With his five month “birthday” fast approaching I thought I would take the time to recap his birth and my experience in labour. I must say it was very positive for the most part! Nate was due October 28th 2014, however; he was actually born on the 26th. I kept telling everyone he was going to be born on Sunday and no one (except maybe Kurt) believed me. I remember Kurt’s parents constantly telling me that since it was this was my first I was “definitely” going to go past my due date. I was determined to have an October baby and was adamant that I was going to give birth on Sunday, October 26th 2014. I love fall and late September and October are by far my favourite months.
The Tuesday before Nate was born, I had my appointment with my OB. The nurse stretched the membranes around the sac and said it “bulging” (gross!) but that I was only 1cm dilated. She explained that this could mean that my water might break on its own. Usually this procedure induces labour within 48 hours (according to Google) but 48 hours later, I definitely was not in labour. I kept hoping and praying it would happen because I was so uncomfortable and anxious. I remember Saturday night Kurt was having a few beers and I specifically told him not to have too many because we would be at the hospital on Sunday. He just kept laughing at me because I was so convinced Nate was coming Sunday. Kurt would tell me to prepare myself just in case I didn’t go into labour. He didn’t want me to get upset or frustrated or feel discouraged.
At 2:15am I woke up to pee as per usual. I walked groggily to the bathroom and sat down on the toilet. The moment I sat down I felt a small “popping” sensation. I had no clue what it was so I just went pee and walked back to bed. Within two minutes tops I felt a sharp pain in my abdomen and felt like I was “leaking”. I walked back to the bathroom but didn’t notice any obvious fluids. I’m a nurse and I’ve read a lot on labour and I know that just because your water breaks doesn’t mean it gushes out of you and creates a massive puddle on the floor. But even knowing this, I still convinced myself that if my water had actually broken there would be a huge puddle. So again I walked back to bed and laid back down. At this point, Kurt was starting to wake up so by the third time I got out of bed he asked what was wrong. I said “I think my water broke but I don’t know for sure.” He just stared at me and said “How do you not know if your water has broken or not!?” I showed Kurt that now there was a rather large size wet spot on our sheets and explained that I was starting to have sharp pains in my stomach. Immediately, Kurt looked at the wet spot and jumped out of bed exclaiming “Yeah I’m sure your water broke!” As he headed to the bathroom to get ready, I picked up my phone to call the birthing suite to let them know we’d be coming in. They were super sweet on the phone and laughed when I said I couldn’t be sure if it had broken or not. Kurt grabbed my things and we headed out to our truck. I was so scared at that point. I knew I was now for sure in labour because my contractions were coming every three minutes and were very intense.
We got to the hospital around 3am (since it took me about 20 minutes to come to terms with the fact my water had actually broken). The moment I stepped out of the truck there was a massive gush of fluids. I just burst into laughter and told Kurt I should have worn a diaper. We entered the hospital and a security guard tried to stop us to ask where we were going. I work at the hospital I delivered at so I knew exactly how to get to the birthing unit. I remember him saying “Excuse me! Where are you going!?” and he sounded quite angry/irritated that I hadn’t stopped to talk to him. I turned around and he could obviously see my huge belly which changed the look on his face completely. I snapped back “I’m going to the birthing unit! I’m a nurse here! I know where I’m going!” He just looked at Kurt sheepishly and said “Ok no problem.” We checked in and then were sent to the triage room. Once I was on the stretcher, it became obvious I was in a lot of pain. The nurse told me that she had paged the on-call OB’s resident to come and assess me. I got changed into a gown and hooked up to the monitor plus had an IV inserted. The resident came to check me around 4am and said it was one of the most obvious rupture of membranes he’d ever seen. Unfortunately for me though, when the OB assessed me he said I was still only 1cm dilated and was probably in for a long day. I remember feeling like I was going to cry and Kurt just kept rubbing my arm or stroking my hair and telling me I was doing great. He was telling me jokes to try and help ease my pain and just in general was being a huge reassurance to me.
The nurses got me situated in my room around 4:30am and started asking me about pain control. I really wanted to have a natural birth and told them this but I did say it was pain got too bad then I wouldn’t have a problem having an epidural. My birth plan was really just a “go with the flow” type plan. So around 5:20am I was having a lot of pain and the nurse said that the doctor had written an order for Morphine/Gravol and an epidural so it was my choice. I opted for the Morphine/Gravol since I knew that an epidural would slow down my contractions and I didn’t want to be in labour for an entire day (like a few unfortunate friends of ours). I got the Morphine/Gravol at 5:40am and it didn’t really help. I just felt like throwing up and going to sleep at the same time. My nurse’s shift was over at 7am and when she was saying good bye she said “I’ll probably see you when I come back in at 7pm”. That was depressing. Kurt just kept telling me how I was doing so good and I had already called it that Nate was going to be born on Sunday so maybe I wouldn’t have to go through a super long labour. I love him even more for how supportive and caring he was during my labour. So around 8am I started feeling like I was going to throw up. Poor Kurt continuously emptied my basin for me without gagging at the sight of my vomit. I was also still leaking fluids so any time I got up to the bathroom, Kurt would change out my soaker pad. I remember my nurse laughing saying he was doing her job for her.
I did not want to stay in bed on the monitor. I found that sitting up right on the birthing ball with Kurt massaging my back helped take away some of the pain and I was able to relax more. The new on-call OB came in to see me around 7:30am and basically said she thought it was going to be a long day for me. Around 9am my nurse asked if I wanted to go into the tub since it had jets that could help massage my back and the hot water would help relax me. I was a little iffy about using the tub since I’ve heard so many stories about women getting infections from them and such but I really trusted my nurse and she insisted that it’s properly cleaned and sanitized between each patient so I decided to try it out. I requested to be checked and sadly I was only 4cm dilated. I also requested more Morphine/Gravol before going in so I had another dose at 9:40am and got into the tub at 10am. I spent the next hour and a half in that tub haha I did not want to come out! And every time I had to turn the jets off and let the nurses listen to the heartbeat I would get upset. It was just so relaxing and even though my contractions were still coming every 1-2 minutes it made it seem so much less painful. Poor Kurt even held up the garbage bin while I projectile vomited into it still refusing to get out of the tub. Finally around 11:30am I started feeling a lot of pressure so I called and asked to get out. I spent the next 20 minutes on the birthing ball in my room. Kurt was still massaging my back and telling me how great I was doing. I remember all of the sudden feeling like I wanted to pee so I went to go to the bathroom and when I stood up I finally had had what is referred to as the “bloody show”. As soon as this occurred I kept feeling like I wanted to push so I asked my nurse to check me. Amazingly, I had gone from 4cm to 9 3/4cm dilated in an hour and a half!
This is where things became a bit upsetting to me as well as Kurt. Once my nurse realized I was so close to pushing she immediately paged the new on-call OB’s resident. She paged him at least 10 times and never got a call back! I remember her telling me she was trying to get a hold of the doctor’s resident and had someone at the desk paging him. I was getting so scared that my nurse was going to end up delivering Nate. Finally after at least 15 pages to the resident the nurses decided just to page the OB herself. She showed up and five minutes later her resident finally arrived. I had already started pushing by this point and my nurse has said that his head was right there and it would only be a few more pushes until he was out. When the OB’s resident walked into the room, she immediately started asking him why he took so long, where was he, why did she beat him to the room, etc. So I was starting to get stressed out because of the tension between the two of them. She then asked me about my pain control. I told her I had two doses of Morphine and told her the times. She became almost pissed off at me saying “You had two doses!? The last being at 9:40am!?” she looked at the clock and yelled at my nurse to page the Respiratory Therapist. For those of you who don’t know, Morphine can suppress an infant’s respirations if born within four hours of the mom having the dose. So It was just after 12pm meaning Nate would still have the effects of Morphine going on. My nurse had two other nurses helping her so one of them left to page RT. I was now starting to push him out. My nurse kept raving about how well I’d done and that I’d only been pushing for 10 minutes. The OB then said “well his head looks really big so I don’t think it’s going to fit.” She then asked me very matter of fact “Do you want to tear or do you want me to cut?” Now this is while I’m pushing and trying to breathe and becoming extremely agitated that RT is being paged and that the doctor is acting like I purposely put my baby at risk. So I simply said “I don’t care. What’s better?” Knowing that “they” say tearing is better than being cut but my doctor said “Well it’s better I cut you” so she did then said “Well you just tore anyways so I guess it didn’t matter.” So thanks now I’ve been cut and torn from the cut so that upset me even more.
Anyways, she kept yelling “Where’s RT?” and my nurse said “They haven’t answered our pages” so then the OB said “well get the NICU nurses in here stat!” So obviously now I’m yelling “Get him out! Get him out! Get him out!” Thinking he’s dying or something. So within another few pushes Nate was out. Kurt was worried about cutting the cord and didn’t really want to but the doctor forced the scissors into his hands so he really had no choice. Then they took Nate away to be assessed. It felt like forever until I heard him cry. Kurt wouldn’t leave my side because there was so much blood he was concerned for me. Luckily, my mom was in the room so she was able to take pictures of Nate. After what seemed like an eternity they brought him over to me. I asked the nurse about his respirations and she said he needed a little oxygen but otherwise was perfect! He was 8lbs 6oz and 21 inches long!
It was the most indescribable feeling knowing he was ours and I had just brought him into the world. I felt an immediate connection to him and an overwhelming sensation of pure adoration and love. We spent a few short hours on the birthing unit then were transferred over to the Mother Baby unit. We had to stay two night in the hospital for observation purposes. Nate kept losing weight because my milk supply hadn’t come in and so he wasn’t getting enough to eat. It was hard too because every nurse I had on the Mother Baby unit had a different approach to breast feeding and what was and wasn’t correct. One nurse would tell me to massage my breast while Nate was latched on, another would tell me that massaging blocks the let down, one would tell me Nate was latched perfectly and another would say he wasn’t latched at all. I was getting so worried that they were going to make him stay and discharge Kurt and I but luckily, my other wonderful nurse was able to show me how to syringe feed him formula while he was suckling on my breast. Were were discharged on Tuesday afternoon and just had to follow up with our family doctor on Thursday for a weigh in. Remarkably when we went for that weigh in we discovered he had gained far more than expected! The doctor said when a baby is gaining back weight lost at birth, they usually gain an ounce a day, Nate had gained eight! How happy were we to hear that news! My milk officially came in four days after giving birth and we were able to stop the formula and just breast feed.
I’ve heard so many awful stories about the birthing unit at my hospital but besides the doctor and resident conflict, I have nothing but positive things to say! My nurse on the birthing suite was amazing and I would gladly have her be my nurse any day! And the nurse I had for the two days on the Mother Baby was just an fabulous, especially for being a new grad. I’m so grateful that I had them during my experience and I’m so lucky that Kurt was so supportive and continues to be to this day!
They gave him a little pumpkin hat since it was October! So cute!!!!
First picture of Nate and I and first family picture of the three of us!
Nate’s first outfit! And getting ready to go home!