January 24, 2013

Birth Story...

With the impending 2nd birthday looming....I thought I would share my birth story with you. Yup. Why not? ;) 
When I found out I was pregnant, I started to read birth stories online constantly. I was obsessed! I like to be prepared (but never am) for anything. To me, giving birth is the ultimate thing that you just can't completely prepare for. Anything can happen...no matter how hard you try to control it. I totally understand the need/want of having birth plans, but in my honest opinion, if you really want/need to, write one, but don't hold yourself to it. It is not written in stone....more a guideline/wishlist. 
I did not write one. I did have a clear picture in my head of how I wanted things to go. 

1. I wanted a midwife and I wanted to give birth at a birthing center.
This wish was quickly dashed early into my pregnancy when I found out that New Brunswick (the province we were living in during that time) does not allow midwives to practice. How sad is that? It is one of (I think?) three provinces and a territory left that does not (legally) allow midwifery yet.
I looked (briefly) into getting a doula, but decided against it for some stupid reason I can't remember. I so regret this! After the birth, I did a lot more research into the doula profession and found it to be amazing! So amazing in fact, that soon after I had Felix, I decided that I wanted to study to become a doula...but that is a post for another day.

2. I wanted to go into labour naturally. 
Think again! and add a very swollen....you know what.
I was a week over due and the doctor wanted me to be induced (which I would not do again, unless the baby was in distress)....it was suppose to have been done in the morning, but due to the hospital being very busy I went in later that evening to be induced. They did the induction (an insert thing... ) and I left with my husband an hour or so after arriving (around 8pm-ish). Very soon after we got home I realized I had an allergic reaction to the induction insert thingie....yay! I was completely swollen down there!!!! lovely. My husband phoned the hospital and after having to convince them that this was true (apparently no one has ever had an allergic reaction) they suggested Benadryl to help with the swelling (said it was not going to harm the baby). So around 1am my husband drove all over our little town and found some at a gas station...he is awesome.  It did not really help, but I started to feel a bit better. We both headed to bed around 3:30am.....just as we started to fall asleep....my water broke at 3:50am! I just heard this "PLOP" sound....I stood up and felt it start to trickle down my legs....I believe my husbands exact words to my telling him my water just broke were "Of course it did" (in a very sarcastic, but still excited, tone)

 3. I wanted to labour at home for as long as possible. 
Nope. Did not happen. I had done a test earlier on at a doctors visit that said that I was GBS positive. Which means that they want you on IV fluids as soon as you go into active labour. So I headed to the hospital as soon as my water broke and contractions started. I also had meconium in my water, which they also wanted to make sure did not cause any infection. 
At the time, all this scared me...but after I did some research (again, after the birth) I realized that theses things happen quite often and there is no reason to panic. I kind of wish i had stayed home a bit longer to labour. 
Back to the story...after my water broke...
This is when I started to panic of course...because reality set in....we are having a baby!!!! My contractions started within seconds of my water breaking. I headed to the shower to rinse off and calm down. I was shaking so much I could hardly talk (not from pain....it was very manageable, but from just panicking) I remember my husband reaching his hand over the shower door reassuring me that everything will be fine....then running around grabbing last minute things for the hospital....and running back into the bathroom to reassure me again....we were quite the sight. I got dressed and we headed to the car (after we phoned the hospital to say we were on the way). We got blocked into the driveway for a few minutes by a snowplow!!! We live on a tiny dead end street! REALLY????
(on a side note...I was unaware that once your water breaks it can keep on breaking of sorts....I was all nice and clean from the shower in clean dry clothes...for about five minutes....the car seat was completely soaked (as were my pants) once we got the hospital (an 8 minute drive away).

4. I wanted to have a completely natural labour.
Almost...but no cigar! One thing that made me quite angry a few weeks later (I went on a crazy research high after I had Felix....not to say I didn't before I had him, but everything was much clearer to me after I had gone through the experience of labour and birth...I am just one of those people that need to experience something first hand) was that I was given drugs to speed up my contractions without them telling me. This caused me to have harder contractions. Which then made me need help with pain management. They offered me fentanyl....saying that it would be easy since I was already hooked up to an IV. The nurse told me that it was a very mild pain reliever. I did not know anything about it other than what she told me quickly and said yes (another regret). Little did I know at this time that with them giving me something to speed up my contractions and the fentanyl, Felix's heart rate was dropping. They had me hooked up to a heart monitor from that point on for the rest of the time. I now know that had they just let me labour naturally, I would not have needed the fentanyl and his heart rate would have been fine. It really hit home when I first watched the movie "The business of being born". It is very true to my experience. Rush rush rush. They tried to scare me with a c-section, saying that if I did not start pushing his heart rate might drop more and that they would have to do an emergency c-section. My body at this point was not telling me to push at all. It felt wrong. I trusted the nurses and doctors and pushed. I pushed for almost an hour. They did an episiotomy without asking/warning to get him out and they also used a vacuum. They took him right away and cleaned him up and made sure he had no meconium in his lungs. We got to hold him for about five minutes before they took him to the NICU for observations for his heart rate. 

5.  I wanted to wait to find out the gender.
This one worked! My one stipulation in the delivery room was that Justin tell me if we had a girl or boy. I actually forgot to ask after the delivery and Justin turned to me and asked if I wanted to know if we had a daughter or son. :) 

....a tiny baby boy named Felix....born January 28th at 6lbs 15oz at 2:48pm...

...He was pretty cute....so we decided to keep him ;)

a couple of minutes after birth...

In the NICU...Justin was constantly at his side...

In the hospital room...

*I wanted to add that in no way was this birthing experience a horrible one. The doctor and nurses were really nice people. I just think more honest communication needs to come about. A re-thinking of how a regular labour/birth should be handled in a hospital setting (if it needs to be in one).

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