The experience of becoming a mother has been the most incredible incident of my life. It is something so amazing that unless experienced, you truly cannot imagine the scope of it. I have written the story of Colt’s birth into the world, to share this experience with others, and also to forever remember it in detail myself. If you care to read this lengthy story, please be forewarned that it is detailed…
So this is the story of Colt’s birth.
His due date of September 18th came and went and it was time to talk induction. We scheduled it for Friday September 26th, and were told to be ready anytime after 8:00am that day. So at 8:30 am we get the call to come in for the induction and throw last minute things together in our hospital bags.
We had our hospital bags mostly packed the night before with a small bag for baby Colt, a bag for myself with clothes and toiletries, a bag for Rob for overnight staying, a pillow and blanket, nursing pillow, exercise ball, laptop, camera etc… we packed a lot (and used most of it)!
So the night before the induction I had a lot of Braxton hicks contractions, but nothing “real”. On the way to the hospital we were both pretty excited and nervous so we cranked the radio and rocked out to Metallica. The “false” contractions continued at the hospital where I changed into a gown and climbed into the bed and got all hooked up for monitoring. I was so excited! I felt like it was time. Haha, it definitely wasn’t, but it felt so exciting after such a long wait to be in the hospital waiting to meet our baby. It was 9:30 when the induction began and the gel was in place. We stayed for about an hour after having the Cervadil inserted and had fun watching the machine record contractions and Colt’s heartbeat. After half an hour the cramps started to hurt quite a bit, and I was hoping we could stay but we were sent home.
Back at home I felt so excited but I had barely slept the night before and knew that if the cervadil worked, I’d need some rest. At about 1:00pm I decided to make myself nap. I only slept for about 2 hours while the contractions were tolerable. At 3:00pm I decided to start timing my contractions, as they were getting very intense. By 4:00pm hey were 2-4 minutes apart and lasting for about a minute. I had wanted a water birth from the beginning but at our hospital, they do not do them so I was planning on laboring in the tub at least. At about 4:30 I ran a bath and mentally prepared to ‘stick it out’ there for a few hours, haha but after about 10-15 mins my contractions felt way more intense and the bath made me feel sick. Rob and my mom were making dinner when I came downstairs and announced I’ve had enough, it’s hospital time. Rob called labor and delivery and they told us we could come down if I felt it was time.
At about 5:30 we were en route to the hospital. I was pretty vocal about my pain and there was no doubt when a contraction was happening! I felt some wetness and kind of thought it was just because I was quick getting out of the bath, but I soon found out it was actually my water breaking! I was pretty happy we left the house when we did. We arrived at the hospital at 5:40pm where I changed into a gown and waited to be checked. While waiting, my water burst and it really hit me that this was it! Finally I got checked and was at 3cm. I was a keeper (not that I was going to let them send me home in that state). After my water broke the contractions got very very intense, and I was told it was time to switch from the room I was in, to the actual labor and delivery room. The nurse explained it was just down the hall, and I was like ok, sounds good. Then she kept looking at me and was like, ok it’s time to go now. Again, I said sure. Ooooh… you want me to walk there?! I thought they could just wheel the bed. I was NOT happy about climbing out of bed and walking down the hall. I kept saying “but my water is breaking, I’m bleeding!” and they didn’t care. I left a leaky bloody mess all the way through the halls and finally made it to the room. After I was settled the nurses coming in were like “
Wow, there is fluid everywhere out there!” gross.
So I was practicing breathing as best I could, but I was very vocal still during a contraction. The pain is so intense and unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. It is impossible to describe unless you experience it. So at 6:30pm I am checked and we are at 4cm! I was given the option of an epidural, and without hesitation I said yes. I had planned on a natural birth, but honestly, I could not handle it at all. I was told the anesthesiologist was busy with an emergency so it would be awhile.
The nurses kept coming in and seeing if I wanted to change positions or walk around at all. I was so focused on trying to ‘breathe away the pain’ that I did not want to move even an inch. I finally tilted the bed into more of a sitting position and that was it, I was not going to even move side to side or shift my weight. I was in quite a mode. I did as usual with my pregnancy, have very intense heartburn though and requested something for it. The nurse went and asked the doctor and came back with a little cup of something. It helped temporarily.
Finally at 8:00pm I was told the anesthesiologist was available and would be coming to see me next for the epidural. I was checked again too and was at 7cm! Getting the epidural was sort of scary. I was worried about having a contraction while it was happening but the nurse was putting light pressure on my shoulders to kind of keep me still, which helped a lot. Rob was in the room with me (in a mask) and held my hand. Well actually, let me crush his hand, I should say. After a small local anesthetic it is time for the actual epidural needle/catheter. It felt sooo strange! Sort of like when you bump the funny bone in your elbow, but deep in your spine. Bleh.
By 9:00pm the epidural had started to take effect, but it was only working on my left half! The nurse came in and had me lay on my right side to try to get it to my right half as well. By 9:30 I was finally comfortable! I could feel my abdomen tighten during a contraction, but not the pain. It was sooo nice. I was suddenly so excited that I was having my baby soon instead of being completely miserable. I was really happy! Poor Rob had been so stressed holding my hand through every contraction, he was quite relieved when I was out of pain and he could enjoy our experience as well.
At about 10:30pm the nurse told us to get some sleep, it looked like I’d probably be looking at about 2am before I was at 10cm the way I was progressing. My mom left for a bit to let us get some rest and we dimmed the lights and Rob pulled out the guest bed. I mentioned again about my heartburn though and the nurse said she would bring me something but never did. I was way too excited to sleep but everyone kept telling me I needed to. I felt like a kid protesting my bedtime and figured they must be right so I’ll give it a shot. I didn’t even get close to sleep!
12:00am came around and a new nurse came in to check on me. She asked me if anyone had helped me pee and I said no, and I hadn’t even thought of it. She came in manually made me pee without a catheter! This lady was all business. She’s like okay we are at 10cm I’m going to set up now and we’ll get going. Umm, what? We’re ready now?
Rob went into the hall to go call my mom to come back quickly and by the time he came back in the room the nurse had my legs up in the stirrups and pushing! She goes ‘look Daddy; there’s the head! Take a look”. Rob hadn’t wanted to look down but the nurse was insistent so he did. The look on his face was priceless!! He was totally shocked and worried looking. The nurse exclaimed that he had a tonne of hair to which Rob agreed. Ahh I was so excited and bewildered, it felt like suddenly everything was in super speed after such a long slow wait. I was waiting for 2:00am because of the one nurses comment, so I felt surprised by all this.
The nurse had me do a few pushes though when Rob was not in the room and told me briefly how to hold my breath and push. I was actually pretty confused because she didn’t really tell me much and I didn’t take classes. She got pretty frustrated with me if I exhaled too soon or wasn’t pushing hard enough. So anyways, after Rob was back in the room and I was pushing I was holding my breath as instructed and Rob comes over and is doing really quick breaths holding my hand and is like ‘breath hunny breath, c’mon you have to breath, like this’ haha and I’m trying to push really hard and shake my head at him that no, I’m not supposed to. In between breaths I’m trying to tell him and the Nazi nurse is yelling push! Harder! It was kind of funny. My mom made it back at that point which I was pretty relieved for. I was scared I would deliver without her there. She was so shocked it was happening all of a sudden too.
As I’m pushing I am feeling like I am going to vomit because the heartburn is sooooo bad, it was painful. I tried telling the nurse I was going to be sick and that my heartburn hurts and she said don’t worry about it. She had me hold my own legs, at my thighs just under my butt and pull myself in towards my legs and pull my legs towards my chest. She also had Rob pushing behind my head down into my chest to really give me all the push I could get. Every time I tried to regain a decent breath the nurse is yelling push! at me. She said the baby’s head was going in and out now and Rob was like, umm is there going to be a doctor here? The nurse says yes and hands Rob the call button and says push this button when I say. He is watching me push and watching the baby, and is like umm should I push it, the nurse yells no not yet, then she is like ok push it! Push the button now!! The doctor (and a resident doctor) was in there right away. I again voiced that I was going to be sick and again was told to just push, so I did and suddenly projectile vomit straight up and all over myself!! It was so upsetting. I’m suddenly covered all over my face, hair and chest in vomit while the baby is almost here and everything goes on hold. The nurse finally shows so compassion and goes oh, you really were going to be sick. She gives me a bed pan (actually instructs my mom to go get it from the closet) and I finish being sick while she quickly wipes me down. Then, back to business! I think it was just two more pushes or so after that and suddenly he was out!!
I could not believe it!!! It felt like I had just started and suddenly, there he was. He was born at 12:57am on Saturday September the 27th 2008. It was only 27mins of pushing. I looked down as he was coming out and it just felt so surreal. The nurse asked if daddy was going to cut the cord and handed him the scissors. I don’t even remember that I watched him do it I was staring at Colts face. They took him a few feet away to the cart to clean and weigh him and he gave a few cries. I was so overwhelmed with happiness and relief. I felt out of body almost, it’s hard to explain.
They announced his weight 8lbs 9oz and said over and over he is a beautiful baby. He scored perfect on his apgar tests too. I was trying to get a good look at him and didn’t even realize I was being stitched up from my tear until I was told I’m moving around a bit much for the stitches. I missed seeing my placenta as I was watching the baby and hugging Rob and my mom and I really wanted to see it. When I looked down I just saw a mess and a lot of blood! I asked if I tore bad and was told I really did, it was a third degree tear.
Colt was finally place in my arms!! (it was only a few mins but felt like a long time). I was in total awe staring at his little face and all his hair. It was the most amazing moment and feeling I have ever felt. I started to cry a little bit and gave him lots of kisses.
It took about 30 mins to be all stitched up and have my IV and epidural removed and to get a bit more cleaned up (longer than the pushing!) and I was wheeled upstairs to the maternity ward. It was so strange to not be able to feel my legs but I was just very calm and happy and proud holding my new little son. My mom, brother, his girlfriend, and my best friend Vanessa all came up with Rob, Colt and I and while I got settled into the bed they all held him and the pictures started!
We were staying in a gorgeous room thanks to my grandma whose gift to us was being able to stay in the celebration of life room. It was like a hotel! It was a queen bed for Rob and I to share with hardwood floors and a flat screen tv and very nice private bath. Colt had a touch of jaundice and began losing weight, so we actually stayed for 4 days there. He also had rapid breathing, which they monitored. That was pretty scary, but after a couple days it got better. The biggest reason we stayed four days was the struggle of breastfeeding. Colt just would not latch! It was painstaking trying to pump every single drop I could with my little manual pump that I brought. We had to ‘cup’ feed him out of a little medicine cup. Every drop of milk that I could squeeze out was so valuable. I was trying to get him to feed or I was pumping every hour it seemed. I didn’t sleep at all for about 30 hours after giving birth. We had so many visitors while we were in the hospital, it was so overwhelming trying to feed and greet people and just function… such a blur.
Finally a nurse was able to get a lactation consultant to come down to help with feeding on day three. I felt like every nurse on the ward had tried to help me breastfeed. When the lactation consultant came it was amazing! She got him to latch properly for the first time! It felt so good to be able to do it just that brief moment. She then got me an electric pump for the night, as well as a nipple shield and by the next day I felt ok about it all. By day four, Colts breathing was ok, he was gaining back some weight, and with the help of the shield, I was able to breastfeed. Finally we were going home with our baby boy and parenthood truly began its journey in our new little family…