I went to bed on Thursday (October 15th) with a lot of cramping type pains, and couldn’t sleep all night. I woke up constantly in pain and had to sit up to make the pain manageable. On Friday morning I still was having pains and they were now getting closer together. Overnight I had timed them and they were 12-15 minutes apart so I went back to sleep, or at least tried to. On Friday morning they were timed and were still 12 minutes apart but they were lasting at least 45 seconds now and were stronger. I asked Steve to work from home so he did. Throughout the day the pains became worse and I tracked them and watched them get longer and closer together. I spent time walking on the treadmill and resting in bed, but they kept coming. At 4pm they were 7-8 minutes apart and just under a minute long. By 7pm the pain in my back had become bad enough that I decided to try a nice warm bath. It helped a bit up as soon as I was out the pain was back. After the bath I started to time the contractions again. By 9pm they were only 4.5 minutes apart and lasting for around 66 seconds. That meant the criteria for going to the hospital had been met. I was unsure of whether or not to bother going yet, but after using the bathroom and feeling a liquid run down my leg, I knew I had to go. The rule was 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for 1 hour or your water breaking. I now had both.
We fed the dog and birds. I facebooked my mother to let her know what was happening, and we went to Grand River. Once there within about 45 minutes they confirmed my water had broken and I was 3cm along. If only they had noticed my water had split into two we could have saved a lot of pain later on. Since I was only 3cm they sent us walking around the hospital. Steve came with me and we called our parents, to tell the soon to be grandparents that the baby was officially on her way. Upon calling Ridgetown we found out my mom had jumped in the truck and was already heading to Waterloo. Good thing it was a Friday. We called her and she was already more than half way to Waterloo.
At 11:30 they checked me again. Still 3cm so another hour of walking. Mom showed up at 12am and we kept walking. At 12:30 I was still 3cm so they said walk as long as you can. I walked until they had my room ready at 3:30am. Steve took advantage of having my mom there and took a nap on one of the couch benches with one of the pillow I insisted we bring. Mom figured he should try to conserve his energy so she walked with me.
The delivery rooms at Grand River were huge and wonderful. They had a bench couch sort of thing for daddy’s to sleep on and lots of room to yourself. Once in my room they checked me again and I was still only 3cm. The nurse noticed that my water was broken but part of it got separated by Lillian’s head and bubbled on top of my cervix, preventing the part underneath it from ripening. She said someone would come look at it and pop it. I wanted to keep walking but they decided to put me on Oxocyclen to help speed up the ripening and that required an IV so they would need to moniter the baby. The wonderful labour nurse went off to search for the baby moniter that is not hooked up to the machine. Unfortunately Lillian kicked so much that the moniter couldn’t stay on my stomach. But it was really nice of her to give it a shot.
From then on I was in the room. I was stock in that room from about 4:30am on Saturday until Lillian sometime on Sunday when I wandered off to get a treat from Tim Hortons, mostly just so I could leave the room. The contractions were starting to get really strong and painful for me but I was still only 4cm dialated. By this time the pain was very intense and getting horrible for me. I tried rocking in the rocking chair and moved around from the bed to the chair and such to try and handle the pain. Steve was reading the magazines Ghzala bought for us and mom was trying to distract me from the pain. The nurse and I started talking about pain control options and she was explaining to me how the morphine and epidural would effect me and the baby and the side effects of it.
When the medical intern came in the nurse mentioned to her that I was considering pain options and she said that the epidural guy was in a c-section right now so I had time to consider it since he wouldn’t be out until after 7am. So I decided to try the morphine shot, and like I figured it did nothing for me. Mom has had morphine before and it did nothing for her, so I had a feeling that would happen. At 7am our night nurse left and my new labour nurse came in. She was 8 months pregnant which made me feel good since she was about to be a mom for the second time. We talked about epidurals and such and what made me decide to get an epidural was when she told me “pretty much every woman who gets an epidural ask for it again if they come back another time.”
As the contractions got closer together and more painful my nurse suggested that we see how far I was along. I was still only between 4 and 5cms. So I caved and got the epidural. Mom and Steve had to leave the room when the doctor came to give me the epidural. That scared me a bit but the nurse held my hand and after five freezings and pressures in my back I started to get numb. For a while it sounded like hammering on my back which was scary but at least the pain started to go away. By now it was some time between 8 and 9am. Shortly after the epidural the OB on call Dr. Potts, showed up and burst my evil water bubble. From the point of the bubble bursting it only took 8 hours to get me from 5cms to holding Lillian.
As we waited for things to progress along, mom and Steve took turns getting breakfast and coffee since it was a long night for everyone. Both of them kept me full of ice cubes and apple juice as the contractions got stronger and closer together. The next time I was checked I had already hit 7cm and in the early evening I was 9cm meaning it was almost over. At that point they realized that Lillian was facing the wrong direction meaning that we would have to wait for her to turn around in my womb before she could come out.
By now the pressure in my body was almost unbearable. I was in tears constantly because of the pain that was in my back, vaginal region and bum. The intern came back in to check in with my labour nurse about how I was doing because two other woman were now at 10cm and only one of us could go first because there was only one OB on call. She looked at me and they asked me how I was feeling. I honestly told them that I was having immense pressure and a very hard time not pushing when contractions hit. They then decided that I should be the first woman to have her baby of the three of us ready to go and they told me when the next contraction hit I could start pushing.
This is the point where I was so thankful to have my mom and Steve with me. To push you have to grab your legs with your arms and someone else has to push your legs back, at least at Grand River with an epidural you do, and having mom on one side and Steve on the other made me feel really safe. I will always remember the funny looks on the nurse and intern’s faces when I started pushing. Apparently I am a really good pusher. I was allowed to start pushing between 4:30 and 5:00pm. It took a lot of work and they noticed that instead of pushing harder at the start I actually pushed harder with each push in a contraction, so they tended to have me do four instead of three. Mom took a look and was very excited to tell me that Lillian had a full head of hair, just like I did. After Dr.Potts showed up, I was told her head was almost out.
I was very lucky to have a great intern and OB help me not rip. I didn’t want to get cut and they worked hard to stretch me with hot cloths while I was pushing. In the end I didn’t rip very much. Once Lillian’s head started to come out it was even harder to push but the doctor and intern were really great to keep me motivated. Mom kept telling me how far out her head was and soon her head was out. We had a bit of trouble with getting her shoulders out because Lillian had wrapped her umbilical cord around the shoulder and they had to pull out her whole arm before delivering the other shoulder. Then once both shoulders were out Lillian was here and it was all worth it.
She didn’t cry at first, but as soon as she was out, Steve took my advice I gave him before, and followed the baby and just ignored what was happening with me. He didn’t want to cut the cord, and it wasn’t a problem since we’d told the labour nurse in advance. Shortly after they weighed her Lillian made her first little cry, and it was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.
I never could image how much love you could have for one person. A week before all I could think about was whether I’d rip and that if something bad should happen I didn’t want to have anything happen to me. Today, I would die for my baby and kill anyone who would try to hurt her. I understand my mom and her behaviours in my life more than I ever have in my whole life.