Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Noah's Birth Story

On Thursday, March 24, hubby and I went out for dinner, nothing out of the ordinary.  I was craving fajitas and, after stopping at four restaurants, we got lucky!  We had a nice dinner and went to visit his parents briefly before going home.  We went to bed like any other night, and I was looking forward to a haircut and lunch with friends the next day.

At 4:30am I felt a mild cramp in my lower abdomen.  I thought it might have been the fajitas upsetting my stomach, so I dismissed it and rolled over.  At 4:43 the same pain came again.  I began to think it was contractions but didn't want to wake B until I knew for sure.  I decided to wait and see if it came again.  Sure enough, at 4:53 it came again.  I woke B and told him I thought I was having contractions.  We lay in bed for another 20 minutes and timed them.  They were coming every 10 minutes.  We decided to get up and finish packing our bags (which were about 80% done already).  As I was packing, they began coming closer together...strong ones every 5 minutes and milder ones every 2-3 minutes.  I thought my water broke because I was in the bathroom a lot, but I found out later it hadn't.

The contractions became strong pretty quickly, they had me doubled over and hanging onto furniture while I was puttering around getting packed and dressed.  B started to worry about the frequency and had me call the hospital.  The nurse was very nice, asked a few questions, and suggested I come in to get checked.

Thank goodness we only live 5 minutes from the hospital!  On the way, we called both sets of parents.  He dropped me at the doors to the Emergency Room while he went to park.  I walked in and immediately had a contraction.  The nurse at the registration immediately knew what was up and told me to go straight to the maternity ward.  They offered me a wheelchair but I was determined to walk, especially because I thought it might help my labour progress faster.

The nurses immediately hooked me up to a monitor to check the baby's heartbeat and severity of the contractions.  The baby was doing well, and moving around lots.  The contractions continued to come every 5 minutes or so, and gradually grew in intensity and duration.  After an hour on the monitor, the nurse checked my cervix and confirmed I was 3-4cm, so they would be admitting me (thank goodness, they told us at the tour that most women are sent home a few times before they're admitted!).

I asked about the epidural because I didn't want to miss my window of opportunity.  They said they would do it in a few hours, once I got to 5-7cm.  We were taken to a delivery room and I was hooked up to an IV.  For the next few hours, B, the nurse and I were in the room, waiting for things to progress.  B was a trooper and let me hang onto his arm during the contractions (when I held his hand, he squeezed back so it was starting to hurt). 

At 10am the nurse said I was ready for the epidural but the anaesthesiologist was in surgery and I would have to wait for 30 minutes.  I thought "ok, that's ten contractions, I can do this" and began to focus on the relief that was within reach.  Finally he arrived and began the procedure.  It took a lot longer this time than it did with Olivia, I'm not sure why.  All I know is that fifteen minutes later the pain was a distant memory as the epidural kicked in.  Unfortunately because they had me on my side, all of the freezing was channeling to my right side, so I was numb all the way up to my breast.  They had me switch sides and the technician made some adjustments to the catheter, and the freezing evened out.

For the next three hours I was relaxed and fading in and out of sleep while my body prepared for delivery.  The doctor broke my water at 12:30, and told us things would start to move faster from that point forward.  Around 1pm I started to feel a lot of pressure in my bottom, which puzzled both of us.  Our nurse was tied up in the next room delivering a baby, so I just breathed through it as the sensation grew in intensity.  At one point the anaesthesiologist came in to check on me and I mentioned the pressure, and he concluded that I might be further along than they thought, and it was likely the urge to push.

Finally at 2pm B was able to get the nurse.  She attempted to check my cervix and said "oops, I just touched the baby's head, you need to start pushing!".  She told B he would need to grab one of my legs to help her.  His face was priceless, he said "but I'm supposed to be at the head!".  The nurse said we couldn't wait for the doctor and needed to start pushing.  We started pushing at 2:30 with every contraction (I could feel the pressure).  At first I couldn't feel anything, but as the baby descended, the pain got more intense.  I closed my eyes with every push, trying to visualize the baby coming out.

When the head crowned, it hurt more than I could've imagined.  B said I was swearing a bit, all I remember was the burning pain.  They asked him if he wanted to see if or if I wanted to touch it, both of us quickly said no.  I just wanted it over with!  I tried to push through the pain and get the baby out as quickly as possible.  Eventually the head popped out, and the rest of the body slid out in a gush of fluid.  The doctor announced "it's a boy!" and we were both shocked (we were both convinced it was a girl).

They put him on my chest and we were immediately smitten.  B cut the cord and they whisked him away quickly to weigh him and clean him up.  Boy were we shocked (again) when she announced he was 9 pounds!  On Monday the doctor told me she thought the baby would be 7-7.5 pounds, boy was she wrong!

At the same time, the doctor delivered the placenta (huge feeling of relief once it was out) and stitched me up (apparently my tear was a 2 out of a 4 - ouch!).  Then they cleaned me up and put a warm blanket on top of me, which was heavenly!

They brought him back, all snuggled up, and gave us a few minutes alone as a family.  We were both in awe of this little angel, trying to figure out how he fit inside my belly!  The nurse returned and helped us nurse.  He latched on immediately (he looked like a piranha with his giant open mouth attacking my breast!).  It was a wonderful and peaceful moment for all of us.

Eventually we were taken to our recovery room to relax and meet our little one.  We had a few visitors, but it was mostly family time, which was nice.  After a few hours I got up to use the washroom and get cleaned up/changed, which made me feel so much better.  I was sore from the stitches but on cloud 9.

We were released the next day after Noah passed all of his tests and had his first bath.  We were so excited to get home and settled as a family.

So all in all, it was a pretty fast and relatively uneventful labour.  Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat....but not for a few years! :)


  1. He is so beautiful and I am so happy for you. I'm glad the labour was relatively quick and you could get the epidural in time. Looking forward to many more pictures. It is so nice to read about a birth story that ends well.

  2. I am so happy for you and he is darling!!! Congrats again!!!

  3. Congratulations again. Can't believe they didn't give you a heads up about the urge to push! Guess they thought they had "plenty of time" to tell you. :) What a great story.