When I was pregnant, I loved listening to Podcasts and reading other people’s birth stories so I wanted to share mine as well!
Before I get started I wanted to give a shout out to:
A: Girls who have their babies without any medication. I curl over in pain at just the thought of it.
and B: Girls who give birth looking like Victoria Secret models with curls in their hair and make up. Pretty sure any ounce of make up I did have on was all over the sheets and my hair transformed into a added bird’s nest.
My birth story began with a scheduled induction. Whomp Whomp..no dramatic mid night labour and pretty drama free.
The reason why I had a scheduled induction was because mid way through my pregnancy, I was monitored a bit more closely due to the fact that I had a LEEP procedure in the past ( when I was in my mid 20’s!). LEEP procedures are done when pre-cancerous cells are found in a PAP test. It is quite common and the procedure is pretty straight forward ( they just zap the cells in there). Anyways, I didn’t think the procedure would come into play for my pregnancy but I guess if you have had a LEEP procedure in the past, there is a greater risk for pre term labour as your cervix is shorter from being zapped and you often have scar tissue. Pre term labour didn’t happen for me (thankfully) and my ultrasounds always looked great but during my 39 and 40 week appointments, my OB said I had quite a bit of scar tissue and I was as closed as Fort Knox. The combination of both meant that spontaneous labour would likely not happen as the scar tissue is tough and generally needs help to break up. I tried everything to induce labour naturally though- eating 4 dates a day, red raspberry tea, walking tons, primrose oil. Nothing worked!!! Hate to discourage anybody who is trying to do this at the moment but all a waste of time for me!A
At my 40 week appointment ( on my due date), my OB gave me the option to wait the full 41 weeks but said that I would likely need to be induced………… or I could be induced a bit earlier. Without a doubt, I said “Let’s get the show on the road” and scheduled my induction for 40 weeks and 2 days.
On the morning of the induction we got a call at 7AM to head down to the hospital. The drive down to the hospital was calm, positive but slightly weird. We drove away from the house knowing that this would be the last time we would leave as a couple. We were nervous…like we had jitters similar to going to a job interview and then we were excited…like we couldn’t wait to see what the next day or so would hold. I always envisioned Aaron running through red lights and there being a panic in the air so it was actually really nice to have this calm and quiet drive.
We got the hospital and were given a nice room at St. Joseph’s Hospital. We met our nurse Ashley who was around my age, was calm, sweet and just the perfect nurse to make us feel at ease.
My ob had directed the team to start me off with a Foley balloon to get my induction started. It is exactly how it sounds. A little balloon…up there. BARF. She said the gel wouldn’t do much given the state of my cervix so they needed something a bit more intense. The Foley balloon was inserted and was supposed to expand over the next few hours with Saline. It was uncomfortable but not death! I felt a bit of cramping but nothing crazy. About an hour into it though, the cramping went away and I felt sweaty, dizzy and like I was going to pass the &*%$ out. I couldn’t breathe and before I knew it, 7 people were in the room, I had an oxygen mask on and they were flipping me from side to side. My heart rate had dropped to 50 which in turn affected the baby’s heart rate and the foley balloon had to be removed asap. The doctor on call asked me if I was ok with a C-section and I could hear them talking back and forth. I always said that I was open to any sort of thing that had to be done to get the baby out so of course said ” No problem”!! There was a panic in the air and I couldn’t catch my breath but finally I did. I stabilized and the energy in the room became calm again.
The doctor gave me some time to rest up and then came back in to then attempt to break my water as another method of induction. This doctor was quick as a whip, about the same size as me aka tiny man and kind of like a character from a movie. He came in and was like “K I am going to try to break your water with this scary device” *Holds up a thing that looked like a crochet needle*. I’m like “mum OK…looks super enjoyable”. He was like “Sometimes this doesn’t work at all so knock on wood”. LOL. He moved at an energizer bunny speed
The water breaking was successful and again, SUPER uncomfortable but not a “I AM GOING TO DIE” feeling. Shortly after they did this, they got me on the drug Oxytocin which would kick start my contractions.
After breaking my water and even having the Foley balloon in for an hour prior, I was still only dilated to 1cm. SUPER COOL BODY!
The beginning of my contractions were tolerable. They were coming every few minutes but I could handle them. I was still able to talk a bit and wasn’t crying out bloody murder. The first two hours we just sat in the room, talking and I breathed through them. Around 3PM, we decided to walk around the hall to move a bit as apparently this helps to dilate you more. Aaron and I did a walk around the birthing unit and mid walk, I felt intense pain come over me. I was stopping every few steps and leaning on him begging him to help me lol. This is the beginning of Aaron’s face turning white and pretty much staying that way until our baby was born.
When we got back to the room around 4:00PM, I was dying of pain. They say that labour is like period cramps on steroids but I would say they were like Period Cramps on Steroids with knifes going into you at the same time and then your mind feeling like it’s going to explode from not knowing how to handle the pain. My mom came down to the hospital at this point as I wanted her there to comfort me in only the way she can and I wanted Aaron to also take a break and get a bite to eat with his brother. When they both were in the room with me, I was BEGGING for the epidural at this point. I sounded and looked like a crack addict needing their fix...”Please…Ill do anything” “I need it SO BAD”
Our nurse Ashley got the anesthesiologist quickly and made my dreams come true with making this happen so quickly after I asked for it. Pretty sure she saw a normal somewhat put together girl in the morning who turned into a demon that resembled Britney Spears during her bad phase and just knew she had to get this going.
The epidural was not bad at all. I was willing to take like 8 needles into my back if I had to in order to stop the pain. The guy I got though was apparently really good and the whole thing took about 10 minutes. My mom was also in the room and was saying things like “Wow this doctor is very Grey’s Antomy with his looks”. So I think he was like k I am going to get in and out of this room pronto.
The epidural kicked in and I was as happy as a clam! I was like “LOVE YOU ALL!”…”IM READY FOR A POPSICLE” …” I GOT THIS”. They checked me again after the epidural went in and I was at 4cm now. Small victory for some..big victory for me.
After loving life for two hours and thinking labour wasn’t SO bad, my contractions creeped their way back in. I was shocked…Wasn’t the epidural supposed to stop this? I was crying again and asking what the *@&# was going on! My contractions felt as bad as before…if not worse and this is the part of labour when I kept saying “DRUGS, NOT HUGS”
No cold cloth, touch, massage, pillow cropped behind me could help my situation…I only wanted my epidural back and the only words I spoke for the next two hours were “Heeeeelllp me”- said really slow in a robotic, dying tone. Over and over.
Another hour later, my mom had left and Aaron was back and almost immediately upon his return, I felt the dizzy and fainting feeling again. Within minutes, I had another 7 people in the room again, flipping me from side to side, placing the oxygen mask on me and discussing a C-section once again. At this point, we also got our new night shift nurse in named Janice. Janice was a firecracker, has been a nurse for over 25 years ( an OG of the birthing unit) and had no time for nonsense. She again was perfect for this part of my labour.
She walked in and introduced herself and said “I heard this room is causing quite the stir today” followed by “I know you are in pain but I just want to get one thing straight- I do not want to hear things like “I can’t do this”
My doctor checked me again after meeting Janice and I was dilated to 6cm. They both said that if I was still in pain in another half hour, they would call the anesthesiologist back.
After two hours of extreme…crying out loud pain, the anesthesiologist made his way back into the room and topped up my epidural. He said that nothing looked wrong with it but perhaps the baby’s positioning was causing me to feel the contractions. GREAT!
This was the golden part of labour. I was finally at ease as the epidural top off worked and I just chilled. I couldn’t nap unfortunately ( literally can never nap) but I laid in the bed with a special pillow propped between my legs and ate loads of ice chips and a popsicle. THE THIRST DEHYDRATION in labour is forreal you guys! I was dreaming of chugging Gatorade but wasn’t allowed to drink. At 10PM, the doctor came in again and said that I was dilated to 8cm. She said that things were looking good and that she would come back in a few hours and I should be ready to push by then. I felt excited as we were finally seeming like we were close! Janice the firecracker though informed me that I should expect a good 1-2 hours of pushing still though…especially for a first time mom. Thanks Janice…crushing my hopes and dreams that labour was almost finito!
Just when I thought I was in the clear…I got INSANE pain once again. This time in my back. It was so intense that I was turning to the side and almost sliding off the bed with all the cords still on me. Janice came in and said that sometimes this happens with the babies position. She then said “It is labour though Marisa…what do you want to feel numb the entire time?”
“YES JANICE….I DO WANT TO FEEL NUMB!”
She put the stireps up on the bed and said that perhaps it was getting closer to push time. I kept crying out in pain and couldn’t even FATHOM laying on my back with my feet up.
Janice checked the babies position just after 1AM and I sat there balling my eyes out. As soon as she checked the babies position, she yelled for the doctor to come in right away and said the baby was coming. They flipped me on my side and said I would be delivering sideways since I couldn’t lay on my back. SO NOT WHAT I PICTURED!!!
Janice looked at Aaron and said “Look alive Aaron! Grab her leg!” and then told me to push as the doctor made her way in! At this point, I was so desperate to get her out that I put everything into pushing. Aaron said that he thought my head was going to explode and was like “Maris- you got this…but please breathe”. Janice and the doctor…in unison…barked at him and said “NO…no breathing- hold your breathe and push!”
I pushed about 5 times for a total of 5 minutes and little miss Chloe made her appearance at 1:22AM
I felt like I was in a dream and when they placed her in my arms, it felt like an out of body experience for me. Like I was watching it from above and seeing my body.
We did skin to skin for a while and they stitched me up ( EW!) and took the placenta out. Aaron went to call our parents and came back into the room when the placenta was coming out and I swear I will NEVER forget the look on his face. He almost passed out. We initially thought he would just stay by my shoulders and not be looking down there at all but man oh man…modesty and privacy goes right out the window in labour and you don’t care who sees what!
Janice later told me that she and the team forsure thought I would be having a C-section and that I “threw her for a loop” the whole night. LOL
As much as I was enjoying skin to skin, I was SO thirsty so asked Aaron to find me two Gatorades. He came back to the room with two and I chugged them back to back in minutes.
The day after I had her I was sure that I would NEVER forget that pain but after a few more days the PTSD slowly faded and she was worth all of it!
But at the same time…not looking to get pregnant and go through that again anytime soon!! 😉
We feel so blessed and lucky that Chloe was born without any complications and that she was healthy! We also feel so grateful to live in Canada and have the amazing healthcare that we do. We had a great experience at the hospital and such an amazing team who helped get her here!!
Aaron was also such a champ and really picked up on what I needed without having to say anything. Couldn’t have done it without him. Also glad for him to witness everything so I can use it against him when ever required. SERIOUSLY US WOMAN ARE SUPERHEROS FOR WHAT WE GO THROUGH AMMI RIGHT?
Such an incredible thing the human body is capable of