If you missed Part 1 of my daughter’s birth story, read it here to get caught up!
Tuesday August 11th
In Part 1, I left off when we were leaving to the hospital. The midwife thought there was meconium when she checked me for dilation and recommended we head to hospital.
We grabbed our previously packed hospital bag and made our way. I laboured in the back of the car during the ride to the hospital.
I was on hands and knees, with my upper body leaning over the never used car seat, and just kept thinking that soon we would be bringing our daughter, who was still inside my body, home in this very car seat – craaaazy!
To say the least, the ride wasn’t super comfy but we made it. I used the tens machine the whole way there. We got to the hospital and I slowly shuffled up to the maternity floor. We checked in and they had a room waiting for us, as our midwife had called the hospital to let them know we were on our way (Canada – rocking it with midwife led births in hospital).
Once to our room, I got hooked up to IV (I tested + for Group B Strep) antibiotics and a wireless heart rate monitor for baby, so I could move around. Or, so I thought…
There was a little trouble getting the heart rate monitor in a position where we could find Steele’s heart rate steadily. There was a couple decelerations in her heart rate but it rebounded well. I didn’t think much of it at this point.
I got into the shower and had a few contractions there. Again, the water was so good and I was feeling pretty “with it” still. We’re at around 3am at this time. Now at around 33-ish hours of labor.
But, maybe 10-15 minutes in, my midwife came in and told me I’d need to get out. We had to find a better position for Steele’s heart rate.
We tried side lying, hands and knees, forward leaning…everything. Every. Damn. Thing. Eventually, lying on my right side found us the most stable position for the heart rate.
Things were very challenging from here on out.
I laboured side lying, a great position to SLOW labor down – UGH!, for a good couple hours. It was not the most enjoyable time I’ve ever experienced, to say the least. BUT, I just stayed in my space. Breathed and breathed some more, stuck to my words, and tried my best to go with it.
Throughout this time the resident OB and OB on call came into the room to let me know they were monitoring the heart rate from outside. They would let me continue to labor but if we were in dangerous territory, things had to change. They mentioned a C-section at this point.
When they mentioned the C-section, I felt disappointed, but trusted their guidance with the midwives a million percent. Whatever they thought was best, I was game for. I wasn’t disappointed purely because I wanted a “natural” birth (whatever that even means), but simply because we had made it SO far and we’re so close.
Also, I’ve never had any surgeries or any serious meds before so I was definitely nervous about that.
Randy kept getting me to drink water and apple juice. He kept me breathing and focused. I gave him the tens machine at this point and said, “BOOST”, every time a contraction came so he could hit the button. He kept talking me to me and telling me how amazing I was doing and that Steele needed me to just keep going.
The emotions now, still, are so intense looking back at this chunk of time. I knew that Randy was getting worried FOR ME because he knew how much I’d prepared, how many conversations we’d had about how I imagined her birth to go, etc.
We were somewhere around 6am now, Tuesday morning. I was doing my best. I kept breathing. Lots of deep “ahhhhs” and “ooohhhs”. At this point I was actually falling asleep between contractions. I hadn’t slept in a million hours by now and was just so exhausted physically and mentally.
Unfortunately, Steele’s heart rate was continuing to decelerate now.
I didn’t know, but it was decelerating after a few contractions in a row and was not rebounding well at all. At one point (again, I didn’t know) her heart rate dipped to 30bpm. Yikes.
The OBs were back in the room. They got me to roll to my other side to see if her heart rate would rebound. It still wasn’t great. They got me up on hands and knees, and gave me oxygen. It was better there for a little while.
The OB resident checked me and told me if I were 10cm dilated I could try pushing but otherwise C-section would be best, really our only, option. I was about 7-8cm. Time to go.
They had me signing waivers then and there. I didn’t have my glasses on or contacts in and so I couldn’t see. I had no idea what I was even signing.
All of a sudden my bed was surrounded by what seemed like a dozen nurses who were grabbing the bed to wheel me off to the operating room.
Honestly, this entire part was FAR worse for Randy looking on than it was for me. I felt really calm and just trusted that everything would be fine. I didn’t feel scared in the moment.
Did I mention I was still having strong contractions this whole time? YEP! It was pretty intense as they were taking me to the OR and I had to be lying flat on my back having contractions.
Once we got there, they sat me up to administer a spinal tap. They instructed me to round my lower back as hard as I could. It was kind of horrible. I was in a good deal of discomfort and couldn’t really round my back well, but I made it happen and they did the spinal.
They got me lying down on the operating table. One nurse was pricking me with a pin from the shoulder down to my pelvis to see if I could feel sensation, to make sure the drugs were kicking in.
They weren’t. I could feel everything. It didn’t take.
They whipped me back up to a seated position and gave me an epidural. Back down to test and this took. I couldn’t feel anything.
Eventually, they allowed Randy into the room where he came by my head and held my hand.
I knew they were doing the surgery because I felt pressure and my body being pulled from side to side.
Randy said, “I think they have her out”, and then I heard a big cry from baby Steele. The OB passed her off to our midwife who took her vitals and confirmed that everything was a-ok!
They brought Steele over to us and laid her on my chest. Her eyes were so dark, big, and alert. It was really an incredible moment.
Once the OB finished up, we made our way to recovery. Our doula and midwife helped Steele latch right away. I bet some other things happened while we were in this room, but I have no idea what they were, haha!
They then took us to our hospital room where we stayed for the next day and a half and then were able to head home.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all smooth sailing from here, though. Steele was great…mama, not so much. You can read Part 3 here – the finale!
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