It is amazing how quickly a year can go by. Whether you're planning a wedding or vacation, or on maternity leave, it passes you by even faster than you ever thought it could. A year ago to the day, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, and I wanted to share my journey of that day with you.
The last pregnant photo of me -- approx. 30 weeks.
I was due April 16, 2011, and had decided to take a couple of weeks off from work before the baby came -- we did not find out the gender of our child, as it is probably the only genuine surprise left in this world. As I got closer to my last day of work, I started to feel completely burnt out, and decided that I would take the Friday off as well -- April 1st.
On the Thursday, I was in the kitchen cleaning up the dishes from snack-time -- I work in a preschool/daycare centre -- and all of a sudden I felt this horribly sharp pain on the right side of my belly. The girls at work told me to get to the hospital, and they would take care of the clean-up and closing the centre for the night. Once at the hospital, the nurses called my doctor and monitored me for a little bit, but decided to let me go home because I was only having mild contractions -- the whole time I was keeping my husband up to date while he was throwing together a bag of things in case I had to stay.
Out for our last supper as a twosome.
I got home quite late from the hospital, so we decided to head to Boston Pizza for supper. We were both staaaarving, and each ate our own small pizza -- I'm glad that I did, because it gave me the energy I needed for later on. When we got home, we were so exhausted that we just crawled into bed. Well, as soon as I laid down, I felt this punch from the baby, and a goosh of fluids like I had just peed a little -- okay, a lot.
I hurried into the bathroom, and yelled at my husband: "I think my water just broke" and "Get me the phone". I called the doctor's office and they connected me with the doctor that would be delivering my baby. She asked me questions like: "How much fluid was there?" and "Are there white flecks in it?" -- meaning that the coating of vernix that covers the baby should be in the fluid, indicating that it is indeed my waters that broke and not some pee that was punched out. I couldn't give her any real indication, because I had no idea and the fluid was now in the toilet -- which is white. She told us to pack-up and make our way to the hospital.
It was a very surreal experience, that last drive that we made as a couple with no child. We knew that it would be the last time that it would be just the two of us for a very long time, but it was also exciting to think of what lay ahead of us.
We arrived at the hospital at 11pm, and they had me pee into a cup to make sure that it was indeed my waters that broke, and it was then that I noticed the white stuff that the doctor mentioned -- it was happening! They hooked me up to the machine that monitors contractions and baby's heart beat, and checked my cervix to see how much it was dilated -- 3cm, I think. Apparently I was having contractions, but I wasn't feeling them yet. I ran to the bathroom once more.
The nurse came in and told me that they had decided to move me to another room. I ran to the bathroom again. It was in that room that I started feeling the contractions. Breathing flew out the window. I collapsed in pain and started crying, while my husband ran to the nurses' station to get some help and to ask them to give me some drugs. When the nurse arrived, she reminded me to breathe through it, and then checked my cervix again -- 4cm. I was ready to move to labour and delivery.
The nurses in labour and delivery knew that I wanted an epidural -- I was not dealing with the pain, which had decided to start in my lower back and then wrap its arms around to the front of my belly...how kind. They immediately began prepping me to get an IV -- which is necessary in order to get an epidural. It took two nurses and three needle pricks. Once the IV was in, we had to play the waiting game for the anesthesiologist -- I spelled that right on the first try! It didn't take long, but it was so hard to remember to breathe the entire time I was waiting.
Our first little family photo.
The anesthesiologist looked like Sylar from Heroes -- should I have been worried? He did an amazing job, and, surprisingly, I was able to sit still through my contractions -- my husbands hands have never been squeezed so hard. It was probably about two or three contractions later that I started feeling the effects of the drugs. The hospital where I was delivering my baby has walking epidurals, so I was able to feel the pressure of the contractions, but not the pain -- and I was able to walk to the bathroom. It is quite genius, really.
We were finally able to shut our eyes and get some rest.
The nurse would periodically pop in-and-out -- ha! -- to check on the progress of my contractions and my cervix. We eventually reached the point in labour where I was able to call my mom, and the doctor was contacted soon after.
I couldn't tell you how long it was, but those minutes waiting for the doctor to arrive and tell me to start pushing were the most uncomfortable minutes of my life. I literally felt like I was holding in the most giant poop in the history of ever. Each time a contraction came, and that little baby inched closer and closer, I had to tense up my legs and clench my butt cheeks in fear that he/she would come gushing out!
My nurse decided to stay with me even though it was the end of her shift. She had been with me the entire time, and she said she wanted to see this baby. It was only about 20 minutes of pushing, but it felt like forever. Baby was not wanting to come around the curve of the cervix, so the doctor decided it was best to suction him/her out, and at 7:28am on April 1, 2011 my little boy was born.
They immediately put him on my chest, and the three of us -- my mom, my husband, and I -- just stared and cried. It really is an experience unlike any other, and I will never forget it as long as I live. It truly is an out-of-body experience.
My little boy! 6lbs 1oz and 19in.
Part 2 is here!