My Birth Story.
So excited to introduce Inès Audrey Grant to the world! She was born December 20, 2017 at 4:03am and weighed 7 lbs 3oz and was 52 cm long.
This post is looong overdue. I've been trying to find the time to put together my birth story for quite a while and finally I slowly started writing little bits here and there while she slept between feedings. So here it goes....
My birth story wasn't exactly how I had envisioned it, but then again, who's is?
If I could sum up my experience in a few short words it would be: Oh My God, What (insert profanity here) Just Happened?!!!
Some of you mamas out there might feel the same way I do. Awestruck, thunderstruck, moonstruck. Completely amazed at what your body just accomplished...but now your body is...things are not quite...look at that BABY...
Oh my God. What just HAPPENED?!
It all started on the morning of December 19th (my due date was December 16th). I woke up just before 8:00am to a huge wet spot on my side of the bed. I thought to myself, OMG did I just pee the bed?!! I got up to go to the bathroom and a rush of clear fluid started gushing down my legs. I wasn't really sure what was going on so I called my Mom, who's been a nurse at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) for the past 40 years, and told her that I think my water just broke. She told me to call the doctor because if my water did break and I don't go into labour within 24 hours I could get an infection. So I called my doctor and shortly after Dennis and I had thrown our bags into the car and were on our way to the hospital.
The clinic I've been going to throughout my pregnancy, Maternity Care Westside, is headed up by Dr. Bronnie Hautala who has 3-4 midwives that work with her. They all take turns being on call so you don't know who you're going to end up with the day you go into labour. I had a fairly good experience at Maternity Care, however there was one midwife that I just did not like. And of course she was the one that just so happened to be on call the day my water broke. Just my luck. So suffice it to say I wasn't off to a great start.
Dennis and I checked into the hospital around 10:00am. The midwife met us there. She examined me, told me I was only 2 cm dilated and that I should go home. By this point I had started to get some mild cramping in my lower back.
So Dennis and I left the hospital, ran some errands, went out for lunch and then headed home. By about 2:30pm the cramping in my back had started to get a lot worse! I called the midwife, explained that I was experiencing some serious low back pain and that I was going to need some sort of medication. All she told me was that I should monitor my contractions for the next hour and then call her back. I'm sorry what??!! There was no chance I was going to wait around for another hour in serious pain.
So back to the hospital we went. They checked me again, but there wasn't any progression from earlier that morning so they loaded me up with some morphine and sent me home, again.
I soon learned that the excruciating pain I was getting in my back was in fact back labour! For those of you who have never experienced back labour it basically feels like the most horrid, terrible, excruciating and intense pain in the world that is localized in the lower back and peaks during contractions. I literally felt like my back was breaking with each contraction. I had to hold onto Dennis whenever I got a contraction because they were so unbelievably painful! Seriously the worst pain I have ever experienced! EVER!
When we got home I turned out all the lights, laid in bed and felt like I was going to die. Literally going to die.
By about 7:00pm I couldn't take it anymore, so back to the hospital we went! This time there was no chance in hell I was going to let them send me home, the pain was just so completely unbearable. So we checked back into the hospital and told the first nurse I saw "Get me an EPIDURAL NOW!!!!"
They put us in a room where we waited for what seemed like forever. Finally the nurse came in and I asked her where the hell my epidural was?! She said the midwife had to check me first and that I would have to wait because she was in another room with another labour/delivery. I said, can't you just check me?! I really don't feel like waiting for the friggin' midwife. So they put us in a labour room, I got into a gown, hooked me up to the monitor and put in my IV. After a quick internal check they told me I was 5 cm dilated.
My Mom happened to be working at the hospital that night and came down to our labour room around 9:00pm and didn't end up leaving until it was all over. Thank God she was there because that nurse who was looking after us was pretty much useless. To start things off she inserted my IV wrong - it was inter-tissue so all the fluid was swelling up around my wrist and I ended up with a massive bruise because if it. My mom had to alert the nurse that it needed to be fixed. Later in the night my IV bag ran out of fluid and was sitting empty, so once again my mom came to the rescue and had to tell the nurse to change it. Dennis and I were so glad she was there!
The midwife was also totally useless and pretty much ignored me. She would walk into our room every so often with her arms crossed and just stand there and look at me as I laid on the bed in pain. At one point during a contraction I even caught her laughing at me! Like I was overreacting or something! She just did not care about my well being or how I was coping. She was definitely not supportive or felt like she was ready to help at any moment. And she didn't tell us anything in terms of what was going on with the baby, or things I could do to try and get more comfortable, nothing. Just awful.
By about 1:00am I hadn't progressed at all since I first got to the hospital earlier that evening. I've had the cadillac of drugs - laughing gas, fentanyl and several epidurals and nothing seemed to be helping. Finally, they called in a specialist - Dr. Yoshida to the rescue!!!
He came into asses me and said that I was still only 5 cm dilated (you should dilate 1 cm every hour) and that the baby was sunny side up - which would explain the insane back labour! He monitored me for a while and then suggested I go on the oxytocin drip to see if we could speed things along. By about 3:00am, I had progressed to 8cm - by this time the pain had migrated from my low back into my pelvis where it was now bone on bone and there were a few issues that had started to arise with the baby's heart rate. Dr. Yoshida said we can either amp up the oxytocin in the hope that more time would potentially allow my uterus to flip the baby so its facing the right way and to try and get me to 10 cm so that I could actually start pushing. Or we could consider a c-section. Without hesitation I said give me the flippin C-SECTION! By this point I was pretty much willing to walk down to the operating room myself!! There was no way in hell I was going to try and be a hero and wait it out in crazy pain for who knows how long to see if maybe my baby would flip so that I could actually start pushing. Are you nuts!!??
So they prepped me for surgery. Luckily both Dennis and my Mom were able to be in the operating room with me. I've had two ACL reconstructions (knee) and one rotator cuff repair (shoulder) so this was not my first rodeo in terms of surgery. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, I would be lying if I said there wasn't a bit of cold fear in my heart as they strapped me down to the table. Definitely grateful for the curtain that conceals everything... as drugged up and numb as I was I could still hear everything, including the word "scalpel".
At 4:03am it was all over. I was the proud mama of a beautiful baby girl! Dennis even got to cut the umbilical cord. And just like that it was all over. It seemed like as fast as the pain came it was gone, sort of like coming up from under water.
I got to meet her shortly after once I was in the Recovery Room. They handed her to me and she latched immediately! I watched her nurse, just watched her because I didn't need to intervene, it was like she knew what she was doing.
Huge shout out to Dr. Yoshida!! The best! He was calming, direct, very thorough and had a great sense of humour. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend him as he exceeded all my expectations. His communication skills were excellent (unlike my useless midwife) and kept us informed without using hard to understand medical terminology. A total pro! I mean he basically took me apart and put me all back together again - and he got it all right! He even made the incision low enough that I'm pretty sure nobody will ever see it except Dennis and the girlfriends I show after I've had a few drinks ;)
The pain, the fear, the drama is all starting to become a distant memory now. Dennis and I had to compare notes in order to recall all the events of that day. Then we swore to each other that we definitely won't be doing that again any time soon!