doing errands the day we got home even. My body needed time to heal and recover and I didn't allow that to happen as I should have. I did pay for it though. Here almost 2 weeks later, I am basically all healed up and am feeling well.
Alan and I are parents now, this has been almost 2 years in the waiting, and finally the day came....amazing!!!
Here are some of our first family photos:
This is the position I laboured in.
The second Sutton was born. Alan and I hadn't see him ourselves yet at the point.
Our first "official" family photo.
6lbs, 5oz of pure perfection!
A very proud Daddy holding his son for the first time!
Sutton's first meal.
Our first night together....this was fake, I didn't really sleep!
Getting ready to go home!
All bundled up and ready to go!
I am sure that I left so much out, as the entire process was a whirlwind of events and emotions. I'll update as I remember more.