Emerson Blake G****
November 26, 2011
9 lbs 12 oz
Friday, November 25, 2011
41 weeks 3 days
My induction was set to happen at 10 days overdue. I got up at 7 am so I’d have time to shower and do my hair - then wait for the hospital to phone me to come in. By 11 am, I haven’t heard from the hospital, and I was tired of waiting! I phoned Labour and Birth to find out where I was on the induction list. I was 5th on the list, but they were so busy that they hadn’t even called in any inductions yet that day. The nurse told me she doubted I’d be called at all for my induction that day, but I would need to come in for a NST to make sure baby was OK.
By 6 pm I still hadn’t heard from the hospital about my NST. I phoned them back and they said they could squeeze me in right away. Chris and the kids dropped me off at the hospital and went to run some errands. The tests went fine – baby was happy and healthy inside, and I was free to go home after about 30 minutes of monitoring. The nurse kept my papers and started my file for my induction – she said to phone them at 8 am to check my status on the list once again.
At home that night I tried to get things started on their own (DTD, nipple stimulation) and had a few mild contractions, but by 11 pm decided to get a good night’s sleep.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
41 weeks 4 days
I phoned Labour and Birth at 8 am to check my status on the induction list – I was 2nd on the list, and she expected to be able to bring me in later that morning! With that “deadline” in mind, I showered and did my hair again, then did some final tidying and organizing around the house. My mother in law was planning to come pick the kids up at lunchtime and watch them while we were at the hospital. At about 11:50 she texted and said she was on her way. Chris got home from spending the morning at work a few minutes later, and exactly at noon, the hospital phoned and said they were ready for me. Chris ate a quick lunch (I had already eaten) and my mother in law arrived to pick up the kids for lunch.
We arrived at the Labour and Birth Unit around 12:30. I got settled in an assessment room right away and hooked up to the monitors. At 1:20, once the Dr. and resident were back from their lunch break, I had an internal check and was found to be 2-3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. They decided I could start on a Pitocin drip and wouldn’t need any Cervadil gel to begin. At 2:00 pm I was moved to my Labour and Delivery room.
At 2:30 pm, the nurse tried to get the IV in my left hand. I warned her about my tiny veins and she said she’d give it one try, and then call someone else to try if she wasn’t successful. After digging around in my hand for a few minutes, she realized she wasn’t going to get it in. While she was off getting another nurse, I started feeling very light-headed and dizzy. By the time they got back, I had lost all the colour in my face and my blood pressure had plummeted to 87/51. My vision started to go blurry. One nurse laid the bed down flat and got me a cool cloth while the other got the IV done in my right hand. After about 5 minutes lying down I started to feel better and my BP went back up.
Once my IV was all hooked up and ready to go at 2:40, we started my pit drip at a low level (2). They turned up the drip every half hour. Around 4:00 pm I was having moderate contractions every 7-8 minutes. By 4:30 pm, my drip was up to an 8, and I was contracting anywhere from 3-7 minutes apart. I got up to use the bathroom at 4:45, and this brought my contractions closer together. By 5:00 pm they were consistently 3 minutes apart. At 5:35 pm during a contraction, I was shocked to feel a small jolt inside me and wondered if perhaps my water had broken. When the nurse came back to the room and I turned on to my back (I had been on my side) I felt fluid trickling out. She did a quick internal check and found that I was still 3 cm dilated, but I did test positive for amniotic fluid. My contractions now started to get much stronger, and were every 2-3 minutes.
Finally at 7:00 pm I asked for an epidural, and the anesthesiologist arrived right away. At 7:05 it was in place, and immediately I found that my contractions changed – not that the pain level had changed, but that I was contracting much lower in my uterus. Before the pain of the contractions had been high up in my belly – now I could feel that it was concentrated very low down in my pelvis, and I could feel my cervix dilating.
At 7:35 the resident arrived to see how I was doing. He did another internal check and found that I was now 5 cm dilated, but baby’s head was still very high – at about a -3 station. Also, he was concerned about baby’s position. Ever since I arrived at the hospital, baby seemed to snuggle up in the left side of my belly, making me very lopsided. At this point, he was practically transverse. Only the corner of his head could be felt at my cervix, and his body was stretched longways across my belly, landing most of his bulk bulging out the left side of my belly. He called for the Dr. to have a look.
Meanwhile, I got up to use the bathroom at 8:00 pm. In both of my previous labours, my epidural has completely paralyzed me from the waist down, and this time was much different! It didn’t get rid of my contraction pain, it just took the edge off, and I still had enough use of my legs to get up and walk to the bathroom. I did enjoy that aspect of it since it kept me from having to get a catheter (my least favourite part of both of my past deliveries!), although I could have done with more pain relief during contractions.
At 8:20 pm the Dr. came to examine me. I was now 7-8 cm dilated and thankfully his head had moved down to a -1 station, even though he was still practically transverse. During the examination, her fingers punctured my bag of waters for real, meaning what I had felt before was only the beginning of a small leak. At this point I could feel my hips and thighs finally going numb due to the epidural, although mostly only on my left side, so I flipped on to my right. Over the next hour I contracted every 2-3 minutes, and the nurse turned my pit down to a 6 since it was apparent my body was doing a good job on its own.
At 9:20 pm, I was starting to feel more pressure in my bottom during contractions, so the nurse checked me and I was fully dilated and baby had moved down to a +1 station. She had me do a few practice pushes during a contraction and she said baby was moving down effectively. She said I could start pushing now if I wanted, or I could wait until the pressure was stronger and let my body do some more work on it’s own. I decided to wait it out a bit longer since he was only at a +1 station, and I figured I might as well let my body get him down further on it’s own and save me some pushing time.
One hour later at 10:20 pm, the pressure was much stronger and the urge to push was finally there. (Having been pretty much paralyzed with my past labours, I never really felt that “urge”, so it was a new experience!). I started pushing with the nurse’s help, and the resident and Dr. arrived a few minutes later. I started out on my left side, then eventually switched to my back, as it felt more effective. My contractions were really long at this point, so I was able to push 4-5 times during each one. The doctors were amazed at his body positioning even as he was being pushed out – even though his head was finally descending, his entire body was still crammed over in to the left side of my stomach! It looked absolutely hysterical. Finally I felt him crowning and there was no relief in between contractions from the pressure. I pushed as hard as I could during the next few contractions and got most of his head out. Then they told me to start doing little, short pushes instead of big long ones – I could tell I was probably tearing because he was coming out so fast. With the next contraction I did several small, short pushes and finally his head was out! In the past I have been able to get the body out in just one push, but he was so big this time that it seemed like there were shoulders and limbs being eased out of me that went on for miles! I remember thinking “How much more of him is there?!?!”
Finally, baby was born completely at 10:45 pm, after 25 minutes of pushing. He came out crying heartily, and was bright pink within 2 seconds of them placing him on my belly. Apgars were 9 and 9. After a few minutes, once we had wiped him down a little bit, we got a fresh blanket and did skin-to-skin for about 20 minutes while I delivered the placenta (10:49 pm) and the resident started to stitch me up. I suffered a 2nd degree perineal tear, the same as with his big brother, Eli. The resident said it was not a very deep tear, but quite jagged, so it took him about 40 minutes to get me all put back together.
Meanwhile, baby was taken and weighed. I was expecting him to be around the same size as Eli, and maybe slightly smaller – so we were shocked to hear that he was 5 oz heavier, at 9 lbs 12 oz! He was 22 inches long (56 cm) and his head circumference was 37 cm.
After I was all stitched up, I had some supper (midnight snack!) and then we tried breastfeeding. After some initial trouble latching on we finally got him on the left breast for about 15 minutes. Then I had a soak in the warm tub before we transferred rooms to the Mother & Baby Unit. I had some more dizziness and low blood pressure troubles after getting out of the tub, but after a few hours lying in bed in my new room, I was feeling much better.
After spending 2 nights in the hospital and finally deciding on a name for our new little man, we were ready to go home on Monday at noon. Welcome to the world, Baby Em!
(Please ignore my husband's terrible moustache! Darn you, Movember.)