Behind The Scenes Of Starting A Family – Chapter 10: Our Birth Story
If you haven’t started at Chapter 1 of the adventure, I recommend that you check it out–if nothing else to get to know me a little bit and figure out where we’re at on the journey to starting our family. Only missed a chapter? Press ‘end’ on your keyboard for the table of contents. Now that your caught up, let’s continue on. (full list of chapters at the end of this post)
Our Birth Story
In the middle of the night, I started getting contractions that were often enough for me to download an app to time them. Turns out they were roughly 10 minutes apart, and they were strong between about 1-4AM. They stopped that morning and held off throughout the day, which thankfully allowed for me to complete my last scheduled outdoor family photoshoot as planned—in a crazy snow squall no less!
Contractions started again the next day at 3:30AM, about 7 minutes apart. About 6:30 husband helped me put on TENS pads. I ended up leaving him to sleep while I went to the basement to suffer through an attempt to sleep—I needed him well rested if this was truly happening. 9AM rolled around and we needed to head out for our scheduled midwife appointment, so I woke him up and we packed up the car with our “baby is coming bag” just in case. Keeping in mind we had stuffed the car to the brim with donation bags the day before intending on dropping it all off on our way home…
So our midwife appointment went great, and she confirmed that I was 2cm dilated and could go home for a few more hours to relax and sleep before the big event—but that it would likely be overnight. So we proceeded to drop off the donation bins (aka Alex did while I contacted in the car and timed them), and picked up the custom carpet we had ordered for the nursery on our way home. By then I had been getting contractions at sporadic intervals but some were 2-3 minutes apart within the 5-7 ones so we called the midwife just in case. We were reassured and told to go home and time them over the next hour and see. We had just made it home—Alex was unloading the carpet while I headed up to the bedroom to keep timing the contractions. He had barely made it into the room to check on me when my water broke. It was one of those movie moments where it just gushes out. Thankfully most of it soaked up into my sweatpants and not in the bed! It was time. 1:30PM to be exact. Alex called the midwife back as I am emailing all my clients scheduled for pickups in the following 48 hours to reschedule. Since the car was already packed, all we had to do was head out the door.
We arrived at the birth centre shortly after 2PM and apparently I booked it from her car to the door, to a point where my husband and midwife were laughing because he couldn’t keep up—apparently most women waddle their way in… I had to pee, what do you want!? We got directed into our birthing suite, and got settled with the birth plan laid out and ready. The contractions were so strong and frequent that the TENS machine was barely cutting it on max. Having high anxiety, I was offered laughing gas as an extra comfort measure. I had used it once before (very unsuccessfully) during dental surgery so I didn’t have high hopes—pun intended—so I gave it a whirl. Oh, it works! To a point where my midwife was asking my husband if I was okay, because I went limp noodle relaxed within a few minutes. I cracked a joke about my dentist’s shitty gas, to which my husband laughed, but for whatever reason only confused the midwife even more… He reassured her if I was cracking jokes, I was fine!
The midwife was installing my saline lock to administer the precautionary antibiotics, but my body started pushing at about 2:45PM. She checked my cervix and behold, I was completely dilated and baby was ready to make her appearance. An hour later, she was in my arms. That hour is a blur or contractions and pushing, but I distinctly remember being told that she was stuck and I needed to push the last push with no contraction to help or they would need to perform an episiotomy. Ain’t no motivation like the threat of your lady parts being cut open! What I do remember clearly is that Alex was so so so supportive during the entire experience, great with the counter pressure and the “right” words of encouragement. I am so happy that he also had the opportunity to catch our little girl on her way out and cut the cord. Though he still to this day talks about her head being out and her being a her being a purple floppy doll before her first breath, and about his pants getting soaked by all the ‘after birth’ (amniotic fluid and such) as he pulled her feet out. It was certainly a quick birth that none of us expected to go so smoothly—minus the few stitches required from the small tear, it was an amazing (even though physically painful) experience to go through.
We got to spend some family time together with just the three of us, and I got to breastfeed her for the first time. Pure joy on my husband’s face was the next best thing to staring into hers! Being able to enjoy a snack and diner with my husband while baby was being weighed and checked was such a nice experience. We had planned for a very different date that night, but I’d say it turned out pretty darn great!
We were home by 9PM and got to enjoy one last night of once-interrupted sleep. And with that, we continue through the adventure, hand-in-hand, as parents. Chat soon!