Monday, January 21, 2013

Luca's Birth Story - The End (No Denying It!)

[This is a super long post that many of you won't care about. If you want to skip, here is the short version. Drove to the hospital. Contractions hurt. Pushed out healthy baby boy. Bliss.] I left off at the point where J and I were driving to the hospital.

We live about 2.5 kms away from the hospital. I'm not going to lie. It was the longest 2.5 kilometres of my life. I think we hit EVERY red light between our house and the hospital (all 6 of them). Between the reds and the traffic, I think I writhed through about 6 contractions.

What is it with the contractions you have in the car? Why are they SO MUCH WORSE than the ones you have at home? It is like some kind of cruel joke - telling a massively pregnant woman to "labour at home" as long as possible and just when she thinks it is time to go to the hospital before it is too late, strapping that massively pregnant woman into a car so she can't move and then ramping the contractions up ten-fold as she sits in traffic. It just isn't fair.

Anyways - we pulled into the parking lot at the hospital and I started walking in as J paid the attendant. He shouted to me "should I grab the bags?" to which I said "no". In my mind, we were just going to get sent home and that moment would be less embarrassing if I didn't have a zillion bags with me.

I was so naive.

Anyways - we checked in and were sent to triage where I paced the waiting room with some other preggos until they finally gave me a room so that I could be monitored.

Now...if I thought strapping me in a car for a 2.5km car ride was bad, I obviously had no idea what it would be like to be strapped to a table for what felt like HOURS while having increasingly painful contractions. It was agony. The nurse told me that I had to be strapped down for about 15 minutes. 15 horrible minutes.

Of course, she came in after 30 minutes only to tell me the monitor wasn't on right and she had to adjust it and the agony continued for another 20 minutes or so. Long story short, that part sucked. We then had to wait for a doctor to come complete the exam and let me know if I was going home or going to a labour and delivery room. As there was no doctor available, we were sent to walk the halls to kill time continue labouring.

Okay so remember when I said that I thought the car was bad, and then that was trumped by being strapped to a table in triage? Yeah. That was a joke compared to walking the halls. It was just like the movies. Walking along until a contraction hit and then I would be grabbing the handrail along the wall, leaning over and saying things like "oh my god" and "I can't do this".

Eventually, we convinced a nurse to examine me and she said that I was 4-5 cm dilated and that I wasn't going home! I was being admitted!!

I was placed in a room while J went to the car to get the bags (haha) and by the time he got back the rest of my family had arrived. They were up at the cottage and I told them not to come yet, but I think the time between calling my sister and letting her know we were going to the hospital and when my mom's foot hit the gas pedal was about .98 seconds. 

It was shortly after that when I met the man of my dreams (sorry, J). No, I'm not talking about Luca. I'm talking about the anethesiologist. What a gem :-)

After all of the stories I'd heard about waiting too long to get the epi, or the doctor being too busy to give you the pain meds, I was lucky and received my epidural pretty quickly after being admitted to my delivery room. Thank goodness. Because seriously? Contractions HURT!

Once I had the epidural, I felt so calm and relaxed. Kind of like this wasn't happening to me. The nurses dimmed the lights and we tried to get some rest (it was about 11 p.m. by this point). Over the next few hours, I was given Pitocin to help my labour progress (I actually refused the drug at first, wanting to just wait it out a bit longer, but since my water had broken at 6 a.m. or something, the doctor seemed concerned about getting things moving), which of course led to Luca's heart rate dropping and me being put on oxygen. That part was a little scary (and of course exactly what I predicted would happen thanks to reading books like this and watching movies like this) but after a few tweaks of the monitor and the drugs, everything was fine.

By about 4 a.m., I started feeling the contractions again. I asked for more drugs (because hey - if you are getting an epi, you may as well not feel anything!). They gave me a bit more, but it didn't work. Crap. That is when the nurse decided to examine me and found that it was GO TIME!

I think this was when I looked over at Jay with a look on my face that said "Holy Sh*t". There was no denying what was happening now. In the next little while, we would have a baby. We would have a son. But first, I had to push him out.

Holy sh*t is right.

(I know this post is long, but I can't be bothered splitting it into another post because it is already way too

The nurses were the best. They started bustling around in preparation for the big event. Laying out blankets, pulling out the baby warmer (I think I started feeling a little emotional when that happened) all happened very quickly.

They kept the lights dim, looked at me, and pretty much said "push". It's like I didn't put two and two together that I was going to have to bring this baby into the world. I know..such a first timer, right?

So I did it. I pushed and pushed and with the exception of the random doctor who came in, threatening me with an episiotomy (go away!), everything went smoothly! I pushed for just over an hour (so I'm told) and then all of a sudden...he was here.

It was magical.

I don't know how else to explain it. He came out screaming (I should have known then...) with a huge pout on his sweet little face. I remember looking at his little face, looking at J and just laughing. Laughing and crying.

I couldn't believe he was here. And he was mine.

Jay went with him over to the scale/warming station while the nurse checked him out and weighed him.  That was the point when the nurse reminded him to take some photos.**

I thought it was really amazing - Luca was always in my sight. He never left the room. The room stayed nice and dim, the doctors and nurses finished up with me and Luca, swaddled him up and handed him to me.

And then they left. It was just us. My little family of three. My perfect family of three. I couldn't imagine anything better. Well...I could have used my little family and a nice meal (I was starving!) but this was pretty fantastic.

Dad spends some time getting to know his son 
(both of them were having a hard time keeping their eyes open!)

After J fell asleep, I took a photo of Luca to send to my girlfriends announcing his arrival.

At this point I was EXHAUSTED. It was probably 6 in the morning (maybe 6:30). The room was warm and dark. J and Luca were both sleeping and I had been up all night. Finally, this really sweet nurse came in, took one look at me, grabbed Luca and put him under the warmer to sleep.

Why didn't I think of that?!

Anyhoo - that is about it :-) It couldn't have gone any better and the end result? Perfection.

A few more photos of Luca's birthday once we made it to the recovery room.


The two men in my life definitely had more sleep than I did!

First bath. Cried the whole time (again, no surprise).

Yep - should've found time to get my hair done before he arrived.

And all dressed ready to go home...

Thanks for following along (I know it took FOREVER to get part 3 up, and it was SUPER wordy and long). I am so lucky that things went so well and that Luca was a happy healthy little baby. Oh and even better? The swelling in my feet started going down almost immediately :-)

** Just for you preggos out there - one of my only regrets about how things went was that I was adamant that we did not have pictures of me giving birth. I thought it would be gross and invasive and that I would be embarrassed. I was SO wrong. I often wish that we had more pictures of the whole process. Even the messy bits. Of course I wouldn't have shown that on the world wide interweb, but it would have been nice to look at them myself. The whole thing went so quickly that I don't remember seeing Luca come out, and I'm afraid I will forget the picture in my mind of what he looked like when he first was placed on my chest. 



Jenna said...

Great re-cap, thanks for the read. My little guy was born in 14 minutes! We weren't officially checked into the hospital, one of the midwives hadn't made it yet and the baby warmer wasn't warm yet! He sure knew how to make an entrance and hasn't stopped since.

EJ @ Not A House, But A Home said...

Great post Janice! I read every word and got a bit misty eyed at the end. So emotional! It blows my mind to think that my mom had 3 kids when she was my age... I can't wrap my head around kids for myself yet but I love hearing other people's stories :-)

CA_Powell said...

What a lovely story!

Anne said...

Your story is heartwarming! It's so nice to document it so little Luca will be able to read it someday and have it forever :)

Shannon said...

You are a rock star!!!!!
You never regret extra photos!!!! Lieh had to help hold me during the moment - so he was too busy to be taking photos of the money shot - thank god!!! we have quite a few of him when he was on my chest and I was being attended to!

my midwife forced me to see the placenta. i am kinda glad she did now - but at the time i was like - get away from me you are an animal!

Michelle @ AM Dolce Vita said...

I read through the whole post. This is such a great birth story albeit some scary and uncomfortable bits. You guys looked so happy and perfect. I am not looking forward to our public healthcare system once I go down that path.

Heather @ InteriorGroupie said...

What a great post - thanks so much for sharing happy you had great care and things went well (NO episiotomy!!).

Jen said...

That was a beautiful story janice. Luca is very lucky to have you as his mom :)

Cathy Holman said...

What a lovely way to remember his birth. As for forgetting your first chance to see your baby.... I still remember and my are 32,28 and 26 and I still remember. Back then we could not take pictures...sure wish we could have. Anyway your post has brought back many wonderful memories and for that I thank you.

Sara McCarty said...

I love birth stories! I'm so glad you wrote it all out. The photos are wonderful! Look how tiny he was! And seriously, car contractions are the worst!

KDot said...

Such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing

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